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Forests provide most of the world’s land-based carbon storage, and forest loss is the second-leading cause of climate change, after burning fossil fuels.
“I think most people gathered in New York this week don’t appreciate how important forests are to achieving the goals of the Paris agreement,” said Frances Seymour, a forest and climate policy expert with the Center for Global Development in Washington, D.C. Clearing forests is “like throwing a hand grenade into the only proven method we have for removing carbon from the atmosphere,” she said.