UN Pledges to End Deforestation by 2030

At the UN Climate Summit on Tuesday, efforts to slow deforestation got a boost when dozens of countries and companies pledged to halve destructive deforestation by 2020, and end losses by 2030. Backers of the New York Declaration on Forests claim their efforts could save between 4.5 billion and 8.8 billion tons of carbon emissions per year by 2030.
This would be the equivalent of taking all the world’s cars off the road. Deforestation is a significant contributor to climate change, as trees release their stored carbon when they are burned during slash-and-burn land clearing of forests. It accounts for around eight percent of the world’s carbon emissions. The new non-legally binding agreement could save more than 350 million hectares of forests and croplands – an area greater than the size of India – while also reducing the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere.
"Forests represent one of the largest, most cost-effective climate solutions available today," the declaration says. "Action to conserve, sustainably manage and restore forests can contribute to economic growth, poverty alleviation, rule of law, food security, climate resilience and biodiversity conservation." The move, supported by some of the world’s largest palm oil companies, will be an important part of limiting global temperature rises to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) – a goal scientists are worried the world will be unable to meet.