Natural Climate Solutions Could Cancel Out a Fifth of U.S. Emissions, Study Finds

A new study assesses the potential of U.S. forests, farms and other landscapes to store carbon and help offset a large part of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. Credit: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images Conserving and restoring American forest, farm and natural lands could cut a substantial chunk of the country’s emissions, helping meet greenhouse gas reduction goals without relying on undeveloped technologies, a new report finds. A team of 38 researchers spent more than two years looking at "natural climate solutions"—a range of strategies that includes planting trees in cities , preventing the conversion of natural grassland to farmland and shifting to fertilizers that produce less greenhouse gas emissions. In a study published Wednesday in Science Advances , they report that these solutions, if deployed across agricultural lands, forests, grasslands and wetlands, could mitigate 21 percent of the country’s net annual greenhouse gas emissions, getting the U.S. closer to meetings its goals under the Paris climate agreement . "It’s the same as if every car and truck in the country stopped polluting the climate," said Joseph Fargione, the study’s lead author and, the science director for The Nature Conservancy North America region. "There’s much bigger potential than most […]

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