Why Carbon Capture Alone is Not Enough
The Importance of Integrating Biodiversity, Land, and Community in Climate Solutions
As the global community confronts the realities of the climate crisis, carbon capture has emerged as a popular solution for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. While capturing carbon from the atmosphere and storing it underground can help reduce emissions, it is not enough to address the complex interrelated challenges posed by climate change.
To truly create a sustainable and resilient future, we must also focus on restoring biodiversity, improving land and water quality, creating jobs, and gaining community support. This hollistic approach are growing in importance and is called as Nature-based Solutions.
According to IUCN, Nature-based Solutions (NbS) are actions to protect, sustainably manage and restore natural and modified ecosystems, that address societal challenges effectively and adaptively, simultaneously benefiting people and nature.”
The health of our planet’s ecosystems is intricately linked to the health of its species and habitats. By restoring biodiversity, we can create a more resilient future, while also sequestering carbon in the soil, vegetation, and ecosystems. The video below made by Nature Conservancy describes in a very detailed way the importance in preserve the biodiversity that exists in our planet.
Climate change is leading to desertification, soil degradation, and increased land use change, which can cause further emissions and release the carbon stored in soil and vegetation. By improving land management and reducing degradation, we can prevent the release of carbon and improve the health of the land.
Climate change is also affecting water resources, leading to changes in precipitation patterns and rising sea levels, which can impact water quality and supply. By improving water management, we can protect water resources and reduce emissions from activities such as agriculture and energy production.
Inside the water spectrum we can also count on Oceans. Coastal ecosystems are some of the most productive on Earth. They provide us with essential ecosystem services, such as coastal protection from storms and nursery grounds for fish. We also know that they provide another integral service – sequestering and storing “blue” carbon from the atmosphere and oceans and hence are an essential piece of the solution to global climate change.
Blue carbon is the carbon stored in coastal and marine ecosystems. The Blue Carbon Initiative currently focuses on carbon in coastal ecosystems – mangroves, tidal marshes and seagrasses. These ecosystems sequester and store large quantities of blue carbon in both the plants and the sediment below. For example, over 95% of the carbon in seagrass meadows is stored in the soils.
Climate solutions must also consider the needs and concerns of local communities. Engaging communities in the development and implementation of climate solutions can ensure that they are sustainable and equitable, while also increasing public support and participation.
By taking a holistic approach to carbon capture, we can create a more sustainable and resilient future that not only reduces emissions, but also protects and restores biodiversity, improves land and water quality, creates jobs, and gains community support.
For example, reforestation projects that plant trees and protect existing forests can help sequester carbon while also improving land and water quality, providing jobs and livelihoods, and supporting local communities. Other initiatives, such as regenerative agriculture, can improve soil health and reduce emissions while also supporting local food systems and communities.
In conclusion, while carbon capture is an important tool in the fight against climate change, it must be integrated with other solutions that address biodiversity, land, water, oceans and community. By taking a holistic approach, we can create a more sustainable and resilient future for all.