© Martina Lippuner / WWF-Africa
Forests and Climate
Forests are key to cutting emissions and tackling the climate crisis

Forests and climate change are deeply connected, as forest loss and degradation is both a cause and an effect of our changing climate.

When forests are destroyed, they release large quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which further exacerbates the climate crisis. The agriculture, forestry and land-use sectors are responsible for 22% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and deforestation is a major driver.

But forests are also a climate solution. Forests are the largest storehouse of carbon after the ocean. Their ability to absorb and lock away carbon, buffer communities from climate impacts like floods and provide food and livelihoods for millions of people is needed more than ever in a warming world.    

It’s crucial that action to protect and restore forests is part of the global response to the climate crisis.


© Nicolas Villaume / WWF-US
What WWF is doing

We’re working to advocate for stronger government policies on forests, including in international climate negotiations. 

We work closely with partners in the world's major tropical forest basins (Amazon, Congo and Southeast Asia) to support their efforts to protect and restore forests. These areas are home to some of the most threatened tropical forests of the world, yet they offer the highest potential for carbon emissions reductions.

We provide technical expertise and support on monitoring, reporting and verification of emissions, and work with Indigenous peoples and local communities to ensure they are included in discussions and decision making. 

We also work to ensure nature-based solutions deliver for people and nature, by providing expert guidance and advocating for support for the kind of solutions that truly benefit Indigenous peoples and local communities as well as the climate and forests.

What is REDD+?

REDD+ stands for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation. It is an effort to make trees worth more standing than when they are cut down, by providing developing countries with economic incentives to protect their forests. When done right, in a way that safeguards the rights of local communities and indigenous peoples, REDD+ can not only benefit the climate, but also biodiversity and local livelihoods.

A Blueprint for High-Quality Interventions that Work for People, Nature and Climate

A WWF Blueprint

Nature-based solutions offer an incredible win-win opportunity to tackle the biodiversity crisis, limit global warming to 1.5°C and benefit lives and livelihoods. 

Our Blueprint explains how funders of nature-based solutions projects can prioritize the highest-quality interventions that truly and equally benefit people, nature and the climate.

Learn more

Forest & Climate Reports