Carnegie Climate Governance Initiative

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Policy Brief: Governing Nature-Based Solutions to Carbon Dioxide Removal

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), large-scale Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) is now required in all pathways to keep global warming under 1.5°C. Ecosystems play a critical role in the removal and long-term storage of around half of all CO2 emissions produced by human activities. Enhancing this capacity with the adoption of ‘Nature-Based Solutions’ (NBS) (also referred to as ‘Natural Climate Solutions’) could play an important role in delivering the large-scale CDR now required.

Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) to CDR include techniques such as large-scale planting of forests, replacing previously lost forests, and restoring wetlands. With the right policy, political and governance conditions in place, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) estimate that forests, wetlands and soils could remove up to 4–12 GtCO2e per year, while some studies indicate a significantly higher potential.

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