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Update November 17: As expected, the United States and Japan announced their pledges of $3 billion and $1.5 billion, respectively, to the Green Climate Fund at the G-20 summit in Australia. The United Kingdom is set to announce a £650 million ($1 billion pledge) in Berlin later this week and Canada said it will contribute, although it did not announce how much. Together with pledges from 11 other countries, total pledges amount to $7.5 billion, getting close to the $10 billion target for beginning operations of the Green Climate Fund. Pledges are also expected from Australia (despite the step-back from climate action by the new government), Italy, Norway, and Spain. The agreement reached by the Green Climate Fund board a few weeks ago, which approved a logical framework for REDD+, may spur Norway to pledge given it lays the groundwork for GCF support to forests.
Two synthesis reports on the science of climate change released this week show just how much halting and reversing tropical deforestation could contribute to global efforts to avert global climate change, which threatens citizens of developing countries first and worst.
On Monday October 20, Joko Widodo (“Jokowi”) was inaugurated as president of Indonesia. As I wrote at the time of the election in July, Indonesia’s deforestation rate—now the world’s highest—and its oversized effect on global climate emissions are among the burning issues pressing for the attention of the new administration. But perhaps this is the only one that is literally burning.