Corporates join forces with US, UK and Norway to save tropical rainforests

The public-private alliance aims to raise $1bn and benefit billions of people who depend on the rainforest

The Leaf Coalition aims to provide results-based finance to countries committed to protecting their tropical rainforests. Courtesy Amazon
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Companies such as Salesforce, Airbnb, Unilever and Amazon have teamed up with the governments of the US, the UK and Norway to raise $1 billion to protect the world’s tropical rainforests.

The public-private alliance, called Leaf Coalition, will benefit billions of people around the world who depend on the rainforests. Other companies in the group include Bayer, Boston Consulting Group, McKinsey, GlaxoSmithKline, and Nestle.

“Climate change is the greatest threat to our planet, and the Leaf Coalition offers us an opportunity to bring together governments and companies to fight it,” Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and chief executive, said.

“In uniting behind a common cause, the countries and companies of the coalition have a chance to end deforestation by 2030. We are excited to support this important initiative and encourage others to do the same,” he added.

In October 2019, Amazon co-founded The Climate Pledge initiative to encourage organisations to achieve net-zero annual carbon emissions by 2040, a decade ahead of the Paris Agreement's 2050 goals. In June last year, it also rolled out a Climate Pledge Fund, with an initial funding of $2bn to invest in sustainable technologies and services.

The Leaf, formally the lowering emissions by accelerating forest finance, aims to include additional countries and companies in the coming months. It is designed to accelerate climate action by providing results-based finance to countries committed to protecting their tropical rainforests.

The funds will be mobilised to finance various climate activities globally and this coalition is expected to become one of the largest ever public-private efforts to protect tropical forests and support sustainable development, Amazon said.

"The Leaf Coalition is a ground-breaking example of the scale and type of collaboration that is needed to fight the climate crisis and achieve net-zero emissions globally by 2050,” John Kerry, US President Joe Biden’s special presidential envoy for climate, said in a statement.

“Bringing together government and private-sector resources is a necessary step in supporting the large-scale efforts that must be mobilised to halt deforestation and begin to restore tropical and sub-tropical forests," added Mr Kerry.

The current participants of Leaf will pay for high-quality emissions reductions from tropical and sub-tropical forest countries, supporting efforts to reduce and end deforestation. Emergent, a US non-profit company, will help facilitate transactions and serve as the administrative coordinator.