Natural Solutions

Natural climate solutions – agricultural innovations and planting trees – have a major impact on reducing emissions.

It’s cost effective, empowering for local communities, and popular because it works!


Farmers are the best stewards of their land.

Why are natural solutions so effective?

Farmers and foresters understand the climate better than most professions, and productive farms and forests provide natural solutions to climate challenges. Crops and trees absorb and store carbon from the atmosphere as they grow. Innovations that increase productivity and efficiencies in agriculture and forestry can also reduce emissions from these sectors.
Farmland makes up 44% of the U.S. Agricultural innovations can improve soil health to retain more carbon, reduce agricultural emissions like nitrous oxide, and reduce impacts from droughts and flooding.
Forests comprise 32% of all land in the U.S. and absorb nearly 16 percent of carbon dioxide emissions per year. Planting trees as a solution to climate change has a 90% approval rating.

Plants Naturally Absorb Carbon Dioxide From the Atmosphere in Order to Grow

Solutions

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM), Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E), and Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) are supporting some of this work, but more is needed.
Investing in advanced agricultural research to further drive our highly efficient and productive farming system. This includes developing new crop varieties with higher yields and the ability to store more carbon; investing in innovations that reduce nitrous oxide emissions; using computers to optimize fertilizer and pesticide application; and promoting technologies that recycle waste into fuel.
Deploying innovations like biochar, enhanced efficiency fertilizers, and microbial soil amendments that improve crop productivity and reduce nitrous oxide and carbon emissions. These innovations also optimize the use of fertilizer, which improves water quality.
Addressing the up to 2.8 billion seedling shortage so that we can plant more trees and support post-wildfire replanting needs. Increasing the infrastructure and nursery capacity for seedlings can help achieve ambitious goals. However, we need to ensure forests are not overplanted, which worsens conditions for wildfires.
There are a number of innovations to enhance productivity, increase efficiencies, and reduce emissions.