Monday, May 14, 2007

Slowing deforestation key to climate fight: experts

Reuters: Even slowing the amount of clearing of tropical forests could significantly cut the amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere, international experts say in a new study.

Deforestation in the tropics accounts for nearly 20 percent of carbon emissions caused by human activities, said Pep Canadell of the international scientific body Global Carbon Project and the CSIRO Division of Marine and Atmospheric Research.

"If by 2050 we slow deforestation by 50 percent from current levels...this would save the emission of 50 billion tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere," he said.

The aim was also to stop deforestation when 50 percent of the world's tropical forests remained. This would avoid the release of the equivalent of six years of global fossil fuel emissions, Canadell said.

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