15 Dec 2020, 14:14
Benjamin Wehrmann

Renaturation and 'nature-based solutions' must be part of EU Green Deal – German env min

Clean Energy Wire

The renaturation and conservation of natural ecosystems in Europe must become a key component of the EU Green Deal to fully exploit the advantages a healthy environment can bring for climate action, German environment minister Svenja Schulze has said. "Nature is our most important partner. It creates solutions in the fight against the climate crisis and can help us adapt to climate change," Schulze said at an event on nature-based solutions and the Green Deal the German EU Council Presidency held together with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). The minister said greening building facades and roofs in cities would be among the cost-efficient and quickly implementable measures that could be taken to preserve biodiversity and help mitigate the effects of a warming climate. Other nature-based solutions that contribute to the Green Deal's goals would be the renaturation of moorlands, forests and unsealed soils as well as the expansion of protected areas and the reduction of wood harvesting. "Each of these measures simultaneously affects many other sustainability targets. Without them, the challenges that lie ahead will only become more pressing," she added.

The inclusion of natural "carbon sinks," such as moorlands or forests, in the EU's tightened 2030 climate target has irked environmental groups, which fear that governments could use it for "accounting tricks" to improve their emissions balance. However, a better integration of natural CO2 absorption in emissions reduction plans has also been called a prerequisite for achieving the EU's 2050 goal of a climate-neutral economy

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