Natural Climate Solutions
In the next 10-15 years, natural climate solutions can provide more than a third of the emissions reductions needed to hold the Earth’s temperature rise to well below 2°C.
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Welcome to the newsroom for all the best stories and sizzle on lands and nature.
The Forgotten Solution
Natural climate solutions are affordable, scalable and available right now. Don’t let nature be #TheForgottenSolution
Increasing action in the land sector
Nature4Climate works with governments and businesses in the land sector to address climate change.
The leaders of these sinking countries are fighting to stop climate change
The success of these countries offers a broader lesson: no one nation can solve a problem as complex as climate change alone, but together, bands of nations can make a difference. And that lesson applies to a host of global challenges, from emerging diseases to international terrorism and the spread of nuclear weapons. As states around the world turn inward in response to rising populism, the tiny island nations are showing that international institutions remain not only relevant but also necessary to address the toughest challenges of our generation.
Looking back; looking forward: REDD+
REDD+, which seeks to create financial incentives for forest conservation, has attracted criticism for failing to deliver expected results, and for giving polluters an excuse to avoid reducing their own emissions when forest-based emission reductions are used for offsets. On the other hand, proponents argue that REDD+ is an important way to supplement emission reductions from fossil fuels, and to incentivize emission reductions from land-use change. Nature4climate spoke with Frances Seymour, a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the World Resources Institute and one of the world’s experts on forests.
Saving the planet may not be as expensive as we thought
Nature is our best ally in reducing levels of carbon in the atmosphere, but how much do we have to spend? Scientists from the Earth Innovation Institute, the University of Wisconsin, and The Nature Conservancy have an answer. In the latest online publication of the journal Nature Climate Change, researchers calculate how much carbon could be removed from the atmosphere by planting trees and stopping deforestation in 90 tropical countries – that’s if carbon was at priced at $20, $50, and $100 per ton.
CBD response: IPBES global assessment
Today, the Intergovernmental Panel for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, or IPBES, released a major report detailing past biodiversity losses and prospects for people and nature. Governments and scientists worldwide agree we are exploiting nature faster than it can renew itself, and the threat from the loss of nature will be as big a challenge to the world as rising temperatures. Dr. Cristiana Pașca-Palmer, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity and United Nations Assistant Secretary-General, shares her response to the report.
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Woods Hole Research Center
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The Nature Conservancy
World Resources Inst
World Atlas of NCS
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Nature-based solutions for climate are one of the most cost-effective approaches we have for achieving our climate goals. They also provide multiple co-benefits for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals – investing in nature is not only the smart thing to do, it is the right thing to do
The EU has the world’s most ambitious climate strategy and is committed to lead by example. The inter-ministerial meeting on climate action that the EU, Canada and China are jointly organising in Brussels is one of the many steps that will lead us to a successful COP24 in December. So far, the EU 2030 energy strategy includes the land sector’s climate emissions and removal potentials in order to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030. Nonetheless, we need to raise our level of ambition. This is why the 2050 low-term de-carbonization strategy, which we will present in November before COP24, needs input from all stakeholders. I am particularly pleased to welcome the Nature4Climate initiative that aims at complementing existing climate efforts by addressing nature’s potential to reducing emissions.
Nature can be our strongest ally in combatting climate change. In fact, as deforestation accounts for almost 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions it isn’t overstating things to say we cannot defeat climate change without enlisting the help of the natural world, and that is without considering all of the social and economic co-benefits good land management brings.
The initiative Nature4Climate is a powerful new instrument to bring voices from governments, international organisations, and business together, and to raise awareness for the potential of nature-based climate change solutions. For many years, the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the BMU has supported partners of the Nature4Climate initiative in their efforts to promote ecosystem-based adaptation, forest and biodiversity conservation, and to reduce emissions from deforestation and land-use-change. We look forward to see this new partnership pushing climate action in the land-use sector, integrating the full potential of natural solutions into development pathways that are consistent with the sustainable development and biodiversity goals.
For indigenous peoples and people living from natural resources, it is of the utmost importance to maintain and protect our natural environment. I am an indigenous woman of the Mbororo community, a nomadic people from Chad, where we can see and feel the impacts of climate change all year round, including increasing desertification and droughts. I look forward to a dialogue with Nature4Climate partners to discuss ways to reduce and capture carbon by using natural solutions, strengthening local people’s resilience, using and promoting indigenous peoples’ traditional knowledge, and improving their livelihoods.
The world must move towards a holistic approach to land management for the benefit of both people and nature. Many of the changes in land-use patterns taking place in the Asia-Pacific region are driving the region in the opposite direction. To counter these, commitment at the highest levels is needed to address the global issues of climate change and biodiversity loss through the land sector, which is why the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies welcomes the launch of Nature4Climate. We hope to have a productive relationship that advances both climate action and sustainable land management in Asia-Pacific and globally.
The science is clear: we simply can’t meet the goals of the Paris Agreement without dramatically upping our game in the land sector. Although forests alone constitute more than half of the cost-effective mitigation options in many developing countries, they don’t receive anywhere near that share of climate finance, political attention, or media coverage. The objectives of Nature4Climate are fully aligned with key messages in the book I co-authored with Jonah Busch, Why Forests? Why Now?, i.e., that forests are undervalued assets in addressing both climate change and development challenges, and the global community has a time-limited opportunity to invest in their protection.
I am delighted to see this growing movement of civil society and business acknowledging that we need a step-change in how we view and interact with nature. The way we manage and use tropical forests as a global community is essential not only for stabilizing our climate but for delivering much of what is defined in the Sustainable Development Goals. And, as almost half of deforestation stems from the production of soy, palm oil, pulp and paper and meat – it’s a challenge we need to meet head on and solve together as quickly as we can.
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.
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.
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