The linkages between biodiversity and climate change mitigation

Author: Campbell A., Chenery A., Coad L., Kapos V., Kershaw F., Scharlemann J.P.W., Dickson B.
Date Published: January 2008

The IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (4AR) provided growing evidence of the importance of natural ecosystems in the carbon cycle and in mitigation policies. In addition, it was recognised that climate mitigation polices focussed on reducing CO2 emissions can have impacts on biodiversity; both positive and negative.

It is clear from the literature reviewed that climate change mitigation policy has the potential to impact biodiversity both positively and negatively. Currently, many renewable energy projects are being planned without consideration for biodiversity impacts; as are some land-based mitigation strategies such as monoculture plantations. However, due to the important role of ecosystems in the carbon cycle, it is clear that the potential exists to develop ‘win-‘win’ mitigation policies that are beneficial for both climate change mitigation and biodiversity.