Global Climate Targets Out Of Reach As Deforestation Rises, Study Warns

Achieving the Paris Agreement's goal to limit average global temperature increases to 1.5 °C requires 'substantial changes in the land system'
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18.7 million acres of forests are cut down annually (Photo: Adobe. Do not use without permission)

Global targets on climate change are out of reach as deforestation continues to rise, a study has warned.

Researchers from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and the University of Edinburgh concluded 'substantial changes in the land system' are required to meet the Paris Agreement's aim.

'Almost certainly insufficient'

In December 2015, 195 countries adopted the first-ever universal, legally binding global climate deal to put 'the world on track' to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2°C.

The study reads: "Individual countries' plans to accomplish these changes remain vague, almost certainly insufficient and unlikely to be implemented in full."

'Little progress has been made'

Lead author of the study Calym Brown said: "In most cases, little progress has been made, often, the situation has actually worsened in the last three years.

"Many of the plans for mitigation in the land system were unrealistic in the first place and now threaten to make the Paris target itself unachievable."

According to the conservation organization, WWF, 18.7 million acres of forests are cut down annually, equivalent to 27 soccer fields every minute.

It is also estimated that 15 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions are the result of deforestation.