The LEAF Coalition (Lowering Emissions by Accelerating Forest Finance) announced that it has mobilized $1 billion USD for countries and states committed to increasing ambition to protect tropical and sub-tropical forests and reduce deforestation. LEAF is a voluntary global coalition bringing together the private sector and governments to provide finance for tropical and subtropical forest conservation commensurate with the scale of the climate change challenge. Reversing deforestation is essential to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement and for any pathway to a 1.5-degree future.
The announcement took place during the World Leaders Summit on November 2nd as part of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26). LEAF is on track to become one of the largest-ever public-private efforts to protect tropical forests, with total demand for verified emission reductions from its growing list of participants estimated to potentially reach at least several billion dollars. This ground-breaking public-private finance commitment will provide invaluable support for countries protecting their tropical forests, to the benefit of hundreds of millions of people.
The Coalition also announced at COP26 that jurisdictions including Costa Rica, Ecuador, Ghana, Nepal, and Vietnam will sign the first Letters of Intent (LOIs) with Emergent, acting as the transaction intermediary for the Coalition, signaling interest in reducing deforestation and receiving payments. Emergent is a US non-profit created to address the urgent climate and biodiversity crises by accelerating finance to support reductions in deforestation at scale, and serves as the initiative’s administrative coordinator and facilitates LEAF transactions.
The LEAF Coalition looks forward to more agreements in the months ahead. To date, 23 jurisdictions (countries, states, or provinces) have submitted eligible proposals to the Coalition. These jurisdictions collectively have the potential to protect up to half a billion hectares of forest, greater than the area of the European Union, and their estimated self-reported emissions reductions amount to several times LEAF’s initial goal of 100 million tonnes of emissions reductions.
The LEAF Coalition also announced that seven new participants – BlackRock, Burberry, EY, Inditex, Intertek, SAP, and Walmart.org – are joining corporate climate leaders Amazon, Airbnb, Bayer, BCG, Delta Air Lines, E.ON, GSK, McKinsey, Nestlé, PwC, Salesforce, and Unilever. What began in April with nine private sector participants, anchored by Amazon, has already more than doubled to 19 in total. Participants in the Coalition must be committed to deep voluntary cuts in their own greenhouse gas emissions in line with science-based targets and consistent with the long-term temperature goals of the Paris Agreement. Their contributions to the LEAF Coalition come in addition to, and not as a substitute for, internal emissions reductions.
As coordinator of LEAF, Emergent actively encourages leading climate private sector organizations to join the Coalition to accelerate climate action.
For further information, please visit www.leafcoalition.org.
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Glasgow, Scotland, November 2, 2021