News Stories

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.

Critters and climate change; some unlikely heroes

This week, as we expect to read in the IPBES report assessing the state of Earth’s biodiversity, we discover that there are even more reasons to halt the extinction crisis we’re facing – one being the climate benefits bestowed upon us by a selection of unlikely climate heroes. The humble beaver, the endangered pangolin, and the iconic elephant seem to have little in common, but all three tend to the environment in a way that is critical to preserving habitats that provide huge climate benefits.

Measuring the state of the world’s wildlife

Next week, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) will launch its Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services – the first global snapshot in more than a decade of the state of the world’s biodiversity and is also the first-ever such report that is intergovernmental. It is a collation of existing evidence: what sets it apart is its aggregation of the science, combined with endorsement by governments.

All hands on deck for the climate

Do we invest in energy-based solutions for climate mitigation or do we invest in nature-based solutions? It is not an either-or question. In a recent letter to the editor in Global Change Biology, the authors argue that aggressive action in both is needed. Substantial carbon dioxide reductions are needed by the middle of the century. Moving the political and energy structures of society is like turning a big ship; we need more time. Many nature-based solutions are ready to go now.