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Do you have questions about divestment and socially responsible investment?

The Land Trust Alliance provides some thoughtful information on their climate change website about divestment and socially responsible investment.  You may find it helpful when discussing whether this is a path your land trust wants to take as a moral, ethical, and financial statement.

As the financial world looks at the risks associated with fossil fuels, others are considering different investment strategies, as noted in this article earlier this year from Forbes.

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Smoke Stack
Kestral Land Trust

Example: Kestrel Land Trust takes action against climate change with fossil fuel divestment

Kestrel’s mission to conserve and care for forests, farms, and riverways in the Pioneer Valley protects the future health of our planet. They state that “the work we do is impacted by—and has an impact on—the crisis of climate change that is now defining our future. The overwhelming scientific consensus is that the burning of fossil fuels is warming our planet and threatening our global life support systems.

That’s why Kestrel’s Board of Trustees voted to eliminate equity holdings in companies owning fossil fuel reserves in all of the long-term endowment accounts that support their work…”

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Smoke Stack Video Clip

Planet has only until 2030 to stem catastrophic climate change, experts warn

With as little as 10 - 30 years to make a significant difference—or risk massive species die-off, loss of agricultural lands, forest loss, and extreme weather—I applaud the realization that we can’t continue to conserve land as if climate change is a distant issue.

“Governments around the world must take “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” to avoid disastrous levels of global warming, says a stark new report from the global scientific authority on climate change.

The report issued Monday by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), says the planet will reach the crucial threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels by as early as 2030, precipitating the risk of extreme drought, wildfires, floods and food shortages for hundreds of millions of people…”

 

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Climate Change Protest
Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Where Americans (mostly) agree on climate change policies

“Americans are politically divided over climate change, but there’s broader consensus around some of the solutions.

New data from the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication — in partnership with Utah State University and the University of California, Santa Barbara — show how Americans across the country view climate and energy policies.

There is widespread support for renewable energy…”

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Branch

Carbon market incentives to conserve, restore and enhance soil carbon

Soils rich in organic carbon are associated with enhanced agricultural productivity, water cycling, biodiversity and climate change adaptation and mitigation. But despite the important role soils can play in fighting climate change, they have largely been missing from carbon markets.

There are signs that the future may be more promising. This study assesses the specific situation of soil carbon—its position in climate policy, the specific challenges, and the opportunities for intervention…

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Flooded Farm
Nature's Path Organic

Climate change is here, and it’s becoming harder to farm successfully

Your average farmer may not want to hear about climate change (do any of us, really?) or global warming, but their livelihood puts farmers smack in the crosshairs of the weather, and many of them are already being affected.

Changes in the timing of rains, the frequency and intensity of droughts, floods, heat waves, intense winter blizzards, hurricanes, and tornadoes, as well as the spread of previously unfaced pests and diseases are now become daily and yearly challenges for farmers in many areas around the world.

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Cow
Clean Grid Alliance

Five reasons farmers love wind & solar

If we are going to reduce coal, oil, and natural gas — to save thousands of species from extinction and avoid significant agricultural damage and loss due to extreme weather – plus find ways to make family farms viable in a changing climate, we are going to have to rethink how solar and wind are compatible with our conservation and community goals.

Check out five reasons why farmers often embrace wind and solar. Land trusts can help communities understand that the alternative to gearing towards renewables is often going out of business, selling for development, and family economic stress.

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Solar Panels
GVLT

Solar for conservation

Gallatin Valley Land Trust is proud to have conserved over 45,000 acres across their region. While protecting land from development and fragmentation is the first step, protecting the ecological integrity of our natural resources is equally as important. This is why they’re proud to announce a partnership with On Site Energy.

What’s the connection between land conservation and solar energy?

Fish need cold, clean water to survive, and rivers need high altitude snow pack to keep them flowing through hot summers. Ranchers and farmers also depend on the availability of that water for irrigation, and wildlife depend on the intricate balance of the changing seasons to maintain viable habitats…

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Farmer Stress
Anthony Souffle

Mental health issues cropping up as financial stress continues on farms

“Organic dairy farmer Kevin Stuedemann knows how it feels to be on the verge of calling it quits.

After several producers in his area went out of business, Stuedemann’s milk buyer ended its contract with him on 30 days’ notice because there were no longer enough organic dairies nearby to justify sending a truck. With 70 cows producing milk, no customers and zero income, Stuedemann searched frantically for a new buyer and took an off-farm job to make ends meet…”

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Whitcomb Farm Solar
Whitcomb Farm Solar

Whitcomb Farm Solar

Dairy prices are dropping through the floor, crop farmers are grappling with extreme weather, and farmer and rancher stress is increasing. For some, renewable energy options can mean the farm or ranch can continue as a working and the family can stay intact.

Established several years ago, in conjunction with a conservation easement in partnership with the Vermont Land Trust, the Whitcomb Farm Solar project is an example of land conservation and renewables working together, to keep the farm intact…

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