Forests and Climate Optimism

Written by: Callie

Posted on April 6, 2018

It’s easy to feel gloomy about the state of the planet. There’s no denying that climate change is the biggest problem facing our planet. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for optimism. In fact, there are more reasons to be cheerful than you think.

Global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions were flat for three years to 2016 even though the economy grew. The amount of renewable energy being produced is far outstripping even the most hopeful predictions. The cumulative capacity of solar installations in the US alone has grown by 4,645% in the last ten years. The price for lithium-ion batteries has fallen 73% since 2010 meaning electric cars are becoming much more affordable. In fact, 29% of cars in Norway are already have plugs.

Changes in energy and industry take time. And however bright the future looks there’s still 20-30 years until human activity has reached zero net emissions. But luckily, we have a safety net: forests.

“We want our forest to be healthy, to breathe the clean air we breathe. We have to continue to protect what our ancestors have left us.” – Julian Quispe, Cutivireni.

Deforestation, responsible for up to 17% of carbon emissions, is easy and cheap to reduce. Because it doesn’t require any new technology or investment, it can be done right now. By simply keeping trees standing we can prevent billions of tonnes of carbon emissions, and bridge the gap between today and a carbon-neutral future.

All trees act as a carbon storage tanks. Slow growing, hardwood tropical trees store the most of all. Each acre stores on average 270 tonnes of carbon in its trunks, leaves and branches and more than that below ground.

Cool Earth’s village partners have all been pressured to sell their trees for timber or ranchland, palm oil or mining. They have refused, choosing instead to worth with Cool Earth and keep the world’s biggest carbon store intact.

By investing in Cool Earth’s smart model you’re taking decisive action against the doom and gloom of climate change news. Not only are you keeping trees standing, you are preserving habitat, diversifying incomes, developing healthcare, supporting education and keeping carbon where it belongs. And that’s something to feel pretty positive about.

“I’m endlessly optimistic. If people can actually be given the assistance to lift up their quality of life then perhaps they’re going to be able to do what culturally they want to do, which is to protect their homeland. This is where Cool Earth helps people in very practical ways, at the very edge of the forest. ”
Environmental campaigner and author Dr Tony Juniper, talking to Cool Earth’s Director Matthew Owen in the Ashaninka Partnership, May 2017