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California to dedicate 30% of its land to conservation by 2030

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Posted at 2:21 PM, Oct 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-07 17:21:15-04

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KGTV) — Building on his recently announced initiative to move California away from gas-powered vehicles, Gov. Gavin Newsom says California will dedicate 30% of its land to conservation by 2030.

Newsom said Wednesday that under an executive order, the state will direct agencies to store carbon in the state's natural and working lands and remove it from the atmosphere to preserve more than 30% of the state's land and coastal waters by 2030.

The move is also meant to combat species and ecosystem loss, according to the governor's order.

"Once again, California is taking on the mantle of global climate leadership and advancing bold strategies to fight climate change," a statement from Newsom read. "The science is clear that, in our existential fight against climate change, we must build on our historic efforts in energy and emissions and focus on our lands as well. California’s beautiful natural and working lands are an important tool to help slow and avert catastrophic climate change, and today’s executive order provides important new tools to take on this existential threat."

To hit climate goals, agencies will be directed to practice:

  • Healthy soils management, including planting cover crops, hedgerows, and compost applications,
  • Wetlands restoration to protect coastal areas,
  • Active forest management to reduce risk and restore forest health,
  • Boost green infrastructure in urban areas like trees and parks

Last month, Newsom announced California will phase out all gasoline-powered cars by 2035 in an effort to reduce the state's emissions. The executive order will require all new car and passenger trucks sold in the state to be zero-emission vehicles, but it will not make it illegal for Californians to own gas-powered vehicles or resell them as used cars.