Reforestation might threaten global security, warns Oxfam

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: Aug 03, 2021, 10:56 PM(IST)

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The report further highlighted that two of the most commonly used offsetting measures, reforestation and the planting of new forests, were among the worst at putting food security at risk

Governments and businesses hoping to plant trees and restore forests to reach net-zero emissions must limit such efforts to avoid driving up food prices in the developing world, the charity Oxfam has warned.

Nafkote Dabi, climate policy lead at Oxfam and co-author of the report, explained, "It is difficult to tell how much land would be required, as governments have not been transparent about how they plan to meet their net-zero commitments. But many countries and companies are talking about afforestation and reforestation, and the first question is: where is this land going to come from?".

As per few estimates, the food prices could rise by 80 per cent by 2050.

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Also, about 350m hectares of land could be used for offsetting without disrupting agriculture around the world. 

However, taken together the plans for offsetting from countries and companies around the world could soon exceed this.

The Guardian quoted Dabi as saying, "Already, hundreds of millions of people, around the world are going hungry. We need to consult countries on how they are going to use their land, and countries and companies need to reduce their emissions first [before relying on offsetting]. We also need to reduce emissions from agriculture, which is the second biggest source of emissions globally.”

The report further highlighted that two of the most commonly used offsetting measures, reforestation and the planting of new forests, were among the worst at putting food security at risk.

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