Mitigation

Climate change mitigation refers to reducing greenhouse emissions and concentrations in order to limit the severity of future climate change. It targets the root causes of climate change and attempts to eliminate harmful activities. The mitigation role of green infrastructure is limited but important, and includes:

  • Carbon storage and sequestration – storing carbon in soils and vegetation. Particular plant species can absorb and store carbon, for example wood trees such as hawthorn. It has been demonstrated that 0.4 hectares (1 acre) of trees can generate enough oxygen each day for 18 people and a single tree stores on average 13 pounds of carbon annually. (Coder, 1996)
  • Fossil fuel substitution – Sustainably sourced energy is a key component in the governments strategy for reducing greenhouse gases. Replacing fossil fuels with sustainably managed biofuels reduces energy’s contribution to climate change and has a positive mitigating effect
  • Material substitution – replacing materials such as concrete and steel (which involve high fossil fuel consumption in their production) with sustainably managed wood (and other natural materials)
  • Food production – reducing food miles and altering agricultural practices (such as organic farming) to reduce carbon emissions
  • Reducing the need to travel by car – providing local recreation areas and green travel routes to encourage walking and cycling.