So what is climate change?

Climate change is a global problem that concerns us all. It’s caused by human activities: burning fossil fuels to produce energy, industry and manufacturing, transport, intensive agriculture, deforestation and changing how we use land. These activities emit greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane, which trap heat in the atmosphere, leading to rising global temperatures.

Climate change’s consequences include intense heat, melting glaciers and rising sea levels, extreme weather events such as floods and droughts that can lead to wildfires; disrupt ecosystems; destroy biodiversity and people's lives; and increase global food insecurity.

Are there solutions to climate change?

We must drastically reduce our emissions to effectively mitigate climate change. Industrialised countries must act promptly to curtail emissions and reduce their consumption levels, their demand for energy and deforestation-driving goods. (LINK to reducing consumption page)

Unfortunately, even in the face of an unfolding climate emergency false solutions are being touted, such as allowing big polluters to keep polluting by encouraging carbon offsetting, or subsidising burning biomass for energy. We must do more than move beyond fossil fuels or encouraging false green alternatives.

Nature already has solutions to address climate change

Forests play a key role in absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere, removing around one third of global emissions. Wetlands and oceans also remove great amounts of CO2. As well as being our planet’s green lungs, forests are natural air-conditioners, cooling the air through shade and releasing water vapour.

Deforestation, on the other hand, not only releases CO2 back into the atmosphere but harms soil and drainage – increasing floods and drying out freshwater storage. Protecting and restoring these ecosystems are vital for present and future generations’ survival.

There is no climate without forests and there are no forests without people

Preserving biodiversity is often confused with the kind of strict conservation that keeps people away from their land. This assumption is wrong. To protect and restore forests or other ecosystems, first and foremost, we need to support and work with people. Indigenous Peoples, forest communities, small producers, progressive forest practitioners and foresters hold valuable knowledge in restoring and managing forests, knowledge that was passed on from generations. Diverse forests are more resilient to the climate change effects or diseases, and can be productive and economically viable if treated with respect for nature and people.

What is Fern working on?

Fern works to make forests healthier and more resilient. Forests are an essential part of the solution to mitigating climate change, but only if we allow them to be more diverse and resilient and, in turn, withstand the effects of climate change. We also work to protect forest people’s rights and livelihoods because they are the best Guardians of the Forests.

Our focus is therefore to ensure EU policies not only do no harm to forests and forest peoples, but also help protect and restore global forests, respect peoples’ rights and return the stewardship of forests to the communities.

Our Campaign Issues related to climate change & biodiversity

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