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The State Department’s 2014 U.S. Climate Action Report details actions that the U.S. is taking domestically and internationally to address climate change.
American Farmland Trust (AFT) analyzed recent reports to assess the role of agricultural land conservation as a climate impact reduction strategy. The resulting research paper, Agricultural Land Conservation: An Important Part of California’s Climate Strategy (April, 2016) proposed a goal for reducing farmland conversion and associated GHG emissions: 50% by 2030 and 75% by 2050.
“Blue carbon” is the type of carbon that is stored by coastal wetland vegetation such as mangroves, seagrasses and salt marsh grasses. While protection and restoration of coastal ecosystems has a relatively low global mitigation potential due to their small distribution, these ecosystems can store carbon at high rates per hectare.
California runs a number of programs that help it reduce its climate pollution, including financial support for electric vehicle purchases, mandates on biofuels and requirements that utilities source a substantial amount of their power from renewable sources. The new legislation requires the California Air Resources Board to strengthen these programs, or roll out new ones, to ensure that the new targets are met.
“Carbon sequestration” describes the process of capture and long-term storage of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) in a stable state. Direct carbon sequestration occurs in plants as they photosynthesize atmospheric CO2 into biomass, which means it is stored in “sinks” instead of being released into Earth’s atmosphere
While these developing low carbon finance mechanisms have not yet been incorporated into land trust funding models in the United States, as markets grow and enabling policies expand, opportunities to leverage such funding to support existing management efforts may be forthcoming.
Climate “bonding” describes the use of fixed-income financial instruments that are linked in to climate change solutions. Climate bonds are a relatively new monetization of greenhouse gas reduction services, but their availability and use is growing rapidly. Institutions and Investors with and without a green mandate are showing interest in the climate bonding market.
In the context of climate change, divestment and Socially Responsible Investment means avoiding financial alignment with companies who perpetuate reliance on fossil fuel sources and investment in groups that are committed to being part of the global climate solution.
The cost of solar has dropped dramatically in recent years, making renewable energy a smart and even more achievable component of carbon reduction strategies in the United States.