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Statement by Dr. Rajiv. J. Shah, President of The Rockefeller Foundation, on LEAF Coalition’s Historic Expansion to Fight the Climate Crisis

Climate change is an existential threat, one that demands all of us to urgently consider every opportunity and scenario to reduce CO2 emissions. During last week’s White House Leaders Summit on Climate, a group of governments and companies announced the Lowering Emissions by Accelerating Forest finance (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. The Rockefeller Foundation is proud to have been an early supporter of Emergent, a U.S. non-profit organization that will serve as a platform to facilitate transactions and coordinator LEAF. The launch of LEAF aims to mobilize at least $1 billion in financing to jump start what is expected to become one of the largest ever public-private efforts to halt deforestation and support sustainable development, which will not only benefit the billions of people depending on them, but also all of us.

LEAF already includes the governments of Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States, as well as leading companies like 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, which will help reduce and end deforestation.

The Rockefeller Foundation, which convened the summit where the concept of “impact investing” was initially coined in 2007, has sought to mobilize the resources that are essential for the preservation and restoration of our tropical forests, the fight against climate change, and the future of billions of people who rely on these natural lands. Announced on Earth Day, with its 2021 theme of “Restoring our Earth,” LEAF Coalition demonstrates the power of public-private partnership to drive climate action and more equitable and sustainable development.

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