Be Climate Friendly and Climate Ready

Combat the climate crisis by achieving net-zero GHG emissions

The Green Parks Plan (GPP) focuses primarily on reducing the National Park Service (NPS) greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint. Reductions in GHG emissions can reduce projected temperature increases across the globe. As such, the NPS seeks to combat the climate crisis by achieving net-zero emissions across its building portfolio.

The NPS will also adapt to climate change by preparing facilities, infrastructure, and operations for the impacts of a changing climate. More information on NPS climate change adaptation, science, and communication goals are presented in the Climate Change Response Strategy (CCRS).
Green Parks Plan " Be Climate Friendly and Climate Ready" Objectives:
  1. Reduce Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions from NPS operations by 65 percent by 2030 from a FY 2008 baseline.
  2. Reduce emissions across the NPS portfolio of buildings, campuses, and installations by 50 percent by 2032 from a FY 2008 baseline, and achieve net-zero emissions by 2045.
  3. Maintain or increase net carbon storage through constructed or maintained asset rehabilitation and natural restoration projects.
  4. Increase resiliency of NPS operations and constructed or maintained assets.

Climate Change Resiliency

The National Park Service (NPS) maintains some of the most iconic buildings and monuments in the United States, many of which are located in areas vulnerable to the effects of climate change. To preserve these historically and culturally significant assets for future generations, the NPS is working to foster climate change resiliency in its facilities across the country.

The Sustainable Operations and Maintenance Branch (SOMB) of the NPS Park Planning, Facilities and Lands (PPFL) Park Facility Management Division (PFMD) ensures that parks consider the effects of climate change and plan for climate change resiliency before building, renovating, or making significant capital investments into agency facilities. To do so, SOMB—in collaboration with other NPS offices such as the Climate Change Response Program (CCRP) —provides innovative guidance, tools, and resources to assist park planners in identifying the risks posed by climate change.

Climate change resiliency refers to the capacity of an asset to withstand and recover from climate change-related impacts. For NPS facilities, planning for resiliency can lead to buildings, transportation, and infrastructure that are better equipped to withstand natural hazards and climate stressors, such as coastal flooding and more frequent and more intense storms. To identify resilience opportunities for the built environment (i.e., buildings, roads, etc.) at national parks, the NPS has taken steps to assess climate change vulnerability—an asset’s propensity to be adversely impacted by climate change. In turn, vulnerability for the built environment is influenced by two key metrics:
  • Exposure: Extent to which something is in an area experiencing direct climate change impacts (e.g., temperature or precipitation changes) or indirect climate change impacts (e.g., sea-level rise).
  • Sensitivity: How something is affected when exposed to an impact of climate change.
Climate change poses unprecedented challenges to national parks, with some parks already feeling the effects of altered ecosystems and coastal inundation. However, national parks also present valuable opportunities to investigate the impacts of climate change and identify paths toward greater resiliency. For more information, visit the NPS Climate Change page.

Last updated: February 22, 2023