State Governors, Regional Leaders from Brazil and Indonesia Sign Deforestation Memorandum

Governors from three states and regional leaders from Brazil and Indonesia have jointly drafted a memo calling on their national governments to push for strong deforestation provisions in any international agreement that might emerge from Copenhagen.   Indonesia and Brazil account for 60 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from deforestation, which is 15 to 20 percent of global carbon output.  The current international climate change pact signed in Kyoto does not include GHG emissions from deforestation.   

While the memo does not suggest a specific policy mechanism for addressing deforestation, it does propose the immediate creation of a task force with officials from the U.S., Brazil, and Indonesia to begin formulating what a solution might look like.  Ultimately, the signatories want a system that subsidizes developing nations working to stop deforestation on the ground. 

The memo is addressed to President Obama, Brazil President Luiz Ignácio Lula da Silva and Indonesia President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.  Signatories include: California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger; Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle; Illinois Governor Pat Quinn; the Brazilian states of Amapa, Amazonas, Mato Grosso, Para and Acre; and the Indonesian states of Aceh, East Kalimantan and Papua. 

Press Release