Nature's Solution to Climate Change

Author:Ralph Chami - Thomas Cosimano - Connel Fullenkamp - and Sena Oztosun
Position:RALPH CHAMI is an assistant director and SENA OZTOSUN is a research analyst in the IMF's Institute for Capacity Development, THOMAS COSIMANO is professor emeritus at the University of Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business, and CONNEL FULLENKAMP is professor of the practice of economics and director at Duke University's Economics Center for ...
When it comes to saving the planet, one
whale is worth thousa nds of trees.
Scientic research now indicates more
clearly than ever t hat our carbon footprint—the
release of carbon dioxide (CO
) into the atmo sphere,
where it contributes to global warming th rough the
so-called greenhouse eect—now threatens our
ecosystems and our way of life. But eor ts to mitigate
climate change fa ce two signicant challeng es. e
rst is to nd eective ways to reduce the amount
of CO2 in the atmosphere or its impact on average
global temperature. e second is to ra ise sucient
funds to put these technologies into pract ice.
Many proposed solutions to global warming ,
such as capturing c arbon directly from the a ir
and burying it deep in t he earth, are complex,
untested, and expensive. W hat if there were a
low-tech solution to this problem that not only was
eective and economica l, but also had a successful
funding model?
An example of such an opport unity comes from
a surprisingly simple and essentially “no-tech”
strategy to capture more carbon from the atmo-
sphere: increa se global wha le populations. Mar ine
biologists have recently discovered that whales—
especially the g reat whales—play a signica nt role
in capturing ca rbon from the atmosphere (Roman
and others 2014). And international organizations
have implemented programs such as Reducing
Emissions from Degra dation and Deforestat ion
34 FINANCE & DEVELOPMENT | December 2019
A strategy to protect whales can limit greenhouse gases and global warming
Ralph Chami, Thomas Cosimano, Connel Fullenkamp, and Sena Oztosun
Nature’s Solution

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