Protecting rainforests could sequester equivalent of a third of global emissions annually

15 June 2014

Eliminating deforestation, peatlands and forest degradation, and forest fires in the tropics could reduce global carbon emissions by two billion tons a year, or nearly a fifth, argues a new study published in Global Change Biology.

The research, authored by John Grace and Edward Mitchard of the University of Edinburgh and Emanuel Gloor of the University of Leeds, analyzed various emissions sources and sinks across the tropics. They found that carbon emissions from activities that damage and destroy forests are nearly counterbalanced by forest regrowth, reforestation, and afforestation. Cutting destructive activities would therefore be a substantial net gain in efforts to slow climate change.

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