The natural environment could be used to capture carbon emissions equivalent to the volume released by the global burning of oil.
That’s what a new peer-reviewed study led by scientists from The Nature Conservancy has found. It says capturing greenhouse gases in forests, grasslands and wetlands could cost-effectively deliver more than a third of the greenhouse gas emissions reductions required to prevent significant climate change.
Taking financial constraints into account, the researchers calculated natural climate solutions could reduce emissions by 11.3 billion tonnes per year by 2030, 37% of the reduction needed to hold global warming below 2°C by this time.
The study found planting trees, avoiding deforestation and implementing better woodland practices could remove seven billion tonnes of carbon dioxide each year by 2030, equivalent to taking 1.5 billion petrol and diesel cars off the roads.
Christiana Figueres, Former Head of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said: “Natural climate solutions are vital to ensuring we achieve our ultimate objective of full decarbonisation and can simultaneously boost jobs and protect communities in developed and developing countries.”