The world is currently facing the serious challenge of climate change and global warming. Emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG), especially carbon dioxide, are the main cause. They accumulate in the atmosphere, trapping energy and creating the greenhouse effect. All of us, individuals and companies, emit GHG when we go through our daily activities.
Climate Change & Global Warming
The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has been building up to record levels since the industrial revolution. We are responsible for approximately 25% of such carbon dioxide. Many climate scientists have warned us that current levels of concentration of GHG in the atmosphere coupled with an increasing rate of GHG emissions would result in an increase in temperature of more than the critical threshold of 2 degrees Celsius and an irreversible impact on climate, sea levels, heatwaves, rainfall patterns, among others.
Carbon dioxide is produced by burning fossil fuels like the gasoline used by cars or planes, the coal burned to generate electricity, the wood used for fuel, etc. In order to tackle global warming, we need not only to stop emitting at current rates but also to capture carbon dioxide that is already in the atmosphere.
The role of deforestation in global warming
Over the past hundred years, subsistence activities and/or short-term financial opportunism have led to increasing levels of deforestation, which have exposed the vulnerability of the world’s mightiest forests. Deforestation of tropical forests is responsible for approximately 15% of total global greenhouse gas emissions: that’s more CO2 than all the world’s ships, cars and planes put together.
Emissions from deforestation originate as burning trees emit carbon dioxide that they have stored for centuries. Deforestation cannot continue at this pace if we are to have a healthy climate and the chance of preventing dangerous global warming. Furthermore, the reduction of deforestation is the most cost-efficient climate change mitigation strategy.
“This is not a problem for another generation – this is a problem now.”
“Climate change is the most important story of our lives”
What is REDD?
Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) is a mechanism for climate change mitigation that aims to save the most threatened forests in the world. The mechanism seeks to reduce net global warming emissions from forest destruction while promoting sustainable development, conserving biodiversity and ecosystems and protecting local communities.
Why planting trees is good for the environment?
Trees capture carbon dioxide through the processes of photosynthesis and respiration. Young forests or plantations capture carbon dioxide as they grow.