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- How Do We Know That Humans Are Causing Climate Change? These Nine Lines of Evidence
By Ilissa Ocko
While most Americans acknowledge that climate change is happening, some are still unsure about the causes.
They are often labeled “climate skeptics,” but that label can cause confusion or even anger.
Isn’t the nature of science to be skeptical? Isn’t it good to question everything?
Yes, but —
Here’s what is getting lost in the conversation:
Scientists have been asking these questions for nearly 200 years. The scientific community has been studying these questions for so long that collectively they have amassed an overwhelming amount of evidence pointing to a clear conclusion.
A similar situation is smoking and cancer. Nowadays, no one questions the link between smoking and cancer, because the science was settled in the 1960s after more than 50 years of research. The questions have been asked and answered with indisputable evidence.
We can think of the state of human activities and climate change as no different than smoking and cancer. In fact, we are statistically more confident that humans cause climate change than that smoking causes cancer.
Our confidence comes from the culmination of over a century of research by tens of thousands of scientists at hundreds of institutions in more than a hundred nations.
So what is the evidence?
The research falls into nine independently-studied but physically-related lines of evidence, that build to the overall clear conclusion that humans are the main cause of climate change:
- Simple chemistry that when we burn carbon-based materials, carbon dioxide (CO2) is emitted (research beginning in 1900s)
- Basic accounting of what we burn, and therefore how much CO2 we emit (data collection beginning in 1970s)
- Measuring CO2 in the atmosphere to find that it is indeed increasing (measurements beginning in 1950s)
- Chemical analysis of the atmospheric CO2 that reveals the increase is coming from burning fossil fuels (research beginning in 1950s)
- Basic physics that shows us that CO2 absorbs heat (research beginning in 1820s)
- Monitoring climate conditions to find that recent warming of the Earth is correlated to and follows rising CO2 emissions (research beginning in 1930s)
- Ruling out natural factors that can influence climate like the Sun and ocean cycles (research beginning in 1830s)
- Employing computer models to run experiments of natural vs. human-influenced “simulated Earths” (research beginning in 1960s)
- Consensus among scientists that consider all previous lines of evidence and make their own conclusions (polling beginning in 1990s)
(You can also see these nine lines of evidence illustrated in the graphic below)
Skeptics sometimes point to the last two supporting lines of evidence as weaknesses. They’re not. But even if you choose to doubt them, it is really the first seven that, combined, point to human activities as the only explanation of rising global temperatures since the Industrial Revolution, and the subsequent climate changes (such as ice melt and sea level rise) that have occurred due to this global warming.
The science is settled, and the sooner we accept this, the sooner we can work together towards addressing the problems caused by climate change – and towards a better future for us all.Source: Main Feed - Environmental Defense | Published: March 23, 2017 - 3:58 pm
- New LSU Study Underscores Regional Economic Costs of Coastal Land LossRead more »Source: Main Feed - Environmental Defense | Published: March 22, 2017 - 4:00 am
- Illinois Kicks Off Ambitious Utility of the Future ProcessRead more »Source: Main Feed - Environmental Defense | Published: March 22, 2017 - 4:00 am
- Keeping America Great: Smart Rules Can Help The Economy And Nature Prosper
By Diane Regas
Barely a month after his inauguration, President Trump is proceeding with plans to dismantle protections under the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act. The targets include limiting pollution into streams and wetlands that flow into drinking water for a hundred million Americans, automobile fuel economy standards that cut tailpipe pollution, and performance standards under the Clean Power Plan that would boost renewable power and fight climate change. Trump and his EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt, have drawn up reckless plans to slash EPA’s budget—greeted with derision even by some Republicans in Congress. With the tragic story of Flint still fresh in people’s minds, the President is betraying the demands of his own supporters — fully 64% of Trump voters want to maintain or increase spending on environmental protection.
These actions are a tragic wrong turn for the country — and not just because they threaten to roll back decades of progress on air and water pollution, and the recent steps forward on climate change.
What I especially worry about are the lost opportunities for economic growth, new jobs, and the competitiveness of American companies — at a time when China and others are stepping up.
I think we can all agree that America is great in part because of our huge capacity for innovation — from Henry Ford to Elon Musk. But sadly, the new administration fails to understand that affirmative government policy has a crucial role to play in keeping the engine of innovation healthy and humming. In fact, during my decades of working under six different EPA administrators, almost all of them Republicans, I’ve seen first-hand the ability of smart regulations to unleash the enormous power of American ingenuity and entrepreneurship.
Keeping America Great: Smart Rules Can Help The Economy And Nature Prosper
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Smart rules — focused on results, not process — stimulate new ideas, create new markets and jobs, and raise living standards for all Americans. The limits imposed on pollution spewing from auto exhaust pipes not only cleaned the air and improved health, for example, they also spurred new technologies that increase fuel efficiency. As a result, Americans save money every time they pull up to the gas pump (though these benefits are threatened by the plans to roll back fuel economy standards). Similarly, protecting the ozone layer drove the development of new refrigerants, bringing higher profits for the innovative companies that paved the way to the new products.
But don’t take my word for it.
"I refused to gamble on the energy diversity options." — Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner
Listen instead to Bruce Rauner, the Republican governor of Illinois. Rauner recently signed a bipartisan bill that requires utilities in the state to generate 25% of their electricity from clean renewable sources like wind and solar by 2025 and to significantly boost the efficiency of energy use in homes and businesses. The mandates are good for the planet, of course, because they will cut the state’s emissions of climate change-causing greenhouse gases even more than would be required under Obama’s Clean Power Plan. And far from killing the economy, they will entice more than $10 billion in new investment dollars into the state and save people money on their electric bills. “I refused to gamble on thousands of good-paying jobs, and I refused to gamble on the energy diversity options for the people of Illinois,” Rauner told the Chicago Sun-Times. “That’s why I fought to make this bill happen.”
These regulations are stimulating the economy by creating high-paying jobs in construction and in manufacturing.
Or consider a seemingly arcane change in rules by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) about how transmission grid operators are paid to manage power fluctuations on the grid. The rule change has already spurred competition and made it cheaper (and more effective) to rely on batteries instead of ramping up gas generators — and helped fuel a whole new business in large-scale battery storage. Now, that industry is being truly kick-started by regulatory mandates, first in California, then in Oregon and Massachusetts, requiring that hundreds of megawatts of storage be added to the grid. This support in the early phase will help make battery storage competitive everywhere. These regulations are crucial weapons in the fight against climate change. But just as important, they are stimulating the economy by creating high-paying jobs in construction and in manufacturing facilities like Tesla’s battery gigafactory. As California Governor Jerry Brown says: “Regulation inspires innovation.”
I’ve been fortunate to personally benefit from such innovations. Pacific Gas and Electric is paying me to use my electric car as flexible power storage on their grid. PG&E and BMW have teamed up in a pilot project to test how to use plugged-in electric vehicles to meet short spikes in the supply of clean power. The utility saves money on power plants, can build-in more renewables, and will pay owners like me up to $900 over the two-year program. I’m also thrilled by the many advantages of the car itself: peppy acceleration, whisper-quiet operation, and low maintenance costs.
Breathtaking innovation in sensors, artificial intelligence, and advanced materials can thrive because the US creates the right environment. But an ideologically blinded attack on all government funding and regulation will create uncertainty and smother innovation that we desperately need. More than ever, we urgently need to protect the environment and slow climate change with smart investments and standards that also increase prosperity for all Americans. “The key is designing policies that point the way forward while creating a wide playing field for innovators to develop the best solutions,” says Anthony (Tony) F. Earley, Jr., Executive Chair of the Board of PG&E Corporation.
China is creating the world’s largest carbon emissions trading system.
Other countries understand this urgency. China is creating the world’s largest carbon emissions trading system, harnessing the power of the free market to fuel innovation and find the cheapest and best approaches to cutting carbon pollution. In a powerful symbolic move, China just announced a competition to develop key market infrastructure — on the Friday before the National People’s Congress.
Countries like Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Norway are already far ahead of us in shares of renewable power or electric cars and are reaping the resulting economic benefits from their homegrown innovations and world-leading companies. Eliminating the rules that have been successful in stimulating clean energy advances here in America will only put us further behind.Read more »
With the right smart regulations and policies, we can protect our cherished clean air and clean water and stabilize the climate. And at the same time, we will also keep America great.
This article originally appeared on Forbes.
Photo source: Grid AlternativesSource: Main Feed - Environmental Defense | Published: March 21, 2017 - 6:40 pm
- Scientists Question Risks of Using Oilfield Wastewater on Food Crops
By Dan Mueller
The engineers and scientists who study the oil and gas industry’s wastewater know the term “beneficial reuse” well. It’s the seldom-used technique of taking wastewater produced from an oil or gas well, treating it, and then using it for other purposes — like watering crops (including organic crops) or feeding livestock. It’s a rare practice that drought-stricken areas like California have used for a number of years, although little is known about associated health or safety risks since, usually, about 98% of wastewater is injected into disposal wells deep underground. However, as demands for water increase, and concerns about disposal wells (which have been linked to earthquakes) rise, beneficial reuse is being considered as a viable option.
But just because we can use wastewater for other purposes – does that mean we should?
Scientists researching these issues still have a lot of questions. Our recent article in World Water: Water Reuse & Desalination—a publication of the Water Environment Federation — highlights some of the biggest knowledge gaps we still need to address in order to confidently answer that question.
A couple of the largest questions needing answers: what is in this wastewater and could it be toxic?
The oil and gas industry’s wastewater contains a vast assortment of chemicals – including constituents that are pumped into a well, chemicals already present in the fossil fuel formation, and constituents that are formed when these chemicals mix. There is not a true count of how many chemicals may be in the water (another huge question to be answered), but a review of the national chemical disclosure database FracFocus and other literature identifies more than 1,600 different chemicals potentially present.
Some advocates for beneficial reuse argue we know enough to safely treat and use the wastewater for crop irrigation. But the unfortunate reality is that our current scientific methods can only detect about a quarter of those 1,600 chemicals. And we know even less about how toxic they may be – critical toxicity information is available for less than 20% of these chemicals.
Even of the small group of chemicals in which detection methods do exist – they don’t always work. Oil and gas wastewater is extremely salty, in some cases 10 times saltier than the ocean, and testing technologies don’t always perform in such high salt content. Meaning we don’t even know how to adequately detect potentially toxic chemicals.
This kick starts a chain reaction of other unknowns. Without accurate testing, we can’t know what chemicals we could be exposed to or how toxic those chemicals might be, which means we can’t be sure that current treatment processes are effective or regulatory programs adequately protective.
Even in California where the practice of using treated oil and gas wastewater for irrigating crops has been done for years, this practice is being looked at more closely. Last year The Central Regional Water Quality Control Board convened a panel of experts to examine the potential adverse impacts of beneficial reuse. The panel’s work is still ongoing, but a report authored by some of the panelists raised a number of viable concerns.
EDF is leading a number of efforts to expand the needed science. Last year we held a series of workshops with experts from across the country to assess how we can use existing technologies and tools to help narrow some of these knowledge gaps, and as a result have spurred a number of new research projects, including some we are leading to improve current wastewater testing methods.
We’re making progress, but we still have a way to go. Before policy makers start green-lighting an increase in beneficial reuse, we need to honestly acknowledge what is known, what is not, what is of concern, and give science time to provide some answers.Read more »Source: Main Feed - Environmental Defense | Published: March 21, 2017 - 5:38 pm
- A path to prosperity that we can all embrace
By Tom Murray
Prosperity. We all want to attain it, yet the ways we each define it are as different as we are.
As President Trump charges through his first 100 days, there is a risky theme being pushed that a prosperous America comes with a choice between environmental protection and economic growth.
This concept is not only false, but dangerous and short sighted.
Just look at China. When I was there last year, I saw a country that, during its own industrial revolution, made decisions that had unfortunately sacrificed the environment for a short-term surge in economic prosperity. Those tradeoffs were made during a time when coal and oil provided over 90% of energy consumption, and as a result, air quality reached unhealthy standards. Now China, the world’s fastest-growing economy (IMF), is sprinting to play catch-up. In 2015, in fact, China invested $102.9 billion in renewables, making it the world’s largest investor in clean energy (the US, by contrast, invested $44.1 billion that same year). (IEEFA.org, 2017) Earlier this year, as the Trump Administration ceded U.S. leadership, China continued to step up with a new commitment to invest over $350 billion in renewable power generation.
This concept is not only false, but dangerous and short sighted.
So I reject the idea that people have to choose between a thriving economy and clean air and water. Or that we need to choose prosperity in the short-term, but an unstable and unhealthy climate in the long-term. We should not be forced into believing false choices. Instead, we demand and deserve a healthy future where both the economy and the environment can prosper.
Environmental protection and prosperity are not at odds, says @EDFbiz @tpmurray…
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Protecting the environment is being positioned by President Trump as something that stifles U.S. businesses with over-regulation. And while not all regulation is perfect, sometimes policy is necessary to round out the sharp edges of capitalism. We must ensure that we’re not just eradicating environmental regulation, but instead making informed improvements with both business and the environment in mind. Just look at California as a case in point. The state’s clean energy standards for cars, buildings and electric utilities are some of the strictest in the U.S., yet California’s jobs and overall economy continue to grow steadily.
And on a national scale, a new report from Environmental Defense Fund shows that our best line to job creation lies in the sustainability and clean energy market. Addressing climate change isn’t hampering growth, it’s driving it. Sustainability now collectively represents an estimated 4-4.5 million jobs in the U.S. The solar industry alone is currently growing at a rate 12 times faster than the rest of the U.S. economy. Clean energy and sustainability is feeding a burgeoning pipeline of well-paying jobs across all 50 states. Jobs that cannot be outsourced I might add.
The Republican’s choice for Secretary of Energy, oil industry ally Rick Perry, said during his confirmation hearing, “the question is how we address (climate change) in a thoughtful way that doesn’t compromise economic growth.” It’s a good question, and one that must be very thoughtfully considered by Mr. Perry. When it comes to the environment and public health, we cannot repeal safeguards without devising safer, smarter replacements that diminish economic burdens while maintaining, or even increasing, protection. We need to envision prosperity through a lens where both the environment and the economy can thrive.
Our path to prosperity must be driven by long-term economics, not short-term politics.
Rolling back environmental safeguards, pausing innovation on fuel efficiency and clean energy, and reigniting a U.S. reliance on coal and oil is short-term thinking that puts us on a dangerous path.
Business prosperity in the long-term relies on resource availability. By 2050 the world will be home to 9.5 billion consumers, all looking toward business to provide the products and services they need. This consumption drives our economy—but puts a massive burden on our planet’s resources.
This is why Google, Microsoft, Nike, Nestlé, Walmart and many others are committed to sourcing 100% of their electricity from renewable energy. This is why PepsiCo is focused on improving water use efficiency, reducing food waste and eliminating emissions from its supply chain as part of its 2025 goals. And despite the threat of environmental rollbacks and noise about pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement, 1000 companies and investors have signed on to the Business Backs Low-Carbon USA statement, which reiterated support and intent to implement the historic Agreement to address climate change. Not because regulation demands this, but because long term prosperity requires it.
If America is to continue our longstanding tradition and commitment of leaving a better future the next generation, we must continue making decisions that align economic prosperity with environmental protection and human health. This, to me, is the most important test of business leadership. It’s time for committed sustainability leaders to live those values, speak truth to power, and move the dialog beyond transactional, and short term campaign promises to long-term health for the economy and the planet.Read more »Source: Main Feed - Environmental Defense | Published: March 21, 2017 - 5:37 pm
- Getting the framework right for the new TSCA: EDF comments filed on key EPA proposed rules
Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) filed extensive comments yesterday on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposals for the two most central “framework” rules mandated by last year’s Lautenberg Act amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).
Our comments address these proposed rules:
- TSCA Procedures for Prioritization of Chemicals for Risk Evaluation, the rule that sets up the process EPA will use to identify high-priority chemicals for risk evaluation and low-priority chemicals that do not require risk evaluation.
- TSCA Procedures for Chemical Risk Evaluation, the rule that sets up the process EPA will use to conduct risk evaluations on high-priority chemicals and make risk determinations as to whether or not the chemicals present unreasonable risk to human health or the environment
Both sets of comments address many different provisions of the proposed rules. EDF indicated our strong support for many aspects of the proposals, but urged changes to a number of provisions that we cannot support as proposed. In addition, we identified provisions we believe need to be added to EPA’s rules to be consistent with or meet the requirements of the Lautenberg Act.
EDF emphasized how vital it is for EPA to meet its June 22, 2017, statutory deadline for promulgating these rules. Because they establish processes that will require several years to begin to yield decisions on specific chemicals, delays in promulgating them in final form so that the processes can commence in the timeframe Congress intended will only serve to undermine public confidence in the new law, counter business interests to restore confidence in the chemicals marketplace, and hamper EPA’s ability to carry out its new mandates. This is especially the case, given EPA’s appropriate recognition in both proposed rules that it will need to initiate measures as soon as possible to ensure that sufficient information will be available to inform prioritization and risk evaluation decisions.
As discussed in more detail in the comments, EDF strongly supports EPA’s decision not to codify specific scientific policies, procedures and guidance in these rules. To do so would not be consistent with the law and would more generally represent bad policy. EDF also agreed with EPA’s proposal not to define in its rules complex, science policy-laden terms such as “weight of the scientific evidence,” “best available science,” and “unreasonable risk.” These concepts are best elaborated on in guidance and policy statements and best understood in the context of specific decisions on chemical substances.
Some other highlights from each set of EDF’s comments follow.
EPA appropriately proposes a rule that:
- is procedural in nature and avoids specifying science policy issues that are better addressed in guidance and policy statements;
- provides the right level of detail on the prioritization process and does not propose an exact scoring or ranking process;
- includes a “pre-prioritization” stage to gather needed data and meet the statutory requirements of the Lautenberg Act, which EDF urges the agency to keep simple and informal;
- makes clear that chemical substances, not specific uses or subsets of uses, are to be prioritized; and
- sets a higher bar for low-priority than for high-priority designations
EDF raised concerns about several other aspects:
- EPA’s proposal to “cut off” comments on proposed low-priority designations after the public comment period, which requires several conditions to be acceptable;
- EPA’s proposal to consider substitutes in the pre-prioritization process;
- insufficient incorporation of measures to ensure public access to information EPA uses to make prioritization decisions, including Lautenberg Act requirements governing industry confidential business information (CBI) claims;
- the need to make full studies on which EPA bases prioritization decisions publicly accessible; and
- the need to incorporate the definition of “potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulations” from the statute, with the refinements EPA has made to it in its proposed risk evaluation rule.
EPA appropriately proposes a rule that:
- is procedural in nature and avoids specifying science policy issues or defining related terms that are better addressed in guidance and policy statements;
- establishes a risk evaluation process that is compatible with reasonably available information and applicable deadlines;
- provides EPA with means by which to collect and require the development of information early and often in the “pipeline” of prioritization and risk evaluation;
- makes clear that chemical substances, not specific uses or subsets of uses, are to be subject to risk evaluations and risk determinations; and
- balances the need to consider all conditions of use of a chemical with the ability to:
- apply different levels of analysis to different conditions of use; and
- expedite particular conditions of use that clearly present unreasonable risk in order to expedite needed risk management;
- requires that a manufacturer requesting a risk evaluation must demonstrate there is sufficient information available for EPA to complete the risk evaluation for all conditions of use; and
- makes clear that risk determinations are policy decisions not subject to peer review.
However, EDF also raised concerns with or called for changes in several aspects of EPA’s proposal, including the need to:
Source: Main Feed - Environmental Defense | Published: March 21, 2017 - 5:36 pm
- more clearly assert and utilize its authorities under amended TSCA to collect and require development of information needed to inform risk evaluations;
- establish a firm opportunity for public comment on risk evaluation scopes, and to provide more time for public comment on draft risk evaluations;
- add several conditions to its proposals that any issues not raised during public comment periods on risk evaluation scopes and draft risk evaluations could not be the basis for later objection or challenge, and close a loophole that would allow industry to get around this limitation;
- broaden the applicability of the provisions that implement Lautenberg Act requirements governing industry confidential business information (CBI) claims;
- clarify that EPA’s authority to revisit a risk determination only applies after final agency action based on the determination;
- delineate requirements for EPA consideration of third-party risk evaluations;
- clarify opportunities for public comment on industry requests for risk evaluations and EPA decisions on those requests;
- require that full studies on which EPA or third parties rely in risk evaluations be publicly accessible;
- in applying or updating guidance used to conduct risk evaluations (which should not be codified in this rule):
- generally employ an aggregate approach to exposure assessment;
- further integrate systematic review;
- move away from EPA’s traditional margin-of-exposure approach for noncancer endpoints, as recommended by the National Academy of Sciences; and
- avoid assigning greater weight to guideline studies over the peer-reviewed literature.
- Barrier Islands: A Critical Restoration Project for People and Birds
Managing Barrier Islands to Maximize their Benefits to Birds Originally posted here in Audubon Louisiana News on March 20, 2017. Restoration of Louisiana barrier islands and shorelines is not only vital to the health of coastal Louisiana, but also to hundreds of thousands of nesting birds. Those that lay their eggs on the sand, called beach-nesting birds, are among the fastest group of declining birds in North America, and they rely on this critical habitat for survival. Over the last ...
The post Barrier Islands: A Critical Restoration Project for People and Birds appeared first on Restore the Mississippi River Delta.Read more »Source: Main Feed - Environmental Defense | Published: March 21, 2017 - 2:29 pm
- EDF Launches New Ad Campaign on Environmental Protection Agency Budget CutsRead more »Source: Main Feed - Environmental Defense | Published: March 21, 2017 - 4:00 am
- From row crops to rainforests: how agriculture affects us all
But, on this Agriculture Day, we want to recognize and celebrate the farmers and ranchers while acknowledging the fact that we all play a part in the growing of food. In just a few decades, there will be two billion more people to feed on the planet. As a global community our challenge is to feed this growing population sustainably without depleting the soil, polluting our water and worsening global warming.
The statistics are eye opening. Global food production accounts for:
- 33% of the world’s GHG emissions
- 70% of the world’s water consumption
- 80% of deforestation worldwide
- 50% of global top soil loss
What’s behind these huge numbers? When we look deeper, the problem looks different depending upon which side of the equator you’re on. From row crops to rainforests, here’s a snapshot of what’s happening, both in terms of the problem and the solution:
When we think about how we will feed an additional 2 billion people, improving yields will be critical to meet demand. Fertilizer is an essential nutrient that will help to increase the yields we need. But with less than half of nutrients applied each season being actually absorbed by crops, the unused fertilizer is bad for the planet:
- US food production accounts for 75% of nitrous oxide emissions and has contributed to the pollution of nearly 40% of US drinking water supply;
- Excess fertilizer and pollution is washing off of farm fields and into water ways degrading coastal ecosystems and causing algae blooms.
At the same time, this also hurts farmers financially. Fertilizer represents their single biggest input cost, so when nearly $420 million in fertilizer washes off Midwestern farm fields and into the Gulf of Mexico every year, it’s tough to remain profitable.
Eating food has hidden costs: the power of partnership in reducing the impact of our food supply…
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EDF’s work* with Walmart, Smithfield Foods, Campbell’s Soup, Land O’ Lakes and other food companies is proving that efficient fertilizer use reduces supply chain emissions and saves money. It just needs to happen more: when food companies, retailers, and other supply chain actors send the demand for scientifically based and economically viable strategies for using fertilizer more efficiently, sustainable practices will expand and far less impact will be placed on the environment.
Agriculture and Deforestation
Agriculture is the largest single cause of deforestation. Everyday forest lands in Brazil and other tropical countries are burned down to grow crops or to create cattle pastures for beef production. The exploitation of the tropical forests for the big four agricultural commodities, palm oil, beef, soy, and pulp and paper, contributes significantly to climate change.
Deforestation accounts for about 15% of global carbon emissions annually. Hundreds of major consumer goods companies have committed to eliminating deforestation from their supply chains.
The challenge is twofold: how to increase agricultural production in these topical regions to support the livelihoods of local communities and growing global consumer needs, while fulfilling companies’ zero-deforestation commitments to reduce carbon emissions?
The solution lies in multi-stakeholder engagement. Brazil’s experience shows that collaboration between companies, government agencies and local communities within a region can successfully reduce deforestation while maintaining robust growth in production. The country successfully reduced Amazon deforestation by about 75% from 2005 to 2013.
When executed properly, these jurisdictional approaches provide win-win-win opportunities. Companies have a new way to meet zero deforestation commitments in supply chains by sourcing from lower risk areas and reduce the risk that deforestation will spread to other suppliers. Governments have additional support to improve policies and productivity in their regions. Farmers have the needed incentives and assistance to increase sustainability and profitability on their lands.
Partnership is the key
So it’s clear: our food has costs beyond our wallets, in the form of greenhouse gases, water quality, water scarcity, biodiversity, and other important impacts that we don’t see each day when we sit down at the table.
But the good news is, there’s a lot of movement—or potential for movement— across the food supply chains, from retailers to growers to consumers, to promote sustainable practices on a multitude of food and agriculture issues.
To tackle these costs, everyone along the food chain needs to realize that there is no free lunch (pun very much intended):
- At EDF, we are working in collaboration with farmers, companies, governments, and other NGO’s to address these issues and reduce the impact of our food supply chains.
- Companies (including: food companies, retailers and other supply chain actors) need to consistently send the demand signal to farmers that they want less deforestation and more efficient fertilizer use.
- Consumers play an important role by sending our own demand signal for more sustainably produced food by thanking the companies leading the way in sustainability through shopping power.
So today take a moment think about where our food is comes from, and the hard work and energy that went into its approaches to feed people and protect our planet.
* EDF takes no money from our corporate partners—we are funded solely through grants, donations and membership.Read more »Source: Main Feed - Environmental Defense | Published: March 20, 2017 - 11:01 pm