LEAF: A game-changer for climate mitigation?

Governments & businesses to take a ‘LEAF’ out of the game-changer in climate mitigation

ARTICLE · By Lucy Bedry TTF FLEGT Communications Executive · 27 April 2021

With COP26 a short seven months away, global action is stepping up to pledge carbon reductions, emission savings, and mitigation against climate emergencies.

With COP26 a short seven months away, global action is stepping up to pledge carbon reductions, emission savings, and mitigation against climate emergencies. And not a moment too soon, as expert says: “Climate tipping point may have been reached already”.

One source of hope comes from the LEAF – Lowering Emissions by Accelerating Forest finance – Coalition. The coalition aims to mobilise a minimum of $1 billion in financing to protect tropical forests around the world. Protecting tropical forests is one of the largest opportunities for climate action and mitigation and therefore plays a crucial part in meeting global climate, biodiversity and sustainable development goals.

Empowering tropical and subtropical forest countries through financial support to implement forest protection, contribute to green and resilient growth of sustainable investment and moving towards ending deforestation, the LEAF Coalition helps to reverse the trend through harnessed public and private action.

This empowerment makes keeping forests intact more economically valuable than clearing the land for commodity use, such as agriculture, palm oil, soy or timber production. The initiative will build on global efforts of REDD+ – Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation – bringing together private and public capital and motivation.

Verification of results through Architecture for REDD+ Transactions (ART) will use satellite imagery to monitor entire jurisdictions to ensure inclusive country compliance. Tropical forest countries, states or provinces will pledge plans to reduce deforestation and degradation, which will be assessed on a yearly or bi-yearly basis through the number of tons of carbon dioxide reduced. In exchange, once verified, the national or regional government will receive a minimum of $10 per ton of reduced carbon dioxide.

Emergent Climate coordinates the LEAF Coalition, which aims to protect tropical forests at scale, believing this is the single best opportunity to slow and ultimately halt climate change, coordinates the Coalition.

Current supporters and participants include: governments of Norway, the United States and the United Kingdom, Airbnb, Amazon, Bayer, Boston Consulting Group, GlaxoSmithKline, McKinsey & Company, Nestle, Salesforce and Unilever.

Organisations, NGOs and businesses around the world are promoting the $1 billion large-scale forest protection and sustainable development opportunities of this groundbreaking coalition, with the Environmental Defense Fund labelling it as a: “Game-changer in fight to save tropical forest, support indigenous communities, and meet Paris climate goals”.

Tropical countries have shown that it is possible to protect their forests while growing economies. Investment is necessary to scale up support for sustainable development; protecting against illegal land clearing, conversion and deforestation. Indigenous peoples and communities that steward the forest and biodiversity will be benefitted in this leap towards social and environmental integrity.

We must end tropical forest loss and deforestation before 2030 to achieve global climate goals and restore balance for biodiversity, sustainability and our forests before it is too late. The coalition sets high promises that could revolutionise global standards and climate mitigation if the implementation is successful enforced and continued.