The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a scientific body convened by the United Nations, recently released a new report that takes an in-depth look at climate change mitigation and the possible pathways toward a safe climate future.
The latest report makes it clear that keeping global temperatures below 1.5° C of warming requires an all-hands-on-deck approach to enact rapid, deep decarbonization. Net CO2 emissions have continued to rise and remain higher than in any previous decade, but there is some hope in the fact that the rate of growth is slowing. Globally, our delayed progress has served to elevate our dependence on nature to play a big role in storing and drawing carbon out of the atmosphere.
The report notes that while nature loss remains a significant contributor to climate change, the world can get on track if countries, companies and people act fast and with a holistic approach that reverses nature loss, considers thoughtful action to mitigate carbon emissions, preserves biodiversity and boosts equity and human development.
The transformation of energy and economic systems needs to be partnered with the transformation of our land use and the relationship we have with natural ecosystems. If we do this, not only can we avoid the worst of climate change but also secure a much healthier future. We have the technologies, expertise and financial capabilities across every sector of the economy to halve global greenhouse gas emissions by the end of the decade, we just need the political and societal will to implement them.
Collectively and individually, our actions matter now more than ever. One way to make a difference is by continuing to support – or becoming supporters – of land trusts. Private and voluntary land conservation is part of the solution to the climate crisis and to meeting the national goal of conserving at least 30% of U.S. lands and ocean areas by 2030.
Land trusts across the nation are working each day to help nature adapt to climate change. You can help. Find a land trust near you through Find a Land Trust. I encourage you to reach out and join this growing community. See how you can be part of the solution. It’s one more step you can take – beyond driving less and consuming thoughtfully – to make a difference.