This report discusses the climate, community, and economic benefits of reclaiming and restoring degraded lands, focusing on abandoned mine lands, orphaned oil and gas wells, brownfields, and Superfund sites. It also highlights current information about the climate benefits of reclamation and related investments and makes policy suggestions.
These degraded lands come with a cost that falls heavily on frontline communities and wildlife. Clean air and water are compromised, and the carbon sequestration potential of these degraded lands is often rendered obsolete. Reclaiming and restoring degraded lands is crucial to improve human and ecological health and help tackle climate change. Reducing dependence on fossil fuels while enhancing carbon storage in forests, wetlands, grasslands, and other nature-based solutions is essential to effectively address the climate crisis, revitalize local economies, and remove ongoing threats to people and wildlife.
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