PRIORITY Accelerate Nature-Based Climate Solutions and Strengthen Climate Resilience of Natural Systems

Climate smart management of our natural and working lands – forests, farms, wetlands, coasts, deserts, community greenspaces, and more – is a key pillar of California’s climate change agenda. Governor Newsom elevated the role of this sector in Executive Order N-82-20, and called for accelerated use of nature-based solutions that deliver on our climate change goals and other critical priorities, such as improving public health and safety, securing our food and water supplies, and increasing equity.

Nature-based climate solutions are actions that work with and enhance nature to build climate resilience and/or contribute to carbon neutrality. For example, climate smart forest management – such as reintroducing prescribed fire onto landscapes – reduces the threat of catastrophic wildfire, supports long-term carbon storage, and builds resilience of our forests to future climate impacts. Similarly, restoring coastal wetlands can reduce the risk of flooding, store carbon, and build community, economic, and ecological resilience along California’s coasts.

This priority emphasizes our commitment to advancing multi-benefit, nature-based solutions that ensure California’s communities and natural systems continue to thrive together in the face of climate change. While we all pay a price when our lands and waters are unhealthy – with our health, our economic prosperity, and our security – some of us are burdened more than others. As we accelerate nature-based climate solutions, a core goal for California is to do so in a manner that increases equity and environmental justice.