Nature-based solutions? Here’s what they are and why you should care


It’s over four years since the Paris Agreement was reached at the UN’s COP21 climate summit.

It was in the French capital that world leaders committed to making sure global warming stayed “well below” 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. They also agreed to pursue efforts to limit the temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

In the time that’s passed, the debate on climate change has intensified a great deal. Today, it’s one of the most talked about and polarizing issues on the planet.

While activists decry what they perceive to be a lack of action when it comes to tackling the “climate emergency”, national governments and big businesses claim they are making significant efforts.

This discussion is taking place against the backdrop of a “global energy transition,” a shift from fossil fuel based energy sources to renewable ones. How fast this change will happen — and to what extent — is another part of the debate.

Could nature hold the key?

Taking all of the above into account, something called “nature-based solutions” (NBS) could have a role to play in the years ahead. The EU has described nature-based solutions as “actions which are inspired by, supported by or copied from nature.”

An example is the installation and cultivation of green roofs and walls in urban areas to boost air quality.

Speaking to CNBC’s “Sustainable Energy,” Stewart Maginnis, global director of the Nature-based Solutions Group at the International Union for Conservation of Nature, explained…


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