Brazil: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Brazil Protest

In today’s class lecture we discussed Brazil’s progress towards mitigating climate change. Brazil has made an enormous effort in reducing tropical deforestation, Brazil has kept 3.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere since 2004″ (Atkin, 2014). Brazil once had the highest deforestation rate in the world mainly due to livestock and logging. Rainforests are an important carbon sink, however deforestation emits large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, thus changing the climate. Although Brazil’s 70 percent decline in deforestation has helped reduce greenhouse gas emissions, other parts of Brazil are still feeling the effects of climate change. Sao Paulo is suffering from one of the worst droughts to have hit Southern Brazil in several decades. The water scarcity is causing violent conflicts between residents. As the climate continues to change, and droughts become more prevalent we can expect to see more violent conflicts and citizens protesting for access to resources like water, which are necessary for survival. Rainy seasons in Brazil have shown a pattern of less rainfall each year, “The Sao Paulo metropolitan area ended its last rainy season in February with just a third of the usual rain total only 9 inches” (Gomez-Licon, 2014). The government is being blamed for the issues of water scarcity, which shows that as the climate keeps changing and water becomes more limited there must be systems implemented for distributing water equally. Otherwise the world’s poor will be exposed to more vulnerabilities, and violent conflicts will increase. 


Atkin, Emily. “Brazil Has Done More To Stop Climate Change Than Any Other Country, Study Finds.” ThinkProgress. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2014. <>.

Gomez Licon, Adriana. “Sao Paulo Drought Leaves Brazil’s Biggest City Desperate For Water.” The Huffington Post., 07 Nov. 2014. Web. 10 Nov. 2014. <>.


Transformative Change or Bust

Screen Shot    at

            Climate change is the largest challenge humanity has ever faced. The problem and solution in its essence are simple: humans are emitting too greenhouse gasses and need to stop these emissions. However, in reality it is exponentially more complicated. The ability to emit greenhouse gasses in unlimited qualities has been built into the fabric of modern society and the global economy, yet, these emissions also threaten to destroy both. The notion of ‘dangerous’ climate change can mean something completely different for each person trying to quantify it; it changes based on region, capacity to adapt, perceptions on the science and so on. For the purposes of this essay dangerous climate change is already happening, at a one-degree increase in global temperatures, and unacceptably dangerous climate change is anything beyond this. Incremental changes in policy and reforms are inherently unable to avoid dangerous circumstances because it is already happening; there is no time to wait for gradual shifts and transitions to a clean energy economy and society. Transformative and radical changes in the way and how much humans consume energy are necessary just to avoid even more dangerousclimate change.

Currently there has already been an observed increase of almost one degree in world temperatures, with roughly 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. There has been relative international consensus, with an agreement to review decision later, that a temperature increase of two degrees Celsius is an acceptable amount of climate change to avoid “dangerous” effects. Thomas Lovejoy, a highly respected biologist, has said that based on what he has observed already in terms of ocean acidification, changes in annual cycles, temperature, precipitation and these effects of biology and biological diversity, the idea of two degrees is to much. He noted that anywhere one looks, “the finger prints of climate change” is visible. Just looking at the Burning Embers Graph, created by the IPCC, risk is created with any amount of temperature change. However, if we quantify dangerous change as beginning with the “high risk” category, that begins after one degree and the “very high” category begins right after two degrees. Climate change has already had measurable consequences such water availability, extreme weather events (such as hurricanes and typhoons) that have impacted human health and safety, and an increase in severity and number of wildfires as well as heat waves.[i] While these impacts have not affected each region and every community equally, clearly the world is already at a stage of dangerous climate change for many.

IPCC AR5 projected global average surface temperature changes in a high emissions scenario (RCP8.5; red) and low emissions scenario (RCP2.6; blue).
IPCC AR5 projected global average surface temperature changes in a high emissions scenario (RCP8.5; red) and low emissions scenario (RCP2.6; blue).

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 7.57.09 PM

With the realization that the world is already experiencing ‘dangerous’ climate change, the most aggressively climate-resilient pathway must be chosen. A report by the Worldwatch Institute noted that a transformational, “transition is essential if we are to achieve emissions reductions on the scale that the IPCC says is required by 2050 in order to limit global warming to 2-degrees Celsius.”[ii] The report later specifies that a least eighty-percent below 2000 levels, is required. This signifies a truly revolutionary change in energy consumption for such a short time scale, particularly considering this is based off a goal of two degrees, not just one.

Yet, that does not mean it is not possible. According to the same report by the Worldwatch Institute necessary transformational change is viable in the coming two decades (to achieve the 2050 goal) if a combination of energy efficiency and renewable energy is used. In the “Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability: Summary for Policymakers” the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said with high confidence that, “Transformations in economic, social, technological, and political decisions and actions can enable climate-resilient pathways.”[iii] Transformational changes require mitigation actions on these four levels immediately, through a rapid growth in clean energy implementation and use, a drastically more energy efficient society and economy and the strong political force to promote and implement these changes.

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 8.00.45 PMScreen Shot 2014-11-03 at 8.00.55 PM

An effective strategy of mitigation a few decades ago, before climate change was acutely visible, would have involved incremental changes and gradual policy reform to slowly create a low-carbon economy. However, humanity is no longer in this position. The future security of the world depends on avoiding any and all amounts of dangerous climate change. The ability to do this will directly rely on the collective ability to create rapid transformative change that drastically reduces current greenhouse gas emissions.



Work Cited:

Sawin, Janet, and William Moomaw. “Renewable Revolution: Low-Carbon Energy by             2030.” Worldwatch Report (2009): 5-39. Print.


“Summary for Policymakers.” Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and             Vulnerability (2014): 3-30. Print.


[i] “Summary for Policymakers.” Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and             Vulnerability (2014): 3-30. Print.

[ii] Sawin watch 24

[iii] “Summary for Policymakers” 29

Transformative Change Needed, Tax Carbon!

news environment

In the Copenhagen Accord (UNFCCC, 2010), during COP15, 114 countries agreed that “the increase in global temperature should be below 2°C, on the basis of equity”. This has been interpreted as the “dangerous” level agreed to by the parties in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (1992). To have a more likely than not chance at staying below 2°C, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere cannot exceed 500ppm (IPCC, 2014). Every 2.13 GtCO2 emitted will raise the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by 1ppm (Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, 2012). As of September 2014, the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere was 395 ppm (NOAA, 2014). Thus, there is approximately 224 more GtCO2 that can be emitted until there is a less likely than not chance of having warming greater than 2°C. To reach this level of atmospheric carbon dioxide, global emissions must be reduced by 40-70% by 2050 and be at zero or negative emissions by the end of the century (IPCC, 2014). A carbon tax is the most effective way to make the transformative change needed to keep emissions below the agreed upon dangerous level of atmospheric GHGs. An aggressive carbon tax will allow dangerous climate change to be avoided because it is proven to work, it can be implemented quickly, and it has the potentially to drastically reduce emissions.

A carbon tax is an effective tool to mitigate emissions in a least cost manner. Every use of fossil fuels that is worth less than the price of the emissions will not occur and thus reduce emissions. As the fee rises, more carbon intensive activities will become economically infeasible, driving down GHG emissions. Depending on the original fee and rate of increase this would be an effective tool to rapidly decrease emissions at the least cost because market forces will drive carbon reductions. By setting a tax floor, emission reductions are ensured (as opposed to a price cap in cap-and-trade systems) and increase over time with price increases (Sawin and Moomaw, 2009). A cap-and-trade system will be associated with less certain emissions reductions because an emissions cap is also an emissions floor (Burtraw and Woerman, 2012). This means that maximum emissions reductions cannot always be achieved because the number of permits issued sets the reduction amount as opposed to market forces pushing emissions with economic forces. This tax scheme allows for efficient carbon reductions.

Several European countries have already put a tax on carbon. Denmark was able to do this successfully by taxing industry emissions to fund renewable energy projects (Sawin and Moomaw, 2009). Denmark proved that the carbon tax works when you tax the polluters and subsidize renewable energy (Prasad, 2008). A recent study even found that a majority of republicans, democrats and independents in the United States would support a carbon tax similar to Denmark’s in which all revenues would be returned to research and development of renewable energies (Amdur, 2014). This could make a carbon tax feasible in the US and allow for economically efficient emissions reductions.

During the last week of October 2014, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse announced his intentions to introduce a carbon fee bill to the US Senate (Pantsios, 2014). This bill would put a price on the carbon to fund social programs including helping workers transition out of carbon intensive jobs (Pantsios, 2014). Two MIT economists hypothesize that it is better for the economy to have carbon taxes than high federal taxes (specifically looking at the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts) even if those funds go towards social programs or tax cuts (Rausch and Reilly, 2012). For all these reasons, it seems like a carbon fee bill would do well in US congress; it makes logical sense, but the politics can get messy.

Australia passed a carbon tax in 2012 (Meng and others, 2013) under a pro-labor government attempting to reach across party lines to gain votes (Taylor and Hoyle, 2014). The politics around this legislation have been messy for a number of years and in 2014 the law was repealed under the notion that it hurts business and is preventing Australia from exporting its rich energy resources to countries across the world (Taylor and Hoyle, 2014). AGL Energy was cited as saying that this would cause a loss in revenue in the near term due to loss in assistance from the government/carbon tax; however, long-term profits are now looking up (Taylor and Hoyle, 2014). This could lead to backlash from citizens as the government takes away a A$500+ check, which was promised to households in the form of yearly savings (Taylor and Hoyle, 2014). Australia is the first example of a nation to pass a carbon fee and then later repeal it. A program, which gives money to the citizens, would seem to have broad voter appeal, like British Columbia’s program (2014). It appears that the politics were not set up properly for Australia to have a carbon fee that sticks. This does not mean that a carbon fee is impossible, but rather that care must be taken to set up a program that is politically feasible.

Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) are a good first step and should not be discourage amongst UNFCCC parties. To be effective, an agreement with a great deal of stringency, participation and compliance must be reached in Paris. It does not appear to be politically feasible, but if a global price on carbon could be agreed upon, this would allow for the best system to tie everyone together ensuring participation and compliance. The tax could provide increasing stringency over time to ensure effectiveness. This would allow certainty around carbon leakage out of countries with strict carbon rules and into low regulation nations. The carbon tax is a clear transformation change that would work to drive emissions down. Incremental changes and small policy reforms are unlikely to put the world in a position to mitigate warming below 2 degrees Celsius. Effective and decisive action is needed immediately to instill transformative change.

Works Cited

Amdur, D., Rabe, B., Borick, C. Public Views on a Carbon Tax Depend on the Proposed Use of Revenue. Issues in Energy and Environmental Policy. Number 13. July, 2014.

British Columbia. Carbon Tax. Ministry of Finance. 2014.

Burtraw, Dallas, and Matt Woerman. “US status on climate change mitigation.” Resources for the Future (RFF) Discussion Paper (2012): 12-48.

Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center. Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center – Conversion Tables. September, 2012.

IPCC, 2014: 5th Assessment Synthesis Report, Summer for Policy Makers. [Myles R. Allen (United Kingdom), Vicente Ricardo Barros (Argentina), John Broome (United Kingdom), Wolfgang Cramer (Germany/France), Renate Christ (Austria/WMO), John A. Church (Australia), Leon Clarke (USA), Qin Dahe (China), Purnamita Dasgupta (India), Navroz K. Dubash (India), Ottmar Edenhofer (Germany), Ismail Elgizouli (Sudan), Christopher B. Field (USA), Piers Forster (United Kingdom), Pierre Friedlingstein (United Kingdom), Jan Fuglestvedt (Norway), Luis Gomez-Echeverri (Colombia), Stephane Hallegatte (France/World Bank), Gabriele Hegerl (United Kingdom), Mark Howden (Australia), Kejun Jiang (China), Blanca Jimenez Cisneros (Mexico/UNESCO), Vladimir Kattsov (Russian Federation), Hoesung Lee (Republic of Korea), Katharine J. Mach (USA), Jochem Marotzke (Germany), Michael D. Mastrandrea (USA), Leo Meyer (The Netherlands), Jan Minx (Germany), Yacob Mulugetta (Ethiopia), Karen O’Brien (Norway), Michael Oppenheimer (USA), R.K. Pachauri (India), Joy J. Pereira (Malaysia), Ramón Pichs- Madruga (Cuba), Gian-Kasper Plattner (Switzerland), Hans-Otto Pörtner (Germany), Scott B. Power (Australia), Benjamin Preston (USA), N.H. Ravindranath (India), Andy Reisinger (New Zealand), Keywan Riahi (Austria), Matilde Rusticucci (Argentina), Robert Scholes (South Africa), Kristin Seyboth (USA), Youba Sokona (Mali), Robert Stavins (USA), Thomas F. Stocker (Switzerland), Petra Tschakert (USA), Detlef van Vuuren (The Netherlands), Jean-Pascal van Ypersele (Belgium)]. November 1, 2014.

Meng, S, Siriwardana, M., and McNeill, J. “The environmental and economic impact of the carbon tax in Australia.” Environmental and Resource Economics 54.3 (2013): 313-332.

Monica Prasad, “On Carbon, Tax and Don’t Spend,” New York Times, 25 March 2008.

NOAA. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Earth Systems Research Laboratory Global Monitoring Division. Trends in Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide. October, 2014.

Patsios, Anastasia. Sen. Whitehouse Proposes Carbon Tax to Repay Citizens for Pollution Costs. Eco-watch. October, 2014.

Rausch, S., and Reilly, J. Carbon tax revenue and the budget deficit: A win-win-win solution?. MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, 2012.

Sawin, J., and Moomaw, W.. Renewable revolution: low carbon energy by 2030. Worldwatch Institute, 2009.

Taylor R. and Hoyle R. Australia Becomes First Developed Nation to Repeal Carbon Tax. The Wall Street Journal. July, 2014.

UNFCCC. Copenhagen Accord. “Report of the Conference of the Parties on its fifteenth session, held in Copenhagen from 7 to 19 December 2009.” UNFCCC/CP/2009/11/Add.1. March 30, 2010.

UNFCCC. United National Framework Convention on Climate Change. UNFCCC/INFORMAL/84. 1992.

Two Years Later, What have we learned from Sandy?


Two years ago the Jersey Shore, a place where I call home, was devastated by Hurricane Sandy. My friends and family were left without heat, electricity, and some were left without homes. While my family was fortunate enough to have mild damages to our properties, others had lost everything. The first time I returned home, about a month after Sandy, there were still incredible signs of the destruction. Boats were still washed up on major roads, the streets were still full of debris, and beach towns resembled ghost towns. I observed places that were once very familiar seem almost unrecognizable.



This famous photograph (above) was taken in a nearby town, which I recalled having to pull a u-turn in the driveway during the previous summer months. Hurricane Sandy forever altered the landscapes of the Jersey Shore.

During our trip to Washington DC, we spoke with Joel Scheraga, the Senior Advisor for Climate Adaptation in the Office of Policy in the Office of the Administrator at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Joel Scheraga spoke to us about the importance of mainstreaming climate adaptation planning. As we have already seen impacts of climate change through intensifying natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy, it is imperative that the process of redevelopment incorporates climate-resilient methods. It is the EPA’s mission to anticipate and plan for future changes in climate. Climate adaptation will prepare the world for the impacts of climate change.

After meeting with Joel Scheraga, I began to wonder in what ways the Jersey Shore was rebuilt to withstand future climatic events.

Will New Jersey be ready for the next superstorm?

These images show the changes in the landscape after the destruction of Hurricane Sandy. 


The Multi-Track Approach: Comprehensive, Ambitious and Feasible

The Gift of Reciprocity gameplan for success

Time is running out to create meaningful international climate change action. The parts per million of carbon in the atmosphere is still on a steady increase, it is well past the internationally agreed upon safe limit, 350ppm. The agreement created by the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) might be the last chance for a meaningful agreement that would prevent catastrophic increase in global temperatures, over two degrees. In the past twenty years of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) the negotiations have been largely ineffective in succeeding in their goals to plateau or decrease global emissions despite a range of tactics. They have tried a “top-down” approach through the Kyoto Protocol that had “contractual” emissions reductions, a “bottom-up” approach that “facilitated” voluntary emissions reductions (Bodansky). Both approaches have had positive and negative results, some of which are still unknown in the grand scheme of events, however, both have on the whole failed to produce the level and breadth of cooperation and action necessary to realistically mitigate climate change. Going forward a new approach is required that builds of the previous structures of negotiations to create the best agreement possible. If done correctly, a multi-track approach would combine the reciprocity and flexibility needed to get a high level of participation while producing the most comprehensive, ambitious and feasible climate agreement possible.

Due to the fact that essentially all aspects of society and economy perpetuate climate change, and that each nation has unique societal, economic and political backgrounds, an equally dynamic approach is required to successfully tackle mitigation. This means creating an international agreement that has the capacity to be successfully encourage and enforce nations to collectively and individually attack the issue by any and all means necessary. In discussing the failures of COP19 Joseph Zammit-Lucia noted that, “It’s not a lack of will that is the problem; it’s a lack of politically and practically achievable ways to achieve these results” (Zammit-Lucia). If each country gets to choose the manner with which they will reduce emissions, so long as “The different tracks [are] tied together by a core agreement addressing matters such as institutional arrangements, metrics and methodologies for comparing commitments under different tracks, reporting, and compliance,” then the possibility of follow through is much higher (Bodansky 10). Some form of legal requirements are needed for each nation to trust that their actions are reciprocated and to avoid a problem of potential free-riding, however, this could potentially also take the form of legislation at a nation level in addition to legal commitments at an international level (Bernauer).

In describing the form that a multi-track agreement would take Daniel Bodansky discussed including obligations for countries based specific parameters, “for example, countries with per capita GDPs above an agreed threshold might be expected to assume economy-wide emission targets” (Bodansky 10). However, other nations might be legally obligated to mitigation action through sectoral agreements or national policy making, based on the capacity of the nation. This type of system would create dynamic, “configurations of countries,” involving multiple, layering commitments based on the most effective strategy (Bodansky 9). However, because the negotiations would be based on reciprocity the potential for ambition is much higher.

For the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action to be successful it must consider using the multi-tack approach in order to accomplish the post 2020 goals of less than or equal to two degree global temperature increase. Due to the various circumstances within each nation there is no single answer for reducing emissions across the board, and this agreement should reflect that. The ADP has the potential to ensure the flexibility necessary for each nation to achieve the highest level of emissions reduction, attract a broad participation due to this flexibility, while also promoting the most aggressive reductions through the dynamic system of reciprocity.


Work Cited:

Bernauer, Thomas , Robert Gampfer, and Florian Landis . “Burden Sharing in Global Climate  Governance.” Centre for European Economic ResearchCentre for European EconomicResearch Unknown (2014): 1-9. Print.

Bodansky, Daniel. “The Durban Platform: Issues and Options for a 2015 Agreement.” Center for Climate and Energy solutions Unknown (2012): 1-10. Print.

Zammit-Lucia, Joseph . “COP19: the UN’s climate talks proved to be just another cop out.” The Guardian . N.p., 2 Dec. 2013. Web. 7 Oct. 2014.



Transnational Network: The Climate Community and Biodiversity Alliance

Screen Shot    at

The Climate Community and Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA) is a transnational network involved in climate change governance through an intersectional approach involving a diverse range of actors. Conservation International and a collection of five non-governmental organizations comprising its membership, including CARE and the Rainforest Alliance, founded the network in 2003.[i] In addition to these members the CCBA has an advising group of international research institutions (three in total, including the World Agroforestry Center) and the donors to the network (including philanthropic foundations and corporations such as the Rockefeller Foundation and British Petroleum).[ii],[iii] The goal of this alliance is to validate and verify projects that attempt to mitigate climate change through land management while positively serving the native population of that area, from the project’s conception throughout its implementation.[iv] CCBA does this through creating a set of Climate Community and Biodiversity (CCB) standards that generates reliable carbon credits. The CCBA acts as a transnational governing force rather effectively by setting a reputable and premium standard to assist in the regulation of the global carbon market.

In the international climate change discussion, ideas of equity and justice are often raised, and so is the case when discussing issues of land use. The way land is used has huge implications for global climate change; it can be a large contributing factor to emissions through activities such as deforestation or can aid in mitigation through activities such as conservation of biodiversity. Plans of mitigation through “carbon forestry” raised concerns that these projects would inevitably be unjust to native communities because of the high potential of consequences such as displacement of communities.[v] The foundation of CCBA and the CCB standards was to address these concerns in a meaningful way. The creation of CCBA dealt with this issue by not only creating a set of standards that would prohibit adverse effects of land use mitigation projects on native peoples but would also promote and require positive gains or, “co-benefits” for both the community and the environment in projects they validated.[vi]

The CCBA is able to promote and instigate these net positive projects through its CCB label. This is a process that involves a certification of “validation” that is an acknowledgment that the project has been heavily analyzed, reviewed and decidedly fulfills the CCB standards.[vii] Validation builds support for the project that then makes implementation and success of the project more likely. After a project has been validated it is then “verified,” which enforces accountability to follow through on promises for co-benefits.[viii] When carbon credits have the CCB label, it signifies they have passed validation and verification and is a high quality credit to the buyer.[ix] A study by the Ecosystem Marketplace’s State of the Forest Carbon Market showed that the investors and offset buyers were more likely to pay extra for the CCB label due to its multilateral approach and diverse range of benefits.[x] This positive reputation has gone hand in hard with increasing number of projects voluntarily seeking approval of CCB standards. In 2010 there were 19 validated projects and 21 in the process, however, over the course of the next three years there 70 projects total were validated, 19 undergoing validation, and 12 projects receiving the CCB label.[xi],[xii] The success of this process of transnational governance is illustrated by the estimated 8 million hectares of land conserved, 180,000 hectares of land restored, totaling roughly 40 million tons of CO2 emissions sequestered.[xiii] Presently, the number of CCB standards approved projects is, in the global picture, minimal. However, the fact these numbers have been increasing rapidly over the past few years eludes to a growing capacity of governing global climate change


Screen Shot 2014-10-01 at 12.53.15 PM


Overall, the Climate Community and Biodiversity Alliance and the resulting standards appears to be quite effective in achieving its goal of filling a governance function to regulate land use projects that claim to be equitable to communities, have net positive mitigation benefits for the climate and increase the biodiversity and ecology of the land. It has done so by establishing its network and certifications as a reputable marker of governance through its enforcement of accountability and transparency, while engaging market based solutions to global climate change.


This video is an example of the types of projects CCBA deals with.



Work Cited:

“About the CCBA” CCBA: The Climate Community and Biodiversity Alliance. N.p., n.d.                        Web. 30 Sept. 2014.


Bulkeley, Harriet, and Peter Newell. Governing climate change. London: Routledge,             2010. Print.


“CCBA Fact Sheet” CCBA: The Climate Community and Biodiversity Alliance. N.p., n.d.             Web. 30 Sept. 2014.                                                                                                              


“CCBA Standards.” CCBA: The Climate Community and Biodiversity Alliance. N.p., n.d.                        Web. 30 Sept. 2014.


Melo, Isabel, Esther Turnhout, and Bas Arts. “Integrating multiple benefits in             market-based climate mitigation schemes: The case of the Climate, Community             and Biodiversity certification scheme.” Environmental Science & Policy 35 (2014):             49-56. Web.


Wood, Rachel Godfrey. Carbon finance and pro-poor co-benefits: the gold standard                        and climate, community and biodiversity standards. London: Sustainable Markets             Group, International Institute for Environment and Development, 2011. Web.



[i] Bulkeley, Harriet, and Peter Newell. Governing climate change. London: Routledge,             2010. Print. Pg 65.

[ii] Bulkeley, Harriet, and Peter Newell.

[iii] “About the CCBA” CCBA: The Climate Community and Biodiversity Alliance. N.p., n.d.                        Web. 30 Sept. 2014.

[iv] “CCBA Standards.” CCBA: The Climate Community and Biodiversity Alliance. N.p., n.d.                        Web. 30 Sept. 2014.

[v] Wood, Rachel Godfrey. Carbon finance and pro-poor co-benefits: the gold standard                        and climate, community and biodiversity standards. London: Sustainable Markets             Group, International Institute for Environment and Development, 2011. Web.

[vi] Wood, Rachel Godfrey.

[vii] “CCBA Standards.”

[viii] “CCBA Standards.”

[ix] “CCBA Fact Sheet” CCBA: The Climate Community and Biodiversity Alliance. N.p., n.d.             Web. 30 Sept. 2014.                                                                                                              

[x] “CCBA Fact Sheet”

[xi] Wood, Rachel Godfrey.

[xii] “CCBA Fact Sheet”

[xiii] “CCBA Fact Sheet”

The Solution in Livestock

Brown Cow Face Images

Meat production is a well know contributing factor to climate change. Livestock is a major source of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, as well as a large factor behind deforestation. Many have argued that a necessary step in mitigating climate change is a change in diet to eat less meat (O’Callahahan). However, Allen Savory offers a comprehensive solution to climate change by doing just the opposite. In his research, he has found that it is possible to safely sequester large amounts of carbon, and reverse desertification though the use of livestock. The approach is a plan to mimic nature through what he calls “holistic planned grazing.” The livestock (usually cattle) are bunched tightly together to till and fertilize the soil, turning the dry land into productive grasslands (Savory).

Each acre of land is able to sequester one ton of carbon per year through the increased bio-productivity, and there are 12 billion acres of land worldwide available for holistic planned grazing (Sacks).That means that it is possible to sequester 12 billion tons of carbon each year (the equivalent of 6ppm) (Sacks). According to his calculations this process has the potential to return the atmosphere to pre-industrial levels (280ppm) within thirty years (Sacks). That rapid of a change is astounding.

The process of all nations reducing their emissions enough to make an impact on climate change will be a slow one, even if aggressive action is taken. The possibility of this radicle mitigation approach through livestock is incredibly astounding and hopeful to me.

You can watch his ted talk below:


Work Cited:

O’Callahahan ,Jonathan. “Eating meat is causing ‘dangerous climate change’, claim scientists.” Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 1 Sept. 2014. Web. 24 Sept. 2014.

Sacks, Adam D.. “The Fight Against Global Warming: A Failure and A Fix.” Savory Institute . N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Sept. 2014. <>.

Savory, Allan . “How to fight desertification and reverses climate change.” TED2013. TED. Sustain!, Long Beach. 27 Feb. 2013. Speech.