Expanding Nature-Based Solutions

Accelerating nature-based solutions to achieve California’s climate change goals

Nature-based solutions (NBS) harness the power of nature to build California’s resilience to future climate-driven extremes, protect communities from the climate crisis, and remove carbon from our atmosphere, California State leaders recognize that expanding NBS is essential to meeting California’s core climate goals and in the last few years alone has:

  1. Established the 2022 California’s Natural and Working Lands (NWL) Climate Smart Strategy, which identifies priority NBS to deliver climate benefits across all of California’s diverse landscapes and guides State programs and investments.
  1. Integrated this strategy into the State’s 2022 Scoping Plan to Achieve Carbon Neutrality by 2045.
  1. Identified accelerating NBS and strengthening the resilience of natural systems as one of six priority “north stars” guiding California’s 2021 Climate Adaptation Strategy.
  1. Invested approximately $9.6 billion since 2020 to supercharge California’s NBS climate action, as of April 2024.
  1. Built new partnerships with NBS leaders around the world to accelerate and scale successful efforts, including ChinaAustraliaCanada, and South Africa.
  1. Enacted Assembly Bill 1757 (2022), a seminal law calling for a suite of actions to center NBS in California’s climate efforts and urgently scale their implementation in line with best available science.

As called for in Assembly Bill 1757 (2022), the California Natural Resources Agency, the California Air Resources Board, the California Environmental Protection Agency, the California Department of Food and Agriculture, and more than 40 State agency partners collaborated to develop nature-based solutions (NBS) climate targets for 2030, 2038, and 2045 that contribute to California’s goals of achieving carbon neutrality no later than 2045 and protecting Californians from the climate crisis.

California’s NBS climate targets were released on April 22, 2024.

California’s NBS Climate Targets

Governor’s Office Press Release

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Appendices

  1. Methodology – California’s Nature-Based Solutions Climate Targets
  2. Target Alignment Table – California’s Nature-Based Solutions Climate Targets and Expert Advisory Committee Target Recommendations
  3. Expert Advisory Committee Recommendations

NEW - 2025 UPDATE TO CALIFORNIA’S NATURAL AND WORKING LANDS CLIMATE SMART STRATEGY

Assembly Bill 1757 (signed by the Governor September 2022) calls on the Natural Resources Agency to update the Natural and Working Lands Climate Smart Strategy, in collaboration with the California Environmental Protection Agency, California Air Resources Board, and the California Department of Food and Agriculture. The Natural Resources Agency will be soliciting public input to inform the updated strategy over the coming months through a series of public workshops and tribal roundtables.

On February 1st, we kicked off public engagement on the update. In this webinar, we provided key background, outlined our approach, and answered participants’ questions on the work ahead. You can find a recording of the kick-off webinar here.

After this kick-off webinar, we hosted virtual workshops organized around California’s eight natural and working landscapes. Our goal was to gather input on how the strategy can best drive climate smart land management to deliver on California’s climate goals – achieving carbon neutrality and building resilience to climate impacts. We recommended participants briefly peruse the existing priority nature-based climate solutions and the cross-cutting priorities prior to joining, which can be found here.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Are there changes you’d recommend we make to the existing priority nature-based climate solutions for each landscape?
  2. Are there changes you’d recommend we make to the existing cross-cutting priorities?
  3. What are the biggest barriers to implementing these nature-based climate solutions?
  4. What solutions exist to overcome these barriers, and how can state government most usefully advance them?

Landscape-Specific Workshops were held from 12-1pm on the following dates:

  • Grasslands: Monday, February 5 – view recording
  • Forests: Tuesday, February 6 – view recording
  • Sparsely Vegetated Lands: Wednesday, February 7 – view recording
  • Seagrasses and Seaweeds: Friday, February 9 – view recording
  • Wetlands and Water: Monday, February 12 – view recording
  • Shrublands and Chaparral: Tuesday, February 13 – view recording
  • Developed Lands: Wednesday, February 14 – view recording
  • Croplands: Tuesday, February 27 - view recording

The Natural and Working Lands Climate Smart Strategy will drive implementation of the Governor’s Executive Order and expanded climate action in this sector, which has been called for in California’s Climate Change Scoping Plan and California’s recently updated Climate Adaptation Strategy.

California’s first Natural and Working Lands Climate Smart Strategy was released on April 22, 2022.

Natural and Working Lands Climate Smart Strategy (full size 25 MB)

Natural and Working Lands Climate Smart Strategy (reduced size 10 MB)

Estrategia Climáticamente Inteligente De Tierras Naturales Y De Trabajo (en Español)

Appendices

  1. Opportunity Menu – A Collection of Recommendations to Scale Nature-Based Climate Solutions
  2. Natural and Working Landscapes – Classification and Definitions
  3. Summary of Public Engagement
  4. Endnotes
  5. Comprehensive List of Existing State Efforts
  6. Land Cover Data Methodology

The Natural and Working Lands Expert Advisory Committee will support the implementation of AB 1757. AB 1757 directs the California Natural Resources Agency and the California Air Resources Board to establish an expert advisory committee to inform and review modeling and analyses for natural and working lands, to advise state agencies on implementation strategies and standardized accounting, and to provide recommendations on addressing barriers to efficient implementation of climate action in natural and working lands.

  • Learn more about our committee members here.
  • Frequently asked questions about this committee can be found here.
  • You can access the final recommendations from the committee on nature-based solution climate targets (November 2023) at this link.

Upcoming Meetings

July 11, 2024, 1-5pm

  • Agenda
  • In-person: California Natural Resources Agency, 715 P Street, 2nd Floor 2-201 Conference Room
  • Virtual: registration link 

September 12, 2024, 1-5pm

  • Agenda
  • In-person: California Natural Resources Agency, 715 P Street, 2nd Floor 2-309 Conference Room
  • Virtual: registration link 

November 6, 2024, 1-5pm

  • Agenda
  • In-person: California Natural Resources Agency, 715 P Street, 2nd Floor 2-309 Conference Room
  • Virtual: registration link 

Past Meetings
Materials from the May 30, 2024 Expert Advisory Committee

  • Agenda from the May 30 meeting is here
  • Recording from the May 30 meeting is here

Materials from the March 28, 2024 Expert Advisory Committee

  • Agenda from the March 28 meeting is here
  • Recording from the March 28 meeting is here

Materials from the January 23, 2024 Expert Advisory Committee

  • Agenda from the January 23 meeting is here
  • Recording from the January 23 meeting is here

Materials from the November 13, 2023 Expert Advisory Committee

  • Agenda from the November 13 meeting is here
  • Recording from the November 13 meeting is here

Materials from the October 12, 2023 Expert Advisory Committee

  • Agenda from the October 12 meeting is here
  • Recording from the October 12 meeting is here

Materials from the August 22, 2023 Expert Advisory Committee

  • Agenda from the August 22 meeting is here
  • Recording from the August 22 meeting is here

Materials from the July 18, 2023 Expert Advisory Committee

  • Agenda from the July 18 meeting is here
  • Recording from the July 18 meeting is here

Materials from the May 22, 2023 Expert Advisory Committee

  • Agenda from the May 22 meeting is here
  • Recording from the May 22 meeting is here

Materials from the April 25, 2023 Expert Advisory Committee

  • Agenda from the April 25 meeting is here
  • The recap of the April 25 meeting can be found here.

Materials from the March 28, 2023 Expert Advisory Committee

  • Agenda of the March 28 meeting is here.
  • Recording from the March 28 meeting is here.

Materials from the Feb 10, 2023 Expert Advisory Committee

  • Agenda of the Feb 10 Expert Advisory Committee is here.
  • Recording from the Feb 10 meeting is here.
  • PowerPoint presentations can be accessed here and here.

The California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) is required by Senate Bill 27 (Skinner, 2021) to create a Carbon Sequestration and Climate Resiliency Project Registry. The Registry is intended to facilitate funding of nature-based and direct air capture projects that deliver on California’s climate goals.

Please visit this page for answered Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) related to SB 27 and the Carbon Sequestration and Climate Resiliency Project Registry.

NEW: On June 30, 2023, CNRA launched a beta version of the SB 27 California Carbon Sequestration and Climate Resiliency Project Registry for user testing and feedback. The beta site can be accessed at the following link: https://climateprojectregistry.resources.ca.gov/. CNRA is requesting feedback regarding user interface and experience be sent to naturebasedsolutions@resources.ca.gov by COB, Friday, August 18th to be considered in the final Registry design. Please note that this a beta version of the Registry and projects cannot currently be listed or backed at this time. The projects currently listed on the Registry are for demonstration purposes only and are to allow users to see how projects could be displayed, searched, and evaluated for backing.

CNRA released a pre-rulemaking document, a Concept Discussion Draft regarding SB 27 implementation on March 29, 2023. This document was open for public comment until May 30, 2023.  The Concept Discussion Draft contains two appendices, Appendix A: Draft Regulationand Appendix B: Illustrative Eligible Projects.

Language services may be provided upon request. To ensure availability of these services, please make sure your request is submitted at least 15 business days prior to the comment period deadline by contacting outreach@resources.ca.gov.

CNRA hosted a virtual public workshop on the Concept Discussion Draft on May 9, 2023. In this workshop, CNRA staff provided an overview of SB 27, walked through the Concept Discussion Draft, and facilitated discussion among workshop participants. A recording of this workshop can be found here.

In early September 2022, CNRA held two public workshops to gather feedback on the development of the project registry. Please see the following recording of the workshop plenary for more information.