A new public-private coalition was launched at The Leaders Summit on Climate, aiming to raise more than $1 billion to finance initiatives on protecting the climate.
The Lowering Emissions by Accelerating Forest finance (LEAF) is an initiative designed to accelerate climate action by providing results-based finance to countries committed to protecting their tropical forests.
The coalition involves the governments of Norway, the United Kingdom, the United States, and companies including Unilever, Amazon, and Nestlé, among others.
The coalition hopes to mobilise $1 billion in financing, in what is claimed to be one of the largest public-private efforts to help protect tropical forests and support sustainable development.
Participants in the coalition have outlined a plan to reduce emissions from tropical and subtropical forest countries, enabling efforts to reduce and end deforestation.
Alan Jope, CEO of Unilever, supported the coalition and said, "For nearly two decades, Unilever has been involved in industry efforts to eliminate deforestation from commodity supply chains.
"We have learned that individual actions alone – however bold – will never drive system change. Collective action is needed for real impact. The launch of the LEAF Coalition today provides fresh hope that we can end deforestation at scale and get the world on track for the 1.5 degree goal of the Paris Agreement."
Emergent, a US non-profit organisation, will provide a platform to facilitate transactions and serve as the administrative coordinator of LEAF.
LEAF aims to include support from more countries and companies in the months ahead.
The final list of governments and companies participating in the initiative and the total financial support raised through the coalition will be announced when emissions reduction purchase agreements are signed with tropical forest countries by the end of the year.
The motivation behind LEAF is to raise global climate ambition and contribute to tropical forest protection.
The destruction of primary rainforests increased by 12% from 2019 to 2020, with the world losing more than 4.4 million hectares of tropical forest cover last year, equivalent to an area larger than the size of Switzerland.
Boris Johnson, UK Prime Minister, stated, "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."