According to the latest United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report, achieving that goal will require both large-scale greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction and removal of GHGs from the atmosphere.
At present, the most efficient and scalable GHG-removal strategy is the massive planting of trees through reforestation or afforestation — a “natural climate solution” (NCS) that extracts atmospheric carbon dioxide through photosynthesis and soil carbon sequestration.
Despite the potential of forestry-based NCS projects to address climate change, biodiversity loss, unemployment, and other societal needs — and their appeal to policymakers, funders, and citizens — they have yet to achieve critical mass, and often underperform due to a mix of interacting ecological, social, and financial constraints.
To better understand these challenges and identify opportunities to overcome them, a team of researchers at Imperial College London and the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change recently studied how environmental scientists, local stakeholders, and project funders perceive the risks and benefits of NCS projects, and how these perceptions impact project goals and performance. To that end, they surveyed and consulted with dozens of recognized experts and organizations spanning the fields of ecology, finance, climate policy, and social science. Read more at Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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