How big is the carbon footprint of tropical deforestation?

2 min. reading
Climate change, Climate change and neo-ecology, Forestry / 13 June, 2022
How big is the carbon footprint of tropical deforestation?

Karla García Gil Journalist

We are facing the greatest effort in history to mitigate tropical deforestation, largely due to the importance of forests in the face of climate change.

According to Global Forest Watch data published by Statista, if tropical deforestation were a country, it would have one of the largest carbon footprints globally. The loss of tropical tree cover has caused an average annual emissions equivalent to 5.3 gigatons (Gt) between 2001 and 2019 alone, that is, in less than a decade. This figure places it in third place, only after China (12.4 Gt) and the United States (6 Gt).

These countries are followed by the European Union with 3.6 gigatons of estimated CO2 emissions, India with 3.4 Gt, Russia with 2.5 Gt, Japan with 1.2 Gt and Brazil, which is home to nearly 60% of the Amazon rainforest, is the seventh largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, with more than one gigaton of carbon dioxide.

Mexico is the second Latin American country in terms of emissions, although in the world ranking it is in 12th place, with almost 675 megatons of CO2 emitted per year.

How to invest in the forestry industry and its benefits

How to invest in the forestry industry and its benefits

Sustainability is in vogue and is a pressing need, which is why investments in sectors such as forestry stand out and remain solid even in times of financial crisis.

Importance and actions

Tropical forests are among the most diverse ecosystems on our planet, providing vital goods and services for humanity; however, they are being degraded, exploited, burned and razed by humans themselves. Among the effects of deforestation are the extinction of species and their habitats, the degradation of soils, the modification of biochemical cycles, including water, and of course, climate change.

In this way, tropical deforestation ensures a permanent ecological imbalance and maintains the sustainability of tropical zones in a state of collapse, affecting humanity at all levels, both vital and economic.

At the COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow last year, more than 100 world leaders came together with a commitment to end deforestation by 2030. The total number of nations represented is close to 85% of all the world’s forests, so many companies have joined the initiative and have expressed their intention to source only “zero deforestation” raw materials.

Investing in sustainable companies committed to the environment represents a great opportunity and is perhaps one of the greatest favors that can be done for the planet and humanity, remembering that indiscriminate or poorly managed logging, cattle ranching and land urbanization are the main anthropogenic causes of forest deforestation.


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