Agricultural and Forestry Trade Drives Large Share of Tropical Deforestation Emissions



Florence Pendrill, U. Martin Persson, Javier Godar, Thomas Kastner, Daniel Moran, Sarah Schmidt, and Richard Wood | Global Environmental Change

March 4, 2019 | There is increasing recognition that to effectively reduce environmental impacts, pressure must be alleviated not only at the point where environmental impacts occur, but also by addressing the broader socioeconomic drivers of those impacts, which are often distant. For instance, foreign demand has already been shown to be a major driver of carbon emissions from fossil fuel combustion and air pollution particularly for the developing world, as well as a driver of land use, forestry, water extraction and biomass consumption. 
However, despite the fact that tropical deforestation the second largest source of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and a major driver of biodiversity loss is increasingly driven by international demand for agricultural commodities up-to-date, comprehensive (pan-tropical) assessments of embodied emissions from deforestation are still lacking. Existing studies analysing deforestation emissions embodied in trade have either considered only a handful of countries or are based on outdated data on deforestation and carbon stocks that do not draw on recent advances in remote sensing estimates of both forest loss and associated carbon emission.
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