It’s Not Just Coal and Oil: Forests Are Key to Climate

Forest clearing releases voluminous amounts of greenhouse gases. The carbon stored in the Amazon already has dropped by at least a third in two decades.

Brazil is attacking climate change with cops and guns.

This spring, armed federal agents arrested businessman Ezequiel Castanha, the so-called "king of deforestation." They accused him of paying gangs to remove a stretch of Amazon rainforest larger than Manhattan so he could sell the land to cattle ranchers.

Brazil’s push to end illegal deforestation is a centerpiece of its strategy to tackle global warming. That's because 10 percent to 20 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions come from logging and land-clearing.

When diplomats from around the world arrive in Paris on Nov. 30, many will be seeking to reduce emissions from coal, oil, and natural gas. But a handful of countries also will be arguing about how to sustain the

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