Forest pathways offer over 2/3 of the cost-effective natural climate solutions we need to hold warming below 2°C . And, the cost about 1/2 of low-cost mitigation opportunities.
Despite their large potential, natural climate solutions receive just 2.5% of climate mitigation dollars.
Source: Forest Climate Group
Globally, an estimated two billion hectares (4.9 billion acres) of land has already been deforested or degraded. Reforestation offers one of the best ways to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, turning it into solid carbon through photosynthesis and storing it in tree trunks, branches, roots, and soil.
Through an extensive mapping project that exclude existing trees and agricultural and urban areas, scientists found there is room for an extra 0.9 billion hectares of canopy cover. If the right species of trees are planted in the right soil types across the planet, emerging forests could capture 205 gigatons of carbon dioxide in the next 40 to 100 years. That’s two thirds of all the CO2 humans have generated since the industrial revolution!
And that’s why experts believe reforestation is one of the most powerful planetary solution we have for addressing climate. New forests also provide another strong benefit: they restore biodiversity, which is crucial because so many plant and animal species are disappearing.
There are now plenty of initiatives for reforestation underway. In 2015 more than three quarters of countries included reforestation in their Paris climate pledges: Brazil, India, and China together pledged to reforest 82 million hectares—an area larger than Texas. Pakistan plans to plant 10 billion trees.
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