For human beings, the natural world is not only a source of beauty, but also provides us with essentials. Yet, the destruction of natural world is depressing. Recently, 196 governments gathered in Montreal and pledged to protect and restore 30 percent or more of the Earth’s water and land by 2030. Those lofty promises have been both committed to and broken several times before, with several reasons given in terms of economical development, while governments continuously emphasize the importance of curbing the rising temperature. A step towards avoiding more disappointment  may be enhancing the link between biodiversity and climate change, and incentivizing investments to preserve biodiversity.

By 2022, investment around the world in the energy transition is accelerating. Clean energy spending in 2022 hit 1.4 trillion dollars, roughly a fifth above the sum from before the outbreak of COVID. Meanwhile, some big companies set plans to get to net-zero emissions in the following 20 to 30 years. Furthermore, The Inflation Reduction Act, contributed by the US President Joe Biden, contained 400 billion dollars to subsidies for clean energy, leading many bosses to cash in and cut their carbon footprints. Beyond those initiatives and actions, we may think that those plans will help our planet flourish again, and display the resilience of Earth. But the truth is, they are too little to fully preserve our current biodiversity.

If those huge companies’ carbon footprints need to be reduced, the aim of safeguarding biodiversity is an efficient way to control carbon emissions. Instead of throwing amounts of governments spending to post-facto mitigate and adapt to climate change, funneling cash into managing biodiversity can be far more effective. Governments’ spending needs to change. Those huge sums for developing clean-energy resources, carbon-capture technologies and re-engineering industrial process by companies and investment firms should transition instead to preserving ecosystems as a means to naturally capture carbon. According to some estimates, schemes to manage carbon-rich lands and reforest could provide an emissions reduction of more than one third, and act to significantly reduce global warning. 

Today those so-called carbon-offset schemes, which include planting forests, are opaque, and often are scams. Better guidelines and practice can lead new technology and measurements. For example, drones and satellites can improve the measurement of biodiversity, and accounting systems can measure on spending of biodiversity and carbon management. 

Our Earth is in a vicious cycle and carbon absorption is impaired. Even the Amazon Basin has become a net source of CO2 emissions for the past 20 years, emitting 13 percent more than it captures. Spending money on understanding and working with nature can not only show benevolence, but also can be attractive for governments and firms investing in harnessing climate change.   

Written by Eddie C.

Edited by Ari B.