"A tipping point over climate"

On the eve of the UN Climate Summit, Darren Walker surveys progress in the fight to curb global warming and points to some critical next steps for governments, communities, and civil society organizations. “Amid a growing sense of fatigue and frustration over the world's ability to confront its climate challenges, the progress we are making in slowing deforestation stands as a powerful and pragmatic example of what can be done,” he writes.

Published in CNN Opinions | September 22, 2014
We're at a tipping point over climate
By Darren Walker


Across the globe, political and economic leaders have come under increasing pressure to live up to their words on climate change. And, on the eve of the U.N. Climate Summit taking place in New York, it seems we might even be at a tipping point in the global battle against climate change.

After all, new technology is revealing the impact of our daily consumption on the climate, and influential leaders in the public, private and nonprofit sectors are finding common ground, coming up with innovative solutions to address the most egregious drivers of climate change. But if the world is truly serious about changing the path we are on, it would do well to recognize an area where dramatic advances are already within reach—on deforestation.

Deforestation is responsible for 15% of global carbon emissions, but if we move quickly, we could start now to slow global warming, quickly and cost effectively, while buying vital time for the other solutions that leaders are seeking.

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The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For more than 80 years it has worked with courageous people on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the foundation has offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.