To address the climate crisis, we must address inequality

In the linkage between inequality and climate change, questions of land tenure are key.

Published in Place | October 6, 2017
To address the climate crisis, we must address inequality
By Darren Walker

For most people, the mega-hurricanes we have witnessed - along with their devastating consequences - have put an exclamation point on the urgency of climate change. But an even bigger exclamation point came in the form of a new scientific study showing how the carbon released by tropical deforestation and degradation has been underestimated.

Before the study, scientists had always viewed tropical forests as a tool for soaking up the carbon emitted from manmade sources like coal-fired power plants. But these forests and their inhabitants have been perpetually under siege, pushed aside for large-scale agriculture, mining, and hydropower developments. Today, the amount of carbon released as tropical forests are degraded and destroyed far outweighs the amount of carbon that the remaining forests absorb.

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