Forest and Climate

When forests are destroyed, they release large quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere, which contributes to climate change.

Winning the fight against climate change

Forests have a critical role to play in combating global warming. And WWF's international Forest & Climate Programme has a strategy to win that battle. This includes:
  • ensuring that any new climate change deal provides incentives to reduce emissions from deforestation and land degradation
  • assisting countries, especially developing countries, to develop national and regional approaches that tackle forest-based emissions and benefit local communities

Protect trees, reduce carbon emissions

Forests are the largest storehouse of carbon after the oceans. However, when forests are destroyed by activities such as logging and land conversion for agriculture, they release large quantities of CO2 and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Reducing deforestation and forest degradation must be part of the solution to the global climate change problem.

Cloud and rain in the canopy of a tropical rainforest in the Amazon. South America rel=
Cloud and rain in the canopy of a tropical rainforest in the Amazon. South America
© WWF / Martin HARVEY

WWF Goal

    • By 2020, no net greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and degradation

Facts & Figures

    • 12-15 million hectares of forest are lost each year
    • Deforestation is responsible for up to 20% of all carbon emissions globally
    • Tropical forests, where deforestation is most prevalent, holds more than 210 gigatonnes of carbon
    • 87% of global deforestation occurs in just 10 countries, with Brazil and Indonesia accounting for 51% of emissions from forest loss

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