Nature-based solutions for climate mitigation

Achieving the ambitious goals established by the European Union will require not only transformation of our energy and transport systems, but measures across the economy as well as efforts to harness the potential of nature to contribute to both mitigating climate change and enhancing our resilience to its impacts. Within this context, the potential for Naturebased Solutions to play an important role in addressing climate mitigation is receiving increasing research, policy and public attention. Nature-based Solutions that can enhance or increase carbon storage or generate new possibilities for sequestering carbon from the atmosphere can contribute to climate mitigation whilst also enhancing the conservation of biodiversity and contributing to a wide range of sustainable development goals.

At the same time, Nature-based Solutions potentially have an important role to play in reducing energy demand through their role in cooling urban areas and providing thermal insulation for individual buildings. This report explores how Nature-based Solutions can contribute to climate mitigation through storing and sequestering carbon and through reducing energy demand. It suggests that both offer significant potential within Europe and beyond for addressing the challenge of climate mitigation, but do so in very different ways and generate different kinds of trade-offs that will need to be negotiated if their potential is to be fully realised. Drawing on research and innovation projects taking place in Europe, this report examines what works on the ground, as well as the challenges that have been faced and how these might be overcome.

Source: Nature-based solutions for climate mitigation. 2020. Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (European Commission).