WE NEED TO REMOVE THE EXCESS CARBON FROM OUR ATMOSPHERE
With the Paris Agreement (COP21 in December 2015), world governments committed to limiting carbon emissions to keep global warming “well below” a 2°C rise above pre-industrial levels, and possibly below a 1.5°C rise. In order to achieve this we must achieve carbon neutrality by the second half of this century.
While reducing carbon emissions is critical, research suggests that even if carbon dioxide emissions came to a sudden halt, the carbon dioxide already in the Earth’s atmosphere could continue to warm our planet for hundreds of years. Therefore, the challenge is to reduce future carbon emissions and actively remove the excess carbon from our atmosphere..
A SIMPLE SOLUTION EXISTS
Trees are the best technology (according to a study from the University of Oxford here) to suck carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and reverse global warming:
- Forests balance the Earth’s water-cycle essential for cooling our climate.
- In addition, forests play another vital role in stabilising the climate by sucking carbon dioxide (CO2) out of the atmosphere and fixing it into soils and biomass.
- 50% of a tree’s biomass is carbon which remains stored, acting as a ‘carbon sink’, unless the tree decays or is burned.
- Global forests are estimated to hold more CO2 than the atmosphere.
“Forests represent one of the largest, most cost-effective climate solutions available today.”
(New York Declaration on Forests, 2014).
We know we must halt the loss of natural forests and accelerate forest landscape restoration.
Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss
Forests are home to 80% of terrestrial biodiversity, including the largest share of threatened species. Healthy forests are also the best barrier against the desert. Read a story from the field – SDG15.