A report from the Metcalf Foundation
While the international community has struggled to curtail greenhouse gas emissions, forests around the world have been buying us time to transition to clean, renewable-energy economies. Forests act as giant carbon vaults, storing away in their wood, leaves, and soil more carbon than is found in all currently accessible coal, oil, and gas reserves combined. Forests also continuously add to this carbon vault and in recent decades have absorbed nearly one-third of the greenhouse gases we release each year. The global scientific community has made it clear we must limit warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (C) in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, and that doing so will require not just ending our reliance on fossil fuels, but also protecting intact and primary forests’ ability to store and absorb carbon.