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Forests and climate change mitigation

Did you know that forests already remove around 25% of the anthropogenic carbon emissions added to the atmosphere each year? And did you know that forests, especially tropical forests, are also a very cost-effective means to mitigate climate change?

Greenchoice and the REDD+ Business Initiative commissioned Face the Future to write a technical report about the contribution and cost-effectiveness of forests in tackling climate change, based on the knowledge and research that is currently available.

This report demonstrates that forests can play an essential role in combating climate change. Forest conservation, afforestation/reforestation, restoration and improved management of existing forests have a large potential for the reduction of carbon emissions as well as the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in a cost-effective way. Although compliance markets have yet to accept REDD+ offsets, there is a large potential for industrialized countries, without (tropical) forest, to significantly contribute to climate change mitigation through investments in REDD+ abroad. Moreover, REDD+ has a significant positive impact on biodiversity conservation and restoration, livelihoods and the preservation and recovery of a broad range of ecosystem services provided by forests. These benefits are very much interlinked and can have an impact well beyond the boundaries of the forest itself. On the one hand this underlines the high potential impact and significance of REDD+, but also the massive damage that deforestation and forest degradation can cause on multiple levels and scales. By attracting revenues from carbon sequestration, REDD+ contributes to the conservation and enhancement of forest ecosystem services for which no market or other funding of this scale yet exists. In turn, these forest ecosystem services contribute to achieving multiple Sustainable Development Goals and targets across the 2030 Agenda.

Curious to read more about the role of forests in climate change mitigation? The report can be downloaded here