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Harvard says fighting climate change is a top priority. But it still won’t divest from fossil fuels.

Institutions are beginning to take action against climate change. "For years, Harvard resisted calls to cut off funding for oil and gas firms despite demands from many students, alumni, and outside advocates."

“Harvard University prides itself on being on the cutting edge of climate policy and research. Its students and faculty have deployed drones over the Amazon, worked on a “bionic leaf” to turn sunlight and water into fuel and fertilizer, and searched for a cheaper electrochemical method of capturing carbon dioxide.

But there’s at least one step on climate change that Harvard has not taken: divesting the university’s $39 billion endowment of investments in fossil fuels.”

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Vox

Harvard, America’s richest university, will divest from fossil fuels

When your land trust or community organizations divest from fossil fuels, it's important to talk about why. Most will stress the moral and climate imperative. It's also helpful to talk about avoiding "stranded assets" and ensuring that conservation organizations have a strong footing for future generations.

The action is likely to have ripple effects in higher education and beyond, given Harvard’s $41 billion endowment and its iconic status among American institutions. For years, Harvard resisted calls to cut off funding for oil and gas firms despite demands from many students, alumni, and outside advocates.

“We must act now as citizens, as scholars, and as an institution to address this crisis on as many fronts as we have at our disposal,” Harvard President Larry S. Bacow said recently in a statement to the university community…

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Hundos
Investopia

Stranded assets

When your land trust or community organizations divest from fossil fuels, it's important to talk about why. Most will stress the moral and climate imperative. It's also helpful to talk about avoiding "stranded assets" and ensuring that conservation organizations have a strong footing for future generations.

Carbon Tracker introduced the concept of stranded assets to get people thinking about the implications of not adjusting investment in line with the emissions trajectories required to limit global warming.

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Healthy Soil
Flickr

Quantifying economic and environmental benefits of soil health

I’m so excited about the release of new American Farmland Trust research that proves soil health benefits go right to farmers’ bottom line.

Many farmers believe the scientific evidence that soil health practices improve soil and water quality. However, they are reluctant to change management techniques without knowing how much the soil health practices will cost or benefit them. So, AFT found “soil health successful farmers,” and conducted benefit-cost analyses.

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Hand On The Soil
AFT

The math is in: Soil health practices produce real return on investment

Climate change messaging focuses on shared values and providing solutions. While there is a great deal of talk about healthy soils sequestering carbon and other greenhouse gases, farm and ranch viability is central to successful agricultural climate solutions.

Our nation’s farmers and ranchers care deeply about the land. They want to use practices that improve soil health and protect water quality, like no-till or strip till, cover crops, and nutrient management.

But, farming is a business like any other. If the numbers don’t add up, it’s hard to make improvements that are good for the environment.

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Solar Panels
AEN

Why put a price on carbon?

We are going to need to promote energy conservation incentives and renewable energy if we are to save the species we all cherish. That means advocating for dual-use, compatible renewables like wind and solar.

It also might mean that you encourage your local and regional conservation groups to support the Citizen Climate Lobby’s work on bipartisan efforts to put a price on carbon pollution…and then talk about why they are doing that.

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Urban Trees
Unsplash

Any infrastructure plan also needs to invest in trees and green space

The American Jobs Plan proposal would significantly boost community infrastructure as well as jobs — many of which would support long-term investments in conservation and reduce the impacts and pace of climate change. Is your local land conservation group following this?

It’s up to community leaders, neighborhood organizations, nonprofits, and more to ensure that green strategies are not an afterthought but a critical foundation of any infrastructure plan introduced in Congress…

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Rancher With Cattle
Judy Anderson

FACT SHEET: The American Jobs Plan

The American Jobs Plan proposal would significantly boost community infrastructure as well as jobs — many of which would support long-term investments in conservation and reduce the impacts and pace of climate change. Is your local land conservation group following this?

“While the American Rescue Plan is changing the course of the pandemic and delivering relief for working families, this is no time to build back to the way things were. This is the moment to reimagine and rebuild a new economy. The American Jobs Plan is an investment in America that will create millions of good jobs, rebuild our country’s infrastructure, and position the United States to out-compete China. Public domestic investment as a share of the economy has fallen by more than 40 percent since the 1960s. The American Jobs Plan will invest in America in a way we have not invested since we built the interstate highways and won the Space Race…”

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Dolphins
NRDC website

30 x 30: NRDC’S commitment to protect nature and life on earth

This initiative provides a ray of hope into our collective efforts to conserve what has become even more important to our communities during the pandemic.

“To prevent mass extinctions and bolster resilience to climate change, scientists warn that we must protect at least 30 percent of our lands, rivers, lakes, and wetlands by 2030. At the same time, we must also fully and highly protect at least 30 percent of our oceans by 2030 to help safeguard marine ecosystems and fisheries that provide food, jobs, and cultural sustenance to billions around the world.

We have the tools to create a better, healthier future for our planet—and ourselves—but we must act now…”

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Sunbeam Through Mossy Forest
Unsplash

A top U.S. seller of carbon offsets starts investigating its own projects

Are your local land trust, or state conservation groups, considering carbon offsets? Understanding both the reality and the perceptions about offsets—and how to communicate the reality—is going to be central to success.

Following concerns that it is facilitating the sale of meaningless carbon credits to corporate clients, the Nature Conservancy says it’s conducting an internal review of its portfolio of carbon-offset projects. The nonprofit owns or has helped develop more than 20 such projects on forested lands mostly in the U.S., which generate credits that are purchased by such companies as JPMorgan Chase & Co., BlackRock Inc., and Walt Disney Co., which use them to claim large reductions in their own publicly reported emissions…

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