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Forests, Land Use, and Climate Change

Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Plan​The forestry and land use sector is very important in its ability to sequester (absorb) carbon dioxide, reducing the net greenhouse gas (GHG) emission in the Commonwealth. In 2016, nearly 30 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2) of GHG was sequestered in the forestry and land use sector, more than the GHG emissions from the residential and commercial sectors combined. GHG sources and sinks in this sector include forested lands and soils, trees located in urban settings, yard waste, and forest fires.

Pennsylvania’s forests, however, are also at risk from climate change, including the spread of invasive species and shifting habitat ranges. Pennsylvania’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) has developed a Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Plan (PDF), which outlines 123 actions to mitigate these risks and help Pennsylvania’s forests adapt.