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Curbing deforestation by half key to global warming fight

May 10, 2007

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Tropical developing nations can help drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming by reducing the rate of deforestation by half, climate researchers said Thursday.

Reducing tropical deforestation by 50 percent over the next century would help prevent 500 billion tonnes of carbon from going into the atmosphere every year, the researchers said in a policy article published in the journal Science Express.
Such a reduction in emissions would account for 12 percent of the total reductions targeted by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the researchers said.
At its current rate, tropical deforestation releases annually 1.5 billion tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere that would otherwise be absorbed by trees, making it a major contributor to global climate change, they said.

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