A healthy climate needs healthy forests 🌲
Trees: Nature’s carbon vacuum cleaner
America’s forests are cherished by our communities.
They’re also hard at work, pulling the equivalent of 12% of America’s carbon pollution out of the air each year. By protecting, expanding, and managing our forests in a way that is climate-smart, they can do even more – up to 22% by 2030.
Join Citizens’ Climate Lobby to advocate for policies that help our forests by:
- Preserving and expanding forests globally
- Protecting forests from wildfires and invasive species like barkbeetle
- Reforestation and afforestation
How can we make America’s forests healthy?
1. Planting new trees
Young forests pull carbon out of the air at a very high rate as the young trees grow larger. We can increase the amount of carbon our forests pull out of the air by planting new forests in places where it makes sense.
2. Protecting existing forests
Our existing forests are threatened by climate change, which has made them more vulnerable to droughts, wildfires and pests. Western forests in particular are shrinking as a result, with up to 30% of California’s Sierra Nevada forestland lost to other types of vegetation in the past decade. And when forests die, they release the large amounts of carbon that they’ve been storing in the soil and trees into the air. There are climate-smart ways to manage our forests that will help make them more resilient.
3. Giving private landowners incentives to manage the forests they own
Over half of America’s forestland is privately owned. Today, landowners have limited incentives to manage their forests in a way that benefits our climate. We should provide financial incentives that encourage private landowners to preserve healthy forests and protect them from other uses.
4. Fighting deforestation worldwide
The world is currently losing 25 million acres of forests per year to deforestation. Most deforestation is occurring in tropical countries like Brazil and Indonesia, often to convert the land to grow crops and livestock to sell on the international market. We can stop importing products produced on land undergoing illegal deforestation.
5. Using durable wood products
Trees from forests can be sustainably harvested in a way that keeps carbon locked up inside the wood products instead of being released into the air. Homes and buildings should be made with durable wood instead of concrete, steel or plastic.
We support the following policies:
- FOREST Act – Fights deforestation worldwide by restricting the importation of products made of commodities produced on land undergoing illegal deforestation.
- Growing Climate Solutions Act – Facilitates the participation of farmers, ranchers, and private forest landowners in voluntary environmental credit markets.
Want to see healthy forestry policies implemented in the U.S.? Us too. Join up and let’s make it happen.