The world faces a growing number of environmental challenges—aggravated by climate change—that will make life harder for everyone in Hong Kong and beyond: sea-level rise, severe storms, temperature increases, water scarcity, air pollution and biodiversity loss. But new research by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and 15 other institutions demonstrates that Natural Climate Solutions (NCS)—like restoring forests and grasslands—can provide up to 37 percent of the emissions reductions needed by 2030 to keep global temperature rise under 2 degrees Celsius. In fact, implementing NCS could offer the carbon reduction equivalent of stopping burning oil—globally. And as a bonus, protecting lands also filters our water, cleans our air, buffers communities from floods and preserves wildlife habitat.
Making changes to land use and management will be the key to both reducing emissions and absorbing carbon from the atmosphere. In countries like Indonesia and Myanmar, one solution is trees. Planting trees, maintaining their health and preventing their removal not only protects orangutan and other wildlife habitat, it also ensures a lower-carbon future that is prosperous for people and nature.