12/16/2009 - Negotiators have all but completed a sweeping deal that would compensate countries for preserving forests, and in some cases, other natural landscapes like peat soils, swamps and fields that play a crucial role in curbing climate change.
Environmental groups have long advocated such a compensation program because forests are efficient absorbers of carbon dioxide, the primary heat-trapping gas linked to global warming. Rain forest destruction, which releases the carbon dioxide stored in trees, is estimated to account for 20 percent of greenhouse gas emissions globally.
“Were not sure in Copenhagen there will be a definitive mechanism for monetizing forests, but if there is we think all forests should be included,” Steve Kallick, director of the Boreal Conservation Pew Environment Group, who studies northern forest stocks and noted that by some measures, boreal forests store twice as much carbon dioxide per unit as tropical forests.
Read the full article Climate Talks Near Deal to Save Forests on The New York Times' Web site.