In an article for the Australian Academy of Sciences, Professor Ary Hoffman writes: “even small changes in average temperatures can have a significant effect upon ecosystems. … The interconnected nature of ecosystems means that the loss of species [because of climate change] can have knock-on effects upon a range of ecosystem functions.”
Every day, scientists are learning more and more about how climate change accelerates biodiversity loss, and about how biodiversity loss worsens climate change. Their work has made it clear that we need to solve both crises together.
For example, the United Nations observes that conserving or restoring habitats can remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, while adopting climate-smart ways of farming can significantly reduce greenhouse gas pollution. This shows us how caring for the planet’s biodiversity is a great way to care for the planet’s climate.
Recognizing that we have to address both crises together also allows us to get at an even deeper truth: that climate change and biodiversity loss are not separate problems, but actually two consequences of one deeper problem. The problem is our over-extractive economy that prioritizes growth-at-any-cost over the common good of all creatures. Even though the climate and biodiversity crises are existential threats to a healthy planet, we must also address their root cause. Because if we don’t, then even if we do manage to solve our planet’s twin crises, our over-extractive economy will simply keep creating new ones into the future.