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Deforestation and climate change

In our latest podcast, Claire Bradley talks to Tasso Azevedo, a consultant and social entrepreneur in the field of forests, sustainability and climate change about the importance of forests and in particular the role the Amazon rainforest plays in the regulation of our climate and our global economy.

The importance of forests

Firstly, Tasso explains that the Amazon plays a critical role in regulating rainfall, temperature and weather systems globally. He has even modelled what would happen if we did not have the Amazon forest, leading to less rainfall and higher temperatures. Secondly, the Amazon rainforest is also the largest carbon sink in the world and therefore the loss of the forest through deforestation would ultimately mean the release of carbon into the atmosphere.

Tasso Azevedo - Consultant and social entrepreneur in the field of forests, sustainability and climate change

4 actions on climate change

We asked Tasso what he sees as the most important actions we need to take keep global temperatures from rising above 2C.

1. Phase out fossil fuels
"Fossil fuels are by far the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. We are basically taking out the carbon that is stored in the soil and the ground, taking it out, burning it and putting this in the atmosphere. How can we in each one of our activities, get rid of our fossil fuels as soon as possible?"

2. Electrify the economy
"The consumption of energy is just 20 percent from electricity and the 80 percent is all other forms of energy in terms of heat combustion. So electricity is the easiest way to produce and distribute renewable energy."

3. Stop deforestation
"Deforestation accounts for about 10 percent of our global emissions. And by stopping deforestation, we will also help the forest to increase the amount of carbon capture from the atmosphere. So it's a double effect."

4. Introduce a carbon price
"We should find ways to absolutely place a value on any emission of greenhouse gases. I'm just using the carbon as the main example. But we need to do it in order to balance the quality of the different parts of the economy. So whoever has carbon emissions has to pay for that and who whoever does not have emissions should receive payment with balance one to the other."

For Tasso Azevedo's full interview please listen to our podcast.