Nature-based Solutions for climate

Climate change poses a fundamental threat to nature, species, and people. However, nature also provides key solutions for both carbon storage and building climate resilience – if the global community takes steps to protect, restore, and better manage our natural resources.

About Nature-based Solutions for climate

The Paris Climate Agreement commits to keep global warming below 2°C and to pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C. The actions of the international community between now and 2030 will determine whether we can collectively slow warming enough to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

Above the 1.5 °C limit, the risks of extreme weather and collapsing ecosystems grow. The latest IPCC report demonstrated that nature-based solutions such as reducing the destruction of forests and other ecosystems, restoring them, and improving the management of working lands, such as farms — are among the top five most effective strategies for mitigating carbon emissions by 2030.

Nature-based Solutions for both mitigation and adaptation serve as an integral piece of the required global response for climate action.

Nature-based solutions can address climate change in three ways:

  1. Decrease greenhouse gas emissions related to deforestation and land use
  2. Capture and store carbon dioxide from the atmosphere
  3. Enhance resilience of ecosystems, and as such support societies to adapt to climate hazards such as flooding, sea-level rise, and more frequent and intense droughts, floods, heatwaves, and wildfires.


Nature-based Solutions could contribute around 30%

of the global mitigation required by 2030/2050 to achieve the 1.5/2°C temperature rise goal agreed to under the Paris Agreement


5 GtCO2e

Nature-based Solutions could deliver emission reductions


and removals of at least 5 GtCO2e per year by 2030 (of a maximum estimate of 11.7 GtCO2e per year).

Nature-based Solutions key messages

These messages are based both on IUCN's work on the Global Standard for NbS and on Wiley publication (N. Seddon et al, 2021), Getting the message right on nature-based solutions to climate  change, which was the basis for NbS Guidelines by the Nature-based Solutions Initiative.

NbS are not a substitute and must involve a wide range of ecosystems

NbS are not a substitute for the rapid phase out of fossil fuels;
NbS must involve a wide range of ecosystems on land and in the sea, not just forests.

Access the full Wiley report read more

NbS must involve local stakeholders

NbS are implemented with the full engagement and consent of Indigenous Peoples and local communities in a way that respects their cultural and ecological rights.

Use the guidelines by the Nature-based Solutions Initiative read more

The IUCN Global Standard for NbS must guide NbS use

The IUCN Global Standard for NbS should be used to design a robust and resilient NbS in order to address the urgent challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss, sustaining nature and people together, now and into the future.

Read the IUCN Global Standard for NbS read more

Accelerating investment in Nature-based Climate Solutions

IUCN supports the acceleration of financing for nature-based solutions for climate change through multiple grant mechanisms, including the Global EbA Fund, the Blue Natural Capital Financing Facility, the Subnational Climate Finance initiative, and the Nature+ Accelerator Fund, which collectively represent 200 million USD in available funding for NbS. Current economic valuation research estimates that an investment of 1 dollar in climate adaptation and resilience yields 4 dollars in benefits, on average. At this 1:4 impact ratio1IUCN’s investments over the last 5 years has resulted in approximately one trillion dollars’ worth of benefits.

Investing in nature can contribute to recovery efforts by creating jobs, targeting the poorest communities, and building long-term resilience.

Mari Pangestu, Managing Director of Development Policy and Partnership, World Bank at the IUCN Congress in Marseille


1This estimate of “investment of US$1, on average, yields US$4 in benefits” is pulled from a variety of sources, including the New Climate Economy Report (2018), Adapt Now: A Global Call for Leadership on Climate Resilience (2019), and Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves Interim Report (2018).