Rewilding vs climate breakdown

We face a climate emergency. 

We need the heating of the planet to be kept below 1.5C to avoid the catastrophic effects of climate breakdown.

It's no longer enough just to reduce carbon emissions. We also need to remove carbon from the atmosphere.

Nature is our greatest ally in locking carbon away and protecting our climate. Rewilding can help nature recover on a massive scale and shape a better future for people.

Britain's unique role 

Britain's land and seas have a unique part to play in the global effort to stop climate breakdown. 

We are potentially rich in climate breakdown-busting habitats, including: 

Peatland

Healthy peat soaks up carbon as it forms over centuries. Britain has 13% of the world’s peat - but 80% is damaged and needs restoration.

For every hectare, peatland absorbs the equivalent of around 3.6 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

Woodland

Much of our land would naturally support trees that absorb carbon - but at 13% we have some of the lowest tree cover in Europe.

For every hectare, woodland can absorb an average equivalent of around 12.8 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

Wetland

Mosaics of ponds, fenland and lakes can support so much wildlife, and store carbon. The return of beavers could bring back additional benefits.

For every hectare, wetlands can absorb an average equivalent of around 5.1 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

Marine

The seas around Britain and their hidden meadows of seagrass can draw in carbon - if we can give them real protection, not just on paper.

For every hectare, offshore environments can absorb an average equivalent of around 4 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

Investing in nature’s recovery

Investing in nature’s recovery can help us hold the heating of the planet below 1.5C.

Those who manage our land and seas should be supported for the important role they play in reducing carbon.

And this doesn’t need to be a choice between feeding ourselves and nature. We already have large areas of land that produce little food.

A world leader in climate solutions

Britain should become a world leader in natural climate solutions. 

We can show the way in responding to the climate emergency.

To enable nature’s recovery on a massive scale and help stop climate breakdown, we are calling on the UK governments to make the political and financial commitment this deserves.

Those who manage our land and seas should be supported to come together to rewild land and seascapes that deliver carbon reductions.

Leaving it to the market will take too long. We also need a mandatory ‘polluter pays’ mechanism to curb emissions and help fund natural climate solutions. 

We are calling on the UK governments to make a political and financial commitment to enable nature’s recovery on a massive scale and help stop climate breakdown.

What next?

Inspired to take action for rewilding versus climate breakdown?

We'll be developing our campaign and asking for your support in the coming weeks. In the meantime here’s how you can help.

Artwork: Ed Harrison Design

Photography: Wild Media Foundation / Scotland The Big Picture & Ben Porter / Summit to Sea