EAERE 2017
Athens, Greece
28 Jun - 01 Jul 2017
23rd Annual Conference
of the European Association
of Environmental and Resource Economists

Maria Damanaki

Speaker: Maria Damanaki, Global Managing Director for Oceans, The Nature Conservancy

Title of Lecture: Using Nature to Fight Climate Change


We cannot win the fight against climate change without nature. Nature can make up at least 25 percent of the solution in helping us adapt to and reduce the effects of climate change in order to meet the 2030 targets required by the Paris Climate Agreement. Forests, farmland, grassland and wetlands, as well as many other pieces of natural infrastructure, can reduce or store carbon emissions if properly restored and managed.

Coastal wetlands – salt marshes, seagrass meadows, and mangroves – are one of the most important natural solutions to climate change. These coastal ecosystems sequester and store carbon, referred to as “blue carbon,” from the atmosphere – at rates of up to four times more than terrestrial forests. Coastal wetlands draw in carbon as they grow and transfer much of it into the rich organic soils held by their roots, where it has the potential to remain in the soil for thousands of years. In addition, coastal wetlands protect coastlines from climate change impacts such as increasing storm surge and sea level rise, and provide a suite of other co-benefits such as spawning grounds for fisheries, water purification, and economic stimulation.

The Nature Conservancy is working in Mexico, Australia, Indonesia and the US to implement a number of demonstration projects in order to quantify the benefits and model the ability of carbon sequestration. We partner on this with World Bank, the insurance industry and other corporate partners and other NGOs and governments, with the aim of including blue carbon in the INDCs to be submitted to UNFCCC.

Last update on May 2, 2017