To slow climate change, experts often advocate for action and legislate for policies that aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our atmosphere. These solutions seek to limit fossil fuel transmissions from cars or methane emissions from livestock. But according to a new study, regenerating our land could be a lot more important than we originally thought.
A peer-reviewed paper by the Nature Conservancy and 15 other environmental groups found that natural, land-based climate solutions—like planting trees and protecting existing forestland—could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 23.8 billion tons a year by 2030, over 30 percent more than climate scientists originally estimated in 2014. In fact, it says, re-greening of the planet would be just as effective as stopping the burning of fossil fuels altogether.
"The way we manage the lands in the future could deliver 37 percent of the solution to climate change," Mark Tercek, CEO of the Nature Conservancy, said of the report. "That is huge potential, so if we are serious about climate change, then we are going to have to get serious about investing in nature."