Nature-based solutions are not a substitute for decarbonization

CRS Trends  »  Climate action   »   Nature-based solutions are not a substitute for decarbonization

Nature Based Solutions are, in a nutshell, actions that help protect the environment, restore ecosystems and sustainably manage and address social changes so as to adapt and provide wellbeing for people and for the planet. 

The most widely spread concept related to natural based solutions is that of carbon offsetting through the purchase of carbon credits, which are essentially an investment on carbon capturing projects, like tree planting or renewable energies as a way to compensate for the investor’s own emissions. 

However, the current market for carbon compensation and natural based solutions might be losing its grip from reality and the primary goal from which it was born in the first place, therefore substantially undermining the benefits of such a necessary approach to fight climate change. 


Natural based solutions are necessary


Using Natural Based Solutions (NBS) means taking advantage of the highly evolved ecosystems to stabilize and rehabilitate our planet through the protection and promotion of the very natural systems that keep Earth safe and functioning. This includes forests, wetlands, or grasslands among others, which are indispensable tools for capturing carbon but that are currently under significant risk due to human impact. 

In fact, the European Commission defines them as solutions inspired and supported by nature, which are cost-effective, simultaneously provide environmental, social and economic benefits and help build resilience.

And so the European Union, as well as other social and economic actors on a global scale, have long begun to pledge for investment in these kinds of solutions, in an effort to safeguard and maintain the ecosystems and the biodiversity that are so vital for providing the resources we need for our well-being, safety and economic development, in addition to helping remove carbon from the air.

There are two main and legitimate uses of nature based solutions, on one hand, removing existing carbon from the air, and on the other, capturing the smaller residues of unavoidable emissions once our economy has been adequately decarbonized.


Decarbonization is the priority


That is why experts are starting to convey a powerful message, reinforcing the idea that this approach to carbon offsetting should by no means become a substitute for the necessary and increasingly urgent decarbonization of our global economy, or to allow corporations to offset greenhouse gasses that shouldn’t be produced in the first place.

Nature based solutions are necessary, but they won’t save us if some of the most polluting companies in the world understand and utilize them as effective action to ‘’compensate’’ for the emissions they should be cutting back on. 

The main problem in the carbon capturing market today is that we seem to have lost the train of thought that nature based solutions tried to provide. Because indeed, these solutions are one the most effective means for the restoration of our living systems and the extraction and lock up of excessive carbon emissions, but it won’t be enough if we don’t change our ways

An initiative and the effort of many people and communities that should have represented a great force for good has in the last few years become something for the corporate world to take advantage of with little to none concern about what it all actually entails. 


A force for good


But we need these solutions. We need to help restore ecosystems and biodiversity if we want the planet, our society and our economies to thrive in the not so distant future. And for that, we need to draw down as much carbon as we can

This is a very powerful tool that we have to protect our environment, but current market trends are turning it against us because of either the lack of understanding or the lack of accountability from high polluting industries that transform this into mere marketing campaigns with little transparency. 


Transparency and responsibility


We believe transparency is one of the key values that should drive the fight for climate action, as it is the only way to understand what we are doing wrong, what we are doing right and what it is that we are not doing yet. 

Because being transparent is not only an externality to a company, or a given organization, to help build trust and reputation; it is in fact also a great learning and improvement mechanism. You cannot manage what you don’t understand. And so we advocate for transparency, integrity and precision as imperatives to the fight against climate change. 

In DoGood we are convinced of the need to understand and manage efforts to achieve a sustainable transition inside an organization for the correct and efficient functioning of the business and the community it operates in. We alone cannot achieve the substantial changes necessary, but we work on the basis of collaboration, transparency and accuracy in order to bring light to sustainable actions.  

In this regard, it is essential to our work to promote good corporate governance, meaning that the processes of disclosure and transparency are followed so as to provide regulators and shareholders as well as the general public with precise and accurate information about the financial, operational and other aspects of the company, including a more accurate definition of the ESG performance.

We have developed a corporate government tool that helps establish ESG impact objectives for employees in regards to the sustainability strategy of the company. Through our SaaS technology we are able to activate and track employees’ impact, creating engagement that translates into improved ESG metrics, reputational value and an overall positive impact for the environment and society. 

If you want to know more about how we work to create a positive social and environmental impact, click here