Summary of COP26: Addendum 1 – Deforestation   Leave a comment

There are two points I mentioned in my summary of COP26 that bear some elaboration: deforestation and an agreement on carbon markets. I’ll take on the former here and the latter in my next post. They are both important and will have impacts on dealing with climate change.

I want to emphasize how important it is to reduce deforestation. It’s vital apart from climate change for so many reasons, but it’s also crucial for controlling climate change. The World Resources Institute illustrated this point with the following graph. It shows that deforestation results in a huge amount of carbon dioxide emissions per year on the order of all the CO2 emissions released by the entire USA. That’s huge. The release occurs as a result of burning of the forest and increases in decomposition rates of what remains. Entirely halting tropical deforestation would be like…well…like the USA cutting its emissions to zero.

The problem is in how, despite the promises of many countries, to implement the accord. There’s a strong headwind on deforestation because people make money, local communities need land, governments are corrupt, etc. Recent data also suggests that deforestation is getting worse, not better. But I witnessed lots of new ideas and initiatives aimed at cutting deforestation, while acknowledging these issues. For more on this issue, check out the World Resources Institute report (https://www.wri.org/insights/numbers-value-tropical-forests-climate-change-equation) and the following NY Times article (https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/02/climate/cop26-deforestation.html).

Posted November 17, 2021 by changingnatureofthemainewoods in Uncategorized

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