By Bronson Griscom - TNC - 19. October 2017
Forests, farms, and fields can absorb massive amounts of greenhouse gasses, while unhealthy ones emit emit them. Now a new study says that nature can offer up to 37 percent of the solution for keeping global temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius or below — making it more critical than ever to fix the financing systems that are degrading our land.
The last two years have seen significant global advancement on climate action, with hundreds of global businesses and national and sub-national leaders building on the momentum of the Paris Agreement to initiate new climate pledges, initiatives and funding programs. But there remains a gap between promised action and realized climate progress, and many solutions available to us now remain underutilized—especially in the land sector, which currently accounts for nearly a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions.
In fact, new research shows that stewardship of the land can play a significant role in keeping global temperature increases under 2 degrees Celsius. The Nature Conservancy partnered with the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to bring together more than two-dozen expert scientists specializing in conservation, climate modeling, and economists from a variety of global institutions to explore this issue. They found that nature’s ability to mitigate climate change is about 30 percent higher than previously projected.
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These results are described in “Natural climate solutions,” published in Proceedings of the National Academies of the Sciences. The paper shows that with concerted global action between now and 2030, better land stewardship offers 37 percent of the solution for keeping global temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius or below—the same as if the world today put a complete stop on the burning of oil. In addition, the paper’s economic analyses show that natural climate solutions—the proven ways of storing and reducing carbon emissions in forests, grasslands and wetlands—can provide low-cost opportunities and are often significantly more cost effective when compared to technological solutions.
The world risks losing these opportunities, however, if we continue with a business-as-usual approach. Increased emissions entering the atmosphere coupled with continued environmental degradation will lessen the impact that nature can have. If natural climate solutions are mobilized over the next 10 to 15 years and coupled with reduction in fossil fuel emissions, they could provide 37 percent of the needed mitigation for global climate targets. But if action is delayed until after 2030, that number drops to 33 percent, and drops again to only 22 percent after 2050.
Right now, variations of land-based climate solutions appear in more than 75 percent of individual country commitments to the Paris Agreement, yet renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean transport together receive nearly 30 times the amount of public mitigation investment that land-based solutions receive. Of the funding that is set aside for natural climate solutions, the vast majority tends to focus on tropical forest protection in developing countries. But this study shows that a variety of natural climate solutions—including those in grassland, agricultural and wetland ecosystems—are relevant across the globe and can have a large impact on almost any country’s emissions. Furthermore, these solutions bring added social and environmental benefits, such as cleaner air and water, sustainable food production and increased habitat.
Climate change is the largest and most complex environmental crisis we have ever seen. Mobilizing natural climate solutions doesn’t mean that we should cut back on the research and development of renewables, electric cars, energy efficiency methods. Nor is action on natural climate solutions a substitute for ceasing to burn fossil fuels. Rather, in addition to low-carbon measures, they are the only realistic way to achieve sufficient emissions reductions to defeat climate change.
While looking forward, we can’t lose sight of one of the most important solutions—just under our feet.
Learn more about natural climate solutions: explore TNC features and case studies, and access the full report at nature.org/ncs.
Bronson Griscom is Director of Forest Carbon Science for The Nature Conservancy
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'No real thinking in academia anymore'
Scientist Dr Shiva Ayyadurai says there is “no real critical thinking” in academia anymore as professors are “following the money” when it comes to climate science.
You don't need to be a scientist, an academic, a university graduate to understand the simple truth presented here.
By Roberto Rojas-Morales MBA; MA (Res. Hons) - Senior Health Executive & Strategic Consultant:
This professor from MIT has BRILLIANTLY exposed the FRAUD of the carbon tax and the so-called 'global warming' (in under 12 minutes)
The Paris Accord that pushed a carbon tax on the world is a huge RIPP-OFF tax on working peoples to fill up the coffers of the wealthy elite BILLIONAIRES converting them into TRILLIONAIRES!!
Science has been compromised for decades because of the GRAVY TRAIN of funding universities for anything that supports the dogmatic religion of the so-called 'Anthropogenic Global Warming' movement which has been pushed fraudulently by the CORRUPT United Nations IPCC mob, the Western politicians and their Infotainment Presstitutes.
We are at a critical point for the future of the planet.
We need to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century to keep global temperature increases under 2°C. While most efforts toward this goal have been focused on reducing fossil fuel use, new science shows that natural climate solutions—based on the conservation, restoration and management of forests, grasslands and wetlands—can deliver up to a third of the emission reductions needed by 2030.
Natural climate solutions are conservation, restoration and improved land management actions that increase carbon storage or avoid greenhouse gas emissions in landscapes and wetlands across the globe. Combined with innovations in clean energy and other efforts to decarbonize the world’s economies, natural climate solutions offer some of our best options in the response to climate change.
New research, led by The Nature Conservancy and 15 other institutions*, and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, demonstrates that nature-based solutions can provide up to 37 percent of the emission reductions needed by 2030 to keep global temperature increases under 2°C—30 percent more than previously estimated.
The framework of this study distills nature’s full climate potential into 20 mitigation pathways. The pathways span three biomes—forests, grasslands (including agricultural lands and rangelands) wetlands (including peatlands, seagrass and mangroves) and climate reduction practices based on conservation, restoration and land management.
Their mitigation potential is evaluated under three economic scenarios: no economic restraints for implementation; realistic costs for achieving climate goals of <2°C-degree warming; and only low-cost implementation opportunities.
Read our case studies to learn more about natural climate solutions in different geographies and land-use sectors.
For the full press release, click here. For media inquiries, contact Kirsten Ullman at .
*Institutions: Department of Biology, James Madison University; Woods Hole Research Center; Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics, Ohio State University; Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies; TerraCarbon LLC; Resources for the Future; Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Aberdeen; College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University; Ministry of Agriculture, Government of Brazil; Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory & Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability, Colorado State University; World Resources Institute; Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (Australia); Laestadius Consulting LLC; College of Biological Sciences, University of Minnesota; Department of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland; Department of Biology, University of Florida; Wetlands International; Gund Institute for Ecological Economics, University of Vermont
Lands of Opportunity
PDF (15.01 MB PDF)
For a more comprehensive exploration of strategies for implementing natural climate solutions, download Lands of Opportunity: Unleashing the Full Potential of Natural Climate Solutions.DOWNLOAD