Ethiopia is aiming to plant 4 billion trees to help fight climate change. Such efforts are an increasingly important part of the global effort to limit warming. Michael Tewelde/AFP/Getty Images

Why restoring nature is so important to limiting climate change

Countries have pooled billions of dollars to preserve rainforests and wetlands in developing nations. But they pose thorny political challenges.

A group of 27 countries met in Paris this month to raise $9.8 billion for the Green Climate Fund, a United Nations program that routes money from wealthier countries to poorer ones to combat climate change.

But climate activists said it was a disappointing haul for a program critical to meeting the goals of the Paris climate accord — where countries agreed to limit warming this century to less than 2 degrees Celsius, with an aspirational limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius.

“Several European countries set the bar high and threw real money on the table. This is a good start but in no way adequate to meet the needs on the ground,” said Wendel Trio, director of the Climate Action Network, in a statement. “Countries who pledged below their fair share and failed to live up to their obligations must urgently top up their contributions.”

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