Stories in California

From the Ground Up

The role of California’s natural and working lands in curbing climate change

California Forest. California has set a prime example  for increasing conservation funding through a cap and trade program that allows for forest offsets.
Northern CA Redwood Forest California Forest. California has set a prime example for increasing conservation funding through a cap and trade program that allows for forest offsets. © Patrick McDonald/TNC Photo Contest 2018

Climate action is happening right now—it’s coming from the ground up. Our science has shown us that nature-based climate strategies, that is changes in land management, conservation and restoration, are essential to address  climate change, as they can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and sequester carbon to slow future warming and defend us from the climate impacts already happening.

Without clear intervention, California’s natural and working lands risk becoming an increasing net source of emissions thereby exacerbating climate change and its impacts instead of slowing it. But this report shows policymakers, agencies, counties, and districts how and where we can act now with policies already in place.

Climate Solutions Climate action is happening right now--it’s coming from the ground up.

Mapping California's Nature-based Climate Strategies 

For the first time, California has the ability to map its climate opportunities. TNC’s Policy Pathways report outlines specific science and policy actions that center nature-based climate solutions in a spatially explicit manner so that we can address climate change, while building more resilient communities throughout the state.

It paints a localized picture of nature-based climate opportunities across the state and empowers decision-makers with data and policy recommendations to make decisions on what strategies would benefit their communities as well as our climate.

See how nature-based climate solutions can work.

Making Concrete Green Pictured: A virtual rendering of a redevelopment plan to add more nature into Pershing Square in Los Angeles, as well as conceptual ideas for green walls, roofs, and balconies on the surrounding buildings.

Green Cities of the Future

By 2050, two of every three people on Earth will live in a city. Rather than embracing nature, however, we’ve built our cities and towns to work against it. A shift to natural solutions can help cities address myriad challenges.

Nature Can Make Our Infrastructure More Resilient 

With 90 percent of large cities located near coasts, billions of people and billions of dollars of infrastructure are directly at risk from sea-level rise. California could lose more than half of its coastal habitat to sea level rise.

Hope for the Coast 3/4 of California’s beaches are at risk from sea level rise.

But there’s hope. Our Hope for the Coast campaign provides a roadmap for California on how to take action to ensure our beaches, marshes, and tidepools will live on, if we act now.

Natural Climate Solutions are the biggest immediate opportunity to protect our planet. We can’t get to below 2 degrees Celsius without nature. We have the power to limit the temperature increases that cause climate change if we work together and make the decision to do so.

TNC’s response to Gov. Newsom’s Climate Change Executive Order

September 23, 2020 - The Nature Conservancy applauds Governor Newsom’s announcement today of a climate forward Executive Order that places California on the right course to drastically reduce the state’s reliance on climate-change causing fossil fuels in the transportation sector.

It is also critical that the Governor take action and prioritize investment in nature based solutions to protect people and nature in the face of climate change. Nature based solutions including forest and agricultural management, integrated land use planning, the protection of open space and wetland restoration are just a few proven strategies that will also be key in our fight against climate change.

California’s continued record-breaking wildfires and on-going drought are just a few clear signals that we must act quickly to protect our climate and livelihoods with a comprehensive climate strategy that includes nature based solutions.