By Ben Geman - 12/16/09 11:28 PM EST
I'm late getting to this, but the U.S. is pledging $1 billion over three years as part of a $3.5 billion plan among six nations to provide initial funding to slow and reverse deforestation in developing nations.
The other countries are Australia, France, Japan, Norway and the U.K., who are planning to provide the financing under an initiative under construction at the Copenhagen climate talks called Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD).
The announcement from the U.S. delegation today notes the key role that forests -- which store carbon -- play in helping slow the worldwide greenhouse gas emissions buildup. Loss of tropical forests accounts for 17 percent of worldwide annual emissions, it states.