How to Fight Climate Change and Increase Resiliency, Naturally

Five actions governments could take quickly to reduce emissions and restore ecosystems.

2 minute read

August 16, 2021, 11:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Natural Resources Conservation Service's Wetlands Reserve Program

Gary Kramer, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service / Wikimedia Commons

As climate change poses an increasingly urgent threat, writes Zak Smith, "[t]he United States and other countries can immediately expand investment and support for natural climate solutions that provide the triple benefit of reducing emissions, taking carbon out of the atmosphere, and increasing the resiliency of the natural world." Focusing on restoration and resilience will put ecosystems "in a better position to withstand climate change impacts, which means they’ll be more likely to continue providing the foundational natural building blocks we rely upon for human life, like clean air, clean water, food security, and flood control."

Natural climate solutions, argues Smith, "provide an opportunity to bring everyone to the table. To avoid the mistakes of the past, we must include the voices of communities that have been and will be disproportionately burdened by the impacts of climate change and the industries creating our global warming nightmare."

Smith suggests five actions that can be taken immediately:

  1. Protect the ocean, "our best ally in combating climate change."
  2. Protect forests. Smith argues that because "countries in the Global North are driving some of the fastest primary forest loss in the world," they must "look beyond tree planting and protect the carbon-rich forests and trees already playing such an important role in the climate fight."
  3. "Embrace regenerative agriculture" and create more sustainable food systems.
  4. Acknowledge the importance of wetlands and take steps to protect them.
  5. Dedicate more land area to nature. " If we conserve enough representative ecosystems, we can reverse terrestrial biodiversity loss, limit future carbon emissions from land conversions, and bolster natural carbon removal."

Monday, August 9, 2021 in NRDC

Aerial view of homes on beach in Maui, Hawaii

Hawaii Passes First Legislation Regulating Short-Term Rentals Statewide

The new law will give counties the power to limit number or short-term rentals and convert existing short-term rental units back into long-term residential housing.

May 13, 2024 - USA Today

Aerial view of Oceanwide Plaza skyscrapers covered with graffiti tags.

LA’s Abandoned Towers Loom as a “$1.2 Billion Ruin of Global Capital”

Oceanwide Plaza, shuttered mid-construction after its developer filed for bankruptcy, has stood vacant on prime Los Angeles real estate since 2019.

May 21, 2024 - The Architect's Newspaper

Entrance to a drive-through car wash at night with green 'Enter' sign.

Ohio Towns Move to Ban New Car Washes

City officials in northeast Ohio are putting limits on how many car wash facilities can open in their towns.

May 16, 2024 - News 5 Cleveland

Clpse=up of Uber and Lyft stickers inside a car windshield.

Minnesota Lawmakers Reach Ride Share Compromise

A law awaiting the governor’s signature establishes wage rates for drivers. Ride share companies say if the law passes, they plan to continue service in the state.

9 minutes ago - Minnesota House of Representatives

Green and silver CTfastrak bus at a station in Elmwood, Connecticut.

Connecticut Bus System Earns Top Ranking

Hartford’s CTfastrak system wins out over other US bus networks for service quality and connectivity.

1 hour ago - CT Insider

Aerial view of Oceanwide Plaza skyscrapers covered with graffiti tags.

LA’s Abandoned Towers Loom as a “$1.2 Billion Ruin of Global Capital”

Oceanwide Plaza, shuttered mid-construction after its developer filed for bankruptcy, has stood vacant on prime Los Angeles real estate since 2019.

May 21 - The Architect's Newspaper

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.