Climate change mitigation will require substantial cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and, subsequently, considerable changes in the global energy system. When, how, and at what costs (or benefits) a transition to carbon–reduced or carbon-free economies can be achieved is subject to heated debates. Forest protection is, besides increased energy efficiency and different technologies for producing climate-friendly energy, a way to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. Recent estimates published in the IPCC WGI Summary for policy makers (IPCC 2007) indicate that land use change contributes to greenhouse gas emissions to a considerable extent. Of the annual CO2 emissions of eight GtC (gigatons of carbon), about 1.6 GtC (20%) are associated with land use change, although the estimates are quite uncertain.1 This is more than what the entire transport sector emits annually. Part of this land use change is associated with global deforestation and forest degradation.

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