The need to mitigate climate change and the role that nature can play in this regard are recognized in multilateral agreements, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). ). However, we are collectively on the right track to not meet the commitment of the Paris Agreement of the UNFCCC to limit warming to well below 2 ° C, preferably 1.5 ° C, as well as the targets of the CBD on biodiversity. Until now, human activities have been responsible for an increase in the global average temperature of nearly 1.1 ° C from the levels of 1850 to 1900. Continuing on the current path, it is. more and more likely that the limit of 1.5 ° C will be exceeded in the next 20 years (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [IPCC] 2021).
Immediate and far-reaching action to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and remove CO2 from the atmosphere is needed if the worst consequences of climate change are to be avoided. Transformative changes of a type never attempted before are needed (Pörtner et al. 2021). The 2020 Emissions Gap Report showed that countries need to triple their mitigation ambitions “to meet the 2 ° C target and more than five times to meet the 1.5 ° target. C ”(United Nations Environment Program [UNEP] 2020, p.21). A key action needed to achieve these goals is the decarbonization of our economy – reducing and drastically eliminating fossil fuel emissions in power generation, industry and transport.
All the IPCC mitigation pathways compatible with limiting the temperature rise to 1.5 ° C involve, in addition to decarbonation, very significant changes in current land use trajectories to combat and reverse these emissions. Although the IPCC does not call them “nature-based solutions,” these pathways include actions of this type, including stopping deforestation. Achieving the 1.5 ° C target of the Paris Agreement will therefore require a significant contribution from nature-based solutions, as well as a rapid decarbonization of our economies.
While nature-based solutions are a necessary complement to decarbonization, they can only be relied on when combined with rapid and widespread reductions in emissions from energy, industry and transport. Without this dual approach, the total mitigation achieved will be insufficient to avoid climate-related risks (such as changes in temperature and precipitation) that reduce the ability of nature-based solutions to contribute to climate change mitigation ( Pörtner et al. 2021).
Despite growing political support for the use of nature-based solutions in climate change mitigation, a number of concerns have been raised. These include: uncertainties about the scale of the contribution, especially given the challenges of implementation and funding; doubts about the implementation of the necessary guarantees; and is concerned about the use of offsets by the private sector. This report will assess the current state of knowledge on the extent of the contribution that nature-based solutions can make and the types of action they will involve. He will discuss the importance of social and environmental safeguards, how nature-based solutions can be financed and the role of offsets. Most importantly, it will examine the potential of nature-based mitigation solutions to also contribute to climate adaptation and other pressing challenges.