A study suggests that increased land stewardship may be a cost-effective tool for mitigating climate change. Improved stewardship of the land can help limit global warming to below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels, the climate change mitigation goal outlined at the Paris 2015 Climate Conference. Bronson Griscom and colleagues analyzed 20 conservation, restoration, and land management actions, referred to as natural climate solutions (NCS), which can increase carbon storage or avert greenhouse gas emissions across the world's forests, wetlands, grasslands, and agricultural lands. The model projects that the implementation of NCS could negate the temperature rise associated with up to 23.8 Pg of carbon dioxide per year by 2030. The model includes a buffer for food security, fiber security, and biodiversity conservation. The predicted offset in temperature rise is more than 30% higher than previous studies due to the inclusion of additional types of NCS. The authors indicate that NCS could provide 37% of the cost-effective carbon dioxide mitigation needed through 2030, resulting in more than a 66% chance of holding warming below 2 °C. According to the authors, many of the suggested NCS might provide governments, the private sector, and local stakeholders actionable stewardship options to combat climate change, and offer ecosystem services such as improved water filtration, flood buffering, and soil health.
Article #17-10465: "Natural climate solutions," by Bronson W. Griscom et al.