Two people walking next to a solar array
Solar Panel Array: Laura Crane and a Fuller Star employee walking through the array of solar panels at the Fuller Star plant in Lancaster, California. © Dave Lauridsen

Stories in Nevada

Climate Action

We are building broad-based support and developing solutions to reduce emissions and sequester carbon through natural systems.

There is no greater threat to the future of the planet or to the mission of The Nature Conservancy than climate change, and it influences everything we do. The commonly held objective among the scientific community is to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius to prevent the worst global outcomes for nature and people.

Anticipating the need to act swiftly and dramatically, TNC in Nevada added capacity for staff dedicated entirely to climate action. Our length and breadth of experience enables us to anticipate how temperatures and precipitation will affect Nevada’s ecosystems and species, and to take on land-protection and restoration efforts to increase the resilience of our ecosystems.

All of our work to address climate change will, of course, mean that we need more people and resources on our side. We need donations from supporters, as well as members and volunteers who will contribute time, money, and expertise to help further our cause and advocate for Nevada’s nature. Our efforts in reversing climate change at the state level require higher levels of engagement with government, as well as community outreach to all members of the community, and increased education. We have developed a plan with three strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, detailed below. 

Increased Advocacy and Engagement with Lawmakers

We’re working to build broad-based, bipartisan political support for ambitious policy action at the state and federal level. Nevada’s immense importance as a political swing state uniquely positions us to influence public policy. TNC in Nevada is actively working with legislators locally and nationally to build support for good climate policy and demonstrate why climate change solutions are important for Nevada’s economy, residents and natural systems.

We are proud of recent legislative successes in 2019 in Nevada, including the passage of a 50% renewable portfolio standards (RPS) goal by 2030, annual greenhouse gas emissions reporting requirements, and a direction to the Legislative Committee on Energy to study clean energy resources. 

Smart Renewable Energy Development 

As a critical state in the field of energy production, Nevada can serve as a role model in emphasizing low-carbon sources of energy for in-state use and in providing renewable energy (especially solar) for other states. We will build on our track record of facilitating renewable energy policies and projects; cooperate with stakeholders to influence policy in accelerating low-carbon sources of energy; and work to ensure that energy development does not come at the expense of Nevada’s ecosystems. 

Through our Mining the Sun Initiative, we are focused on making it easier to put renewable energy facilities on already developed sites across Nevada, rather than on healthy, undeveloped lands that are important for clean water, open space and wildlife.

Natural Climate Solutions 

Science tells us that nature can provide more than one-third of the emissions reductions we need between now and 2030 to keep the global temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius. For our part, we are contributing to emissions reductions by working to reverse unnatural fire trends in order to sequester more carbon in soils and vegetation, with our reforestation work in the Truckee River watershed in northern Nevada and at Torrance Ranch in southern Nevada.   

The TNC approach of non-partisan, collaborative decision making is badly needed in our current polarized political discourse. Our science-based policy recommendations focus on solutions to benefit both people and nature.

External Affairs Director, The Nature Conservancy in Nevada