Lael Goodman

Analyst, Tropical Forest & Climate Initiative

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Lael Goodman is an analyst with the Tropical Forest and Climate Initiative at UCS. She conducts research and analysis to support reducing tropical deforestation as a way to mitigate climate change. Specifically, Ms. Goodman focuses on deforestation caused by the palm oil industry and protecting tropical peatlands. See Lael's full bio.

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Four Questions about a Fast Food Giant’s Role in Tropical Deforestation

I took a close look at Restaurant Brands International’s commitments in terms of tropical deforestation, and found that their plan is lacking in real action. The framework raises more questions than it answers. Here are four of them. Read more >

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How to Keep New Year’s (and Deforestation-Free) Resolutions

This year, I will be reducing the amount of sugar in my diet. To give myself every advantage, I’m planning ahead. I looked up tips and tricks for keeping New Year’s resolutions. As I began to write down the findings listed on multiple websites, I realized that everything advised for keeping personal resolutions has a corollary in the corporate world for making and following through on strong palm oil and deforestation-free pledges. Read more >

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In the Cloud of Haze, a Silver Lining?

The haze in Southeast Asia these past couple of months has been truly unimaginable. Burning vegetation and peatlands has been devastating for the health of millions of people, for the global climate, for regional economies, and for education. The scale of this crisis became impossible to ignore. And recently, the President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo (Jokowi), has issued strong instructions which if implemented, would help to avoid future disasters of this kind. Read more >

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4 Reasons to Pay Attention to the Deadly Haze in Southeast Asia this Year

Residents in Southeast Asia are currently being subjected to a heavy blanket of smoke and haze spreading across the region. The haze originates in large part from the burning of forests and peat soils in order to prepare land for agriculture, such as palm oil. But reading news reports and even seeing pictures cannot always convey the daily experience in the way that first-hand accounts can. Read more >

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Cleanup on Aisle 8: Why Supermarkets and Other Retail Stores Need to Clean Up Their Palm Oil

9/15/2015 Update: Since the publication of this blog, Costco has updated their palm oil commitment. Their commitment now includes specific language around the protection of forests and goes beyond a RSPO-certified commitment. However, the timeline for compliance has been pushed to 2021. Importantly, Costco has also committed to no-burn policies and some level of traceability, though they do not specify if this traceability is to the plantation level.
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