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I thought you would be interested in this article from environment: YALE magazine, the Journal of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.
Deforestation amounts to a double blow to global climate stability, since vanished trees can neither take up atmospheric carbon dioxide nor store volumes of carbon aboveground and in their root systems.
Recent estimates suggest that about 15 percent of the ongoing rise in greenhouse gas emissions is linked to world deforestation (when the extra carbon emitted from forests underlain by peat is included). And a slew of analyses—from U.S.-based McKinsey & Co.; The Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review, prepared for the government of the United Kingdom; and other reports—have suggested that avoiding future deforestation, particularly in the developing tropics, could be one of the least-expensive paths to reducing projected climate change.
At the most recent round of international climate change negotiations in Cancún, in December, one of the few successes negotiators could point to was an initial agreement on an outline to do just that.
Dubbed REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation), the approach being contemplated can look like a harmonious marriage of environmental and economic blessings. The general idea: rich industrialized nations (or their emitting industries) somehow pay poorer nations (or entities within them) to protect and maintain their forests via direct payments as part of a credit-based carbon cap-and-trade system. Developing nations, particularly those in the tropical south, win a flood of new income. By picking what amounts to the low-hanging fruit, the richer industrialized nations of the developed north win a cheaper route to greenhouse gas mitigation.
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