Fears over accelerating carbon dioxide (CO2) levels have led to speculation about runaway climate change.
Predictions based on Met Office models and research on polar ice caps indicate possible temperature increases as high as 10 deg C over a 50 year period. Within a few years we will know if catastrophic climate change is occurring much sooner than scientists feared.
While scientists hold their breath in the light of recent discoveries from Hawaii, a few organisations such as the World Land Trust are actively working to preserve standing forests and avoid CO2 emissions. Reforestation will become profitable under the Kyoto protocol with revenue generated from "Carbon Exchanges". However a criticism of the Kyoto mechanism is that it has no provision for securing existing forests, despite deforestation accounting for nearly 30% of global CO2 emissions.
The World Land Trust is addressing these problems by targeting areas that include mature forest and areas of deforestation. This channels reforestation funds, generated from carbon trading, into preserving existing forest. Projects in Belize and Ecuador are already underway.
Reducing carbon emissions and sequestering carbon from the atmosphere is a vital step in preventing climate change. Recent findings indicate a rapid increase of CO2 into the atmosphere and projects such as those of the World Land Trust, which maximise the reduction in atmospheric CO2, are increasingly important.
Notes to editors:
- Deforestation is largely occurring in tropical regions such as South America.
- Standing forest has been shown to sequester an average of 1 ton of carbon per hectare per year.
- World Land Trust is a Registered Charity - No. 1001291
- David Gower OBE and Sir David Attenborough are patrons of the World Land Trust.
More information can also be found on our Carbon Balanced website: www.carbonbalanced.org