Washington, D.C. (June 1, 2018) — As the U.S. Climate Alliance celebrates its first anniversary today, June 1, American Forests is proud to announce a new partnership that will help the Alliance’s Member-States more fully leverage forests and other natural and working lands to slow climate change. This new partnership centers on an unprecedented Learning Lab to be hosted by American Forests in Washington, DC from July 9 to July 11.

U.S. forests and forest products already provide net carbon sequestration equivalent to 14 percent of U.S. carbon emissions. New research led by The Nature Conservancy suggests that increased investment in “natural climate solutions” like forests could make up 37 percent of the additional reductions needed to achieve the climate targets set in the Paris Climate Accord. This immense potential is complicated by the rising stress on forests as a result of climate change, including increased wildfire, which must also be addressed.

“The science is clear. Forests and other natural lands are the swing vote on whether we can overcome climate change,” said Jad Daley, Vice President of American Forests and Co-Chair of the Forest-Climate Working Group. “With the right policies and investment in the health and resilience of natural and working lands, the Climate Alliance states could dramatically increase the power of the land to absorb and store carbon. This will show the way for other states and eventual federal action.”

The members of the U.S. Climate Alliance have unique potential to lead on land-based carbon mitigation. Together, these states have an economy of more than $9 trillion and are already using new policies and investment to advance their climate ambitions. This has included, in some cases, dedicating public funding to forest protection and restoration that will increase carbon sequestration and reduce carbon emissions that result from fire, pest outbreaks, and other stresses on the land. This new partnership will help Alliance members build on these and other early successes with land-based carbon mitigation. American Forests is working with a strategic partnership that includes The Nature Conservancy, World Resources Institute, American Farmland Trust, the Coalition on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases, the Trust for Public Land, and Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

As a first step in the new partnership, American Forests is hosting a Learning Lab in Washington, DC from July 9-11. The Lab will be staffed with more than 50 leading experts in the field of land-based carbon mitigation from government, academia, nonprofits, landowners and industry. These experts will work with delegations from Alliance Member-States to examine their current carbon mitigation strategies for natural and working lands, and to identify new policy and finance opportunities that match these states’ increased climate action ambitions. Ongoing technical assistance after the Lab will be available to the Climate Alliance members as they prepare for the Global Climate Action Summit to be hosted in San Francisco from September 12-14.

American Forests is well positioned to lead this effort. American Forests is the nation’s first forest conservation organization, founded in 1875, and leads the 37-member Forest-Climate Working Group, the nation’s only sector-wide coalition working on forest-based carbon mitigation. Jad Daley of American Forests was the co-founder of the Forest-Climate Working Group in 2007, and has served as co-chair since that time. American Forests has 25 years of experience advancing carbon sequestration through reforestation projects conducted in partnership with federal and state agencies and other partners, having planted more than 55 million trees in all 50 states.



American Forests inspires and advances the conservation of forests, which are essential to life. We do this by protecting and restoring threatened forest ecosystems, promoting and expanding urban forests, and increasing understanding of the importance of forests. Founded in 1875, American Forests is the oldest national nonprofit conservation organization in the country and has served as a catalyst for many key milestones in the conservation movement, including the founding of the U.S. Forest Service, the national forest system and thousands of forest ecosystem restoration projects and public education efforts. Since 1990, American Forests has planted more than 50 million trees in all 50 states and nearly 50 countries, resulting in cleaner air and drinking water, restored habitat for wildlife and fish, and the removal of millions of tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.


Lea Sloan | Vice President of Communications | 202.370.4509 (direct) | 202.330.3253 (mobile) | lsloan@americanforests.org