Use ecosystems to fight climate change, says study

02 September 2009 | News story

Investing in the Earth’s multi-trillion dollar ecosystems can counter climate change and help climate-proof vulnerable economies, according to the latest update by The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity.

The paper, released today with contributions from IUCN, says the planet’s biological diversity and ecological infrastructure are increasingly being put at risk from the impact of rising greenhouse gases.

Yet natural systems represent one of the biggest untapped allies against the greatest challenge of this generation, according to the paper.

“We welcome the latest findings from this valuable study,” says Julia Marton-Lefèvre, IUCN’s Director General. “The world’s governments need to seize the enormous and highly cost-effective opportunity to combat climate change through forest conservation and improved ecosystem management.”

The report sets out the climate risks and opportunities for two of the world’s most threatened and diverse ecosystems – coral reefs and tropical forests.

It shows how climate change could damage entire ecosystems, with devastating economic consequences.

The report includes clear policy recommendations for international climate negotiators, as they prepare for the upcoming climate convention in Copenhagen, Denmark, later this year.

IUCN strongly supports the efforts of TEEB to highlight the links between biodiversity and climate change.