“Scientists estimate that more than 40 percent of the excess CO2 that has accumulated in our atmosphere has come from deforestation in past centuries.”

Living Systems

Forests

The CO2 emissions from deforestation are second only to the burning of fossil fuels for the production of electricity and heat as the largest source of global warming pollution on the planet.

This frenzied destruction of forests has a double impact on the climate crisis: first, most of the carbon contained in the trees is emitted into the atmosphere; and second, the planet loses part of its ability to reabsorb CO2 because the forests, once destroyed, no longer pull CO2 from the air.

The good news is that governments throughout the world have now tentatively agreed to efforts aimed at sharply reducing deforestation. However, they have found that, in order to be successful, the world will have to address the underlying causes of deforestation.