Bipartisan Commission Urges U.S. Leadership on Tropical Forests and Climate Change

October 21, 2009
For those interested in the ongoing climate change debate, I urge you to look at the recently-released report (and the Roll Call op-ed) from the bipartisan Commission on Climate and Tropical Forests (full disclosure: I sat on this commission). The Commission (co-chaired by John Podesta and former senator Lincoln Chafee and including notables such as Chuck Hagel and Thomas Pickering) calls on the United States to lead a global effort to halve emissions from tropical forest destruction within a decade. This issue is, of course, of pressing and immediate concern: as the report points out, “solving the climate crisis will be nearly impossible without efforts to stem tropical deforestation” since it is responsible for nearly 17% of global greenhouse gas emissions – more than the entire global transportation sector. Any efforts to rigorously address the issue of tropical deforestation will of course require effective tracking and monitoring. This critical task has been helped along considerably by a remarkable new tool being developed by my CGD colleague David Wheeler and a small team of young researchers here at the Center. Their Forest Monitoring for Action system uses publicly available satellite data to track, monitor, and map deforestation.


CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.