Synergies and trade-offs between nature conservation and climate policy: Insights from the ‘‘Natural Capital Germany – TEEB DE” study
Ecosystem-based approaches provide opportunities for climate policy to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, to expand the adaptive capacities and resilience of land systems to a changing climate, and to simultaneously protect biodiversity and ecosystems services (ESS). However, knowledge about the economic benefits and cost-efficiency of ecosystem-based approaches is still limited. The objective of this paper is to enhance understanding of synergies and trade-offs between climate policy related measures and nature conservation and how ecosystem-based approaches can contribute to both climate as well as biodiversity and ESS conservation goals, through overall economic analyses to inform balanced decision making. The paper builds upon the current state of knowledge as brought together by contributors to the German national TEEB-study “Natural Capital and Climate Policy – Synergies and Conflicts”. We present options and lessons learned from major land-use sectors of high relevance for ecosystem-based approaches to climate change, namely agriculture, peatlands, forests, wetlands and coastal and marine ecosystems. Based on these assessments, we argue that successful implementation of an ecosystem-based climate policy requires effective coordination and coherence between sectors and their respective policies, for example agriculture, forestry and energy. We identify specific targets for an ecosystem-based climate policy and options for achieving this coherent implementation.