While momentum behind Natural Climate Solutions has increased significantly over the past few years, limited resources constrain governments, landowners and non-profits from harnessing the full potential of these solutions. While legislation such as the recently passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will provide opportunities to expand investment in these nature-based climate solutions, strategic planning will be vital to ensure that resources are deployed in the most cost-effective and impactful way possible.

Fortunately, a wide array of free and publicly available tools has been developed by members of our coalition and others recently to help decision-makers accomplish this task.  These tools, which frequently feature interactive maps and downloadable data, can help governments, tribes, landowners and non-profit organizations identify relatively low-cost, high-impact opportunities for implementing Natural Climate Solutions across a variety of different landscapes, including agricultural land, forests, coastlines, and urban areas. In many cases, the tools also outline the additional environmental, social and economic benefits that implementation of these strategies can provide for local communities.

Our Natural Climate Solutions toolbox helps decision-makers navigate these resources by providing links and guidance about the practical use of each of these tools – what questions can each tool help decision-makers answer? In many cases, we also provide links to case studies, explainer documents and articles providing additional context on the use of each tool.

Questions that this tool can answer:

  • What Natural Climate Solution Strategies have the most potential in my state? How can we structure our state’s Natural & Working Lands climate program to account for these opportunities?
  • How should incentive programs be structured to leverage these opportunities? Market-based approaches? Grant programs?

Questions that this tool can answer:

  • What counties provide the most “bang for the buck” when planning Reforestation?
  • How should my state structure and target incentive programs to support reforestation on the most promising private lands?

Questions that this tool can answer:

  • Where in my state have soil health practices been most widely adopted? Which areas are lagging?
  • Where would implementation of conservation agriculture practices provide the most carbon benefit at the lowest cost?
  • What percentage of land in my state must adopt conservation agriculture practices to meet our climate goals?

Questions that this tool can answer:

  • In which cities in my state are disparities in tree coverage most extreme?
  • What neighborhoods in my city would benefit most from urban tree planting programs?

Questions that this tool can answer:

  • Where should my municipality, agency or land trust focus our conservation efforts for maximum climate and biodiversity benefit?
  • How can I identify what forests in my area have the greatest potential to capture carbon dioxide and fight climate change?

Questions that this tool can answer:

  • Where are farms in a state facing the most pressure from development? What lands should local governments, land trusts and other organizations target for protection?
  • Which policy mechanisms present the biggest unrealized opportunity in my state? What are examples of programs in other states that can be applied to my state?
  • How can state and local governments work together to keep farmland intact?

Questions that this tool can answer:

  • In environmentally sensitive areas, what lands are already protected by conservation easements, and what lands should be targeted for further protection?
  • What are land trusts in my area doing to help conserve land?

 

Questions that this tool can answer:

  • Where is there the greatest need for new parks within a city?
  • Where can parks be placed to ensure equitable access to outdoor recreation, address urban heat islands and improve public health?
  • How does my city’s park system compare against others?

Questions that this tool can answer:

  • What coastal restoration projects are active in my state? What organizations were involved? How much did the project cost?
  • Which restoration projects can serve as a model for future efforts in my state or region?

Questions that this tool can answer:

  • What are the potential costs and benefits of adopting regenerative agricultural management practices?
  • What is the latest science around the impact agricultural practices have on the environment?
  • What studies have been undertaken in my state or region?