Ecosystem-based mitigation

Nature-based solutions – based on the protection, restoration and sustainable management of the world’s ecosystems - have the potential to provide up to 30% of climate mitigation required to meet the 1.5°C target in the Paris Agreement. This requires collective global action to protect, restore and better manage our natural resources.

About NbS for Climate Mitigation

Immediate, far-reaching action to rapidly cut greenhouse gas emissions and remove CO2 from the atmosphere is necessary if the worst consequences of climate change are to be avoided. Over the past 10 years, there has been growing interest in the potential of nature to help meet global goals for greenhouse gas emissions reductions to mitigate climate change, reflecting the importance of natural ecosystems as sources and sinks for greenhouse gases.

NbS that can help mitigate climate change include actions that:

  1. 1. Decrease greenhouse gas emissions related to deforestation and land use
  2. 2. Capture and store carbon dioxide from the atmosphere

These actions include protecting natural ecosystems from loss and degradation, restoring ecosystems that have been degraded, and more sustainably managing working lands such as fields and managed forests.

IUCN and NbS for climate mitigation

NbS have the potential to contribute more than 30% of the global mitigation required to achieve the 1.5°C target under the Paris Agreement.

While nature provides critical solutions to the climate crisis, NbS alone cannot close the gap between global carbon emissions and climate targets. It is critical that NbS do not serve as a substitute for the rapid phase out of fossil fuels, but rather are implemented alongside a global energy transition.

IUCN engages on this issue from multiple perspectives, including:

  • Enhancing nature’s ability to store carbon across forests, drylands, and oceans by deploying Nature-based Solutions aligned with the Global Standard on NbS, such as reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) and promoting forest landscape restoration and blue carbon initiatives.
  • Supporting countries to enhance and implement their climate commitments under the UNFCCC, strengthening the role of NbS in national climate commitments;
  • Development of Guidelines on the use and implementation of NbS for corporate sector net-zero targets, building consensus and best practice guidance on the use and NbS for carbon offsetting; and
  • Mobilising enhanced finance through multiple revenue streams to enable the implementation of Nature-based Solutions for climate change, such as through the Blue Natural Capital Financing Facility, the Subnational Climate Finance initiative, Nature+Accelerator Fund and the Gobal EbA Fund.  

Nature-based Solutions for climate mitigation

The new report, “Nature-based solutions for climate change mitigation”, authored by experts from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), analyses and summarises existing peer-reviewed literature and other published sources on the potential of Nature-based Solutions to contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and removing carbon from the atmosphere.