Investing in Carbon Capture and Storage Nature's Way
Time to Give Forests, Mangroves, Peatlands and Climate-Friendly Agriculture a Bigger Role in Combating Climate Change, says UNEP
World Environment Day 2009 - Your Planet Needs YOU!
Mexico City/ Nairobi, 5 June 2009 - Boosting investments in the conservation, rehabilitation and management of the Earth's forests, peatlands, soils and other key ecosystems could deliver significant cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and avoid even more being released to the atmosphere, a new report by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) says.
Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director, said: "Tens of billions of dollars are being earmarked for carbon capture and storage at power stations with the CO2 to be buried underground or under the sea."
"But perhaps the international community is overlooking a tried and tested method that has been working for millennia, the biosphere. By some estimates the Earth's living systems might be capable of sequestering more than 50 gigatones (Gt) of carbon over the coming decades with the right market signals," he added.
"This is also in line with UNEP's Green Economy initiative as for the same dollar, euro, peso or yuan not only are we combating climate change, but potentially delivering additional economic, environmental and developmental benefits from improved water supplies, soil stabilization and reduced biodiversity losses alongside new kinds of green jobs in natural resource management and conservation," he added.
UNEP's Rapid Assessment report 'The Natural Fix? The Role of Ecosystems in Climate Mitigation' is released to mark World Environment Day 2009, whose global hosts this year are the Government and people of Mexico.
The report comes just under six months before the crucial UN climate convention meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark, where governments need to Seal the Deal on a new, forward-looking treaty.