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Tropical forest destruction increases, despite the pandemic

Forest loss in the tropics increased 12% in 2020 compared with 2019, The New York Times reports. More than 12 million hectares of primary tropical forests, an area roughly the size of Switzerland, were destroyed in the period, according to a new report from the World Resources Institute and the University of Maryland. Researchers estimate that the global loss, led with a large margin by Brazil, released more than 2.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, the equivalent to the annual emissions of 570 million cars. The accelerated destruction comes despite pandemic-related disruptions to the production of commodities that promote deforestation, like palm oil and cocoa.

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