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Trees are a Powerful Tool in Natural Climate Solutions

Time for trees is now. Without a technological breakthrough for climate change, we cannot compromise the nature of our life-giving trees.

Natural climate solutions create buzz at Climate Week NYC 2019

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report (SR15) finds that limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius will require “rapid and far-reaching” transitions in land use, energy, industry, buildings, transport, and cities. Unless there is a technological breakthrough, natural climate solutions continue to be the only proven way to do that at scale.

Of all the top 20 global natural climate solutions, forest restoration has the most climate mitigation potential but earns the least amount of investment. Additionally, forest restoration empowers people and revitalizes communities.

SOURCE: The Nature Conservancy & Nature4Climate

On the sidelines of the International Emissions Trading Association’s Carbon Forum North America 2019, the Arbor Day Foundation, Bluesource, and Wildlife Conservation Society hosted an event – Forests and Business: Pathways to a Stable Climate – highlighting the Protect–Manage–Restore framework.

Never has it been so urgent to protect, manage, and restore our forests and remaining natural ecosystems. Today, there are three forestry options available for verified carbon credits: afforestation/reforestation, avoided conversion (i.e., REDD+), and improved forest management. These three forestry options also have the most climate mitigation potential of the top 20 natural climate solutions. Executing the top 20 natural climate solutions at scale can mitigate more than 11 billion metric tons of carbon by 2030. Forests account for two-thirds of this pathway — more than 7 billion metric tons of carbon.

However, we need to preserve the intact forests that remain, improve how working forests are managed, and plant more than one trillion trees, quickly. [JM2]

The Time for Trees is Now

Reaching carbon neutrality or net-zero on a corporate level is an important goal. But once that goal is reached, your work is not done. Our vision is together we can create a carbon-positive economy that restores forests and empowers all people and communities. One that reverses climate change. As a leader in the carbon-positive movement, we challenge and help organizations and households to remove more carbon from the atmosphere than they emit.

What tangible next steps can you take?

  • Think of forests as a proven technology. For 3.8 billion years, forests and oceans have always been the best carbon removal technology around, naturally creating balance for our planet.
  • Co-creating natural climate solutions. According to the United Nations, nearly 2 billion hectares of land is seriously degraded globally; an area twice the size of China. The need for restoration is so urgent and the opportunity is so big, we must find common ground to collaborate more effectively at scale versus competing for short-term individual and organizational wins.

If ever there was a time for trees, now is that time. Trees provide the necessities of life. They clean our air and water while improving biodiversity, soil, health, food production, and economies. Trees connect us all.

This post may have been edited for length purposes

Credit: By Jeremy Manion | October 29, 2019

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