Forest Footprint for Cities: Methods for Estimating Deforestation and Associated CO2 Emissions Embodied in Products Consumed in Cities
This paper provides a method for understanding how city actions impact trees and forests outside their boundaries. The Forest Footprint for Cities methodology connects global estimates of tropical and subtropical deforestation linked to agricultural production to commodity-specific international trade and city consumption. The methods ultimately present the city’s Forest Footprint in terms of hectares of embodied deforestation consumed and the associated CO2 emissions.
The Forest Footprint can help cities understand their impact on tropical and subtropical deforestation by presenting consumption data in an accessible manner. As the impacts of decisions made by city or metropolitan jurisdictions on tropical and subtropical forests are difficult to see, the Forest Footprint brings these impacts into the visible realm and sets the stage for further incorporation of consumption-based emissions and impacts in city governance and sustainability planning. By understanding their forest footprints, cities worldwide can join the growing number of private sector and national government actors who are reducing tropical and subtropical deforestation as they measure, monitor, and ultimately transform the infrastructure and the culture of urban consumption.
Image credit: James Anderson/WRI