Climate change and land
Land and climate interact with each other
The way we use land drives climate change and climate change adds stress to land systems and so worsens existing risks to people and nature.
The food system is contributing around a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions.
With better land management, we can help tackle climate change and create a secure future for people and nature.
Human demands on land are significant and growing
Land systems drive climate change through deforestation and the conversion of ecosystems, land degradation, and the production and consumption of food.
Business as usual is not an option
Pressures on land will only increase unless we change how we use it. Delaying action will lead to increased global warming and associated climate impacts.
Land can both a source of carbon emissions and a sink for carbon removal
So how we manage land has a direct impact on our ability to combat climate change.
Forests, food and land: a key to tackling climate change
We can take pressure off the land by chosing different ways of farming and by eating more plant-based diets and reducing food waste and loss.
Nature-based climate solutions can help
Countries can reduce greenhouse gas emissions with nature-based climate solutions such as halting deforestation and improving agriculture practices.
Land is only part of the story
While better use of land is important to combat climate change, action on farming and forests is not an excuse for inaction on energy. We must sharply reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and scale up the use of renewable energy, globally achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.
What WWF is doing
- We’re challenging businesses, governments and organizations around the world to commit to actions that will reduce land-based emissions.
- We're working to ensure that governments, businesses and the public can take actions informed by the best scientific information. Learn more about our work here.
While the basic science of climate change is settled, our scientific understanding of how climate is connected to food, agriculture, forests and land is anything but.
As we respond to the global health and climate crises, we must ensure we rebuild more resilient, fair societies and create the #WorldWeWant.