The UN’s COP26 climate summit in Glasgow made headlines for all the wrong reasons when delegates disagreed on whether and when to phase out use of coal. Sadly, this obscured decisions on something just as big: a long-awaited carbon credits scheme that could halt the destruction of rainforests – ‘the Earth’s lungs’. The breakthrough will

The UN’s COP26 climate summit in Glasgow made headlines for all the wrong reasons when delegates disagreed on whether and when to phase out use of coal.

Sadly, this obscured decisions on something just as big: a long-awaited carbon credits scheme that could halt the destruction of rainforests – ‘the Earth’s lungs’.

The breakthrough will help countries under internal pressure to clear rainforest for farming, while suffering international criticism for allowing this to happen – a quarter of the Amazon Forest has been lost in just 50 years.

Meanwhile, nations wanting to go greener faster can offset their emissions by buying carbon credits from ‘forest nations’ like Brazil and Indonesia, thereby incentivising their peoples to husband rather than fell trees.

But how can anyone police millions of square kilometres of forest? We’ve heard the stories of newly planted trees being uprooted once the carbon offshoot ceremonies have been videoed, and we also know that even satellite plotting takes a while to flag up noticeable areas of felling.

Fortunately, new technologies are coming to the rescue to write a very different narrative for the Earth’s lungs….

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