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The more we delay reduction in CO2 emissions, the more we will need carbon removals after 2050 to return warming to 1.5°C. Through photosynthesis and respiration, terrestrial ecosystems currently remove more carbon than they emit, leading to a net sink at the global scale. However, in some regions, recent climate change has already shifted ecosystems to being net emitters of carbon.
The world needs to rapidly reduce emissions from all sectors to avoid large temperature increases that could undermine the ability of natural ecosystems to absorb more carbon than they release, thus reinforcing climate change. Preventing agricultural expansion to carbon-rich natural ecosystems and ecosystem restoration can be critical levers for removing carbon from the atmosphere.
Aline Mosnier, Scientific Director, FABLE Consortium, builds the case to protect and restore natural ecosystems for climate mitigation.