11 facts you need to know
We’re already seeing the effects of human-caused climate change — but nature can help.
We’re already seeing the effects of climate change, but thankfully, we’re equipped with the most effective tool to mitigate and adapt to it: nature. Protecting nature today means a better planet for future generations. Share these facts about climate change and help make a difference:
- © Gong Hangxu
408 parts per million.
The concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in our atmosphere, as of 2018, is the highest it has been in 3 million years.
- © Elfstrom
2016 was the warmest year on record.
NASA and NOAA data show that global averages in 2016 were 1.78 degrees F (0.99 degrees C) warmer than the mid-20th century average. Seventeen of the 18 warmest years have occurred since 2000.
- © shaunl
11% of emissions.
Eleven percent of all global greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans are caused by deforestation — comparable to the emissions from all of the cars and trucks on the planet.
- © Johnny Lye
The Amazon is a carbon-storing powerhouse.
In the Amazon, 1% of tree species sequester 50% of the region’s carbon.
- © Fred Froese
800 million people.
Eleven percent of the world’s population is currently vulnerable to climate change impacts such as droughts, floods, heat waves, extreme weather events and sea-level rise.
Fight climate change, stand up for nature
- © Lucas Bustamante
Coastal ‘blue carbon’ ecosystems are critical.
Just 0.7% of the world’s forests are coastal mangroves, yet they store up to 10 times as much carbon per hectare as tropical forests.
- © Arun Roisri
Nearly 1 million hectares lost.
An area of coastal ecosystems larger than New York City is destroyed every year, removing an important buffer from extreme weather for coastal communities and releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
- © Mayumi Terao
Save nature. It’s cheaper.
Conserving ecosystems is often more cost-effective than human-made interventions. In the Maldives, building a sea wall for coastal protection cost about US$ 2.2 billion. Even after 10 years of maintenance costs, it is still four times cheaper to preserve the natural reef.
- © CI/Emmeline Johansen
Nature is an untapped solution.
Tropical forests are incredibly effective at storing carbon — providing at least 30% of action needed to prevent the worst climate change scenarios. Yet nature-based solutions only receive only 2% of all climate funding.
- © Damien Roué/Flickr Creative Commons
195 nations on board.
195 countries signed the 2015 Paris Agreement, agreeing to limit global warming and adapt to climate change, partly by protecting nature.
- © NASA
Price tag: US$ 140 billion per year.
This is what it would take to make the changes humanity needs to adapt to a warming world. It may sound like a lot, but it’s less than 0.1% of global GDP.
- © CI/Peter Stonier
Fight climate change, naturally.
Natural climate solutions like ending deforestation and restoring degraded forests could, at the global level, create 80 million jobs, bring 1 billion people out of poverty and add US$ 2.3 trillion in productive growth.
Calculate your footprint
The choices we make have an impact on the climate. Now, with Conservation International’s new carbon calculator, you can assess your household’s annual carbon footprint — you can also calculate the impact of a single event or trip. Then, with a couple of clicks, you can offset your footprint by contributing to Conservation International's carbon projects in Kenya, Peru and Madagascar.
Nature-based solutions help communities reduce carbon emissions and adapt to climate change, strengthening their resilience and reducing their vulnerability to impacts like storms and droughts. Conservation International works around the world to help countries value and account for the importance of nature — especially ecosystems and the benefits they provide to people.
“Natural capital” is the source of the many benefits that nature provides, including fresh water, flood control and forest products. Knowing where the most essential natural capital lies is the first step in helping a country incorporate nature’s value into its development plans.
The world’s greatest rainforest and one of its most vital life-support systems is under threat. Conservation International is working to achieve zero-net deforestation in Amazonia by 2020 to protect essential resources, mitigate climate change and increase prosperity for people.
Conservation International counseled more than 20 countries to help forge the Paris Agreement, a first-of-its-kind climate pact that recognizes the key role nature must play in any climate change solution.
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