Apr 22, 2022 - Energy & Environment

Biden climate order aims at forest protection

Photo of burned forest in California
A dead giant sequoia tree after the Castle Fire in Sequoia National Forest, Calif., on Dec. 2, 2021. Photo: David Swanson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden will issue an executive order Friday aimed at protecting forests domestically and overseas, and more broadly boosting natural carbon absorption to fight climate change, administration officials said.

Why it matters: The Earth Day order comes as global warming is increasing wildfire risks and harms, and amid growing interest in "nature-based" climate solutions.

Driving the news: Provisions of the imminent order, per a White House summary, include...

  • Creating a first-time inventory of "mature" and "old growth" forests that would inform strategies to protect these assets on federal lands.
  • Developing agency-specific 2030 targets for reforestation.
  • Work with other stakeholders, including local and tribal governments, on strategies to boost sustainable forest products.
  • New State Department-led efforts to deter the purchase of commodities — like beef and palm oil — grown on illegally cleared forestland abroad.
  • Steps to spur greater U.S. deployment of natural carbon absorption solutions, like marsh restoration and drought-resistant crops.

What they're saying: "America's forests are among our most important climate solutions. They absorb more than 10% of U.S. annual greenhouse gas emissions," a senior administration official told reporters.

Go deeper: Biden to issue Earth Day order to safeguard old-growth forests (Washington Post)

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