Climate Change Conference: Deforestation

Mon, Dec 14, 2009

Green Countries

One of the many pressing issues discussed at this week’s United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen is rainforest deforestation.  With deforestation responsible for 20% of global carbon emissions, it’s crucial that the issue be discussed at Copenhagen and beyond.

On December 10 at the summit, Google introduced delegates to a new technology that monitors forest destruction. The project uses GoogleEarth to determine locations of deforestation and cloud computing analytics to compare images over time.  Users can track the progress of deforestation in certain regions over periods of time.

The new software will help developing nations gather info about their forests for REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries). REDD is a proposed program that will financially reward countries for keeping their forests intact.

REDD will be supported by a combination of local and national governments, NGOs and private industry. In a plan co-presented by Norway and Brazil at the conference, wealthier countries will assist developing nations in the fight against deforestation. The European Union, for example, wants to give developing nations 100 billion euro ($146 billion) over the long term to assist with climate change problems created from deforestation.

One agreement being debated at Copenhagen would require forest countries to end deforestation by 2030.

By Danielle Bullen. Danielle can be reached at DanielleBullen@comcast.net.

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