The FINANCIAL — World Wildlife Fund (WWF) welcomes the groundbreaking $1 billion coalition that aims to raise global climate ambition and urgently halt deforestation announced today during the Leaders Summit on Climate by the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom and Norway and a group of leading international corporations. Further work ahead is needed to support tropical forest countries and safeguard the rights of forest-dependent communities.
According to WWF, the new LEAF Coalition—Lowering Emissions by Accelerating Forest finance—will enable governments and participating companies to pay for high-quality emissions reductions from tropical forests, which will be verified against an independent standard. According to WWF, these reductions must be in addition to—not a substitute for—deep cuts in these companies’ emissions; guided by a target validated by the Science Based Targets initiative; aligned with science and with the goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 or sooner; and able to prevent double counting of emission savings. This must also be accompanied by urgent efforts to secure land rights for Indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs) and action in agricultural supply chains to address deforestation and conversion from commodity production. Governments, forest nations, companies, civil society and, most importantly, IPLCs will have to work together to realize the coalition’s ambitious goals.
Land-use change, including deforestation, is one of the leading causes of climate change and biodiversity loss. WWF realizes that reducing deforestation at scale is a profound challenge for governments and diverse stakeholders in tropical forest countries, requiring north-south, public-private and supply-demand collaborations. We will continue to build these bridges to save the world’s most important forests, WWF notes.
WWF President & CEO Carter Roberts said: “With any new climate initiative, the important thing is to deliver high-integrity results at a scale that matters. That means initiatives should be measurable, credible and bring about real emissions reductions. For forest initiatives, they should touch down in places, building deep partnerships with local communities and producing durable benefits for people and nature. And they should also embrace the principle that nature-based solutions to climate change are meant to complement—not replace—emissions cuts. The LEAF Coalition sets the stage to deliver. Its success will depend on honoring these aspects in the design and execution and on building the capacity of countries to do the same.”