If you consider climate change a high-priority policy agenda, it’s a tough time to read the news. Our nation’s leader is vowing to withdraw from landmark international climate agreements and taking steps to reverse national climate change policies from the previous administration. For those of us concerned with mitigating global warming, the consensus remains that we must do something to ward off a calamitous climate future, while we warily watch political tussles play out in headlines at home and abroad.
Meanwhile, the something that must be done about climate change has remained frustratingly amorphous — until now.
On April 20, Ecotrust is proud to welcome author Paul Hawken for a conversation about Drawdown, a highly-anticipated, comprehensive plan to reverse global warming. Published as part of Project Drawdown, the book profiles 100 of the most substantial solutions already in existence to address climate change, compiled by a diverse, global community of researchers. Unlike climate change literature that foreshadows coming consequences, Drawdown is solutions-oriented, providing tangible action plans and clear visions of a path forward.
The title, Drawdown, refers to the moment at which greenhouse gases peak and begin to decline on a year-to-year basis. This is accomplished by achieving zero emissions and re-sequestering carbon already present in our atmosphere. Drawdown is based on meticulous research that maps, measures, and models solutions using strategies and technologies available today. Throughout the book, Hawken introduces ambitious proposals for the future of land use, energy, building, food, cities, and more.
Several solutions in the multifaceted proposal touch our work here at Ecotrust. They include:
Restoration of temperate rainforests and forest protection. Temperate forests are a carbon sink, and their protection and restoration improves their ability to sequester the greenhouse gas. EFM, our subsidiary, focuses on forestland management that enhances forest health and productivity. Our commitment to ecological forest management here at home is a commitment to preserving the natural resilience of our region’s forests, ensuring they retain their ability to provide ecosystem services, including carbon sequestration.
Indigenous peoples’ land management. Since our founding in 1991, centering Native communities in conversations regarding resource management in their ancestral lands has been of vital importance to us. We have worked with tribes and First Nations from Alaska to California to support a growing network of indigenous leaders, increase education opportunities for Native youth, and broker resources for economic sovereignty, repatriation, and improved management of traditional lands.
Building with wood. Carbon sequestered by trees remains trapped in wood building materials for the life of the products. Building with wood helps keep carbon out of the atmosphere, and has a lower climate impact than alternative materials such as concrete and steel. Read more about potential economic and forest restoration opportunities that the demand for new wood building products could offer from our VP of Forests and Ecosystem Services, Brent Davies here.
Coastal wetland restoration. Coastal wetlands can store five times as much carbon as tropical forests over the long term, mostly in deep wetland soils. At Ecotrust, we have long recognized the crucial environmental services provided by these unique ecosystems. From functioning as an interim landholder to preserve a rare, intact coastal estuary, to partnering with various stakeholders to restore farmlands to their original wetland state, we have consistently made watershed and coastal ecosystem health a priority.
Regenerative agriculture. Regenerative agriculture improves farmland productivity and increases carbon sequestration by utilizing practices that restore the carbon content of the soil, such as no-till farming, diverse cover crops, crop rotations, no use of synthetic pesticides, and more. A soil carbon content increase of just 3-7% can mean 25 to 60 additional tons of sequestered carbon per acre. Our work in food and farms at Ecotrust focuses on supporting small to mid size farms that utilize regenerative agriculture practices, bringing vitality and health to our economy and environment in the region.
Following a presentation about his research and findings, Hawken will join Ecotrust founder Spencer Beebe for a conversation exploring the work we do here at home that builds resilience in the face of climate change. Attendees will have the opportunity to engage directly with Hawken during a robust Q&A, while Climate Hero ticket holders and event sponsors are invited to our rooftop terrace for a reception and mixer with Hawken and Beebe following the event.
Now is the time to gather and build momentum toward meaningful action around climate change. And we’re thrilled to have Paul Hawken to lead us in this important discussion.
We hope you’ll join us on April 20 at 6 pm in the Natural Capital Center for this exciting conversation. More information and a link to tickets can be found here
About the author
Paul Hawken is an environmentalist, entrepreneur, and author. Since age 20, Hawken has dedicated his life to reshaping the relationship between business and the environment toward a more just and sustainable model. This lifelong journey has included helping pioneer the natural foods industry in the U.S., participating in the Civil Rights movement, and founding companies such as the Natural Capital Institute and Highwater Research.