Ambition Needed as State Considers New Climate Plan

Posted on Tuesday, November 13th, 2018 by Jeanne Merrill
resilience Fire near Full Belly Farm. Photo Credit: Thomas Nelson

Multiple wildfires are engulfing parts of Northern and Southern California, and the devastation has been among the worst of California’s expanding wildfires. As the state battles intense fires, it is also considering how improved management of California’s forests, wetlands, agricultural lands, urban forests and more can help the state meet its greenhouse gas reduction goals and improve our resiliency to rising temperatures and greater weather extremes. California will not be able to meet its ambitious climate goals without investing in natural and working lands climate strategies.

CalCAN has engaged in a year-long state process to develop a California 2030 Natural and Working Lands Climate Change Implementation Plan, led by the Natural Resources Agency in collaboration with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and the California Air Resources Board.  On Friday, November 16th, the state will update the Air Resources Board members on their efforts. But an earlier state workshop with preliminary results suggests that greater ambition will be needed in the state’s efforts if we are to reduce climate impacts, like wildfire, and significantly enhance carbon sinks in our working and natural lands, including agriculture.

CalCAN recently signed on to letter calling on the state to adopt a “130 by 30” climate plan for natural and working lands. Current studies find that through improved conservation and stewardship the state can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase carbon sinks by 130 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent by the year 2030.  But we cannot get there without significantly scaling up and better integrating our climate strategies across these critical lands.  You can read the letter here.

Later this month, the new draft California 2030 Natural and Working Lands Climate Change Implementation Plan will be posted. CalCAN will continue to engage with our allies to inform the plan and call for greater ambition to realize the potential of natural and working lands climate solutions.  For more information, click here.

Top photo credit: Thomas Nelson
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