Scientists say halting deforestation ‘just as urgent’ as reducing emissions

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Protecting and restoring forests would reduce 18% of emissions by 2030 and help to avoid global temperature rise beyond 1.5C

The role of forests in combating climate change risks being overlooked by the world’s governments, according to a group of scientists that has warned halting deforestation is “just as urgent” as eliminating the use of fossil fuels.

Razing the world’s forests would release more than 3 trillion tons of carbon dioxide, more than the amount locked in identified global reserves of oil, coal and gas. By protecting and restoring forests, the world would achieve 18% of the emissions mitigation needed by 2030 to avoid runaway climate change, the group of 40 scientists, spanning five countries, said in a statement.

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