Climate Change

Strengthening nature-based solutions in national climate commitments

A report published by IUCN and Oxford University in September 2019 presents an overview of the current level of ambition for nature within the NDCs and highlights what more can be done to harness the full potential of nature-based solutions in future NDCs.

Report - Nature-based Solutions in Nationally Determined Contributions Photo: © IUCN / University of Oxford

NbS and NDCs

Nature-based Solutions (NbS) centred on the protection, restoration and sustainable management of the world’s ecosystems have a vitally important role to play in addressing both the causes and consequences of climate change.

Countries are currently revising or preparing new Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), outlining their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change in support of the Paris Agreement. There is a major opportunity to enhance climate ambition and action through the stronger incorporation of nature-based solutions in these national commitments.

Understanding the report 

The report is based on an analysis of several major comparative assessments of nature’s prominence in NDCs to date. The authors analyse the framings, methods and results of these different studies, and identify a set of clear common findings. On this basis, they have developed recommendations for the consideration of policy makers on how climate ambition within future NDCs can be raised through the more substantive inclusion of NbS.

The NbS concept has emerged in recent years as governments, international organisations and other stakeholders search for ways to work with ecosystems rather than relying solely on conventional engineered solutions such as seawalls or irrigation infrastructure to tackle global challenges. Research suggests that NbS could provide around 30% of the cost-effective mitigation that is needed by 2030 to stabilise warming to below 2°C. They also provide a powerful defence against the impacts and long-term hazards of climate change.

Download the report 

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