We are building broad-based support and developing solutions to reduce emissions and help make our ecosystems and communities more resilient.
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 1.5 degrees Celsius to prevent the worst global outcomes for nature and people.
We are committed to meeting this threat head on by implementing solutions that will enable our ecosystems and communities to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Mitigation means that we reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming. Adaptation means that we implement solutions that will make our ecosystems and communities more resilient to the adverse effects of climate change.
Climate Action in Nevada
Smart from the Start Renewable Energy Planning
As more states adopt clean energy goals, there will be greater demand for renewable energy. Nevada sits at a crossroads among the Western states and it is expected that energy infrastructure, both transmission and generation, will grow significantly. If deployed improperly, this renewable build-out could have devastating impacts to Nevada’s lands, waters, and wildlife.
TNC scientists have modeled future energy scenarios and have determined that with careful planning, we can minimize impacts of energy development to Nevada’s natural and working lands. One way to accomplish this is to develop renewable energy on lands that have previously hosted a prior economic use like mine lands, brownfields, and landfills. TNC’s Mining the Sun Initiative seeks to make it easier to site renewable energy on these land types and published a map tool that demonstrates the renewable energy potential on mine lands and brownfields in Nevada.
Natural Climate Solutions
Healthy, natural ecosystems can capture and store carbon from the atmosphere. Recent science led by TNC shows that natural climate solutions (NCS)—based on the conservation, restoration and management of forests, grasslands, and wetlands—can deliver up to a third of the emission reductions needed by 2030. In Nevada, our forests, rangelands, deserts, and sagebrush provide excellent opportunities for natural climate solutions and TNC scientists are implementing these solutions.
In the Truckee River watershed, TNC is analyzing where stand-replacing wildfire is likely to occur and deploying forest fuel reduction treatments to reduce the threat. A healthy forest sequesters more carbon and is more resilient to catastrophic wildfires that release carbon into the atmosphere. In the Sagebrush Sea, we are working to combat invasive grasses that fuel wildfire with innovative range management and native plant restoration.
To understand how to best protect nature from the effects of climate change, we must first understand where adequate habitats and migration corridors can be maintained. The Nature Conservancy recently completed a 10-year mapping of resilient, connected landscapes in the United States that identified unique topographies, geologies and other characteristics that make places resilient to climate change. Using this data, we identified several climate adaptation passages in Nevada. These networks of lands and waters in our state are likely to provide refuge for plants and wildlife from drought and heat. To facilitate climate adaptation on the ground, TNC is enhancing and restoring habitat along the Amargosa River. At the 7J Ranch along the Amargosa River, we have planted 30,000 willow trees, providing vital habitat to birds and wildlife—a refuge from the increasing stress of heat and drought.
Climate action at TNC also means supporting and implementing policies that will bring the system-level solutions we need. We seek to help implement climate solutions that are equitable and just for all people in Nevada. 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.