Forests and climate
Fern’s aim is for an EU climate policy that halts deforestation, restores forests AND reduces fossil fuel emissions
Fern’s analysis: Forests store vast amounts of carbon. Protecting and restoring forests can help keep global temperature rises to well below 2o Celsius (aiming for 1.5 o Celsius), the goal agreed at the United Nations’ climate negotiations in Paris. But instead of protecting forests, we are clearing and degrading them, while draining carbon-rich peatlands in tropical regions. Ten per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions are released into the atmosphere as a result of deforestation. It is simply not possible to continue this destruction and achieve the targets outlined in the Paris Agreement.
In many regions, including Europe, forests are heavily degraded and under threat. Restoring them would increase their capacity to absorb carbon dioxideand give us a greater chance of limiting global temperature increases.
Evidence shows that forest restoration, done with the consent and full involvement of local communities is positive for forests, people and the climate if done as well as, and not instead of reducing fossil fuel emissions. ‘Offsetting’, where protecting forests is used as an excuse to burn more fossil fuels will do nothing to reduce the dangers of climate change. For that reason and many others, Fern has long campaigned against carbon trading. To keep average global temperature rises to well below 2o Celsius the EU, as a wealthy industrial region, must reduce emissions (from fossil fuel use and forest loss) to zero well before 2050, while ensuring the restoration of degraded forests within the EU and globally.
What Fern is doing: Fern is working with NGOs, policy makers and scientists to ensure EU forest and climate policies respect the rights of forest peoples and protect and restore forests.
To learn more about this campaign read Misleading Numbers, The Case for Separating Land and Fossil Based Carbon Emissions