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Nature is part of the solution to curb global warming

Protecting forests, not draining wetlands, and preserving local ecosystems are ways to mitigate climate change

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The Amazon Forest: Replanting could help cut 25% of all global greenhouse gas emissions (Silvestre Garcia - IntuitivoFilms/Getty Images)

The Amazon Forest: Replanting could help cut 25% of all global greenhouse gas emissions (Silvestre Garcia - IntuitivoFilms/Getty Images)

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Publicado em 30 de agosto de 2021 às, 17h43.

Última atualização em 1 de setembro de 2021 às, 15h34.

The United Nations has set a goal of reducing industries and society’s carbon emissions by the year 2050.

In the medium term, development of new technologies and investment in sustainable means of production can help achieve the goal. Until then, it will be necessary to bet on other solutions and the answer may lie in nature itself.

Restoring forests and wetlands and significantly reducing deforestation are important measures that can bring us closer to mitigating global warming.

Experts say replanting could help reduce 25% of all global greenhouse gas emissions. This type of commitment, however, would require very strict government actions, in addition to monitoring and inspection. Consequently, protecting forests, not draining wetlands, and preserving local ecosystems are ways to protect these natural regions from carbon sequestration.

“Nature-based solutions play an important role in reducing emissions from agriculture, forestry and land use sector,” says Lilia Caiado, PhD in environmental economics at the University College London. "It is estimated that Brazil concentrates 20% of the global potential for reducing emissions through these measures."

Towards the goals

According to a study published in 2017 in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, this type of solution could represent up to 37% of the measures needed to keep the temperature rise below 2°C in the coming decades.

Projections by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggest that, without these measures, it will be impossible to meet the goals established in the Paris Agreement.

A review by Ceres, a coalition of US investors and environmentalists, of 45 announcements of green commitments made by companies between November 2020 and March 2021 found that 44% of these businesses intend to use natural means to reach the emissions target zero.

One alternative for companies is to invest in carbon offsetting, a transaction to finance reductions in carbon emissions in a particular sector or location in order to offset the damage caused by their own emissions. This capital is usually allocated to actions such as reforestation, habitat restoration and development of renewable energies. In the first quarter of 2021, for the first time in years, voluntary demand for compensation exceeded supply.

“There is no single solution that will help us avoid the worst impacts of climate change. It's not enough to replace all energy sources with renewable ones, swap fossil fuel-powered cars for electric vehicles or plant trillions of trees,” says Daniel Bresette, executive director of the Environmental and Energy Study Institute. "We will only be successful if we employ all these solutions at once and intelligently."

 

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