Northern forests, climate change and the UNFCCC

December 2023

Forests have a great potential to deliver on climate mitigation (and adaptation) while at the same time providing important benefits to biodiversity and the indigenous peoples who depend on them. Forests and their soils store approximately 60% of the total carbon stock contained in terrestrial carbon pools while emissions from deforestation and forest degradation account for around 30% of global carbon emissions. The Briefing is discussing options how to establish a negotiation process in the UNFCCC to protect forests. In general, the current land use rules in the UNFCCC fail to recognise the importance of protecting and restoring carbon stocks in natural ecosystems - notably primary and other natural forests as these rules ignore the importance of forest ecosystem integrity for reducing risk and improving longevity of carbon storage.