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Guyana President Joins WWF CEO at Hill Briefing Impact of Tropical Deforestation on Climate Change

His Excellency Bharrat Jagdeo, the President of Guyana, joined WWF CEO Carter Roberts at a Capitol Hill briefing on the role of tropical deforestation in climate change and international approaches to solving the problem.

Tropical deforestation and forest degradation account for approximately 20 percent of global greenhouse emissions – more than the combined emissions from every plane, train and automobile on the planet. Tropical forests are also home to vulnerable human communities and the highest percentage of the planet’s remaining biological diversity. Reducing and eventually halting deforestation is essential to slowing climate change, and U.S. government policies and financing have a key role to play in tackling this challenge.

An effective solution will require strong partnerships between industrialized nations like the U.S., where demand for forest-products drives deforestation, and developing nations, where deforestation-related emissions are highest. A combination of wisely designed market and public funding policy mechanisms is necessary to respond to this key contributor to the climate crisis.

This event brought together different international perspectives on how to finance, design and implement programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation, which will be key considerations not only for U.S. legislation, but also for reaching agreement on an international treaty to confront climate change, which will be negotiated in Copenhagen later this year.

The event also featured Per Federik Ilsaas Pharo, Director of Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative and Deputy Minister of the Environment, Kevin Knobloch, President of the Union of Concerned Scientists, and Representative Jay Inslee (D-WA), who co-hosted the briefing with Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ). 

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