As national leaders take steps back, local climate leadership flourishes
With the president’s announcement that he is backtracking on the U.S. commitment to the Paris accords, the future we’ve been working toward — one marked by clean water, good jobs, healthy food — is at risk.
It looks like climate leadership is going to have to start at home.
Luckily, we have already seen that leadership taking hold — in the frontline communities that are bringing their voices, experience, and solutions to bear, to ranchers who are working to rebuild soil health, to forest collaboratives that cross political divides to create a shared approach to more climate-smart forest management, and fishermen that support their coastal communities while working to restore ocean health.
We know that global warming solutions, guided by nature, can bolster communities and economies, profitably, well into the future:
- This year, we found that for every green job created with an equity-focused approach, nearly two more are generated.
- We learned from Paul Hawken that regenerative agriculture and managed grazing – which contribute hugely to “drawdown” – could provide financial returns of more than $3 trillion worldwide by 2050.
- And a recent report by Cambridge Associates found that investments in ecological forest management provided nearly two-times the return of business-as-usual timber investments, while providing one of nature’s best climate solutions.
Here in the Northwest, we know land-based solutions to climate change offer some of the best possible ways to reverse the effects of global warming:
- In Oregon, Washington, and California alone, our forests sequester 6.8 billion tons of carbon in just one year. EFM, a subsidiary of Ecotrust, is a forestland investment and management company that now actively manages 36,000 acres of forest property. These forests sequester the carbon equivalent to the emissions from 600,000 cars.
- Wetlands are critical for carbon storage, storing five times as much carbon as tropical forests over the long term, mostly in deep wetland soils. From protecting coastal estuaries, to helping restore farmlands to their original wetland state, Ecotrust has made watershed and coastal ecosystem health a priority.
- And, we know that one of the best climate solutions lies right beneath our feet: soil is a carbon sink just waiting to be unlocked. A soil carbon content increase of just three to seven percent can mean 25 to 60 additional tons of sequestered carbon per acre. Our food and farms work focuses on supporting small to mid-size farms that utilize regenerative agriculture to build soil health while also building regional economies.
Time and again we see what’s possible when we work together to renew the connections between people and place. We hope you’ll join us in renewing a commitment to climate leadership here at home.
Ecotrust’s work is made possible by the generosity and determination of people like you. Together, we’re building creative, long-term solutions for a world where people and nature thrive.
If you’re motivated by our work, please consider making a gift to Ecotrust. Every dollar has a direct, positive impact on our forests, farms, fisheries, and future.