If tropical deforestation was a country, it would have the third largest carbon footprint in the world. According to data and imagery from Global Forest Watch as analysed in recent research published by Nature, tropical tree cover loss led to average estimated annual CO2 equivalent emissions of 5.3 gigatons between 2001 and 2019 – second only to China and the United States when excluding the effects of land-use change and forestry.
Writing for the World Economic Forum, David Antonioli, CEO of Verified Carbon Standard warned: “Programs to stop deforestation need to be drastically scaled up. The current decline in tropical forest cover needs to be quickly turned around if we are to reach the Paris Agreement’s goal of keeping global warming to below 1.5°C. The emission pathways set out by the IPCC for this goal are already challenging enough: meeting the 1.5°C target requires reducing deforestation by 77%.”