Forest > issues

Every 4 seconds, an area of forest the equivalent of a football pitch vanishes due to deforestation. That represents approximately 15,000 hectares per day and 5.2 million hectares per year, an area equivalent to Greece.

Autumn forest in the region of Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada (47°40’ N, 71°02’ W) © Yann Arthus-Bertrand / Altitude Paris

Deforestation is now responsible for 17% of global greenhouse gas emissions (source IPCC). Through photosynthesis, the trees absorb the CO2 molecules present in the atmosphere. When the trees go up in smoke, this CO2 is put back into circulation.

In addition, deforestation also has a direct impact on the animal and plant biodiversity of these ecosystems, causing the disappearance of many species. Finally, 300 million people throughout the world live in and around forests, and approximately 60 million people depend almost entirely on the forest for their survival. Deforestation therefore also represents a direct threat to these human beings.

Protecting existing forests and reforesting cleared areas are therefore key to combating climate change, which is what the United Carbon Action programme is doing through the projects it supports.