Nature-based climate mitigation

Nature-based climate mitigation

The current Paris climate agreement target is ambitious: to limit the global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. To achieve this goal, we need to devise more ways of mitigating the effects of climate change. Greenhouse gas emissions contribute to global warming, so we need to reduce them, for example by modifying production processes, increasing carbon storage capacity and promoting bio-based energy and products. Understanding nature and natural processes is a key starting point and Wageningen Environmental Research is a rich source of knowledge and expertise on nature-based mitigation measures.

Our research and expertise - what do we offer?

Nature-based mitigation solutions not only help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a third, they also improve soil, air and water quality, and enhance biodiversity. The agricultural sector is responsible for over 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Wageningen Environmental Research partners with agri-food businesses to develop ways to close energy, nutrient and water cycles.

For example by promoting soil-friendly ploughing and working crop residues back into the soil, producing fertiliser from agricultural waste, and reducing the amount of water need for crop production. While agricultural emissions are on the decline, the use of fossil fuels by industry and consumers is still increasing. We do research on bio-based materials and fibres for construction and bio-based alternatives for fossil fuels.

A promising way of mitigating the effects of fossil-fuel emissions is to increase nature-based carbon capture and storage, for example in soils and forests. We have developed an approach to climate-smart forestry that makes use of specific regional characteristics to enhance the role of forests in the greenhouse gas balance. Our extensive network of international and Dutch policymakers and stakeholders in the agricultural and forestry sectors also ensures that the mitigation strategies we develop will actually be implemented.

We offer expertise on:

  • Sustainable land use
  • Soil and water management
  • Manure/ fertiliser management and application
  • Cropland management
  • Grassland management
  • Agriculture on peatland
  • Carbon sequestration and storage in soils
  • Climate-smart forestry
  • Agroforestry
  • Biobased energy solutions
  • Biobased products for construction
  • Biobased alternatives to fossil fuel
  • Monitoring and validation

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