Deforestation accounts for nearly 20% of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions in the world. Deforestation results in carbon emissions when trees and underlying vegetation are burning or decomposing. Deforested areas that are later cultivated also release carbon to the atmosphere when soil carbon is oxidized. Further, deforested areas converted to other land uses (e.g., pastures) might sequester less carbon than forests, enabling greater levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. Providing incentives to prevent deforestation in foreign countries has been proposed in climate change legislation. An objective of this legislation is to provide funding from carbon markets to assist foreign countries in reducing deforestation and increasing forest restoration and afforestation. Challenges to this approach include implementing deforestation reduction activities in developing countries that may lack the capacity to monitor and enforce measures, avoiding harm to indigenous communities who rely on forest resources, and matching policies with the various drivers of deforestation in different regions around the world. Legislative policies on deforestation and climate change are analyzed in this report, and challenges for restoring forests in the tropics are discussed.
CRS Report for Congress
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.
Gorte, Ross W.; Sheikh, Pervaze A.; and Clemons, Jessica L., "Climate Change and International Deforestation: Legislative Analysis" (2008). Library Faculty Scholarship. 2.