Nature-based solutions play key role in mitigating climate change

Press release — 19 February 2024

A new study from Guenet et al. shows that nature-based solutions are crucial to mitigate climate change, but only if they go hand in hand with a drastic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

What are nature-based solutions, and can they help us achieve the Paris Agreement maintaining the average global temperature rise below 2° Celsius?

Guenet et al., explain the role these techniques play in climate change mitigation in their recently published paper “Les solutions fondées sur la nature” (Nature-based solutions).

The main idea behind nature-based solutions is that environmental problems can be solved through a deep understanding of how ecosystems work. In this way, humans can tap into the many and varied benefits – and services – that the natural environment may provide.

In their paper, Guenet et al. mainly focus on the mitigation services to contrast climate change. This particular group of nature-based solutions is often called nature-based climate solutions.

The objectives of this sub-category are:

  1. to prevent carbon emissions, mainly by avoiding deforestation
  2. to restore degraded ecosystems promoting carbon sinks (for example reducing timber harvesting)
  3. to implement the best management practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from forests, croplands, and grasslands.

According to Guenet et al., nature-based solutions must be designed for longevity, accounting for long-term carbon sinks of terrestrial ecosystems.


Ongoing climate change calls for strong responses, in particular, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, even a drastic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions will not enable us to achieve the targets set by the Paris Agreement of global warming below 2 °C, a fortiori 1.5°C. This objective is still achievable if the imperative reduction in emissions is accompanied by the implementation of negative emission technologies aiming at transferring and storing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into a different form that has no impact on the climate. These technologies include nature-based solutions. In this article, we present
part of the available portfolio on land surfaces by summarizing the literature. We present their potential and their limitations and recall the importance of an integrated vision of ecosystem management, which needs to be multi-objective.

Read the full paper.