A new study organized by The Nature Conservancy explains how the 20 steps that it describes can help reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere just as much as stopping the use of fossil fuels would.
The 20 steps refer to ways through which forests, wetlands, grasslands, and other natural areas could be restored and conserved in order to allow the vegetation to process the massive amounts of greenhouse gas emissions that we have created so far.
An important part of the study is the fact that the researchers believe that most of the proposed strategies could be implemented for as little as $100 per ton of carbon dioxide. Furthermore, some methods may have even lower costs.
The scientists have also stated that more than a third of the actions needed to meet the targets of the COP21 Paris climate accords would be covered by simply replanting forests, protecting peatlands that store carbon dioxide, and improving the management of agricultural and grassland areas.
Finding better ways to manage nature would allow us to eliminate over 11 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions, yearly, by 2030. This amount would be enough to cover all of China’s annual emissions generated by the use of fossil fuels.
The research also shows that humanity has the ability to not only eliminate a lot of the harmful gasses from the atmosphere but also to reshape the way we grow our food.
However, as Mark Tercek, the CEO of The Nature Conservancy stated, we must show that we are willing to follow this course of action and start investing in nature.
While the short-term rewards would be great, the long-term benefits of focusing on protecting nature would be enormous. The fact that clear-cutting forests for farming or for grazing are directly tied to the global level of carbon dioxide is quite obvious, and this means that we will have to find better ways of farming and growing livestock if we are to reduce the effects of the climate change.