Press Release: Governor’s Executive Action provides strong leadership, must be coupled with strong actions

Contact: Chanell Fletcher, ClimatePlan Executive Director, 510-695-1009 (cell)

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – ClimatePlan applauds Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Executive Order N-82-20 announced today to conserve 30 percent of natural and working lands by 2030. This Administration’s leadership is essential to integrating natural and working lands into addressing climate change and protecting the health of Californians. ClimatePlan believes this announcement, coupled with previous Executive Orders, will put California on the right track to reduce emissions and provide a model for the nation to meaningfully and comprehensively address climate change. 

Swift implementation of the multiple goals detailed in the Executive Order is critical if we want to maximize the sequestration benefits of our natural and working lands, which must include a comprehensive funding strategy and additional policy guidance.

  1. Center frontline communities.  We need clear investment in on-the-ground projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions while building climate resiliency, including increased investments in urban forestry and urban green spaces, which will help to address climate change and public health--especially as it relates to providing natural canopy and shade to mitigate extreme heat.  These investments should prioritize projects that are identified by low-income communities and communities of color that provide direct, meaningful benefits to those populations most vulnerable to the negative impacts from climate change. 
  2. Expand funding for conservation and stewardship.  We applaud the state’s goal of protecting 30% of natural and working lands by 2030, but “enduring conservation measures” will require enduring funding streams.  It is essential to expand funding not only for conservation of natural and working lands, but also for long-term stewardship of already-protected lands.
  3. Promote equitable infill development that protects natural and working lands. Affordable housing production is needed to address California’s housing crisis; however it is essential that California prioritizes our natural and working lands. We cannot continue to develop without taking into account fire-prone areas and lands that need to be conserved. This executive announcement must be coupled with a strong housing policy that prioritizes equitable infill and reduces sprawl development that encroaches on fire-prone areas as well as natural and working lands.  

ClimatePlan looks forward to partnering with Governor Newsom to implement this bold vision to create a more sustainable, and equitable California that invests in our natural resources and prioritizes the voices of communities most impacted. 

ClimatePlan is a network of non-profit organizations working together for a healthier, more vital California.

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