Saving forests five times better than carbon capture for climate action

October 12th, 2009 - 5:34 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, October 12 (ANI): In a new research, WWF (Worldwide fund for Nature) Sweden has determined that saving forests is five times better than carbon capture for climate action.

WWF Sweden is urging its government to get behind an effective international agreement on halting forest loss as a key and highly cost effective measure on climate change.

“Sweden should follow the examples set by its northern neighbors in developing systems to halt deforestation,” said WWF CEO General Lasse Gustavsson.

“One Swedish krona to stem deforestation results in the same emissions reductions as five kronor for the controversial carbon capture and storage technique,” Gustavsson added.

According to ‘Gold in Green Forests’, a report issued by WWF-Sweden, next to energy efficiency, halting forest loss and degradation is the most cost-effective method for mitigating climate change.

The annual loss of natural forests in developing countries is equivalent to one third of Sweden’s surface area.

Forest fires, the conversion of forests to agricultural land and the cultivation of energy crops are responsible for the high rate of forest loss.

A program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation, known as REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) is currently being discussed in the negotiations for a global climate deal.

REDD aims to make it worthwhile for developing countries to maintain their forests, as opposed to cutting them down.

Halting deforestation would not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but would also secure the livelihoods of people living in these forests.

“We should always prioritize solutions that are best for both the environment and our wallets, especially during the ongoing financial crisis. Sweden’s cautious attitude in this area is therefore very surprising,” said Gustavsson, who calls for the government to take action during the ongoing climate change conference in Bangkok and secure a system to finance the protection of the world’s forests.

“Norway, Finland, Denmark and Germany have already guaranteed financing for REDD between 2010 and 2012. It’s time for the Swedish government to take action - both domestic and as EU President,” he said. (ANI)

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