Our Climate Future Hinges on Forest Preservation

Published in Project Syndicate

By Ilona Szabó and Tasso Azevedo

RIO DE JANEIRO – Even before taking office in January 2023, Brazil’s president Luiz Inácio Lula de Silva promised to end illegal deforestation in the Amazon. He also revived partnerships to amplify financing of forest protection and announced a presidential summit of Amazon Basin countries to be held in Belem in August. Lula is determined to accelerate global cooperation to protect the world’s largest tropical forest, including by leveraging the newly capitalized Amazon Fund which is supported by Norway and Germany. President Lula and his environment minister, Marina da Silva, have made the protection and preservation of the Amazon a priority.

They have a point. The value of intact forests, especially the vast tropical biomes in the Amazon, Congo, and Indonesia, is immense. And without them, there is no hope of keeping global warming below 1.5° Celsius. To protect them (and, by extension, the Earth), we believe a new incentive mechanism that provides direct compensation for forest conservation can help.

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