420 million hectares lost – Firms do too little against deforestation

Forests cover almost one-third of the land area on our planet. Their ecosystems are a critical component of the world’s biodiversity – and their trees produce oxygen while sucking-in our carbon dioxide emissions. They’re essential to life on earth. But environmentalists say the world’s forests are under threat from the inaction of corporations. It’s estimated that since 1990, 420 million hectares of forest have been lost through conversion to other land uses. That’s an area the size of the EU. Agricultural expansion is the main cause. Large-scale commercial farming accounted for 40% of tropical deforestation between 2000 and 2010. Vast amounts of land were cleared for grazing cows or cultivating soya beans and palm oil. At the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, world leaders agreed to end deforestation by 2030. But a report published today says most companies who could be doing something about it are not doing enough.