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Sustainable use of land is important for limiting climate change, says new IPCC special report

8 August 2019

“Climate Change and Land” is the title of the latest report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) today (8 August 2019). It is a comprehensive assessment of the complex land-climate system and examines “climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems” in detail.

The report states that sustainable land management can contribute to keeping warming to well below 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels. However, land management alone is not the only solution. Greenhouse gases from all sectors also need to be reduced drastically if targets set by the Paris Agreement are going to be achieved.

Prof Daniela Schmidt, Professor in Palaeobiology at the University of Bristol comments on the report:

“This assessment by the IPCC is a big step from pointing out the problem of climate change to suggesting adaption options and solutions. The report highlights how we can reduce climate change, for example, by reducing food waste which is 8-10 % of greenhouse gas emissions. Changing how we use the land, importantly, does not just reduce climate change but also land degradation, improves biodiversity and restores natural ecosystems.”

This report is the second (out of three) special reports that the IPCC has planned during the current Sixth Assessment report cycle. The Society will host an event on 18 November 2019 to discuss all of the current special reports and the lessons learned.

The Summary for Policy Makers together with the full technical report are available online. You can read a detailed summary of the background of the report and its headline statements on theWeather Club.