Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force (GCF)
The Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force (GCF) is a unique subnational collaboration between 35 states and provinces from Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, Spain, and the United States. The GCF seeks to advance jurisdictional programs designed to promote low emissions rural development and reduced emissions from deforestation and land use (REDD+) and link these activities with emerging greenhouse gas (GHG) compliance regimes and other pay-for-performance opportunities. More than 25% of the world’s tropical forests are in GCF states and provinces, including more than 75% of Brazil’s and more than half of Indonesia’s. The GCF includes states and provinces that are leading the way in building comprehensive, jurisdiction-wide approaches to low emissions development and REDD+ as well as the only jurisdiction in the world (California) that is considering provisions that would recognize offsets from REDD+ as part of its GHG compliance system.
The GCF focuses on all aspects of the effort to reduce emissions from deforestation and establish lasting frameworks for low emissions development. It facilitates the exchange of experiences and lessons learned across leading states and provinces; synchronizes efforts across these jurisdictions to develop policies and programs that provide realistic pathways to forest-maintaining rural development; supports processes for multi-stakeholder participation and engagement; and seeks financing for jurisdictional programs from a range of sources, including pay-for-performance public finance, emerging carbon markets, and ongoing efforts to de-carbonize agro-food supply chains.
The overarching rationale of the GCF is that any successful effort to address the complex relationship between forests, land use, and climate change requires multiple efforts at multiple levels of governance, and that state and provincial governments, together with their civil society partners, are among the most important actors in building viable programs for low emissions rural development. The GCF was therefore conceived as an effort to leverage the fact that certain states and provinces around the world are in a position to be early movers in the effort to build robust jurisdictional programs for REDD+ and low emissions development, thereby bolstering overall momentum for the issue and enhancing national and international efforts to demonstrate how this can work in practice.