World Business Council for Sustainable Development

Business tackling climate change on the ground

The relationship between land use and climate change is highlighted in corporate case studies included in a new report, entitled 'Tackling climate change on the ground', released today by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (

'Land use is an extremely important element of the climate change challenge and should be effectively addressed in the international climate change negotiations,' says Björn Stigson, president of the WBCSD. 'Business is contributing solutions to address these challenges.'

Land-use activities are a major source and sink of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Curbing deforestation and applying sustainable land-use management practices can reduce GHG emissions, while planting trees and managing forests can help remove GHGs (mainly CO2) from the atmosphere by sequestering them in plants and vegetation.

'This collection of case studies is a great start for business readers and the general public to learn from the real examples that can be leveraged in different parts of the world,' says Juan Marco Alvarez, director of the Economy and Environmental Governance Group at the International Union for Conservation of Nature. 'They show that business can embark upon the challenge of managing sustainable land use, by working with governments, civil society and small farmers.'

Examples of cases in the report include: developing new crop varieties that have less environmental impacts and can adapt to climate change, or products that help reduce emissions; using techniques like direct seeding and drip irrigation to reduce water use in dry regions, or keeping soils healthy so they store more carbon; and developing models and tools to find practical ways to reduce impact and prepare for the future.

The various cases demonstrate that there is no single, globally applicable sustainable management solution for land use. Business is only part of the solution and must work with governments, civil society and others to develop a range of land-use approaches that tackle climate change.

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