Norway has become the first country to stop clear-cutting of trees, a huge step toward curbing global deforestation.
At the rate we are going, the world’s rain forests could completely vanish in 100 years.
In their pledge last week, Norwegian lawmakers also committed to find a way to source essential products such as palm oil, soy, beef and timber so that they leave little to no impact on their ecosystems. It’s a pledge Norway made at the U.N. Climate Summit in 2014, alongside Germany and the United Kingdom.
This move could be potentially transformative.
According to the United Nations, the production of palm oil, soy, beef and wood products contributed to a little less than half of total tropical deforestation.
When forests are cleared and set in flames, the carbon in the trees is released as carbon dioxide – the main greenhouse gas contributing to climate change.
Norway has shown its commitment to a cleaner environment in other ways.
In 2008, the country gave Brazil $1 billion to help fight deforestation of the Amazon rainforest – slashing deforestation by 75% in seven years.
It is also in the process of restricting the sales of gas-powered cars by 2025.