Deforestation and climate change
Recent calculations indicate that deforestation and forest degradation are responsible for around 15% of greenhouse gas emissions.
Deforestation releases carbon into the atmosphere
This source of emissions must be addressed if we are to prevent the global average temperature rising more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels – the point at which we face a high risk of severe and irreversible changes in the planet’s natural systems.
WWF’s report Climate Solutions: WWF’s vision for 2050 concluded that unless effective action is taken to curb emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, our probability of limiting global warming to 2°C drops progressively from more than 90% to just 35%.
Unfortunately, the economic incentives for unsustainable forest management or converting forests to other land uses (agriculture, building roads and population expansion) are often greater (in the short-term) than the incentives to conserve or responsibly manage them.
What’s more, emissions from deforestation in developing countries are not currently included in the Kyoto Protocol of the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – the international environmental treaty that aims to tackle global warming.
Love Your Forests
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