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How Ending Tropical Deforestation Can Keep Global Warming Below 1.5°C



The following content is sponsored by The LEAF Coalition

How Ending Tropical Deforestation Can Keep Global Warming Below 1.5°C

In the case of global warming, a few degrees make all the difference.

The United Nations’ latest IPCC report emphasizes that the Earth is on a collision course with catastrophic climate change—that is unless, in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement, the global rise in temperatures can be limited to 1.5°C.

To achieve this however, the world will need to significantly reduce its carbon emissions. Today’s graphic from The LEAF Coalition highlights how protecting forests is essential to this process.

Tropical Deforestation: A Carbon Emissions Culprit

According to the World Economic Forum, to keep to a 1.5°C pathway by 2030, we’ll need to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half. For this trajectory to be maintained in 2050, emissions need to be completely eliminated.

However, tropical deforestation accounts for 10% of global carbon (CO₂) emissions today, which is comparable to the emissions outputs of entire countries.

Est. Annual CO₂e Emissions
🇨🇳 China12.4 Gt/year
🇺🇸 U.S.6.0 Gt/year
🌳 Tropical tree cover loss5.3 Gt/year

In fact, combined emissions from tropical tree cover loss, including activities of deforestation, rival annual emissions from major emitters, coming in third just after China and the United States.

Protecting Forests is Key

The urgency of ending tropical deforestation to curb emissions cannot be understated. If in the previously mentioned 2030 scenario, it is assumed that emissions have already dropped steeply, deforestation today would still need to be cut by 75% in order to maintain the possibility of keeping to the 1.5°C pathway.

However, there’s a significant barrier—the FAO estimates that we are losing 10 million hectares of forests every year. To put that into perspective, that’s a loss equal to the size of New York’s Central Park every 18 minutes.

For these crucial reasons, urgent collective action is needed to protect forests. Find out how The LEAF Coalition, a public-private initiative is bringing together businesses to do more to fight climate change and halt tropical deforestation.

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