9. Nature

Download a pdf version of the full report on how the government should address the Climate Emergency here.

Restore nature to 
boost carbon storage

Aside from the intrinsic value of natural landscapes and habitats across the world that we urgently need to restore and protect, ecosystems are a significant store and potential sink for carbon. Restoring nature means taking pressure off the land through a reduction in extractive activities, including demands for fuel, feed and mining. It also means protecting our oceans. The world’s oceans absorb almost as much CO2 as all land-based forests and plants combined. If it wasn’t for marine creatures removing carbon from the atmosphere as they feed at the water’s surface and transferring it to the deep sea, the atmosphere would contain an estimated 50% greater concentration of CO2 and the world would be far hotter. We need to protect and restore space on land and at sea to revitalise wildlife and maximise carbon storage. 

Rural areas and forests

• Work closely with devolved authorities to create a climate and nature-friendly land use strategy for the UK

• Deliver a peatland restoration plan to get all degraded peatland back to favourable conservation status by 2030

• Introduce an immediate ban on burning of blanket bog

• Plant at least 700  million trees by 2030, ensuring species are suitable for local habitats and ecosystems

• Introduce a zero global deforestation footprint target for UK consumption by 2020 – extending to direct supply and indirect trade   

• Establish a legal requirement for companies to be transparent about where their commodity supply chain originates – including palm oil, soya, cocoa, beef & leather, pulp & paper and timber

• End land used for supplying industrial animal feed to the UK in order to boost carbon storage and biodiversity in global ecosystems

• Ban biofuels based on food crops for transport, including aviation

• End imports and use of woody biomass for energy, including for Bioenergy Carbon Capture and Storage, unless demonstrated to be from genuine wastes

• Require in the National Planning Policy Framework the creation and enhancement of urban green spaces so that even urban communities can play a part in carbon savings and nature restoration


• Advocate internationally for a strong UN Global Ocean Treaty capable of creating a network of ocean sanctuaries covering at least 30% of global oceans by 2030

• Deliver at least 30% fully protected marine protected areas (covering representative ecosystems) in UK domestic waters, and UK overseas territories, by 2030

• Introduce an immediate moratorium on deep sea mining through halting all further activity within UK exploration contracts, until implementation of a strong UN Global Ocean Treaty providing protection for at least 30% of the world’s oceans (covering the full range of marine habitats, biodiversity and ecosystem functions)