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Gina Ferrazi / Los Angeles Times

UC becomes nation’s largest university to divest fully from fossil fuels

Have the conservation organizations in your life faced the reality of the financial, and moral, status of their investments? All over the world nonprofits and financial institutions are divesting. This week it was announced that New York's $226 billion pension fund is dropping fossil fuel stocks. The fund will divest from many fossil fuels in the next five years and sell its shares in other companies that contribute to global warming by 2040.

The University of California announced…that it has fully divested from all fossil fuels, the nation’s largest educational institution to do so as campaigns to fight climate change through investment strategies proliferate at campuses across the country.

The UC milestone capped a five-year effort to move the public research university system’s $126-billion portfolio into more environmentally sustainable investments, such as wind and solar energy. UC officials say their strategy is grounded in concerns about the planet’s future and in what makes financial sense.

“As long-term investors, we believe the university and its stakeholders are much better served by investing in promising opportunities in the alternative energy field rather than gambling on oil and gas,” Richard Sherman, chair of the UC Board of Regents’ investments committee, said in a statement…

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Beer And Crisps
Getty Images

Beer and crisps used to help tackle climate change

From our friends across the "pond." Something fun to share with others...

The much-loved combination of beer and crisps is being harnessed for the first time to tackle climate change.

Crisps firm Walkers has adopted a technique it says will slash CO2 emissions from its manufacturing process by 70%.

The technology will use CO2 captured from beer fermentation in a brewery, which is then mixed with potato waste and turned into fertilizer…

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Hudson Carbon

A new marketplace for carbon capture

Hudson Carbon is an on-farm soil laboratory. We study how organic regenerative farming can maximize carbon capture and restore ecosystems.

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tulips
Creative Commons

Cultivating communities where people and nature thrive together

This is an interesting organization that is using an integrated farm project as a tool for change and action. Land trusts across the country could emulate and incorporate some of these ideas into their partnerships and land conservation strategies.

The Community Ecology Institute (CEI’)s Climate of Hope project includes three innovation areas, described below: 1) Climate Aware Agriculture featuring Renewable Energy Integration; 2) Cultivating Climate Victory Gardens; and 3) Community Climate Change Education…

Climate of Hope will offer accessible, science-based, action-focused climate change education for the community. [They] offer eight community events at [their] farm on a range of topics from climate victory gardening (and the associated carbon-capturing practices), to composting, energy efficiency, community solar, and more.

[They] also offer customized offsite presentations to eight diverse community organizations including HOAs, faith organizations, school groups, and businesses. These events will be designed to inspire participants and provide strategies and tools for sustained positive climate action.

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Sustainable Solutions
Creative Commons

Our energy future

Land trusts are recognizing that energy production, and transitioning off fossil fuels, is a key aspect of de-carboning our energy needs; which, in turn, is central to ensuring that the lands and waters we conserve survive for generations to come. That often means new, innovative partnerships.

Driftless Area Land Conservancy [DALC] along with dedicated area activists has created Iowa County CLEA-N, Clean Local Energy Alliance—Now. CLEA-N’s mission is to explore options for and engage in initiatives to advance the local ownership and control of a clean energy future in Iowa County, and to lay the groundwork for the creation of an Energy District through which the vision of that future can be realized.

CLEA-N & DALC—Working Hand-in-Hand on Common Goals

Climate disruption affects every aspect of the work at DALC. CLEA-N’s efforts to lower fossil fuel emissions and to sequester excess atmospheric carbon supports DALC’s land conservation work. As this new organization gets off the ground, DALC will be a significant stabilizing and guiding partner…

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Trees From Below
Judy Anderson

Corporate partnerships in the Family Forest carbon program

The Family Forest Carbon Program, a program created by the American Forest Foundation and The Nature Conservancy, brings together rural family forest owners and companies to address climate change.

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Birds Eye View
© Ian Patterson

Family forests: An untapped powerhouse in climate change mitigation

Natural climate solutions can currently play an important role in slowing down climate change. Yet, too many landowners haven't been part of the financial benefits of participating in carbon forest management. TNC and others are working to change this.

[T]he American Forest Foundation and TNC have partnered to develop the Family Forest Carbon Program (FFCP) to remove the barriers smaller landowners often face—carbon market access, lack of forest management expertise, and cost—to help them optimize the carbon storage potential of the 290 million acres of privately-owned U.S. forestland.

Meeting that potential requires helping those individuals and families adopt a science-based approach to take advantage of incentives for specific forest management practices that measurably enhance carbon sequestration. It requires engaging local foresters who have decades of experience working with private landowners.

Through sustainable management, landowners can reduce their expenses by as much as 75 percent…

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Art As Activism
Creative Commons

How art can inspire viewers toward climate action

One way to authentically lead in the climate change solution conversation is to consider what people care about—and how they might address climate change on a personal level. Certainly, voting is part of the solution. And, art can help make a case for what's at stake and ideas for action.

Land trusts have long worked with artists to elevate the importance of land and water, and to connect with their community. Current examples abound from local art sales, like the Agricultural Stewardship Association’s art show featuring farms and area landscapes, to the New Canaan Sculpture Trail.

Increasingly, with the growing realization of how climate change is the greatest threat to conservation we have yet seen, land trusts are now working with artists to inspire change and action.

One example is the D&R Greenway Land Trust. Back in 2016, the D&R Greenway Land Trust was in its 27th year of preserving and protecting natural lands, farmlands, and open spaces throughout central and southern New Jersey. Their art partnership was focused on raising the profile of climate change on the lands and waters people love—and the need for action.

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Cows

Healthy Soils Grant

There are opportunities to help position farmers and ranchers as part of the climate solution. If your local land trust works with agriculture, now's the time to start thinking about this.

A $2 million grant from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has been awarded to the Vermont Land Trust to help farmers implement practices that enhance the health of their soils. The Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) Program and the On-Farm Trials of NRCS stimulate the adoption and evolution of innovative conservation approaches in partnership with farmers.

The Vermont Land Trust, Biological Capital, and the University of Vermont Extension will work with approximately 25 conserved farms to create, implement, and evaluate practices that enhance the health of soil, including its ability to store carbon. This is the only Vermont-based project to receive CIG funding…

The Vermont Land Trust will provide project oversight, work directly with farmers, and manage…

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Ag On A Rainy Day
USDA

New revenue option for ag producers to yield attractive returns

The Climate Trust will provide cash to help land trusts purchase no-till grassland conservation agreements from farmers and ranchers. This will make the lands eligible for the carbon market.

Oregon ranchers Dan and Suzy Probert grow cattle and healthy soil. And with the help of Farm Bill programs, they’re protecting the Lightning Creek Ranch from development as well as finding new revenue options like carbon trading markets…

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