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Biodiversity and Meeting our Paris Climate Goals Go Hand In Hand

Kasey Krifka, The Climate Trust
Weekly Policy and Finance Update – April 23, 2018


Protecting wildlife should be an important consideration in how we reach our national climate goals. Preventing the loss of critical species would have simultaneous benefits for the climate.

The sneak peek of a new report from the IPBES (Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services), also referred to as “the IPCC for biodiversity,” should hold much interest for those committed to reaching our national Climate goals. The report summary put forward that many of the solutions for stemming the loss of species would have simultaneous benefits for the climate.

The report includes four regional assessments, and came to fruition through the efforts of more than 550 scientists in over 100 nations. Proposed solutions include protecting and restoring ecosystems (which can store more carbon), cleaning up energy sources (fewer greenhouse gas emissions), and practicing more sustainable and diverse agriculture (lowering emissions, storing carbon). These solutions align neatly with sectors of interest for The Climate Trust’s work, but even so, some of the stark statistics put forth in the data served as a startling reminder (i.e. >95% of North American tall grass prairie grasslands have been transformed into human-dominated landscapes since pre-European settlement, and approximately 1.5 million hectares of Great Plains grassland hectares were lost from 2014-2015).

As one of the developers of the Avoided Conversion of Grassland and Shrubland to Crop Production methodology (ACoGS), The Climate Trust considers ourselves grassland conservation experts. We are now putting that expertise to good use, investing in projects that preserve critical native grassland through agricultural conservation easements; ensuring the grassland will remain intact in perpetuity.

This report helps to demonstrate that many of the environmental and climate challenges we face today are interconnected. We cannot possibly meet our Paris Climate Goals without considering the whole of what it is we’re tackling. Much like climate change, biodiversity challenges recognize no geographic or national boundaries. This points to the need for more attention on biodiversity in policy making in order to make a positive impact on the health and diversity of our natural environment.

Dr. Anne Larigauderie, executive secretary of the UN-backed organization behind the report may have said it best when discussing the Paris Climate Agreement and several other United Nations (UN) pacts: “Acting to protect and promote biodiversity is at least as important to achieving these commitments and to human well-being as is the fight against global climate change.”

Research and Resources

Summary for policymakers of the regional assessment of biodiversity
and ecosystem services for the Americas 

IPBES, unedited advance version, March 28, 2018

Tops News Headlines

Nations Won’t Reach Paris Climate Goal Without Protecting Wildlife and Nature, Warns Report
Ashley Braun, DESMOG Blog, March 23, 2018

Biodiversity and Nature’s Contributions Continue  Dangerous Decline, Scientists Warn
IPBES, Press Release, 2018

Recent Scorcher

Getting Climate Risk Right in Investment Portfolios Julius Pasay, April 16, 2018
Cross Laminated Timber Can Reduce Carbon Footprint of New Buildings Julius Pasay, April 9, 2018
Broad Interpretation of Direct Environmental Benefit May Be Best Sheldon Zakreski, Mar 27, 2018

Image credit: Flickr/Mark Jensen

This post first appeared on The Climate Trust | Invest With Purpose, please read the originial post: here

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Biodiversity and Meeting our Paris Climate Goals Go Hand In Hand


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