Towards the implementation of nature-based solutions for climate mitigation

PhD Project

Emerging research points to large greenhouse gas mitigation opportunities through the enhancement of ecosystems and landscapes, also known as natural climate solutions. Despite large quantifications of the potential biophysical and carbon benefits of these activities, few estimates capture the socio-economic bounds and the uptake of natural climate solutions remains slow. There is limited assessment of the feasibility of NCS activities, in particular at the country-level and lower. An understanding of how, if, and where these potentials can actually be met and with what trade-offs and co-benefits remains underrepresented.

Furthermore, the enabling conditions, or contextual factors, needed for successful implementation are underrepresented in the global narratives. Much of the literature on the topic is siloed and focuses on specific cases, communities, or regions. There is a need to systematically incorporate information on these factors into studies on the feasibility of implementation at scale and integrated assessment modelling processes.

As such, this project seeks to contribute to an improved understanding of the natural climate solutions (NCS) that can be realized in different settings given diverse societal dimensions, while considering interactions with other technical mitigation options and policy objectives. By drawing on concepts from participatory modelling, systems thinking, and science & technology studies, the project explores and applies approaches to map, analyze, and integrate knowledge on top-down, high-level estimates (and uncertainties) of the mitigation potential of natural climate solutions (NCS) with the bottom-up realities and dynamics of implementation on-the-ground.

The project is funded by an Elsa-Neumann-Scholarship from the state of Berlin.


Schulte, I., et al. What contextual factors influence the implementation of natural climate solutions? A systematic map and review of the evidence (in preparation)​ ​

Schulte, I., et al. Linking societal factors and large-scale models to advance transition pathways for nature-based solutions (in preparation)​

ClimateLandInfrastructure & Energy