Last year’s UN IPCC report highlighted the urgent need to employ a range of measures to limit global warming, while meeting rising global energy demand. This could include the protection and restoration of natural ecosystems such as forests, grasslands and wetlands.

Nature-based solutions aim to protect, transform or restore land allowing nature to absorb more CO2 emissions from the atmosphere. Between now and 2030, they could provide over a third of the climate mitigation needed to limit warming to below 2°C. Reaching that outcome is difficult, in part because the prospects for nature-based solutions are uncertain.

The Center on Global Energy Policy hosted a panel of experts to discuss the role of nature in tackling climate change. Panelists included:

  • Ruth DeFries, University Professor; Denning Family Professor of Sustainable Development in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology, Columbia University
  • Dirk Forrister, CEO & President of the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA)
  • Michelle Manion, Lead Economist at the World Resources Institute
  • Todd Stevens, Executive Director, Conservation Science and Solutions at the Wildlife Conservation Society
  • Maarten Wetselaar, Director, Integrated Gas and New Energies at Royal Dutch Shell
  • Jason Bordoff, Founding Director, Center on Global Energy Policy (moderator)