Climate Change and Nature


On climate and nature

1. Healthy ecosystems can provide 37 per cent of the mitigation needed to limit global

temperature rise. Damaged ecosystems release carbon instead of storing it.

2. Approximately 25 per cent of the globe’s greenhouse gas emissions come from

land clearing, crop production and fertilization, with animal-based food contributing

75 per cent of that.

3. With global warming of 1.5°C to 2°C , the majority of terrestrial species ranges are

projected to shrink dramatically. Changes in ranges can adversely affect species

conservation, greatly increase local species turnover and substantially increase the

risk of global extinctions.

4. Climate change has been linked to greater risks from zoonotic diseases. For some

contagions, increases in temperatures or rainfall can dramatically affect the life

cycles of either the pathogen or its vector – the intermediate species that spreads the

disease from the original host to humans.

5. Coral reefs are particularly vulnerable to climate change and are projected to

decline to 10-30 per cent of former cover at 1.5°C warming and to less than 1 per cent

of former cover at 2°C warming.

6. More than 80 per cent of the human diet is provided by plants. Only three cereal

crops – rice, maize and wheat – provide 60 per cent of energy intake.

7. Fish provide 20 per cent of animal protein to about 3 billion people.

8. Roughly 500 million people live in areas that experience desertification. Drylands

and areas undergoing desertification are more vulnerable to climate change and

extreme events including droughts, heatwaves and dust storms.

9. Up to 80 per cent of people living in rural areas in developing countries rely on

traditional plant-‐based medicines for basic health care.

10. Less than 1 per cent of total land is used for mining, but the industry has

significantly negative impacts on biodiversity, emissions, water quality and human


11. The $345 billion provided as global subsidies for fossil fuels results in $5 trillion in

overall costs, including in terms of the deterioration of nature.

Sources: UNFCCC (1), UN (1, 6, 7, 9), UNEP and others (4), IPBES (2, 3, 5, 10, 11), IPCC (8)

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