How can Nature-based Solutions (NbS) contribute to climate resilience

Published in 2017

Excerpts from: EKLIPSE report: An impact evaluation framework to support planning and evaluation of nature-based solutions projects

(p.9-10 of the report)

NBS actions for climate resilience can be aimed at macro‐scale mitigation, by enhancing carbon storage and sequestration in vegetation or soil and thus reducing global greenhouse gas concentrations, or at meso and microscale adaptation through planting vegetation to improve the local or regional micro‐climate through cooling, shading and shelter. Many actions can achieve both of these impacts, including: 

Potential actions for global climate mitigation and expected impacts

Potential actions

Expected impacts

  • Increasing the area of (or avoiding the loss of) green space, particularly wetlands and tree cover, for both direct and indirect carbon storage.
  • Carbon sequestration in vegetation and soil
    (Davies et al., 2011; Pataki et al., 2006).
  • Reducing the temperature at meso or microscales, thus decreasing the energy demand for cooling, especially in warmer climates, and reducing associated carbon emissions
    (Akbari, 2002).
  • Increased flood regulation (meso or microscale impact) (Pregnolato et al., 2016). 
  • Maximizing the net sequestration of carbon through species selection and management practices i.e. improving mitigation as well as choosing species that are adapted to future conditions.
  • Climate change mitigation and carbon storage by vegetation, including carbon stored in soil 
    (Davies et al., 2011; Pataki et al., 2006)
  • Improved air quality (mesoscale impact) (Baró et al., 2014). 

Potential climate adaptation actions at the meso and microscale and expected impacts 

Potential actions 

Expected impacts

  • Increasing the area of (or avoiding the loss of) vegetation and particularly tree cover.
  • Increasing green walls and roofs to cool down the city through outdoor energy management using shading and the latent heat of evapotranspiration of plants and  soils.
  •  Maximize cooling effect by evapotranspiration and shading, thus reducing local temperatures and ameliorating heat island effects and heat stress
    (Alexandri and Jones, 2008; Fioretti et al., 2010; Kazmierczak, 2012).
  • Securing long‐term carbon storage in vegetation and soil and avoid carbon emissions from land‐use changes (global impact).
  •  Increased energy savings at building and street level through the insulating effect of plants
    (Alexandri and Jones, 2008; Zinzi and Agnoli, 2011).
  •  Reducing wind speed and thus wind chill in cold climates. 

Examples of indicators for assessing the impact of the above mentioned actions are listed on p.10-11 of the report


Access the full report online at:

(Raymond, C.M., Berry, P., Breil, M., Nita, M.R., Kabisch, N., de Bel, M., Enzi, V., Frantzeskaki, N., Geneletti, D., Cardinaletti, M., Lovinger, L., Basnou, C., Monteiro, A., Robrecht, H., Sgrigna, G., Munari, L. and Calfapietra, C. (2017) An Impact Evaluation Framework to Support Planning and Evaluation of Nature-based Solutions Projects. Report prepared by the EKLIPSE Expert Working Group on Nature-based Solutions to Promote Climate Resilience in Urban Areas. Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Wallingford, United Kingdom)