LIMA – Peru can contribute to the fight against climate change if the Andean nation can halt the annual loss of roughly 165,000 hectares (637 square miles) of woodland to deforestation, a Spanish expert in environmental economics said on Monday.
“One of the ways to stop climate change is to use the planet’s natural capacities to capture greenhouse gases, such as forests. If Peru manages to stop deforestation, it can be a key country at the global level,” University of Vigo professor Xavier Labandeira said.
Labandeira, a member of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, spoke at a forum in Lima on climate change.
While Peru is not among the world’s leading polluters, the country’s efforts to limit emissions of greenhouse gases were judged “insufficient” in a 2017 report from the independent organization Climate Action Tracker, the Spaniard said.
Without improvement in that regard, Peru will contribute to pushing the average rise in global temperatures above the 1.5 C set forth in the Paris Agreement as the limit to avoid irreversible consequences for natural habitats and human populations.
Governments and international institutions should begin “to measure in economic terms the damage caused by climate change and to attach a price to CO2 emissions,” Labandeira told EFE.
“We must put a value on the Amazon, on the forests, with the aim of being able to preserve them,” he said.