The world’s forests are essential to the health of the planet. They not only provide products we use every day like timber and paper, but also a number of other environmental benefits such as protecting biodiversity and watersheds and preventing floods. Their conservation, restoration and responsible management are critical in the global effort to address climate change because they remove and store significant amounts of carbon from the atmosphere.
Yet forests around the world are under intense pressure from skyrocketing demands for wood, paper and energy. Across the planet, deforestation is the second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. Here in the United States, the pulp and paper industry is the third largest emitter of greenhouse gasses.
Dogwood Alliance explains the connection between industrial forestry in the South and climate change in our report, Sustaining Our Defense.
For too long forests have been valued primarily for the amount of wood that can be harvested from them. Today we are gaining a deeper understanding of the threat of climate change and forests’ natural ability to sequester carbon. Emerging markets for “ecosystem services” like carbon sequestration can be bring new sources of revenue to landowners. Through the Carbon Canopy project, Dogwood Alliance and our partners are bringing new conservation dollars to our region to support responsible management of our working landscape.
While a new carbon economy can bolster the protection of Southern Forests and combat climate change, another threat looms in the form of bioenergy, the burning of forests for fuel. Although bioenergy proponents argue that their approach also addresses climate change, it’s based on faulty science and poses great threats to both forests and climate.
Learn more — Get the facts about forests and climate change from Sustaining Our Defense.
Take action —tell the energy industry to lessen their impact on climate change and forests
Donate — support our work to protect our forests and climate