BY: Nina Joung
The damage that climate change has done to our natural environment is unquestionable. From forest fires and submerged islands to blanched coral reefs and new endangered species, climate change has altered our earth’s biodiversity and landscapes.
But nature doesn’t have to just be a victim to climate change — it can also be a part of the solution.
For the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, we’re celebrating nature-based solutions and the people behind them, whether they be New England seaweed farmers or Scotland’s clean energy engineers.
But what are nature-based climate solutions?
“Nature-based solutions refer to the sustainable management and use of nature for tackling challenges such as climate change, water and food security, biodiversity protection, human health, and disaster risk management.”
Natural resources as well as plant and animal behaviors can play a significant role in reversing climate change. Here are our favorite stories that showcase the power and innovation of nature-based climate solutions.
The Power of Clean Energy
Clean energy, or energy made through renewable sources or saved through energy efficiency measures, is a familiar nature-based climate solution, but its impact should not be underestimated! About 30% of our global warming emissions come from electricity usage, making 100%-clean-energy promises from cities and renewable energy commitments from major companies like Toyota and Walmart crucial in lowering these emissions. See where else renewable energy can be implemented:
Animal Instinct Can Be a Climate Saver
Animals like tiny rainbow fish, oysters, and high-climbing mountain pikas use their natural behaviors to heal some of the damage caused by climate change — and, in some cases, give us humans an important warning regarding climate change.
Innovations in Nature that are Climate-friendly
Whether it be growing coral reefs from the demolished Tappan Zee Bridge or 3D ocean farming, natural solutions can thrive in unexpected places. These climate solutions combine natural and man-made resources to create innovative climate solutions and show how nature can adapt to climate change.