By: Matthew Cordell on September 26, 2007 The Clinton Global Initiative‘s afternoon plenary on “Protecting Tropical Forests” has just begun. I’m in the press room tuning in. This session is being moderated by climate expert Rosina Bierbaum. In her opening remarks, she lays out a pretty persuasive case for why we should be paying more attention to tropical forests, particularly if we are interested in addressing climate change. According to Bierbaum, “forests are the lungs of the world,” and their decimation is responsible for 20 percent of carbon emissions. Apparently, if we continue on the same path, over the next hundred years, deforestation would add 80 to 135 million tons of carbon to the atmosphere, the equivalent of one or two decades of fossil fuel burning. It would also decrease the Earth’s biodiversity by 20 to 40 percent. She just passed the mic over to Jane Goodall. I’ll keep you posted.