ImpactAlpha, April, 26 – A global coalition of governments and corporations will pool funds to keep tropical forests intact. The Lowering Emissions by Accelerating Forest finance, or LEAF Coalition, announced at U.S. President Joe Biden’s climate summit last week, aims to mobilize at least $1 billion to pay countries and states to protect their forests.
The LEAF Coalition will pay $10 per ton of carbon avoided. At $1 billion, the coalition could finance the avoidance of 100 million tons of carbon, equivalent to the annual emissions of nearly 22 million passenger cars. To pre-empt charges of greenwashing, countries will be paid based on their performance over five years.
Joining forces: the U.S., U.K. and Norwegian governments, and nine corporations, including Amazon, Unilever, Salesforce, and Nestle. The nonprofit Emergent Forest Finance Accelerator will coordinate the coalition and verify results with satellites.
Protecting tropical forests is a low-hanging fruit for climate action. Key development: valuing, and paying for, the ecosystem services forests provide. Despite the pandemic, demand for soy, palm oil, timber and grazing lands increased deforestation by 12% last year, harming the climate, biodiversity and indigenous communities.
The LEAF partnership is an example of “the scale and type of collaboration that is needed to fight the climate crisis and achieve net-zero emissions globally by 2050,” said Biden climate envoy John Kerry.