Congress Calls for Natural Climate Solutions

EDF statement from Elizabeth Gore, senior vice president, Political Affairs

December 9, 2020
Hilary Kirwan, (202) 572-3277,

(WASHINGTON, DC) The bipartisan Trillion Trees and Natural Carbon Storage Act, introduced today by Sens. Mike Braun (R-IN) and Chris Coons (D-DE), would set national targets for carbon sequestration across key ecosystems in the U.S.

"Fighting climate change requires a powerful tool: nature itself. Guided by science, we can harness the power of forests, grasslands, wetlands and coastal ecosystems to capture and store carbon and build climate resilience.

"This scientifically robust bill puts the U.S. on a path to unlock the potential of nature-based climate solutions. It follows recommendations from climate scientists and nonprofit organizations to focus on measuring climate impact instead of number of trees planted.

"The window of opportunity for bipartisan climate action opens wider every day. The time to act is now, and EDF congratulates Sens. Braun and Coons on their efforts to work collaboratively and effectively."

The Trillion Trees and Natural Carbon Storage Act would:

  • Expand existing U.S. Forest Service carbon accounting to include grasslands, wetlands and coastal ecosystems, in addition to forests.
  • Ensure that forests and other ecosystems will be valued not only for harvested materials, but also for important climate mitigation functions.
  • Measure progress using "net carbon stock," a metric that reflects the dynamic nature of ecosystems and how carbon stores can grow or shrink over time.
  • Direct the Forest Service to share expertise, including technical capacity to increase carbon stored in urban forests, with states and recipients of U.S. foreign aid.
  • Provide funding to alleviate the nation's 1.3-million-acre backlog of reforestation projects.

For additional information about the bill, read this EDF blog post.

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