Governor Newsom Directs State Agencies to Enlist Nature to Store Carbon, Protect Biodiversity and Build Climate Resilience

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SACRAMENTO – As climate change and habitat loss continue to threaten California’s ecosystems and native species, Governor Gavin Newsom today signed an executive order directing state agencies to accelerate actions to combat climate change, protect biodiversity and build resilience through nature-based solutions.

The order establishes a state goal of conserving at least 30 percent of California’s land and coastal waters by 2030 to address the biodiversity and climate crisis. The 30 by 30 commitment has been championed internationally and is supported by a concerted United Nations effort.

“This historic announcement makes California the first state to commit to 30 by 30 to protect biodiversity and address the climate crisis,” California Secretary for Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot said. “We join 38 nations in this commitment to conservation. It’s an ambitious goal, but it’s also an achievable one. With climate-driven impacts such as catastrophic wildfires and extreme heat putting our biodiversity at risk, we can and should do more to protect this natural richness into the future.”

The order also elevates the role of natural and working lands as a key pillar of California’s climate change strategy, committing the state to immediate actions to increase carbon removal and enhance resilience in our forests, wetlands, agricultural soils, urban greenspaces, and land conservation efforts. It also commits to developing a comprehensive and equitable long-term strategy to drive climate action on all of California’s natural and working lands and articulating a target for the lands sector in the 2022 Scoping Plan to achieve our carbon neutrality target.

As part of the order, the California Natural Resources Agency today launched the California Biodiversity Collaborative to develop a statewide and equitable approach to protecting the state’s natural richness.

Recognizing that California is a global “biodiversity hotspot” – one of 36 places on Earth with exceptional concentrations of native species that are exeriencing unprecedented challenges – the order calls on state agencies to establish an international model for preserving biodiversity and expand current efforts to keep ecosystems, plants and animals healthy.

The California Biodiversity Collaborative will bring together experts, leaders and communities to pursue a unified approach to protecting biodiversity and enable diverse groups to work with state agencies to inventory current efforts across all sectors and expand information and tools to monitor, track and preserve biodiversity.