Full Title: Natural Climate Solutions: Opportunities for Storing Additional Carbon in America’s Forests and Farms
Author(s): Charles Hernick, Rebecca Lorenzen
Publisher(s): Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions (CRES) Forum
Publication Date: July 30, 2022
Full Text: Download Resource
Natural climate solutions—defined as agriculture and active land management practices that increase carbon storage and avoid greenhouse gas emissions—are a necessary part of the strategy needed to reduce global emissions. Many of these practices will also increase disaster resilience. In 2020, American forests and farms reduce, or offset, net total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 14 percent each year.
While implementing natural climate solutions is typically inexpensive, there can be costs associated with changing practices. Advancing natural climate solutions in the U.S. will require good stewardship, not just of the land, but of the financial investment made by taxpayers to support and provide technical assistance to private foresters and farmers.
Applied appropriately, innovative natural climate solutions can raise overall land productivity and play a vital role in tackling climate change. Policies that leverage private sector investment can also be a source of supplemental income for farmers, ranchers, foresters, and other Americans working the land. But such policies should be careful not to incentivize taking fertile American agriculture land out of production. Doing so may not only increase food poverty, but also remove the most efficiently produced agricultural products from the global market, resulting in increased global emissions.