Support for Climate Plans and Policies
project

Support for Climate Plans and Policies

Fortifying city resilience and climate mitigation efforts with data-driven, nature-based tools and strategies

Cities4Forests helps cities strengthen their climate resilience by providing technical assistance in integrating nature into climate plans and policies. We also provide science- and data-driven tools and strategies help cities and their forests use forests and other forms of nature to reduce their own emissions and meet ambitious climate goals.

Opportunity

The degradation of forests and other natural ecosystems makes cities vulnerable to climate change impacts, such as extreme heat, drought, wildfire, and flooding. These impacts have already cost communities billions of dollars in damages, including $650 billion from 2016 to 2018 alone. And while many cities have crafted climate resilience plans, few communities have the tools, knowledge, or resources to take full advantage of nature conservation and restoration as climate resilience strategies.

At the same time, rapid urban growth has increased city-driven greenhouse-gas emissions. Cities need better tools to understand how nature can play a role in mitigating their emissions and how to change consumption patterns to protect forests (and their carbon) near and far.

Project Description

We anchor our approach in scientific evidence that shows how conserving, restoring and sustainably managing forests can provide robust, low-cost infrastructure solutions to help cities increase climate resilience and reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions.

We help cities integrate nature into their climate resilience plans. In Kochi City, India, we worked with officials to integrate long-term resilience strategies addressing heat stress, flood risk and other natural disasters into the city’s disaster risk and management plan. The plan highlights data showing how the city was vulnerable to these challenges, why it was vulnerable and which areas in the city need immediate action. The plan features detailed, nature-based strategies and programs to protect the city and its residents.

We also provide cities the tools to measure, manage, and mitigate their greenhouse gas emissions by using nature. This includes our supplemental guidance to the Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Inventories (GPC). This methodology provides detailed guidance for communities to estimate GHG emissions and removals from changes in area of forests and trees growing within their borders. This methodology has been piloted in cities and communities around the world, including Mumbai, which used their results to inform the city’s Climate Action Plan.

In King County in the United States, we advised on a certified forest carbon program that protects the county’s inner and nearby forests. In this unique public and private partnership, the county purchases forests that are at risk of development. They then offer buyers the opportunity to purchase carbon credits generated by keeping the forests intact. The county re-invests revenue from the program to protect even more forests.

Finally, we have developed the Forest Footprint tool, which allows cities to estimate their Scope 3 emissions from commodity consumption that drives tropical deforestation. The related Action Platform provides guidance on action that cities can take in support of faraway forests from internal procurement and beyond.