Human activities are estimated to have caused approximately 1.0°C of global warming above pre-industrial levels, with a likely range of 0.8°C to 1.2°C. Global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052 if it continues to increase at the current rate. Warming greater than the global annual average is being experienced in many land regions and seasons, including two to three times higher in the Arctic. Warming is generally higher over land than over the ocean.
When it comes to global warming and its impact on climate change, much of the conversation is limited to energy policies and energy conservation. Meanwhile, wholesale deforestation is releasing staggering amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere every day, which account for about 20 percent of the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Then take into account the fact that those greenhouse gases were created by burning down earth’s carbon capture ability through photosynthesis (sunlight, CO2, water, nutrients and magic).
Reforestation and forest conservation can help reverse that momentum. Healthy forests can help absorb carbon dioxide, while making our land more productive, resilient and sustainable. A livable planet requires a healthy ecosystem full of biodiversity.
We are working with stakeholders around the world to conserve and restore forests. Our first projects in East Africa represent one of the largest conservation and restoration plans on the planet. Our partners will reforest millions of acres of land with more than 100 million new trees. We’re also finalizing details to conserve millions of additional acres of existing forests.
Forest Conservation. Reforestation. Hope.
Urban forests also are part of the equation because they make our cities, towns, villages and even structures more energy-efficient and resilient, while capturing carbon dioxide. Trees serve as weather barriers, which can cut energy demands and the damaging effects of extreme weather. Urban forests also provide habitat for birds, animals and insects that are critical components of our ecosystem.