Natural Lands, Natural Climate Solutions

Oregon’s farms, forests, urban parks, wetlands, and other natural lands shape our state’s landscape and economy and are an essential source of life-sustaining resources. OEC is part of a coalition working to protect these lands from climate extremes and harness their potential as a climate solution.

View over a pacific northwest valley with grass and trees in the background under blue sky

Photo credit: Makenzie Cooper


We know time is running out to avoid climate catastrophe. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has concluded that we must achieve net zero emissions by no later than 2050 to avoid the worst impacts. One key to ensuring a climate-resilient future stretches across all corners of the state: Oregon’s land and waters.


Natural climate solutions are activities that protect or enhance the ability of natural and working lands to sequester carbon while helping to improve climate resilience, water quality and quantity, and biodiversity. 

Examples of natural climate solutions:

  • Water Protecting drinking watersheds and restoring wetlands
  • Farmland  Planting cover crops and using farming techniques like rotational grazing, no-till, and reduced tillage
  • Coast Protecting coastal communities from sea-level rise and storm surge
  • Forests Increasing reforestation and protecting mature and old-growth forests on public lands
  • Working forests  Supporting longer logging rotations for increased carbon storage and timber yield on private lands
  • Ecosystems Protecting and restoring forests, wetlands, and grasslands
  • Cities Planting more urban trees to sequester carbon and offer cooling shade
NCS Implementation Comparison Chart

This figure illustrates natural climate solution’s potential relative to Oregon’s 2018 projected business-as-usual emissions trajectory and state 2050 statutory goal. The white area shows the needed fossil fuel mitigation across other sectors while the colored wedges show the potential contribution of natural climate solutions. Modified from Graves et al. 2020


Oregon legislators have a chance to pass a critical piece of climate legislation in 2023: SB 530. This bill will help ensure the resiliency of our forests, waters, agricultural lands, and natural resource economy in the face of ever-worsening climate impacts while maximizing carbon sequestration to help achieve our climate goals. SB 530 will also better position Oregon to harness unprecedented new federal funding for climate-smart land management. 

Supported by a diverse statewide coalition of more than 100 elected officials, climate, conservation, and environmental justice organizations, and over 50 ranchers, farmers, and small forest landowners from around the state, SB 530 will help unlock the power of natural climate solutions.

Benefits of supporting natural climate solutions on Oregon’s natural and working lands: 

> Leverage significant federal resources for Oregon’s communities through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), and the upcoming 2023 Farm Bill 

> Help achieve Oregon’s climate goals by scaling-up carbon sequestration efforts and helping to meet Oregon’s established emissions reductions goals

> Support Oregon’s forest, farming, and ranching economies by offering voluntary incentives to enhance natural climate solutions while providing jobs and increasing productivity and profitability

> Ensure equitable environmental outcomes in the face of climate change, including improved air quality, flood control, soil health and productivity, protection from wildfire, and drought resilience

> Protect and enhance Oregon’s natural resources such as clean and abundant drinking water, improved fish and wildlife habitat, and reduced risk of flooding, erosion, and landslides


Please join us in showing support for Natural Climate Solutions! 

Take two minutes to tell your legislators to support SB 530


Related Posts
Filter by
Post Page
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Featured Job Opportunities Policy Climate Protection Eco-Healthy Homes People Environmental Health
Sort by

Climate Program Director

April 16, 2024, 4:09 pm


oregon mountain cloaked in clouds with pink hue from sunset

Climate Protection Program Back in The Spotlight After Year Long Pause

Last December, the oil and gas industry and their allies delivered a devastating blow to climate justice in our state.  The Oregon Court of Appeals invalidated Oregon’s landmark
April 12, 2024, 3:41 pm


Building Climate Resilience with Better Buildings

Gazing at the downtown skyline of Portland? Rushing through PDX to catch a flight? Lost in the Silicon Forest? You probably aren’t thinking about how to reduce climate emissions. But Oregon’s large office, high-tech and public buildings are one of Oregon’s best opportunities to meet our climate goals by addressing our second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. That’s because the overall “carbon footprint” of
April 8, 2024, 4:36 pm


Sunset on Mt. Hood showing field of wildflowers and rolling mountains.

Black History Month: a call for community-led solutions

Black History Month is both a time to celebrate and an opportunity to raise our voices for change. From environmental advocacy within the Muslim community to immeasurable contributions in
February 20, 2024, 1:17 pm


Broad coalition backs Governor and DEQ’s commitment to rapidly restore cornerstone Climate Protection Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 22, 2024 MEDIA CONTACT: Nora Apter, Oregon Environmental Council |
January 22, 2024, 11:22 am


Nora Apter, senior program director for climate at the Oregon Environmental Council speaking at the pro-CPP Rally in Salem on September, 29, 2023.

Voices of Support: Defending Oregon’s Climate Protection Program

On September 29, 2023, OEC gathered with a growing coalition of community-based organizations, lawmakers, and business groups following oral arguments heard by the Oregon Court of Appeals to rally behind the Oregon Climate Protection Program (CPP), which is under attack from the fossil fuel industry. OREGON’S CLIMATE PROTECTION PROGRAM Oregon’s Climate Protection Program (CPP) is a cornerstone in our st
October 23, 2023, 1:43 pm


Windmills over green terrain

Climate Win! Oregon Lawmakers Take Powerful Action Passing the ‘Climate Resilience Package’

Oregon’s 2023 Legislative Session ended with a momentous victory in the fight against climate change with the passage of the bipartisan Climate Resilience Package (HB 3409 & HB 3630). With over $90 million in funding and strategic leveraging of federal investments, this victory represents significant progress in our relentless pursuit of a climate-resilient future for Oregon.
June 29, 2023, 11:13 am


A farmworker carries berries in a field

The Right to Refuse Dangerous Work: Another Victory for Worker Safety in a Warming Climate

Oregon has taken resolute action in protecting workers from dangerous conditions caused by the worsening climate crisis. On June 7, 2023, Governor Tina Kotek signed into law Senate Bill 907, the Right to Refuse Dangerous Work. This law builds a past victory for worker safety achieved by the OEC and coalition partners in implementing permanent heat and smoke rules, fortifying our state’s commitment to shielding workers from the dangers of an increasingly volatile  cl
June 27, 2023, 2:32 pm


Oregon Health Authority Report Finds Devastating Public Health Impacts from Climate Change in Oregon, Underscoring Urgent Need for Legislative Action to Pass the Climate Resilience Package

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 22, 2023 Media Contact Kat Driessen, PORTLAND, Ore. — The Oregon Health Authority today released a comprehensive report on the public health impacts of climate change in Oregon. The “2021-2022 Climate and Health in Oregon Rep
June 22, 2023, 11:00 am


Governor Brown signing Climate Change Executive Order

Climate Champion: Governor Brown’s Legacy and the Path Ahead

A few years ago, the prospect of Oregon taking meaningful action on climate was dim. Republicans had just fled the capital to prevent the elected majority of state leaders from moving forward with a vote (a tactic now widely condemned by Oregon voters via Measure 113), effectively
February 14, 2023, 7:04 pm


No Replies to "Natural Lands, Natural Climate Solutions"