The Trust for Public Land and JPMorgan Chase Launch new California Conservation to Address Climate Change

June 2, 2021
SAN FRANCISCO

The Trust for Public Land and JPMorgan Chase announced a $500,000 collaboration to launch The Trust for Public Land’s new California Climate Conservation program, and protect natural and working lands, mitigating climate impacts for people in the Central Coast and Los Angeles County. The program will incorporate California’s climate action strategy and help achieve greater community resilience through nature-based solutions and by engaging with local communities. 

“Climate change is effecting every Californian as we speak, especially in communities of color, and we must scale up our work to protect parks and open spaces based on climate and carbon capture data that will make communities more resilient to these changes,” said Brendan Shane, climate director for The Trust for Public Land. “This collaboration with JPMorgan Chase is an incredible opportunity to strengthen our focus on conservation efforts specifically dedicated to addressing climate change and broadening our coalition to reach new audiences, while inviting and facilitating active participation by rural and indigenous communities in this effort.”

Californians have endured a series of devastating climate disasters in the past year. In 2020, over 4.2 million acres burned across the state, 10,000 structures were destroyed, and 31 people lost their lives in the West Coast’s worst fire season on record. In September, a heat wave broke temperature records in Los Angeles County, which recorded a high of 121 degrees and snowpack in the Sierra Nevada, which acts as a clean water reservoir for millions of Californians, is projected to decline at least 48 percent by 2100. Earlier this year, part of the iconic Highway 1 collapsed from a devastating winter rain storm, made more intense from last summer’s fires and extended periods of draught followed by intense rain.

Our urban areas tend to feel the “heat island” effect, which causes cities filled with concrete and asphalt like Los Angeles to feel up to 27 degrees hotter than surrounding suburban and rural areas. And new data reveals that 36% of American public school students attend school in a heat island, creating a dangerous and debilitating learning environment for students. Preserving open spaces and creating parks allow for the absorption of damaging heat, keeping temperatures down and people safer.

“Prevention is integral to addressing the health and economic toll that natural disasters take in our communities,” said Mackenzie Huffman, Vice President of Sustainability at JPMorgan Chase. “We are committed to do our part in addressing climate change and transitioning to a low-carbon economy and we are proud to collaborate with The Trust for Public Land to protect open spaces that help create a safe, healthy future for all.”

This new commitment is part of JPMorgan Chase’s efforts to advance climate action and sustainable development. The firm has adopted a financing commitment aligned to the goals of the Paris Agreement to help clients navigate the transition to a low-carbon world, and aims to finance and facilitate $2.5 trillion over 10 years to support sustainable development.

“California is sought after for our diverse natural resources, beautiful environment and innovation, and we must remain intentional about long-term sustainability for all communities if we are to continue to be a global leader and build a more sustainable future for all,” added Allen Fernandez Smith, Head of Philanthropy, West Region. "Supporting climate resilience is critical to preserve thriving communities and this commitment is part of the firm’s broader focus on sustainability and investing in our diverse communities for a more inclusive economy.”

The Trust for Public Land will be using this commitment to identify conservation and restoration opportunities that support California’s '30 by 30' goal — a pledge to conserve 30 percent of the state's land and coastal waters by 2030. The commitment will strengthen and develop new partnerships with communities of color and low-income communities, in order to ensure that nature-based climate solutions are also meeting the needs of those who are the most affected by the climate crisis, including deciding conservation priorities in the region. 

Actively engaging rural and indigenous communities and other less traditional conservation partners will lead to stronger planning, broader implementation, more diverse stewardship, and increased confidence that nature-based climate solutions can benefit communities at the local level. These benefits may include reduced risk of wildfire impacts, improved access to parks and green spaces in times of heat-distress, protected water supplies and climate resilience in nearby agricultural and rangelands.
This commitment will also identify new and existing sources of public funding and ways to leverage private investment to further expand resilience-focused conservation across California.

About The Trust for Public Land

The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Millions of people live within a 10-minute walk of a Trust for Public Land park, garden or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit www.tpl.org.

About JPMorgan Chase

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $3.7 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of customers in the United States and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com. 

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