Blog Editorial

Why Nature-based solutions are key to climate mitigation

Investing in nature-based solutions (NbS) to limit global warming has the potential to drastically reduce greenhouse gases and provide myriad other benefits. NbS related to forests can provide 5 gigatons of CO2 emission reductions and removals every year that could be instrumental in keeping 1.5 degrees of warming within reach.

The latest UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report heralded its starkest warning yet that life-altering climate change is on the horizon, unless every possible resource is utilised to mitigate the worst effects. Data collected from 2021 shows that it was the warmest year on record for ocean heat content (the energy absorbed by the world’s oceans) which increased significantly between 2020 and 2021. It was also the sixth warmest year on record for the earth’s surface temperature globally and the seventh warmest for the oceans.

In 25 countries and regions across the globe covering an area of land inhabited by 1.8 billion people, it was the warmest year ever recorded. Warming on this scale puts the planet on course for drastic ecological and environmental degradation, with dire consequences for thousands of vulnerable species and communities living in the most exposed regions.

To keep the possibility of 1.5 degrees of global warming on the table, the IPCC has called for every possible means of action to be deployed to prevent and mitigate the effects of climate change. From scaling clean energy generation capacity, to transforming transport, buildings and consumption levels on a global scale never before seen. Not only is a reduction in carbon emissions needed, but more finance must be committed to the protection and deployment of Nature-based Solutions (NbS) which  have a significant role to play in avoiding climate disaster. NbS can deliver the huge emissions cuts required, whilst also having additional benefits for ecology and biodiversity and local communities.

Unlocking the potential of Nature-based Solutions  

New data released by the UN environment programme and IUCN reports that NbS can deliver emission reductions and removals of at least 5 gigatons of CO2 per year by 2030, and at least 10 gigatons by 2050. This is expected to be a somewhat conservative estimation and real emissions cuts could be significantly higher. An estimated 62% of these emissions cuts from to come from nature-based solutions related to forests, with 24% attributed to NbS in grasslands and croplands.

Forests are an incredibly powerful tool in the fight against climate change and their potential to stabilise global temperatures is vast. Tropical forests in particular, cool the world by more than 1 degree Celsius, according to a new study from Frontiers in Forests and Global Change.   The report championed the role of tropical forests to not only curb emissions but for their important role in providing for communities. Moreover, tropical forests increase rainfall, and protect people, agricultural land and crops from deadly heat. It has been reported that every tenth of a degree of planetary warming increases the likelihood of extreme weather and rising seas. Tropical forests have a very important role maintaining temperatures at a safe level.

Protecting forests also helps promote stable water cycles, restores natural ecosystems in carbon sinks like peatlands, and maintains soil health by preventing human intervention and chemical spoiling – all of which have a net positive outcome for biodiversity and animals who rely on the forest – many of which face rapidly disappearing habitats.

In order to preserve the natural world’s ability to restore and maintain healthy ecosystems, more sustainable land use practices must be prioritised. Nature’s contribution to the global economy is worth more than $125 trillion annually. Alternative land use such as forest conservation through carbon programmes under the UN’s framework REDD+  retains the economic and ecological value of land, whilst being more sustainable than competing land uses such as cattle ranching and soybean production.

Investment in NbS is not happening fast enough and not at the scale required to make major impacts.

UN High-Level Climate Champion for COP26 Nigel Topping urged investors to act now, saying:

“Nature-based solutions can only deliver their full potential effect on emission reductions and removals if they are mobilised over the next 10 to 15 years. So if we are to realise the full benefits of ending deforestation and transitioning to sustainable production, we need to see more action now.”

Investing in nature, tackling deforestation and curbing emissions

Nature-based solutions require additional finance and significant investment to reach their potential to reduce emissions and provide a plethora of benefits. This investment cannot solely come from the public sector, the private sector has a vital role to play in accelerating the large-scale deployment of NbS to maximise their impact.

To truly harness the power of nature-based solutions, significant and consistent financial flows are needed every year by 2030. Though the Voluntary Carbon Market (VCM) is set to increase in value to $40 billion by 2030 much more capital is needed to truly unlock the potential of NbS and mitigate the worst effects of the climate crisis.

Corporates can invest in increased support for nature-based solutions, such as forests, through high-quality carbon offsets that also bring their operations in line with net zero strategies. Quadriz’ REDD+ carbon project in the heart of the Paraguayan Chaco meets strict carbon accounting and certification requirements to ensure its efficacy and transparency. Moreover it is  third-party verified, is additional, permanent, as well as supports biodiversity and local communities.

It is increasingly critical that the true value and importance of nature be better reflected by financial, business and political decisions which prioritise the protection of forests, wetlands, grasslands and its biodiversity, which in turn will support the progress of climate action and global sustainable development goals.

By choosing to invest in offsets with Quadriz, companies deliver tangible local ecological and environmental benefits and maximum contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, with global impact that signals the global importance and urgency of combatting deforestation and deploying nature-based solutions at scale.

Sales Enquiries, Contact: 

Christian Nielsen, 
Tel: +31 263 723 071
Mob: +34 619 12 9001

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