The two most urgent and interlinked environmental challenges humanity faces are climate change and biodiversity loss. We are entering a pivotal decade for both the international biodiversity and climate change agendas with the sharpening of ambitious strategies and targets by the Convention on Biological Diversity and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Within their respective Conventions, the biodiversity and climate interlinked challenges have largely been addressed separately. There is evidence that conservation actions that halt, slow or reverse biodiversity loss can simultaneously slow anthropogenic mediated climate change significantly. This review highlights conservation actions which have the largest potential for mitigation of climate change. We note that conservation actions have mainly synergistic benefits and few antagonistic trade-offs with climate change mitigation. Specifically, we identify direct co-benefits in 14 out of the 21 action targets of the draft post-2020 global biodiversity framework of the Convention on Biological Diversity, notwithstanding the many indirect links that can also support both biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation. These relationships are context and scale-dependent; therefore, we showcase examples of local biodiversity conservation actions that can be incentivized, guided and prioritized by global objectives and targets. The close interlinkages between biodiversity, climate change mitigation, other nature’s contributions to people and good quality of life are seldom as integrated as they should be in management and policy. This review aims to re-emphasize the vital relationships between biodiversity conservation actions and climate change mitigation in a timely manner, in support to major Conferences of Parties that are about to negotiate strategic frameworks and international goals for the decades to come.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2846-2874
Number of pages29
JournalGlobal Change Biology
Early online date27 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022
Event IPBES-IPCC co-sponsored workshop on Biodiversity and Climate Change - Online , London, United Kingdom
Duration: 14 Dec 202017 Dec 2020

Bibliographical note


This paper is based on the work and findings from the IPBES-IPCC co-sponsored workshop on Biodiversity and Climate Change that was held in December 2020. The views expressed here, however, represent the individual views of the authors. We are grateful to the scientific steering committee of the IPBES-IPCC workshop, review editors, the IPBES and IPCC Secretariat and Technical Support Units. We are especially grateful to Anne Larigauderie for her vision and continued support on all fronts, Yuka Estrada for having drawn figure 1 and table 2 of the paper, and Sally Archibald, David Cooper, Debora Ley, Valérie Masson-Delmotte and Unai Pascual for their critical advice on previous versions of the manuscript.

YJS acknowledges support from the Biodiversa and Belmont Forum project SOMBEE (BiodivScen ERA-Net COFUND programme, ANR contract n°ANR-18-EBI4-0003-01), and the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 869300 (FutureMARES). GI was supported by the project #0148-2019-0007 of the Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences. ADR acknowledges the support of REVOcean during this work. SH was supported by the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature Project No. 14200103, the Environment Research and Technology Development Fund (S-15) of the Ministry of the Environment, Japan, and CRRP2018-03MY-Hashimoto by the Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research.

Data Availability Statement

Data Availability
The data that supports the findings of this study are available in the supplementary material of this article.

Supporting Information
Additional supporting information may be found in the online version of the article at the publisher’s website.


  • biodiversity conservation
  • climate change mitigation
  • Convention on Biological Diversity
  • restoration
  • nature-based solutions
  • carbon sequestration


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