A sixth of all emissions resulting from the typical diet of an EU citizen can be directly linked to deforestation of tropical forests.
A sixth of all emissions resulting from the typical diet of an EU citizen can be directly linked to deforestation of tropical forests. Two new studies, from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, shed new light on this impact, by combining satellite imagery of the rainforest, global land use statistics and data of international trade patterns.
“In effect, you could say that the EU imports large amounts of deforestation every year. If the EU really wants to achieve its climate goals, it must set harder environmental demands on those who export food to the EU,” says Martin Persson from Chalmers, one of the researchers behind the studies.
The link between production of certain foods and deforestation has been known before. But what Martin Persson and Chalmers colleague Florence Pendrill have now investigated is the extent to which deforestation in the tropics is linked to food production, and then where those foods are eventually consumed. In the first study (Deforestation displaced: trade in forest-risk commodities and the prospects for a global forest transition), they focused on how the expansion of cropland, pastures, and forestry plantations has taken place at the expense of the rainforest.
Read more at Chalmers University of Technology
Image: Martin Persson, Associate Professor, Department of Space, Earth and Environment, Physical Resource Theory, Chalmers University of Technology. (Credit: Anna-Lena Lundqvist)