Researchers learned that CO2 emissions from deforestation have slowed by 27% since 2000 compared to the 1990s. This is primarly because the rate at which tropical rainforests in countries like Indonesia and Brazil are being cut down has slowed down; and strategies to encourage tree planting in Europe and Asia have helped provide a carbon sink so called because trees absorb CO2.
For the first time, forest expansion in temperate latitudes has overcompensated deforestation emissions and caused a small net sink of CO2 since 2000 outside the tropics,' explains the study's co-author, Professor Corinne Le Qur from the British Antarctic Survey and the University of East Anglia.
In a paper published in Nature Geoscience, the authors found that despite the global financial crisis that hit the world last year, global CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuel in 2009 were only 1.3 per cent below the record 2008 figures. This is less than half the drop predicted a year ago.
The worldwide financial crisis severely affected western economies, leading to huge reductions in CO2 emissions. For example, UK emissions were 8.6 % lower in 2009 than in 2008. Similar figures apply to USA, Germany, France, Japan and most other industrialised nations. However, emerging economies had a solid economic performance despite the financial crisis, and recorded significant increases in CO2 emissions (e.g. China +8 per cent, India +6.2 per cent).