Azara Blog: Carbon trading to protect rainforests

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Date published: 2006/10/24

The BBC says:

Carbon trading can be used to protect endangered rainforests by compensating nations that avoid deforestation, the World Bank has said.

It has suggested that industrial states offset their carbon emissions by funding projects designed to reduce deforestation in developing countries.

The World Bank report said 5% of the world's rainforest is lost each decade.

The forest was more valuable if left to store carbon dioxide emissions than if cleared for pasture, it argued.

According to the World Bank, deforestation contributes to 20% of global carbon dioxide emissions.

Deforested land that is worth $200-500 as pasture could be worth $1,500-$10,000 if left as forest and used to offset - or trade against - carbon emissions in the industrial world.

This idea has been kicking around for quite some time, and is an obvious thing to try. The World Bank has some influence in the world so something might come of it. Of course the carbon cycle, in particular with regard to forests, is quite complex, so any price put on the forest is almost certain to be wrong by a factor of two or more, which is not good.

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