Restoring forest cover is a prominent option for climate mitigation. Effective deployment requires knowing where opportunities are and how they vary in carbon capture, costs, co-benefits, and feasibility. Here, we combined spatial, economic, and feasibility analyses to examine 10 different opportunity classes for restoration of forest cover across the contiguous United States. These include non-stocked forests, shrublands, protected areas, post-burn landscapes, pasture lands, croplands with challenging soils, urban areas, floodplains, streamsides, and biodiversity corridors.
Urban areas account for 70% of carbon emissions, and are likely to be the locus of attention to reduce future emissions in developing countries. However, only a small share of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects under the Kyoto Protocol and only 30% of public climate finance is invested in urban areas. One of the main reasons is that most urban climate change mitigation projects rather provide development than climate benefits, so the question is whether alternative mechanisms can mobilize urban mitigation projects.