This is an initiative of George Monbiot, writer, journalist and environmental campaigner, together with Charlie Latimer, Pat Stirling and Al Boardman – all passionate about the environment and the great outdoors.
By supporting the efforts of others - including those listed as allies, the initiative wants to help bring together two issues that have mostly been considered in isolation: climate breakdown and ecological breakdown. Natural Climate Solutions are a bridge between the two.
Other Allies of the initiative alongside EOCA, listed as “wonderful organsations working hard to highlight and implement Natural Climate Solutions” include the UN environment programme, Friends of the Earth, Leonardo Di Caprio Foundation, Wilderness Society, the Wildlife Conservation Society, Worldwide Fund for Nature and Sierra Club.
When living systems – like forests, peat bogs, saltmarshes and the seabed – are allowed to recover, they draw down carbon from the atmosphere, reducing the chances of climate catastrophe.
Their restoration will also minimise extinction and ecological collapse, and create a richer world of wonders for us to enjoy and explore.
The initiative is calling on governments, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD), UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and other bodies to give Natural Climate Solutions the attention they deserve.
With this in mind, an open letter has been sent to the UNCBD, UNFCCC, governments and NGOs and signed by significant figures.
Published in the Guardian on April 3 2019
The world faces two existential crises, developing with terrifying speed: climate breakdown and ecological breakdown. Neither is being addressed with the urgency needed to prevent our life-support systems from spiralling into collapse.
We are writing to champion a thrilling but neglected approach to averting climate chaos while defending the living world: Natural Climate Solutions. This means drawing carbon dioxide out of the air by protecting and restoring ecosystems.
By defending, restoring and re-establishing forests, peatlands, mangroves, salt marshes, natural seabeds and other crucial ecosystems, very large amounts of carbon can be removed from the air and stored. At the same time, the protection and restoration of these ecosystems can help to minimise a sixth great extinction, while enhancing local people’s resilience against climate disaster. Defending the living world and defending the climate are, in many cases, one and the same.
This potential has so far been largely overlooked. We call on governments to support Natural Climate Solutions with an urgent programme of research, funding and political commitment. It is essential that they work with the guidance and free, prior and informed consent of indigenous people and other local communities.
This approach should not be used as a substitute for the rapid and comprehensive decarbonisation of industrial economies. A committed and well-funded programme to address all the causes of climate chaos, including Natural Climate Solutions, could help us hold the heating of the planet below 1.5C. We ask that they are deployed with the urgency these crises demand.
Greta Thunberg, activist
Margaret Atwood, author
Michael Mann, Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science
Naomi Klein, author and campaigner
Mohamed Nasheed, former president, Republic of Maldives
Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury
Dia Mirza, actor, producer and UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador
Brian Eno, musician and artist
Philip Pullman, author
Bill McKibben, author and campaigner
Simon Lewis, Professor of Global Change Science
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, presenter and author
Charlotte Wheeler, Forest Restoration Scientist
David Suzuki, scientist and author
Anohni, musician and artist
Asha de Vos, marine biologist
Yeb Saño, activist
Bittu Sahgal, Founder, Sanctuary Nature Foundation
John Sauven, Executive Director, Greenpeace UK
Craig Bennett, CEO, Friends of the Earth
Ruth Davis, Deputy Director of Global Programmes at RSPB
Rebecca Wrigley, Chief Executive, Rewilding Britain
George Monbiot, journalist
To find out more, please click HERE