Title: Climate solutions require land use solutions
Abstract: Ambitious low-carbon transitions are underway in many jurisdictions, requiring the large-scale expansion of low-carbon energy sources and changes in the management of agricultural and forestry systems. With the rapid growth of renewable energy in particular, there is a pressing need to develop strategies for quantifying land use and conservation impacts and integrating these impacts into low-carbon energy planning processes. At the same time, implementation of natural climate solutions in the agriculture and forestry sectors such as reforestation and avoided grassland conversion must account for intensifying land competition due to new energy generation, increasing food production to feed a growing population, and biodiversity conservation in light of these multiple threats. In this talk, I will present results of completed and ongoing research that examines how land sectors both shape and are impacted by climate change mitigation strategies. The studies examine pathways for simultaneously meeting conservation and climate objectives for California and design sustainable land sector climate solutions for the U.S. by mid-century. The decision-support tools and frameworks resulting from these studies aim to inform systematic landscape planning to avoid or minimize land and biodiversity impacts while reducing conflicts and barriers to the rapid deployment of climate change mitigation solutions.