Letter to the editor: Examine purchases from companies engaged in deforestation | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: Examine purchases from companies engaged in deforestation

Tom Koehler

Global forests are challenged as they are part of the climate change solution. Nonprofit Project Drawdown lists areas of focus including tropical forest restoration to avoid a 2 degrees warming scenario.

This seems daunting considering the threats against our own forests, though much of the threat is in Africa, South America and Asia.

According to a Mighty Earth article written by Glen Hurowitz in 2018, the world lost about 30 million acres of forest around the size of New York with data from the World Resource Institute.

Leaders in the unhealthy deforestation trend by total area continue to be Brazil, Democratic Republic of Congo and Indonesia. The commodities bolstering this trend include cattle, soy, corn and palm oil.

Lackluster efforts to curb this trend have been met with poor enforcement and powerful political interests.

Forests are essential for human life, health and biodiversity. They are carbon stores and active sequestration eco-systems and the unsustainable management should not be acceptable. One problem is that cleared land is currently valued more than the forest itself.

A global market price for carbon would arguably increase the market value for forest land, making the decision to clear less apparent. The world is demanding climate action but also continues to place demand on these countries for their goods.

An individual can absolutely examine their consumer purchases and to see what companies’ products are engaged in unsustainable palm oil production, for instance. Lower the demand and lower the deforestation.

The financial sector is good at responding to trends such as solar or wind in a portfolio but how many scour the mutual fund holdings for deforestation culprits? Harvesting, financing and products borne out of unsustainable deforestation are all up for examination and potential exclusion.

Continue with the magnificent local work while influencing globally.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on our residents and businesses. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.

Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.