Deforestation-free commodities represent a major investment opportunity: report

It’s estimated that about 10 percent of global emissions comes from deforestation — meaning we could make considerable progress toward halting climate change simply by keeping what remains of the world’s forests standing. Agricultural commodities — especially beef, palm oil, soy, and pulp and paper — have become an increasingly important driver of deforestation over the past couple decades, particularly in the tropics. A December 2015 study found that the production of those four commodities in just seven countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Papua New Guinea) led to an average deforestation area of 3.8 million hectares (9.4 million acres) and land use change emissions of 1.6 gigatonnes CO2 equivalent per year between 2000 and 2011. That’s 40 percent of total tropical deforestation and 44 percent of associated carbon emissions, due to the production of just four commodities in seven countries.

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