Climate Change Stories

Natural Climate Solutions

Science Leads the Way to Showcase the Role of Nature for Climate Action

Looking up through a canopy of thin trees.
Trees in Arashiyama, Japan Trees in Kyoto Arashiyama, Japan. © Ka Lok Wong/TNC

Natural climate solutions are conservation, restoration and improved land management actions that increase carbon storage or avoid greenhouse gas emissions in landscapes and wetlands across the globe. Combined with innovations in clean energy and other efforts to decarbonize the world’s economies, natural climate solutions offer some of our best options in the response to climate change.

Natural Climate Solutions Explained (3:01) In this video, it's the future, and we look back on how we saved the world with nature. In the 2020s, we learned that nature could pull 11 billion metric tons of carbon from the atmosphere. This was a full third of the emission reductions we needed! So how did nature do all this?

In 2017, research led by The Nature Conservancy and 15 other institutions, was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, demonstrating that nature-based solutions can provide up to one-third of the emission reductions needed by 2030 to keep global temperature increases under 2°C—30 percent more than previously estimated.

TNC continues to lead the discussion on the understanding and application of natural climate solutions, showing that their integration in climate action planning can deliver tangible, cost-effective outcomes right now, while further research and development into much-needed emissions reductions technology still are underway. We believe that the role of nature is a critical toolbox alongside a full transition to a low carbon world, and all options to deliver emissions reductions must be pursued in concert.

The key to implementation of natural climate solutions is to get them into practice on the ground. TNC has a strong history of working with national governments to deliver results for critical ecosystems and managed lands—from farmlands and peatlands to seagrass and tidal marshes, in regions around the world. Our staff continues to work closely with a variety of partners, including governments, companies, and local landowners and civil society to provide climate mitigation benefits for both people and nature. Here are a few profiles of just how we continue to collaborate:

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  • Forest regrowth after a fire in Sweet Home, OR. This photo was entered into The Nature Conservancy's 2018 Photo Contest.

    Mapping Carbon Accumulation Potential from Natural Forest Regrowth

    New study provides best resolution data to determine potential carbon storage of natural forest regrowth as a NCS strategy. Read the forest carbon storage study.

  • Partnering with landowners to sustainably manage their forests can increase the carbon storage of their land.

    Natural Forest Regrowth Map

    See the potential for carbon storage anywhere on the planet with this interactive tool. View the forest regrowth map.

  • Aerial view of the peat dome in Riau Sumatra. Protecting peatlands is important for global climate regulation.

    The Carbon Cost of Converting Peatlands to Oil Palm

    Peatlands are one of nature’s best carbon sinks, and yet the ecosystem is under threat from conversion to agriculture. This new blog reflects emerging data from Indonesia. How Indonesia can achieve its emissions reduction target

  • Deniston Dutra e seu filho andando pela propriedade da família com produção de cacau  em sistema agroflorestais.

    Review of the Role of Non-State Actors in Agroforestry

    Key study to identify points of entry for non-state actors to increase smallholder incentives for agroforestry adoption in low and middle income countries. Read the agroforestry review.