Deforestation and CO2

This is a stunning figure:

Deforestation, during which carbon stored in trees is released into the atmosphere, now accounts for 20 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to scientists. And Indonesia releases more carbon dioxide through deforestation than any other country.

Lawsuits are ramping up to force airlines to reduce their contribution to C02 — which is 3%.

Major deforestation is taking place in Sumatra — and not by poor peasants trying to get a plot to farm.

In recent years, dozens of pulp and paper companies have descended on Riau, which is roughly the size of Switzerland, snatching up generous government concessions to log and establish palm oil plantations. …

The rate of this deforestation is rising as oil prices reach new highs, leading more industries to turn to biodiesel made from palm oil, which, in theory, is earth-friendly. But its use is causing more harm than good, environmental groups say, because companies slash and burn huge swaths of trees to make way for palm oil plantations.

Even more significant, the burning and drying of Riau’s carbon-rich peatlands, also to make way for palm oil plantations, releases about 1.8 billion tons of greenhouse gases a year, according to Greenpeace officials.

There are efforts to tackle the part of the problem due to illegal logging and some initiatives at instituting carbon-trading but with market pressure for palm-oil and paper/wood products is so high the prospects are not bright.

Global Warming and Deforestation