growth of sunflowers

Climate Change & Conservation eNews

Economy

Tilled Farmland
Dan Gunderson | MPR News 2019

A ‘carbon bank’ could mean extra cash for Midwest farmers

Farming can be part of the climate solution with "climate-smart" farming practices. A lot of these practices are common sense, but with farming margins tight, many farmers and ranchers need economic assistance to make it happen. Check this out—and consider what your state can do.

A well-known Minnesota agribusiness hopes to turn climate change concern into cash for farmers.

Land O’Lakes, through its sustainability arm, Truterra, last week launched a carbon exchange program in which companies that want to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions can buy credits, and farmers get paid for increasing carbon storage in the soil…

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Sprouting Coin Stacks
Pixabay

BlackRock makes climate change central to its investment strategy

The shift by the nation’s leading money manager is sure to be closely watched by its rivals and the rest of corporate America. Is your local conservation group walking the walk and investing with climate in mind?

BlackRock, the world’s largest money manager, will make sustainability and climate risks key tenets of its investing strategy, a move that its chief executive said should push financial institutions to prioritize climate change issues…

“Climate change has become a defining factor in companies’ long-term prospects,” BlackRock chairman and chief executive Larry Fink said in his annual letter to chief executives. “But awareness is rapidly changing, and I believe we are on the edge of a fundamental reshaping of finance.”

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Msu Uc Davis Alum
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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White Man Divests
Richard Drew/Associated Press

New York’s $226 billion pension fund is dropping fossil fuel stocks

“New York State’s pension fund, one of the world’s largest and most influential investors, will drop many of its fossil fuel stocks in the next five years and sell its shares in other companies that contribute to global warming by 2040, the state comptroller said on Wednesday.

With $226 billion in assets, New York’s fund wields clout with other retirement funds and its decision to divest from fossil fuels could accelerate a broader shift in global markets away from oil and gas companies, energy experts and climate activists said…”

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World On A Dollar
Yale Climate Connections

Fighting climate change: Cheaper than ‘business as usual’ and better for the economy

The often-repeated and seldom-challenged view that climate change solutions are expensive and uneconomical has long dampened public support in the U.S. for even common-sense measures.

Seldom do proponents of those views enumerate the costs or mention the alternative costs of continuing to extract and burn fossil fuels to meet society’s energy needs. But in this era of costly hurricanes, wildfires, and floods, melting polar ice and rising sea levels, it should be obvious that the price of the status quo is already high and increasing. Failing to curb global warming has started bringing more frequent climate catastrophes with crushing economic and humanitarian costs. And prices of green technology solutions are falling rapidly; many are already cheaper than fossil fuel alternatives and will more than pay for themselves over time…

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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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Ecologists
The Wall Street Journal

Preserving trees becomes big business, driven by emissions rules

Check out Finite Carbon in the Wall Street Journal.

Finite Carbon is North America’s leading developer and supplier of forest carbon offsets.

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American Prairie
JULIUS PASAY/CLIMATE TRUST

Carbon markets program puts more nonprofits on path to increase land conservation

The carbon market is going to increasingly be part of the market-based solution. Is your local land trust keeping track of how this is unfolding?

The Land Trust Alliance is partnering with carbon offset project developers Finite Carbon and The Climate Trust. Finite Carbon is working with the Alliance to help land trusts that own forest lands participate in the voluntary carbon market. 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.

Not only does this mean additional land preservation, but it will help combat the effects of climate change…

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Cornell
Creative Commons

Cornell University divesting from fossil fuels to focus on alternative energy, renewables

Is your land trust, or other companies in your community, evaluating their financial investments? Large investment firms and universities are transitioning for both economic and mission purposes.

The investments for this category are expected to decrease to zero over the next five to seven years as the investments mature, according to Bob Howarth, a Cornell professor of ecology and environmental biology who helped lead the divestment efforts and now heads the University Assembly.

Instead of investing in fossil fuels, the university will grow its $6.9 billion endowment portfolio by investing in alternative energy and renewables…

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Solar Panels
Judy Anderson

About the Solar Energy Technologies Office

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) supports early-stage research and development in three technology areas: photovoltaics (PV), concentrating solar power (CSP), and systems integration with the goal of improving the affordability, performance, and value of solar technologies on the grid…

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