Measuring an old-growth fir in northern New Hampshire.
CARBON WAREHOUSE Forests are a natural climate solution. © © Eric Aldrich/TNC

Climate Change Stories

Natural Climate Solutions Accelerator Grant

The U.S. Natural Climate Solutions Accelerator program provides funding ($50,000-$250,000) to advance innovative approaches for unlocking the power of nature to help solve climate change, while providing healthier air, water, and lands for people. The program’s steering committee approved the first five grants in the fall of 2018 and plans to complete two additional rounds of awards during the next 12 months.

The Accelerator program is focused on supporting projects designed to demonstrate proof-of-concept for approaches with potential for large-scale implementation of natural climate solutions in the United States and as models for similar approaches in other countries. 

In 2018 a new TNC-led study found that Natural Climate Solutions—which include reforestation, cover crops, coastal restoration, and other management practices that can absorb greenhouse gasses-- can represent a full third of the solution needed to limit the increase in global temperatures to 1.5 Celsius (the critical warming limit that avoids catastrophic damage identified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2018).  

While significant investments are now being made in renewable energy and other technologies to decarbonize the energy sector, the Accelerator program seeks to correspondingly increase investment in the oldest, and one of the most cost-effective carbon capture technologies there is—nature.  Over time, the Accelerator strives to support and develop a portfolio of proven approaches and mechanisms to deploying natural solutions that landowners, state and federal governments, corporations, and other climate leaders can efficiently implement on a broad scale.

What's New About the Accelerator Program?

For the next two rounds of Accelerator grants we have expanded the eligibility criteria to include for-profit and government entities in addition to not-for-profit organizations and changed some of the grant terms to encourage more diverse participation in the program.  In addition, we expanded the steering committee to help us attract and evaluate a more diverse range of potential projects.

Application Process

Project proposals from eligible entities for work located anywhere in the United States are encouraged to apply through our online form prior to the due date. A selection committee will evaluate proposals and select projects primarily based on their assessment of:

  1. the potential for delivering significant climate change mitigation benefits;
  2. likelihood of reaching transformative scale; and 
  3. the capacity of the affiliated organizations to achieve success.  

The selection committee will prioritize funding for a diverse portfolio of projects representing novel approaches for scaling climate solutions in a range of natural and working lands (forests, agricultural lands and grasslands, and wetlands) and geographies. If selected, successful applicants will then have 18 months to demonstrate proof-of-concept. 

Application Process

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Project proposals from eligible entities for work located anywhere in the United States are encouraged to apply through our online form prior to the due date. A selection committee will evaluate proposals and select projects primarily based on their assessment of:

  1. the potential for delivering significant climate change mitigation benefits;
  2. likelihood of reaching transformative scale; and 
  3. the capacity of the affiliated organizations to achieve success.  

The selection committee will prioritize funding for a diverse portfolio of projects representing novel approaches for scaling climate solutions in a range of natural and working lands (forests, agricultural lands and grasslands, and wetlands) and geographies. If selected, successful applicants will then have 18 months to demonstrate proof-of-concept. 

TIMELINE

Frequently Asked Questions

CONTACT US 
(including news media) to sign up for programmatic updates and applicant webinar on June 20.

Natural Climate Solutions Overview: A Natural Path for U.S. Climate Action

US Natural Climate Solutions

Read Our Study

Land management can make a big contribution to climate mitigation in the United States. A new study examines the country’s potential to implement natural solutions—such as reforestation, practices that improve soil health and forest carbon management,  restore coastal wetlands as well as practices that prevent conversion of natural and working lands—to increase carbon storage and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Essentially, these practices can turbo-charge nature to address climate change, while also providing natural benefits for people, water and wildlife.

21 NCS Pathways in the United States

Natural Climate Solutions Specific Co-Benefits

Previous Awardees

The 2018 inaugural awardees from the U.S. Natural Climate Solutions Accelerator program focused on using nature to reverse carbon pollution in the United States. A combined $850,000 was  awarded to five winners, with funding generously provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

These projects are currently testing their respective proofs-of-concept, and the viability and scalability of their models. They include: 

The Steering Committee

Robert Bonnie, Fellow, Duke University
Rich Brown, Senior Vice President of Global Environmental Group, Bank of America
Jad Daley, President and CEO, American Forests
Jacqueline Emanuel, Director, National Partnership Office, U.S. Forest Service
Rita Hite, Woodlands and Policy Executive Vice President, American Forest Foundation
Claire Jahns, Senior Advisor, U.S. Climate Alliance
Catherine Macdonald, North America Natural Climate Solutions Director, The Nature Conservancy

Program Staff

Eriks Brolis, US NCS Accelerator Program Manager, The Nature Conservancy
Natalya Skiba, US NCS Accelerator Program Coordinator, The Nature Conservancy

Disclaimer

The Nature Conservancy is a District of Columbia, USA, 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation that operates in all 50 U.S. states and impacts conservation in more than 72 countries.  Grants will be awarded in a non-discriminatory manner with fair treatment given to all applicants.  As a 501(c)(3) organization, TNC must abide by the applicable rules of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code and will conduct relevant legal analyses during its selection of finalists for the Accelerator program.  Accordingly, TNC reserves the right to reject any and all applications for any reason whatsoever, to waive technicalities, and to award grants in a manner that is consistent with the organization’s policies and procedures. Please also see TNC’s Privacy Policy.