| Blog Post

California announces first-of-their-kind nature-based climate targets

Farmworkers on a climate-friendly farm in Northern California. Photo by Karen Preuss.

California recently announced ambitious, nation-leading targets for nature-based climate solutions. These new targets were established per AB 1757, signed into law in 2022 thanks to The Climate Center’s collaborative leadership and all of you who took action in support!

Over the next 20 years, the state will work to transform more than half of its 100 million acres into healthier, climate-resilient landscapes, spanning farms, ranches, forests, grasslands, and wetlands. More than 30 million acres will be managed to reduce wildfire risk, mostly through practices such as prescribed burns and grazing. Benefits include sequestering more carbon, resilience to drought and heatwaves, and increased water and food security. Urban greening and forestry are also part of the plan, creating shade and reducing flood risk in cities.

At a recent webinar hosted by the California Natural Resources Agency, Secretary Wade Crowfoot thanked The Climate Center for leading on natural carbon sequestration policy. Baani Behniwal, The Climate Center’s Natural Sequestration Initiative Manager, outlined what lawmakers must do to achieve these essential goals. Key actions include: 1) support and expand technical assistance for land managers; 2) increase the state budget for nature-based projects to leverage billions in potential federal funding; and 3) place a climate bond on the November ballot to provide more stable funding. 

The call for funding comes as budget cuts threaten California’s progress on natural climate solutions. In his May revision of the state budget, Governor Newsom cut funding for climate investments while leaving fossil fuel subsidies in place. 

To save lives and dollars in the face of worsening climate impacts, California lawmakers must fully fund nature-based solutions along with other clean air and clean energy initiatives. Please take a moment today to tell lawmakers to eliminate all fossil fuel subsidies and prioritize climate investments in the state budget!

This blog first appeared in The Climate Center’s bi-weekly newsletter. To keep up with the latest climate news and ways to take action for a climate-safe future, subscribe today!