A Simple Step To Reduce Climate Change: More Trees
Glasgow – The 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) draft decision document, which is supposed to incorporate countries’ negotiated deals on how to address man-made climate change, includes language focused on protecting and using nature as a way to reduce future warming.
Specifically, the document “emphasizes the importance of protecting, conserving and restoring nature and ecosystems, including forests and other terrestrial and marine ecosystems, to achieve the Paris Agreement temperature goal by acting as sinks and reservoirs of greenhouse gases and protecting biodiversity, while ensuring social and environmental safeguards.” In this case, “sinks and reservoirs” refer to natural ways to absorb and store carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
The Paris Agreement aims to hold the increase in the global average temperature by 2100 to less than 2°C above pre-industrial levels. It also pursues a more ambitious effort to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
In support of the goal of using nature-based solutions to address climate change, the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use was announced near the beginning of COP26 on November 2. So far, 137 countries have endorsed the goal of ending deforestation by 2030. Those countries account for about 91 percent of the world’s forests, amounting to more than 14 million square miles. However, following the declaration’s announcement, several countries with large forest areas (including Brazil and Indonesia) appear to have backtracked on their endorsements.
Forests can indeed absorb and store large amounts of atmospheric carbon dioxide, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) recent analysis of global forest lands’ carbon dioxide emission and removal trends between 1990–2020. The analysis finds that deforestation was responsible for annual emissions of roughly 3 billion tons of carbon dioxide globally in the period from 2016–2020. At the same time, the remaining forests sequestered some 2.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide, resulting in net emissions of about 0.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year from fores
Article from Reason.com