Tackling biodiversity and climate crises together: First joint IPCC & IPBES report with PIK contribution

Two Leading UN science organizations, one report: For the first time, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) have joined forces and published an analysis that looks at the interaction of climate change and biodiversity loss. Their key result: Neither will be successfully resolved unless both are tackled together. This is the message of a workshop report, published by 50 of the world’s leading biodiversity and climate experts, amongst them Alexander Popp from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).
Tackling biodiversity and climate crises together: First joint IPCC & IPBES report with PIK contribution

“To tackle climate change and biodiversity loss, two of the biggest global problems, we found that it will be crucial to focus on nature-based solutions” explains PIK scientist Alexander Popp. “Ecosystems like forests or peatlands for example are important habitats for many animal and plant species. They are also able to break down and store carbon on a large scale. The protection of these habitats is therefore crucial in two ways: It helps to stop the extinction of species and can also make an important contribution to fight global warming.”

Together, scientists from IPCC and IPBES looked at both the biodiversity and climate crises, how they’re affecting life on Earth and what’s being done to prevent them from further deterioration. The report finds that previous policies have largely tackled biodiversity loss and climate change independently of each other, when they would actually be intertwined. Addressing the synergies between mitigating biodiversity loss and climate change, while considering their social impacts, offers the opportunity to maximize benefits and meet global development goals.

Key findings of the report include:

  • Stopping the loss and degradation of carbon- and species-rich ecosystems on land and in the ocean, especially forests, wetlands, peatlands, grasslands and savannahs.

  • Restoring carbon- and species-rich ecosystems as the cheapest and quickest nature-based climate mitigation measures to implement.

  • Increasing sustainable agricultural and forestry practices to improve the capacity to adapt to climate change. These include measures such as diversification of planted crop and forest species, agroforestry and agroecology.

  • Enhancing and better-targeting conservation actions. Protected areas currently represent about 15% of land and 7.5% of the ocean. Positive outcomes are expected from substantially increasing intact and effectively protected areas from 30 to 50 percent of all ocean and land surface areas.