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14 September 2021 - Nature-based solutions for climate change - Oral evidence

Committee Science and Technology Committee (Lords)
Inquiry Nature-based solutions for climate change

Tuesday 14 September 2021

Start times: 10:00am (private) 10:00am (public)

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Nature-based solutions for climate change: UK peatlands and marine environments

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee will hold its second evidence session for its inquiry into nature-based solutions for climate change. The Committee will investigate the potential for nature-based solutions for climate change in UK peatlands and the UK’s marine environments, following on from its initial sessions on forestry and agricultural lands.

The Committee will hear from researchers about the potential to deploy nature-based solutions in marine environments and peatlands. Members will seek to understand the potential scale of the contribution to decarbonisation that nature-based solutions can make, any scientific uncertainties around the impact of nature-based solutions, the co-benefits they can provide, anticipated barriers to deployment, and any scientific considerations that could influence the carbon accountancy for nature-based solutions.

The first panel will focus on UK peatlands, while the second will focus on marine nature-based solutions. Members will consider the strength of the evidence base and current scientific and technical understanding of nature-based solutions, and where they can fit into existing UK policy. UK peatlands are relatively well-studied, with the Peatland Carbon Code regulating restoration and management projects, but questions remain about appropriate management techniques in different sites and the potential pressure on lowland peaty soils due to agriculture. Marine nature-based solutions, such as the conservation or restoration of saltmarshes, seagrasses, kelp, and sedimentary bases, are subject to more scientific uncertainties, particularly when it comes to the carbon accountancy. The Committee will seek to establish where these uncertainties arise and which ecosystems could be supported by future nature-based solutions schemes, providing climate and other co-benefits.

The Committee will be looking into whether current UK policies are sufficiently robust to support nature-based solutions. These actions include financial incentives, stakeholder engagement, and monitoring, reporting and verification frameworks. The Committee will also ask how these frameworks can incorporate evidence from existing nature-based solution pilot projects.

Meeting details

At 10:00am: Oral evidence
Inquiry Nature-based solutions for climate change
Senior Research Scientist, Ecological Sciences at James Hutton Institute
Biogeochemist at UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
Head of Environmental and Conservation Research, Sustainability Research Institute at University of East London
At 11:00am: Oral evidence
Inquiry Nature-based solutions for climate change
Emeritus Professor at School of Ocean Sciences, Bangor University
Researcher at School of Geography and Sustainable Development, University of St Andrews
Marine Biologist at Bournemouth University

Possible questions

  • What defines an appropriate “nature-based solution” in the peatland or marine context in the UK?
  • What is the potential scale at which nature-based solutions could contribute to decarbonisation in the UK?
  • What scientific uncertainties remain about the impact of implementing nature-based solutions on greenhouse gas emissions, and how can these be addressed?
  • What are the potential co-benefits that nature-based solutions could provide for people and the environment?
  • Are current policies, including financial incentives and regulatory frameworks, sufficient to support the deployment of nature-based solutions at scale?
  • What potential barriers are likely to arise to the successful implementation of nature-based solutions, and how can they be overcome?

Further information


Virtual meeting (webcast)