A recent New York Times editorial makes the case for allowing nations to offset a portion of their CO2 omissions by paying to reduce deforestation around the world. Forest preservation is vital from both a climate change and biodiversity standpoint, the Times explains:
Deforestation accounts for one-fifth of the world’s greenhouse gases — about the same as China’s emissions, more than the emissions generated by all of the world’s cars and trucks. And the world is doing far too little to stop it. An estimated 30 million acres of rain forest disappear every year, destroying biodiversity and pouring billions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
The article continues by noting that, economically speaking, forests may be more valuable as carbon sinks than as land for crops under the newly proposed legislation such as the Waxman-Markey bill:
The economics make sense. . . . The World Bank estimates that an acre of rain forest converted to crops is worth $100 to $250. It’s worth far more under a system that puts a value on carbon. An average acre stores about 200 tons of carbon; assuming a low price of $10 a ton, that acre is suddenly worth $2,000.
Reforest the Tropics is committed to the importance of tropical forestry, via preservation and reforestation, as a means of ensuring our planet’s health. We commend the editorial staff of the New York Times for this insightful editorial.