What is Nature4Climate?
We will not be able to respond to climate change adequately if we ignore how we manage our lands—our forests, grasslands, farms and coasts. Nature provides a ready-made system of carbon storage, and after decades of research, we are beginning to grasp its full potential. The range of opportunities—natural climate solutions—are familiar, cost-effective, scalable, and crucially, they are available now and almost everywhere on the planet. CO2 aside, they also create immediate social and environmental wins, such as rural jobs, clean water, food security, protection for wildlife and resilience to climate change. Nature4Climate is here to tell that story, whether in the boardroom, government ministries, local councils and communities in which we live and work.
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Natural climate solutions are important not only for the climate but for the rural economy. In Australia, soil erosion has damaged about 70% of farmland, for example. If that soil is restored to full health, it can capture more carbon dioxide, and increase the amount of economically productive farmland. Similarly, forests are going to become hugely valuable as people become more aware of their vital role in absorbing carbon dioxide. That forests can, when well-managed, produce food and construction materials, and reduce flood risk also generates economic opportunities. This is why natural climate solutions are not about expensive government intervention against climate change. They are about jobs and investment opportunities in rural areas in every country on the planet.
As developed countries put more emphasis on mitigation, developing countries try to adapt their agriculture to a changing world. This study underlines the importance of nature, and especially trees and soils, as support for carbon sequestration through the cycle of plants based on photosynthesis. Promoting carbon sequestration in soils, with adapted agricultural and forestry practices, could lead to win-win solutions on mitigation, adaptation and increase of food security. We know what to do, now it’s time to act!
More productive and sustainable use of agricultural lands, in Brazil and across the world, can contribute substantially to a decrease of global warming gases as well as increasing food supply for a growing population. Both emerging and developed countries aiming to consolidate themselves as global leaders must act based on this new reality.
For many years natural climate solutions have moved up the agenda. We have seen some good leadership from tropical countries on avoiding deforestation. And the private sector is making progress in removing deforestation from commodity supply chains. Unfortunately this is not enough, and global deforestation continues at alarming rates. The climate opportunities in land use go beyond tropical countries. Deforestation has occurred all over the world, and degraded lands can be restored to support rural development. New approaches to farming can also cut emissions from that sector. We have the knowledge, and can achieve great things if we work across the public and private sectors, together with civil society.
Land use is a key sector where we can both reduce emissions and absorb carbon from the atmosphere. We can massively increase action on land use – in tandem with increased action on energy, transport, finance, industry and infrastructure – to put emissions on their downward trajectory by 2020. Natural climate solutions are vital to ensuring we achieve our ultimate objective of full decarbonisation and can simultaneously boost jobs and protect communities in developed and developing countries.
Climate change threatens the production of food staples like corn, wheat, rice and soy by as much as a quarter – but a global population of nine billion by 2050 will need up to 50% more food. Fortunately, we have a huge opportunity to reshape our food and land use systems, putting them at the heart of delivering both the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Goals.
WRI Launches Interactive Platform to Support Action on Climate, SDGs
According to WRI’s new Climate Watch platform, climate commitments listed in countries’ NDCs are in line with 154 of the 169 targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Ratchet up spending to meet crucial climate goals
Climate Policy Initiative released their Global Landscape Finance 2017 report, which shows that investment is still needed in agriculture, forestry and land-use.
Cross-laminated-timber housing in east London offers “the future of low carbon construction”
Work has been completed on a 10-storey carbon-neutral apartment complex in London‘s Dalston, which architecture firm Waugh Thistleton claims is the “world’s largest cross-laminated timber building”.
New Zealand aims to go green with electricity, tree planting
New Zealand’s incoming government aims to plant 100 million trees annually, doubling the amount of trees the country plants each year by using land that was marginal for farming animals.
Agroforestry: An increasingly popular solution for a hot, hungry world
The first instalment of a series about farmers and communities implementing agroforestry, a system that integrates trees, shrubs, and crops together and that mitigates climate change through carbon sequestration.
Agriculture can fix our food system — if we reimagine it
Bigger changes are underway for sustainable agriculture. Farmers and others in the sustainable food movement pursue a broader vision of change in agriculture. More-diverse crop rotation is one of the solutions the authors advocate for.
Now, more than ever, it is critical for countries to assess the combined climate mitigation potential of land-use and land-management activities. Taking stock of natural climate solutions in your country is essential for identifying viable means to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the land sector to achieve committed emission reduction goals agreed to under the Paris Agreement.
Watch now Explore N4C Mapper
Massive reforestation effort puts down roots in Brazilian Amazon
A new project seeks to kickstart a revival for the world’s largest rainforest by planting new trees — tens of millions of them. The project, announced in September in Brazil, aims to restore 73 million trees in the Brazilian Amazon by 2023.
Climate and forest restoration in the Lower Mississippi Valley
Hardwood forests are returning to the Lower Mississippi Valley region, thanks to a range of private and public actors, and as the trees grow they will sequester of millions of tons of carbon from the atmosphere.
Australia’s indigenous communities light a fire on climate change
Indigenous groups in Australia are mitigating carbon emissions from their land by setting fire to it.