From September 12-14, thousands of people from around the U.S. and the world traveled to San Francisco, California, for the Global Climate Action Summit, a gathering of leaders spanning all sectors collaborating on climate action and advancing new strategies to mitigate the effects of climate change.

American Forests was proud to play a major role, hosting an official Affiliate Event on Tuesday, September 11th. The two-part event consisted of a dynamic lightning round discussion on urban forests as climate solutions, followed by a hands-on tree planting in the Tenderloin district, opened by San Francisco Mayor Breed and our own Jad Daley. Participants of the tree planting saw how to calculate the benefits of both new and already existing street trees using the i-Tree urban forestry tool.

Hear Jad Daley’s Remarks at the Planting

Delegates at the Summit also had the chance to publicly commit to climate actions. On August 23, American Forests became the first nonprofit to accept the U.S. Climate Alliance’s Natural and Working Lands Challenge, securing these lands as net carbon sinks. During a panel featuring Governor David Ige of Hawaii, the Governor spoke of the importance of these lands in mitigating climate change effects, taking note of American Forests’ announced plan to plant 10 million trees in Climate Alliance Member States.

Despite lack of federal leadership on climate change, the Global Climate Action Summit provided a chance for international, subnational, state and local governments to continue stepping up for the good of the environment. American Forests has long been a leader in advancing forests as natural climate solutions, from our policy work to on-the-ground efforts planting trees in both urban and wildland areas. Currently, forests have the capacity to gather 14% of U.S. emissions. Moving forward, the role of forests in the fight against climate change is more important than ever, and we’re ready to do whatever it takes to help them achieve their full potential.

A special thank you to the partners that made our GCAS Affiliate Event possible – San Francisco Public Works, Friends of the Urban Forest, California Urban Forests Council, California ReLeaf, City Forest Credits and SF Environment.

Calculating the benefits of street trees – this tree, part of a row of six, will provide carbon reductions of almost 220,000 pounds over the next 40 years!