Restoring degraded environments, such as by planting trees, is often touted as a solution to the climate crisis. But our new research shows this, while important, is no substitute for preventing fossil fuel emissions to limit global warming. We calculated the maximum potential for responsible nature restoration to absorb carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. And we found that, combined with ending deforestation by 2030, this could reduce global warming 0.18 degrees Celsius by 2100. In comparison, current pledges from countries put us on track for 1.9-2 degrees Celsius. This is far from what’s needed to mitigate the catastrophic impacts of climate change, and is well above the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal of the Paris Agreement. And it pours cold water on the idea we can offset our way out of ongoing global warming. The priority remains rapidly phasing out fossil fuels, which have contributed 86 percent of all CO2 emissions in the past decade. (Read More)
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