Nature-Based Climate Solutions
Carbon sequestration involves the process of capturing and storing atmospheric carbon dioxide. Healthy habitats, such as forests, grasslands, soil, and oceans naturally sequester carbon while producing co-benefits. For example, reforestation can sequester carbon, create wildlife habitat, and provide opportunities for recreation. Habitat conservation and careful land management is also a nature-based climate solution that can help sequester carbon.
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Land sinks--such as forests and grasslands--currently sequester 26% of emissions. Conservation and improved land management can enhance this natural sequestration capacity.
Deforestation, wetlands destruction, and soil degradation increase greenhouse gas emissions, but there are ways to reverse these trends and enhance natural ecosystem health to sequester carbon.
Reforestation is not only a climate solution, but also improves water quality, reduces heat, and improves mental health.
Nature-Based Climate Solutions and Environmental Justice
Investments in nature-based climate solutions and “green infrastructure” can enhance climate action while simultaneously improving overall environmental health, but it is crucial that policies account for environmental justice communities in the process.
Avoiding “Green Gentrification”
In many cities, investment in new green infrastructure – such as urban reforestation projects – has led to increased property prices that effectively displace lower-income communities in the immediate area(s). Cities and other jurisdictions can avoid green gentrification by dedicating funds to anti-displacement research and direct investments into areas vulnerable to displacement.
Equitable Access to Nature-Based Solutions
To limit negative impacts on underserved populations, nature-based climate solutions and green infrastructure policy can also incorporate financing schemes that ensure permanent affordable housing for different income ranges in the vicinity of nature-based climate-mitigation infrastructure.