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April 22, 2021 | Washington D.C.

Today at the Leaders Summit on Climate a group of governments and companies announced the LEAF Coalition, an ambitious new public-private initiative designed to accelerate climate action by providing results-based finance to countries committed to protecting their tropical forests. This initiative aims to mobilize at least $1 billion in financing, kicking off what is expected to become one of the largest ever public-private efforts to help protect tropical forests, to the benefit of billions of people depending on them, and to support sustainable development.

"The LEAF Coalition is a groundbreaking example of the scale and type of collaboration that is needed to fight the climate crisis and achieve net-zero emissions globally by 2050. Bringing together government and private-sector resources is a necessary step in supporting the large-scale efforts that must be mobilized to halt deforestation and begin to restore tropical and subtropical forests." said Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry.

The Lowering Emissions by Accelerating Forest finance (LEAF) Coalition is an initiative with initial participation from the governments of Norway, the United Kingdom, the United States, and leading companies including Amazon, Airbnb, Bayer, Boston Consulting Group, GSK, McKinsey, Nestlé, Salesforce, and Unilever. Participants in the Coalition will support high-quality emissions reductions from tropical and subtropical forest countries, enabling efforts to reduce and end deforestation. Emergent, a US non-profit organisation, will provide a platform to facilitate transactions and serve as the administrative coordinator of LEAF.

LEAF aims to expand to include support from additional countries and companies in the months ahead. The final list of governments and companies participating in this initiative, and the total financial support mobilized through the Coalition, will be announced when emissions reduction purchase agreements are signed with tropical forest countries by the end of the year.

Boris Johnson, UK Prime Minister said: “The world’s tropical forests are the lungs of our planet and yet we are losing these great, teeming ecosystems at an unconscionable rate. This is having a devastating impact on the billions of people who rely on forests for their livelihoods and sustenance and is setting back our efforts to tackle climate change.

Time is running out to protect our tropical forests from irreversible loss and limit global warming to 1.5°C. That is why the UK is proud to have joined our partners in the hugely exciting LEAF Coalition, galvanising business investment and working hand-in-hand with forest countries to stop deforestation, cut global greenhouse gas emissions and put nature on the path to recovery.”

"Tropical forests are indispensable to fight climate change and biodiversity loss, and have received far less attention and finance than they deserve. Today, the LEAF Coalition takes a first, crucial step to change that", said Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg. "Finally, tropical forest countries can be assured that financial rewards are available if they can demonstrate reduced deforestation. I am delighted that big companies are now stepping up to provide this finance in addition to cutting their own emissions.”

Ending tropical deforestation by 2030 is a crucial part of meeting global climate, biodiversity and sustainable development goals. Tropical forests have an invaluable role to play by absorbing carbon from the atmosphere. Protecting tropical forests offers one of the biggest opportunities for climate action in the coming decade – providing almost a quarter of cost-effective mitigation by 2030