With the Paris climate negotiations (UNFCCC COP 21) in sight, the UNCCD secretariat together with the Science-Policy Interface (SPI) has released two publications, highlighting the potential for and benefits of land-based action in the fight against climate change.
“Land matters for climate: Reducing the gap and approaching the trarget“ highlights the significant (and only marginally tapped) potential of the land sector for reducing emissions and sequestering carbon in soils and biomass. Achieving Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) through sustainable land management and the restoration of degraded lands holds a mitigation potential of up to 3.3 GtCO2e per year. Exploiting this potential could be a key element for future climate action. Current climate policies and reduction pledges (INDCs) unfortunately fall short of halting climate change. Additional emission reductions of 13 GtCO2e/yr are needed to limit global warming to 2°C – this is the so-called emissions gap. Harnessing the climate benefits of LDN could reduce the emissions gap by 25%. It emphasizes that land-based mitigation comes at comparatively low costs and offers significant benefits for food security and climate change adaptation. The publication is avaialble in English and French.
“Pivotal Soil Carbon”, the first Science Policy Brief by the Science-Policy Interface (SPI), gives a brief overview of the key role of soil carbon in climate change mitigation and adaptation, soil fertility and biodiversity conservation. Soils are by far the largest terrestrial store of carbon, however soils of the world´s agroecosystems have lost up to 75% of their original organic carbon. This loss can be restored through sustainable land management and rehabilitation activities, giving multiple benefits; including climate change mitigation and adaptation, biodiversity and food security. The brief bridges the gap between science and policy by offering concrete advice to policy makers with sound scientific knowledge. The brief, available in English, French and Spanish, contains facts and figures on the link between soil carbon and climate change as well as the link between soil carbon and biodiversity.
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Source: Notification from UNCCD website