NYS Senate passes $4.2B budget measure to fund environmental infrastructure
While the climate change clock rapidly counts down to the point of no return, a record investment in the environment, renewable energy and climate adaptations is on the table in the $220 billion New York state budget for 2022-2023.
A key component to the state’s strategy for turning the tide of global warming is the creation of the Environmental Bond Act. This bill would authorize an amount not to exceed $4.2 billion in state debt to “restore mother nature.” It would focus on funding capital projects to preserve natural resources and reduce the impacts of climate change. Because the measure will create a state debt, voters will have the opportunity to approve the act in November’s election. If approved, the state will issue and sell bonds for the full amount of this cost starting immediately.
New Jersey: Natural climate solutions
The Natural Climate Solutions Grant program will fund on-the-ground implementation of projects that create, restore, and enhance New Jersey’s natural carbon sinks, such as salt marshes, seagrass beds, forests, urban parks and woodlands, and street trees. Natural resources that sequester carbon play a critical role in meeting the State’s 2050 goal of an 80% reduction in greenhouse gases below 2006 levels. Recognizing this, the Department is announcing the availability of up to $15 million dollars for blue and green carbon projects. This funding is made available due to New Jersey’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), which provides the State with auction proceeds to invest in programs and projects designed to help meet its climate, clean energy, and equity goals.
Linking prairie carbon sequestration and other co-benefits to the voluntary carbon market
A research study at Midewin concluded that prairie restoration led to increased carbon stocks in degraded soils. At Midewin, new restorations contained about 1.5x more carbon than no-till row crops and remnant prairie soils contained about 3 to 4x the carbon stocks than no-till row crops. To supplement the research a literature review was conducted and based on 29 studies, perennial grasslands sequestered on averaged 1.7 metric tons of CO2 per acre per year…
Sequestering carbon while making breakfast sweeter
Vermont’s private forests play a key role in mitigating climate change — they store four times as much carbon as the state’s vehicles release each year. Selling forest carbon credits to companies and individuals working to reduce their carbon footprints provides a new source of income for individual landowners like Jessica Boone and Everett McGinley in Vermont’s Cold Hollows region, which helps them protect their forests. Unfortunately, carbon markets can be too costly for most owners of small forest parcels to join.
That’s why the Vermont Land Trust formed Vermont Forest Carbon LLC and teamed up with The Nature Conservancy, the Caron Dynamics Lab at the University of Vermont, and Cold Hollow to Canada, a local land stewardship and conservation organization, helping landowners overcome the cost barrier by working together as a single carbon project.
This is the first large-scale aggregated forest carbon project in the country, with fifteen neighbors teaming up to sell carbon credits from their land…
SunCommon financing program helps Vermont organic farmers go solar
SunCommon, headquartered in Waterbury, Vermont, launched a program that offers to help Organic Valley farmers go solar with zero upfront costs. Organic Valley is the largest farmer-owned organic cooperative in the US with a footprint of 100+ Vermont farms. The program provides Organic Valley farmer-members with financing for solar and other renewable energy projects. Farmers benefit from a fully-funded solar installation with no upfront costs, and they save on their energy bill…
The future of landfills is bright
“There are more than 10,000 closed and inactive landfills around the country. These sites offer an incredible opportunity for solar development. By installing solar on closed landfills, states and municipalities advance local solar energy while repurposing relatively large, vacant sites within communities that have limited reuse potential.”
Harvard says fighting climate change is a top priority. But it still won’t divest from fossil fuels.
“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.”
Harvard, America’s richest university, will divest from fossil fuels
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…
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.
Quantifying economic and environmental benefits of soil health
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.