Global Managing Director, Lands, The Nature Conservancy; Senior Advisor, Terrestrial Policy
At the UN Climate Summit in New York City this September, more than 150 multinational companies, governments, communities and other groups made the most ambitious multi-sector announcement to fight tropical deforestation in history—a milestone moment and a potential game-changer.
As the Guardian pointed out, the goal of the New York Declaration on Forests—to cut deforestation in half by 2020 and completely eliminate it by 2030—could have a positive impact on our climate comparable to taking all the world’s cars off the road.
Land use—predominantly deforestation and agricultural practices—accounts for more than a quarter of global carbon emissions. Reducing emissions from land use, as well as restoring forests and other ecosystems that store carbon, are essential solutions to the climate-change problem. And, as indicated in the latest and most urgent report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), ensuring our continued health and economic prosperity depends on our ability to solve climate change. In fact, a failure to do so could put global economic progress in reverse.