WWF position on forests and climate change mitigation
Posted on 01 September 2009
Forests have signifcant economic and ecological value as a provider of ecosystem services, being home to much of the world’s biodiversity and supporting the livelihoods of over 1 billion of the world’s poorest people. There is an urgent need for capacity building and early action now.
Forests have a vital role to play in the fight against global warming, being the largest terrestrial store of carbon and the third largest source of carbon emissions after coal and oil.
Deforestation is estimated to be responsible for 18% of current greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, forests have signifcant economic and ecological value as a provider of ecosystem services, being home to much of the world’s biodiversity and supporting the livelihoods of over 1 billion of the world’s poorest people.
A strong post-2012 climate regime is essential to keep the rise in global temperature well below 2 degrees Celsius. Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD) is a critical component of the overall greenhouse gas emission reductions required to achieve this climate goal. The strategies in this paper are needed to ensure REDD supports a successful global climate regime.
Although their importance in addressing climate change is clear, forests have had a complex history in the international climate negotiations. The UNFCCC calls on all nations to protect and enhance the reservoirs of carbon, including forests.