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This week, during the international Climate Summit, three governments and nine giant corporations announced a groundbreaking coalition, called LEAF, which is mobilizing to raise at least $1 billion this year, alone, for large-scale forest protection and sustainable development.

The coalition already includes the governments of the UK, US, and Norway, and international companies, including Airbnb, Amazon, Bayer, GlaxoSmithKline, Nestle, and Unilever.

Known as LEAF, for Lowering Emissions by Accelerating Forest finance, the global initiative represents by far the single largest private-sector investment to protect tropical forests.

The goal is for governments, businesses, and NGOs to pay for high-quality emissions reductions from tropical forests, verified against an independent standard.

The LEAF Coalition offers an important new approach that can help protect swaths of trees by offering the financial assurance needed for countries to start prioritizing policies that reduce deforestation.

“With local-level involvement, this approach can be a triple-win: for the climate, tropical forests and for people that depend on them.” said Manish Bapna, Interim President and CEO of World Resources Institute.

More participants are expected to join in coming months.

“This is a game-changer in the fight to save tropical forests—a new model for catalyzing finance, at a scale that is truly up to the challenge,” said Environmental Defense Fund Senior Vice President, Nathaniel Keohane.

“The LEAF Coalition sets a high standard for how companies can supplement deep cuts in their own emissions by investing in additional emission reductions from tropical and subtropical forests and also by ensuring that the rights of indigenous peoples who have and who continue to protect these forests are respected and fulfilled,” added Keohane.

This pioneering model of forest finance could channel tens of billions of dollars per year into ensuring the protection of trees on the scale needed to address the climate crisis and meet world‘s climate goals.