© Brent Stirton / Getty Images / WWF-UK
Forests & climate change
Climate change is one of the greatest threats humankind has known. Forests can be part of the solution.
Between 30 November and 11 December 2015, world leaders gathered in Paris for one of the biggest climate conferences of all times. COP21 marked a defining moment for the global community to come together and collectively show their resolve towards “changing climate change”. The deal reached delivered much of what WWF asked for - the explicit mention of forests in the agreement sent an indisputable signal that actions to halt deforestation and forest degradation will have to be a part of high level domestic political agendas, and no longer a marginal topic.  

Forests and climate are intrinsically linked: forest loss and degradation is both a cause and an effect of our changing climate.

The agriculture, forestry and land-use sectors account for about a quarter of all global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and are the largest sources after cars, trucks, trains, planes and ships combined. By reducing forest loss, we can reduce carbon emissions and fight climate change. It's that simple.

As deforestation and forest degradation have such a significant impact on climate change, reducing forest loss can have multiple benefits for ecosystems and people. These include cutting greenhouse gas emissions, sequestering carbon, providing other ecosystems services, and maintaining intact, functioning forests that have the best chance of withstanding climate change.

Read WWF's final statement on the Paris agreement

Forests & Climate from WWF Forests for Life programme on Vimeo.

Forests: Key to a successful Paris agreement rel= © WWF

"Be it a large country like Brazil or a small country like Guatemala, be it the AIDESEP indigenous federation of Peru or the private company Mondelēz, we must encourage and recognize the leadership of all actors to support a development model that values the multiple goods and services that forests provide."

Marco Lambertini, WWF Director General, speaking at the forest day at COP21


Forest & climate news
02 Nov 2021

As COP26 enters its third day, we see some glimpses of hope.

22 Apr 2021

The coalition promises to set a global standard for inclusive forest-based climate mitigation, but ...

14 Aug 2020

How will we continue our supportive work when we can’t safely meet with participants in person?

14 Aug 2020

Comprehensive forest and landscape restoration is one way we can hit fast forward on reducing the ...

14 Aug 2020

Not all forest work happens under the canopy.

14 Aug 2020

Advocating for forests at COP25 in Madrid

14 Aug 2020

WWF scientist joins UNFCCC Roster of Experts for REDD+

27 Apr 2020

The temptation to skip to steps lower in the hierarchy that are easier or cheaper will at best ...

27 Nov 2019

27 Nov 2019

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Deforestation Deforestation and forest degradation represent up to 20% of global anthropogenic
CO2 emissions.

© WWF International

Emissions from deforestation will continue unabated if business as usual continues.

© WWF Living Forests Report