Without action to end deforestation we have little or no chance of meeting global warming targets with catastrophic consequences for people, particularly the poorest who contributed least to emissions. Greenhouse gases are emitted during combustion of forest biomass and decomposition of remaining plant material and soil carbon. The accelerating destruction of the rainforests that form a precious cooling band around the Earth’s equator, is now being recognised as one of the main causes of climate change. There’s simply no way we can fight the climate crisis if we don’t stop deforestation. So the chicken and bacon in our shops may well be unwittingly contributing to global deforestation. Deforestation: The hidden cause of global warming In the next 24 hours, deforestation will release as much CO2 into the atmosphere as 8 million people flying from London to New York. Plus we helped bring in legislation to prevent illegal timber being sold in the UK. But the risks from deforestation go even wider. So why are global leaders turning a blind eye to this crisis? Even though the damage is mainly done to tropical forests, the causes can be linked to eating habits all around the world – including here in the UK. The planet is warming… We need to protect forests now more than ever. We know that planting trees and restoring forests increases the depth of this carbon trap. Deforestation by burning, a widespread practice in the world’s tropical rain forests, adversely impacts the trace-gas composition of the atmosphere in two different ways. Carbon dioxide levels are now at their highest levels in human history. Deforestation is a primary contributor to climate change. All to meet the insatiable global demand for cheap meat. Forests have a big influence on rainfall patterns, water and soil quality and flood prevention too. There are lots of things we can all do, right now, to protect the world’s forests. There’s only about half the number of trees on the planet today that there were when humans first evolved. And how does it relate to global warming? We’re known for our work with industry and the public to promote more sustainable use of the world’s forests. 2 Minute Read. But the risks from deforestation go even wider. Deforestation affects the people and animals where trees are cut, as well as the wider world. Deforestation: The hidden cause of global warming, In the next 24 hours, deforestation will release as much CO2 into the atmosphere as 8 million people flying from London to New York. And we were founder members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), who’ve improved and expanded the sources of responsibly-produced palm oil. And of course you can help by being part of our global campaign to stop deforestation and restore our forests and jungles. As well as being stunningly beautiful, forests are vital for the health of our planet. And the fastest rate of forest destruction has been in the past couple of centuries. Huge swathes of tropical forest are removed so the land can be used for growing soya to feed farm animals like pigs and poultry. There’s simply no way we can fight the climate crisis if we don’t stop deforestation. Deforestation does contribute to global warming, so it actually is one reason for global warming. If it were a country it would rank 3rd in CO2 emissions, after China and the US. We co-founded the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), whose tick logo on wood and paper products helps shoppers identify and support sustainable forest management. And we urgently need your help. Join us and you can help stop the illegal wildlife trade and tackle other threats facing our natural world. We’re initiating new projects, supporting existing ones and bringing the right funding to the right action in the right place. It is not effective to “offset” greenhouse gas pollution from burning fossil fuels by storing carbon in forests. And we’re not including commercially grown trees and plantations. The majority of the deforestation is linked to  meat, soya and palm oil. We’ve had our successes, but the challenges keep growing too. Forest loss and damage is the cause of around 10% of global warming. In an emergency response to the scale and intensity of the current Amazon fires, we’ve also launched an appeal to support our local WWF Amazon teams working with local organisations to carry out urgent work on the ground. Also, make sure any palm oil in the products you buy is sustainably sourced – it may say RSPO on the label. This project will restore 5.2 million hectares of forest in Tanzania by 2030. Stopping the loggers is the fastest and cheapest solution to climate change. Land use changes, especially in the form of deforestation, are the second largest anthropogenic source of atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions, after fossil fuel combustion. But your diet has the biggest impact. Find out how we can all fight to save our forests. Deforestation and Its Extreme Effect on Global Warming. It is believed that the use of fossil fuels and the burning of oil and gas cause global warming. View our Cookie Policy for more information, Sign up to get the latest WWF news delivered straight to your inbox. First, the burning of the tropical forests produces large amounts of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, methane, and other trace gases that are products when biomass burns. They all pledged their wood and paper would be legally and sustainably sourced by 2020. Years of committed work by environmental campaigners, politicians and businesses is starting to pay off, but there’s lots more to do. Trees absorb and store carbon dioxide. But since then deforestation has been on the increase, with the highest rate of deforestation in a decade recorded in 2018. We’ve linked up with two other conservation charities, BirdLife and WCS, for the Trillion Trees project – making a bold commitment to forest protection and restoration. Most deforestation is carried out to clear land for food production. Learn about the impact and consequences of climate change and global warming for the environment and our lives. More than half the world's land-based plants and animals, and three-quarters of all birds, live in and around forests.


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