| Press Release

Budget cuts threaten California’s progress on natural climate solutions

Farmworker in California's Central Valley. Photo by Canva.
Farmworker in California's Central Valley. Photo by Canva.

SACRAMENTO — On Monday, the California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) released a new set of targets for nature-based climate solutions as required by AB 1757 (C. Garcia and R. Rivas, 2022). While the new targets should help California sequester more carbon on our natural and working lands than we emit, they mean little without state investment to back them up. 

“Natural and working lands — our parks, wetlands, farms, ranches, and more — can be one of California’s greatest tools in fighting the climate crisis,” said Baani Behniwal, Natural Carbon Sequestration Manager for The Climate Center. “Natural climate solutions like urban greening and compost application can both mitigate and build resilience to climate impacts at the same time. We’ve been waiting over a year for these targets and now that they’re out, we must hold state leaders accountable to achieving them. California must now invest in climate solutions at the scale this crisis demands.

“To follow through on the intent of AB 1757, we urge Governor Newsom and the legislature to preserve funding for proven, existing efforts, including the Department of Food and Agriculture’s Healthy Soils Program and CALFIRE’s Urban and Community Forestry program. We also encourage the legislature to follow through and put a climate bond on the November ballot that will fund California’s efforts to scale up natural climate solutions.”

The California Air Resources Board’s 2022 Scoping Plan includes limited modeling of carbon emissions from natural and working lands. The new targets released go well beyond what’s included in the Scoping Plan and would position California to transform our lands from a net source of carbon emissions into a net sink

Key targets include:

  • Beneficial fire practices implemented on 800,000 acres/year by 2030, 1.2 million acres/year by 2038, and 1.5 million acres/year by 2045
  • Restoration on degraded grasslands at a rate of 55,100 acres/year through 2045
  • Urban greening and forestry on 34,700 acres/year through 2045
  • Conserving wetlands and seagrass meadows at a rate of 1,300 acres/year through 2045

The full list of targets is available here.

Since organizing to pass AB 1757 in 2022, The Climate Center and our partners have worked directly with state agencies to set ambitious, science-based targets. In six public comment letters submitted to CNRA, we outlined recommended targets for croplands, forests, wetlands, deserts, rangelands, and developed lands.



Ryan Schleeter, Communications Director, The Climate Center: ryan@theclimatecenter.org, (415) 342-2386

About The Climate Center: 

The Climate Center is a climate and energy policy nonprofit working to rapidly reduce climate pollution at scale, starting in California. We are a think-tank, do-tank working to turn bold ideas into action for a climate-safe future. Our flagship Climate-Safe California campaign is a unique and comprehensive effort to make California the first state in the nation to reach carbon negative. www.theclimatecenter.org