Reforestation is a Goer!

04 June 2010

Tropical tree

Photo by JKadavoor

Deforestation is responsible for nearly 20 per cent of global carbon emissions. That’s more than the emissions from every car, every plane, every boat, every train – more than the whole of the transport sector put together. Forests remove CO2 from the atmosphere through photosynthesis and, globally, could provide a reduction of about 25% of current CO2 emissions from fossil fuels by 2030, through a combination of reduced deforestation, forest management and increased forestation.

Last month fifty of the world's most important countries concluded an agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation. Around £2.6 billion has been pledged for the period 2010–2012 for measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries. This is called the REDD project which means Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation and was started along with they Kyoto protocol.

Measures to reduce deforestation are the quickest and least expensive way of achieving large emission cuts. At today’s meeting, around 50 countries agreed on a framework for the rapid implementation of measures for reducing deforestation. This could be an important step forward in the run-up to the climate negotiations in Mexico later this year,” said Prime Minister Stoltenberg at the Oslo Climate and Forest Conference in May.

The global forest partnership that was established in Oslo today marks the start of closer global cooperation on reducing deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries.

UK trees

Photo by Ron Shirt

Here in Britain, the outlook is changing for the better. An extensive study of UK forestry and Climate Change released in November 2009 showed that there were significant benefits to be had by putting in more trees. Woodlands planted since 1990, coupled to an enhanced woodland creation programme of 23,000 hectares per year over the next 40 years, could be delivering by the 2050s, on an annual basis, emissions reduction equivalent to 10% of total GHG emissions at that time. Such a programme would represent a 4% change in land cover and would bring UK forest area to 16% which would still be well below the European average of 36%. This increase in forest cover could capture up to 15 million tonnes of CO2 per year if properly managed, which would amount to around 10% of total UK CO2 emissions. This would be a significant dent in the UK's total output of CO2, as well as providing managed sustainable domestic wood, employment opportunities, and of course, enhancing the environment for all sorts of plants, animals and insect life, including pollinators like bees.



Climate Change Synthesis Report

Blog by Julian Jackson

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