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Planting more forests and managing land use better could be the biggest natural climate solution, because nature could deliver more than 30 percent of the emissions reduction needed to curb dangerous levels of global warming—equal to the world completely stopping the burning of oil, according to a new study.
The study suggests that better management of the nature’s resources could be much more important and could have a bigger impact on fighting climate change than previously thought.
Natural climate solutions could cut greenhouse gas emissions by 11.3 billion tons annually by 2030—equivalent to halting the burning of oil—and delivering 37 percent of the needed emissions reduction to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius, found the study, led by scientists from The Nature Conservancy and 15 other institutions.
“The results of the study indicate that the three largest options for increasing the number and size of trees (reforestation, avoiding forest loss, and better forestry practices) could cost-effectively remove 7 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide annually by 2030, equivalent to taking 1.5 billion gasoline-burning cars off the roads,” the researchers say.
If we change the way we farm the planet’s agricultural lands, we could cost-effectively deliver 22 percent of emissions reductions, which would be equivalent to taking 522 million gasoline cars off the road, the study suggests.
“The way we manage the lands in the future could deliver 37% of the solution to climate change. That is huge potential, so if we are serious about climate change, then we are going to have to get serious about investing in nature, as well as in clean energy and clean transport,” Mark Tercek, CEO of The Nature Conservancy, said.
According to Justin Adams, global lands managing director with The Nature Conservancy, the new study shows that “those responsible for the lands—governments, the forestry companies and farms, the fishermen and property developers—are just as important to achieving this as the solar, wind and electric car businesses.”
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.