Thursday, August 27, 2015

Carbon Pricing Can Help Save Forests––and the Climate––Analysis Says

While some caution a tax on carbon won't fix everything, new research shows it can significantly slow deforestation.

Deforestation, particularly in the tropics, is a major climate change issue. (Credit: Rainforest Action Network, via Flickr) Click to Enlarge.
Deforestation will cost the Earth an India-sized patch of forest by mid-century––a crippling blow to the climate––but carbon pricing could halve the loss, according to a new study.

A comprehensive new analysis of satellite imagery and land use practices across 101 countries shows that one-seventh of the world's tropical forests will be lost over the next 35 years, an area equal to roughly one-third of the United States.

Such a tremendous loss of forests and the burning of the carbon they contain would hasten global warming significantly.  The loss, however, could be cut nearly in half by placing a price on carbon that pays landowners to keep their forests intact.

"Stopping deforestation won't on its own stop climate change," said the study's lead author, Jonah Busch, a research fellow at the Center for Global Development.  "But if you try to stop climate change without stopping deforestation, it's going to be much more expensive and harder to get there than if you take advantage of this big and cheap source."

Read more at Carbon Pricing Can Help Save Forests––and the Climate––Analysis Says

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