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Natural-born climate commitments

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WASHINGTON – With the world gathering at the 25th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP25) in Madrid through Dec. 13, discussions are being held on concrete steps for meeting and increasing national emissions reduction targets. But equally important, COP25 offers an opportunity to elevate one of the most powerful tools we have to address climate change: nature.

Nature-based solutions (also known as natural climate solutions) leverage the world’s forests, grasslands, wetlands and soils to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Healthy ecosystems absorb and store carbon on their own. And if they are protected, restored and managed sustainably, they can provide one-third of the emissions reductions needed to meet the Paris climate agreement’s goal for 2030.

In other words, nature is offering us an opportunity that we cannot afford to miss. Reducing fossil fuel emissions is crucial, but it will not be enough to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius, let alone 1.5 degrees, relative to preindustrial levels.

To secure a livable future on this planet, we also must commit to funding nature-based solutions. All countries need to start incorporating nature-based solutions into their national climate pledges, and begin investing accordingly.

Two years ago, scientists from the Nature Conservancy and its partners published new research showcasing the potential of nature-based solutions to fight climate change. Yet natural climate solutions have continued to attract relatively little attention — and even less funding.

Fortunately, this........

© The Japan Times