Climate Change https://www.iatp.org/ en Submission on the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture on Topic 2 (e)- Improved Livestock Management Systems, Including Agropastoral Production Systems https://www.iatp.org/documents/submission-koronivia-joint-work-agriculture-topic-2-e-improved-livestock-management <div data-history-node-id="44411" class="node node--type-document node--view-mode-rss field-primary-category-industrial-livestock has-field-primary-category no-field-teaser-image title-not-empty ds-1col clearfix"> <div class="field field--name-field-author-text field--type-text-long field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Author (free form)</div> <div class="field--item"><p>Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), Global Forest Coalition (GFC), Biovision Foundation, Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), ETC Group, Greenpeace International, Pivot Point, SONIA, Water Justice and Gender and Climate Land Ambition Rights Alliance (CLARA)</p> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2020-11/IATP%20CLARA%20Submission%20KWJA%204%20CP%2023%202e.pdf"><em>Download a PDF of the submission.</em></a></p> <p>This submission is divided into three parts. Part I addresses the <strong>principles </strong>that must underpin approaches taken by governments to create improved livestock management systems as part of their National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) and Nationally-determined Contributions (NDCs), “taking into consideration the vulnerabilities of agriculture to climate change and approaches to addressing food security” as enshrined in the KJWA decision. Part II addresses the key problems in livestock systems that should be ameliorated. Part III provides way forward with recommendations.</p> <h3>Part I: Principles that need to underpin improved livestock management systems in NAPs and NDCs, “taking into consideration the vulnerabilities of agriculture to climate change and approaches to addressing food security.”<sup>1</sup></h3> <p>1. Absolute emissions reductions must be the key metric in getting to a 1.5°C world: The urgency of the 1.5°C temperature limit goal requires that the livestock sector undertake measures to reduce nitrous oxide, methane, and carbon emissions in absolute terms. Use of “emissions intensity” or “feed-conversion efficiencies” as measures of impact disguises continued high emission pathways associated with increased production volumes. Worse, current measures of “efficiency” serve primarily to justify super-intensive industrial agriculture pathways in which the link between animal and landscape is completely severed. This type of production negatively affects biodiversity and achievement of several SDGs.</p> <p>2. NDCs and NAPs must enshrine holistic, equity-based and rights-based approaches to improved livestock management systems.</p> <p>i. NDCs and NAPs must holistically tackle livestock systems: Livestock systems are part of larger social, cultural and  political landscapes and require a holistic vision for their management. Managing livestock’s climate impact must therefore not be limited to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions alone, but to the overall impact on equity, labor and human rights, biodiversity and other planetary boundaries. The use of manure from confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) to produce biogas must not be considered or incentivised as an emissions reduction tool. This process incentivizes more manure production and associated water and air pollution, still emits significant GHGs, and increasingly is being used to further prop up the growing natural gas infrastructure, thereby slowing the transition toward truly renewable sources of energy.</p> <p>ii. Governments must integrate equity<sup>2</sup> as a central tenet of improving livestock management systems: Seven countries (US, EU, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand) currently account for 43% of the world’s livestock related emissions, even as they represent 15% of the world’s population.<sup>3</sup> They account for over 60% of the emissions when China is included. An equity-based approach requires countries with the highest historical per capita emissions, surplus livestock production and nutritionally high per capita consumption of meat and dairy products to take the lead. Industrialized countries that are major importers of livestock products should also account for these offshored emissions. Countries with low historical per capita emissions in agriculture and low per capita consumption of meat and dairy must not bear the burden of leading reduction efforts in the livestock sector.</p> <p>iii. Right to food<sup>4</sup>, the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Peasants<sup>5 </sup>and Other People Working in Rural Areas, the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples<sup>6</sup> and the U.N. Convention to Combat Desertification<sup>7</sup> must be integral to NAP and NDC implementation: Climate action on livestock must respect and strengthen human rights – including the Right to Food. Governments must ensure that these UN legal instruments are the minimal internationally agreed standards for NDC and NAP implementation.</p> <p>iv. Recognize, protect, promote and support pastoral and mixed use agroecological systems for livelihoods, biodiversity and climate benefits: Resiliency of pastoral systems<sup>8</sup> is essential for food security and nutrition for millions of communities around the world. As agreed at the 43rd session of the Committee on World Food Security, climate action on livestock must:<sup>9</sup> “Enable pastoralists’ mobility, including transboundary passage as appropriate; securing access to land, water, markets and services, adaptive land management, and facilitate responsible governance of common resources, in accordance with national and international laws;” and “Enhance the role of pastoralist organizations and strengthen public policies and investments for the provision of services adapted to the needs and ways of life of pastoralists and their mobility, including promoting gender equality and addressing the specific needs and roles of women within pastoralist communities.”</p> <h3>Part II: Problems in the livestock sector that must be addressed</h3> <p>1. Rapidly rising emissions: Agriculture, forestry and land use accounts for around 23% of total anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, up to 37% when the entire food system is included.<sup>10 </sup>The livestock sector account for nearly two-thirds of these emissions (14.5 % of all GHGs).<sup>11</sup> Yet, livestock’s dramatic rise in emissions has occurred only in the last 70 years with the advent of the industrial model of mass production requiring large quantities of cereals and oilseeds to feed animals. 45% of livestock emissions stem from feed production.<sup>12</sup> The rate of increase of livestock for meat and milk continues to accelerate, with the sharpest increases in the last 30 years. (Figure 1). NDCs and NAPs can help reverse this trend. Following the current pathway, predictions show that GHG emissions from agriculture would increase by 77% over baseline 2009 levels of 11.6 to 20.2 Gt CO2 eq/year in 2050.<sup>13</sup></p> <p>Just 20 of the largest global meat and dairy companies combined produced more GHGs than Germany in 2016, yet livestock processing companies are not required to report the number of animals they process, let alone account for their emissions. To reach the 1.5°C climate goal, an equitable reduction of absolute emissions in the livestock sector is needed, with countries with the highest historical per capita emissions taking the lead. Emissions intensity reduction targets are inadequate and incentivize growth of unsustainable global and industrial livestock supply<br /> chains. NDCs and NAPs must help deliver a just transition out of this high emissions model of mass livestock production.</p> <hr /> <h3>From Zoonotic Diseases to Global Pandemics</h3> <p>COVID-19 is a stark reminder of the existential threat of habitat destruction, biodiversity loss and unsustainable agriculture and livestock management practices. Livestock are often intermediate or “amplifier” hosts, particularly when industrial operations enable large numbers of animals of low genetic diversity in confined spaces.<sup>14</sup> In the last 20 years, humanity has confronted “three coronaviruses (SARS-CoV-1, 2003, Li et al., 2005; MERS-CoV, 2012, Zumla et al., 2015, SARS-CoV-2, 2019, Sohrabi et al., 2020) and influenza viruses (Swine flu, 2009, Borkenhagen et al., 2019). Industrial poultry farming played a key role in the outbreak of the H5N1 avian influenza.<sup>15 </sup>60% of 335 infectious disease outbreaks that occurred between 1940 and 2004 have been zoonotic.<sup>16</sup></p> <hr /> <p>Safeguarding biodiversity and preventing intensive animal husbandry practices from animal to human transmission of life-threatening zoonotic pandemics is a vivid challenge as all nations struggle with COVID-19.<sup>17</sup> Crop and livestock farming were found to threaten 54% and 26%<sup>18</sup>, respectively, of 8,688 near-threatened or threatened species. The use of anti-microbials in livestock systems is compounding the threat of such devastating pandemics. Antimicrobial resistance at the livestock-wildlife-human interface is increasing due to the excessive use of antibiotics in agriculture.<sup>19</sup> According to the World Health Organization, antibiotic-resistance in many areas of the world already exceeds 50% in many major bacteria groups (e.g., E. coli, K. pneumonia and S. aureus) and is currently causing the death of around 700,000 people resistant against antibiotics.<sup>20</sup></p> <p>2. Land use change and biodiversity loss: Industrial livestock production and consumption are major drivers of land-use change and deforestation. Livestock use around 70% of global agricultural land.<sup>21</sup> Land use change from deforestation, including animal feed crop production is responsible for about 2.4 Gigatons of CO2 released annually.<sup>22</sup> In the Amazon, 80% of all deforested land has been converted to pasture for grazing animals, with much of the remaining 20% used to grow animal feed.<sup>23</sup> The resulting deforestation irreversibly changes entire ecosystems and global carbon cycling. Mass production and high stocking densities on pasture and expansion of feed monocultures through the replacement of native forests, grasslands and savannah have contributed to large-scale disappearance of species, ecosystem losses and damage to critical ecosystem functions.<sup>24</sup> Nearly 80% of all threatened terrestrial bird and mammal species are threatened by agriculturally driven habitat loss.<sup>25</sup></p> <p>3. Genetic erosion: The conservation status of wild relatives of domesticated livestock has plummeted.<sup>26</sup> The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services emphasize that “these wild relatives represent critical reservoirs of genes and traits that may provide resilience against future climate change, pests and pathogens and may improve current heavily depleted gene pools of many crops and domestic animals”.<sup>27</sup> In the Global South, where indigenous breeds are central to the livelihoods of peasants, extensive pastoral livestock production systems have developed breeds that adapt to droughts, fodder scarcity, climatic extremes and diseases.<sup>28</sup> Extensive, pastoral livestock systems are crucial to maintain genetic biodiversity and protect wildlife biodiversity especially in savanna landscapes.</p> <p>4. Severe ecosystem degradation and environmental pollution: Application of fertilizer and manure related to intensive industrial livestock systems contributes to nearly one-third of all water pollution.<sup>29</sup> It also contributes to nitrous oxide and methane emissions. The IPCC notes the dramatic increase in nitrogen-based fertilizers over the last 50 years, altering global nitrogen and phosphorus cycles, contributing to soil degradation and depletion and widespread eutrophication of freshwater bodies, coastal regions and hypoxic (dead) zones in seas and oceans.<sup>30</sup> Several peer-reviewed studies have found that rising temperatures is leading to greater eutrophication<sup>31</sup> and could lead to 30-90% more methane emissions over this century.<sup>32</sup> Climate induced changes to precipitation, dumping greater nutrient loads into estuaries is also set to further increase eutrophication-related greenhouse gas emissions with the United States, China, Southeast Asia and India, particularly hard hit.<sup>33</sup></p> <p>5. Social and economic justice: Millions of small-scale livestock farms and livelihoods have disappeared over the last four decades as transnational corporate livestock supply chains have consolidated both vertically and horizontally, impacting rural indebtedness and decline. Massive COVID-19 outbreaks in meat processing plants in the U.S., Europe, Brazil and elsewhere attest to the endemic workers’ rights violations that occur in the livestock industry. Communities (e.g., indigenous peoples and peasants farmers in Latin America; People of Color communities in the U.S.) living close to livestock facilities and feed crop plantations are exposed to air and environmental pollution which provoke illnesses related to intoxication with agrochemicals, and respiratory and neurobehavioral diseases.<sup>34</sup> Efforts to justly transition to sustainable livestock management systems requires governments to ensure that climate, agriculture and trade policies align to regenerate soils and rural communities step in to ensure in a handful of countries and controlled by a small number of corporate actors. According to estimations, in 2016, 10 companies controlled nearly one-quarter of all global meat and dairy production.<sup>35</sup> While large livestock companies benefit from international trade agreements (e.g., Mercosur), small-scale livestock farmers cannot compete with squeezed commodity prices of the industry. As prices are below the costs of production, indebtedness of livestock farmers increases, and they are often pushed out from the market.<sup>36</sup></p> <p>6. Special role of women in livestock management: According to FAO, women comprise 43% of the agricultural labor force in developing countries and account for two-thirds of the world's 600 million poor livestock keepers.<sup>37</sup> Livestock continues to serve as a critical safety net during economic downturns for these families and serve as a substantial source of additional farm income. Women have traditionally been seed-keepers and holders of traditional knowledge and strategies that have helped communities adapt to climate change. Yet, most landless farmers are women while men control market sales. Women are also typically left out of community/organizational decision-making related to animal husbandry. Little information exists on women’s roles in livestock production and the acute impacts of the expansion of the industrial model of animal agriculture contributing to the disappearance of traditional pastoralist practices in some regions. These are all issues that need more research and critical thinking. Both the UNFCCC and the CBD have recently generated Gender Action Plans that need to be implemented and integrated to NDCs and National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans, respectively.</p> <h3>Part III: Way Forward</h3> <p>1. Ecosystems restoration and human rights should be central priority for livestock management: The IPCC Special Report on Land prioritizes protecting and restoring the planet’s ecosystems to limit warming to 1.5°C. Without ecosystem restoration and integrity, agricultural production cannot be climate resilient and sustained. The FAO defines ecosystems as “communities of plants, animals and other organisms that live, feed, reproduce and interact in an area or environment…protecting soil and water, helping to maintain soil fertility, and providing habitat for wild pollinators and the predators of agricultural pests.”<sup>38</sup> Weak ecosystem governance undermines the effectiveness of food-security policies and the ability of people to farm.<sup>39 </sup>This requires that farmers, Indigenous Peoples and local communities be empowered to build agrobiodiversity. In order to do so, governments must recognize farmers and pastoralists’ contribution in maintaining ecological functions (See below on Just Transition). This includes involving local communities in doing a climate assessment and providing solutions with regards to the potential of indigenous breeds and crops that build climate resilience and food security. The rights of farmers, Indigenous Peoples and local communities to genetic resources should be guaranteed both at the national and international level.<sup>40</sup></p> <p>2. Regulate polluters: Climate policies designed to address emissions should regulate effectively the industrial livestock sector as well as other industries with economic ties with this industry.</p> <p>3. A Just Transition for farmers and farm and food workers towards healthy food and agriculture: The International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF), the world largest food workers trade union, is currently in the process of developing a climate change policy and rights framework for the livestock sector based on Just Transition principles. The elaboration of the framework will include “work on defending democracy, the right to food and fundamental rights at work including freedom of association, the right to organize and collective bargaining, a healthy and safe workplace, gender equality and protection against discrimination.”<sup>41 </sup>Furthermore, a “wording on the climate crisis and on negotiating a fair transition for collective bargaining agreements” will be developed by IUF.<sup>42</sup> According to IUF “the Paris Agreement on Climate Change provides opportunities to engage companies on climate change issues including just transition to new methods of production and jobs.”<sup>43</sup> In that regard, a Just Transition must entail social dialogue and democratic consultation of all stakeholders (e.g., workers, labor and trade unions, communities) in order to guarantee planning of job changes, training support and placements as well as social protection.<sup>44</sup> It must further require improving the conditions of migrant workers and addressing structural racism in the food system, which is often racialized, gendered and reflect class divisions.<sup>45 </sup>A Just Transition away from an agro-industrial model of livestock production is an urgent task. Such a transition must result in climate resilient livestock management systems that are good for people and the planet. Based on agroecological principles and practices that are socially and environmentally just, it must deliver public health and environmental benefits to producers and consumers in all regions.<sup>46</sup> Four principles must guide such a transition in agriculture<sup>47</sup>:</p> <p>i. Tackle inequalities: Transition to a low carbon agriculture must tackle inequalities in the agri-food system and root causes of hunger by supporting vulnerable people (e.g., smallholder, pastoralists, Indigenous Peoples, plantation workers) to diversify livelihoods, enhance local control of food systems and necessary resources (e.g., control over common land) and dismantle structural economic policies that disadvantage smallholders and women in particular.</p> <p>ii. Transform the food system: It must support farmers to switch to agroecology by implementing policies that improve smallholder access to markets, relocate subsidies away from large scale industrial farming and associated chemical inputs, and support local seed storing and exchange systems. Job protection, occupational safety and health issues in agriculture must also be addressed (see number 3 below on workers).</p> <p>iii. Ensure inclusiveness and participation in planning and governance processes: Ensure that a Just Transition identifies the need of vulnerable groups within the society and recognizes the knowledge and leadership of smallholder farmers when developing transition measures. Start with mapping of stakeholders who are likely to be impacted by agri-food system changes (e.g., local farm workers, seasonal and migrant workers, traders, consumers and young people) and ensure their full and effective participation in decision-making processes.</p> <p>iv. Develop a comprehensive framework of inclusive policies, training and social protection: Research and assessment must be conducted to be able to evaluate the impacts of the transition of the agri-food system (e.g., assessing job losses, job creation opportunities and skills requirements). Financial resources are needed for training, education, reskilling and support (e.g., to produce agroecologically and different crops and livestock) as well as for social protection during the transition (e.g., compensations for temporary yield and income losses in the first years of transitioning to agroecology).</p> <hr /> <p>1 U.N. Climate Change. Issues Related to Agriculture. Available: <a href="https://unfccc.int/topics/land-use/workstreams/agriculture">https://unfccc.int/topics/land-use/workstreams/agriculture</a><br /> 2 Both Article 2 and 4 of the Paris Agreement invoke the principle of equity, recognizing that emissions peaking will take longer for developing country Parties, and that in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty, the issue of GHG emission reductions must be addressed with integrity.<br /> 3 GRAIN &amp; Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), 2018. Emissions impossible, How big meat and dairy are heating up the planet. Available: <a href="https://www.iatp.org/blog/emissions-impossible">https://www.iatp.org/blog/emissions-impossible</a><br /> 4 Right to food Declaration, 1948. Available: <a href="https://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/">https://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/</a><br /> 5 UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants, 2018. Available: <a href="https://www.geneva-academy.ch/joomlatools-files/docman-files/UN%20Declaration%20on%20the%20rights%20of%20peasants.pdf">https://www.geneva-academy.ch/joomlatools-files/docman-files/UN%20Declaration%20on%20the%20rights%20of%20peasants.pdf</a><br /> Article 1 A/HRC/RES/39/12: “a peasant is any person who engages or who seeks to engage alone, or in association with others or as a community, in small-scale agricultural production for subsistence and/or for the market, and who relies significantly, though not necessarily exclusively, on family or household labor and other non-monetized ways of organizing labor, and who has a special dependency on and attachment to the land.”<br /> 6 UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 2007. Available: <a href="https://www.un.org/development/desa/indigenouspeoples/declaration-on-the-rights-of-indigenous-peoples.html">https://www.un.org/development/desa/indigenouspeoples/declaration-on-the-rights-of-indigenous-peoples.html</a><br /> 7 UN Convention to Combat Desertification, 1994. Available: <a href="https://www.unccd.int/convention/about-convention">https://www.unccd.int/convention/about-convention</a><br /> 8 Pastoralism is defined as an extensive livestock rearing strategy and a way of life, occurring in the world’s rangelands and mountain pastures. Entirely different in essence to intensive livestock production systems that have emerged in the last half of the last century. This includes both sedentary pastoralism, conducted from a permanent location and mobile pastoralism (also referred to as mobile herding). Mobile pastoralism includes nomadic, semi-nomadic and transhumant, indicating whether a family or a community moves with the herd or only part of a community or family during the migration period. A millennia-old survival strategy, mobile pastoralism remains an adaptive livestock management and livelihood practice whereby communities adjust according to changing circumstances, including periodically available and scattered resources of rangeland ecosystems in arid, semi-arid and mountain regions, following temporal and spatial patterns.<br /> See: Yılmaz et al., 2019. Mobile Pastoralism and Protected Areas: Conflict, Collaboration and Connectivity. Parks Journal. Vol. 25(1). 7-24. Available: <a href="https://parksjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/PARKS-25.1-Yilmaz-et-al-10.2305-IUCN.CH_.PARKS25-1EY.en_.pdf">https://parksjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/PARKS-25.1-Yilmaz-et-al-10.2305-IUCN.CH_.PARKS25-1EY.en_.pdf</a><br /> 9 Committee on World Food Security (CFS), 2016. Sustainable Agricultural Development for Food Security and Nutritions: What Roles for Livestock?. Available: <a href="http://www.fao.org/3/a-bq854e.pdf">http://www.fao.org/3/a-bq854e.pdf</a><br /> 10 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 2019. Climate Change and Land: an IPCC special report on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems. Available f: <a href="https://www.ipcc.ch/srccl/">https://www.ipcc.ch/srccl/</a><br /> 11 Gerber, P.J. &amp; Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) (ed.), 2013. Tackling climate change through livestock: a global assessment of emissions and mitigation opportunities. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome. Available: <a href="http://www.fao.org/3/a-i3437e.pdf">http://www.fao.org/3/a-i3437e.pdf</a> &amp;<br /> Steinfeld et al., 2006. Livestock's Long Shadow. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome. Available: <a href="http://www.fao.org/3/a0701e/a0701e00.htm">http://www.fao.org/3/a0701e/a0701e00.htm</a><br /> 12 Ibid.<br /> 13 Bajželj et al., 2014. Importance of food-demand management for climate mitigation. Nature Climate Change. Vol. 4 (10). 924–929. Available: <a href="http://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate2353">http://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate2353</a><br /> 14 Ibid. &amp;<br /> Jones et al., 2013. Zoonosis emergence linked to agricultural intensification and environmental change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America, Special Feature. Vol. 110 (21). 8399-8404. Available: <a href="https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1208059110">https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1208059110</a><br /> 15 Baudron &amp; Liégeois, 2020. Fixing our global agricultural system to prevent the next COVID-19. Sage Journals. Vol. 49 (2). 111-118. Available: <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0030727020931122">https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0030727020931122</a><br /> 16 Ibid.<br /> 17 Maxwell et al., 2016. Biodiversity: The ravages of guns, nets and bulldozers. Nature. Vol. 536. 143-145. Available: <a href="https://www.nature.com/news/biodiversity-the-ravages-of-guns-nets-and-bulldozers-1.20381">https://www.nature.com/news/biodiversity-the-ravages-of-guns-nets-and-bulldozers-1.20381</a><br /> 18 Baudron &amp; Liégeois, 2020. Fixing our global agricultural system to prevent the next COVID-19. Sage Journals. Vol. 49 (2). 111-118. Available: <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0030727020931122">https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0030727020931122</a><br /> 19 Greenpeace, 2018. Less is more. Reducing meat and dairy for a healthier life and planet. Available: <a href="https://storage.googleapis.com/planet4-international-stateless/2018/03/698c4c4a-summary_greenpeace-livestock-vision-towards-2050.pdf">https://storage.googleapis.com/planet4-international-stateless/2018/03/698c4c4a-summary_greenpeace-livestock-vision-towards-2050.pdf</a><br /> 20 World Health Organization (WHO), 2014. Antimicrobial resistance: global report on surveillance 2014. WHO, April 2014. Available: <a href="https://www.who.int/drugresistance/documents/surveillancereport/en/">https://www.who.int/drugresistance/documents/surveillancereport/en/</a><br /> 21 Van Zanten et al., 2016. Global food supply: land use efficiency of livestock systems. The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment. Vol. 21. 747-758. Available: <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11367-015-0944-1">https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11367-015-0944-1</a><br /> 22 Steinfeld et al., 2006. Livestock's Long Shadow. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome. Pg. 27. Available: <a href="http://www.fao.org/3/a0701e/a0701e00.htm">http://www.fao.org/3/a0701e/a0701e00.htm</a><br /> 23 Machovina &amp; Feeley, 2014. Meat consumption as a key impact on tropical nature: A response to Laurance et al. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. Vol. 29(8). 430-431. Available: <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2014.05.011">https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2014.05.011</a><br /> 24 Reid et al., 2010. Global Livestock Impacts on Biodiversity, In book: Livestock in a Changing Landscape. Vol. 1. Drivers, Consequences, and Responses, Publisher: Island Press. 111-137.<br /> 25 Tilman et al., 2017. Future threats to biodiversity and pathways to their prevention. Nature, Vol. 546. 73–81. Available: <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/nature22900">https://www.nature.com/articles/nature22900</a><br /> 26 Available data suggest that genetic diversity within wild species globally has been declining by about 1 per cent per decade since the mid-19th century. The deterioration of the gene pool of breeds negatively impacts their ability to cope with the impacts of climate change and makes them more vulnerable to disease epidemics, as pathogens can spread easily when their hosts are uniform and abundant.<br /> 27 Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (Ipbes), 2019. Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. pg. 25. Available: <a href="https://ipbes.net/global-assessment">https://ipbes.net/global-assessment</a><br /> 28 Mathias et al., 2005. Pastoralists, local breeds and the fight for Livestock Keepers’ Rights. Conference Paper prepared for the PENHA 15th Anniversary Conference “Pastoralism in the Horn of Africa: Surviving against all odds” on Thursday, 29 September 2005. Available: <a href="http://www.pastoralpeoples.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/pastoralists_localbreeds_lkr_en.pdf">http://www.pastoralpeoples.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/pastoralists_localbreeds_lkr_en.pdf</a><br /> 29 See: Hoekstra, 2012. The hidden water resource use behind meat and dairy. Animal Frontiers. Vol. 2(2). 3-8. Available: <a href="https://academic.oup.com/af/article/2/2/3/4638610">https://academic.oup.com/af/article/2/2/3/4638610</a><br /> &amp; Campbell et al., 2017. Agricultural production as a mayor driver of earth system exceeding planetary boundaries. Ecology and Society. Vol. 22(4). p.37. Available: <a href="https://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol22/iss4/art8/">https://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol22/iss4/art8/</a><br /> 30 See: Crist et al., 2017. The interaction of human population, food production and biodiversity protection. Science. Vol. 356. 260-264. Available: <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/316286860_The_interaction_of_human_population_food_production_and_biodiversity_protection">https://www.researchgate.net/publication/316286860_The_interaction_of_human_population_food_production_and_biodiversity_protection</a><br /> &amp; Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 2019. Climate Change and Land: an IPCC special report on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems. Available f: <a href="https://www.ipcc.ch/srccl/">https://www.ipcc.ch/srccl/</a><br /> 31 Altieri &amp; Gedan, 2014. Climate change and dead zones. Global Change Biology. Vol. 21(4). Available: <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/268156471_Climate_change_and_dead_zones">https://www.researchgate.net/publication/268156471_Climate_change_and_dead_zones</a><br /> 32 Beaulieu et al., 2019. Eutrophication will increase methane emissions from lakes and impoundments during the 21st century. Nature Communications. Vol. 10. Available: <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-09100-5">https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-09100-5</a> 33 Sinha et al., 2017. Eutrophication will increase during the 21st century as a result of precipitation changes. Science. Vol. 357(6349). 405-408. Available: <a href="https://science.sciencemag.org/content/357/6349/405">https://science.sciencemag.org/content/357/6349/405</a><br /> 34 The Pew Charitable Trust &amp; John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Publish Health (Ed.), 2008. Putting Meat on the Table, Industrial Farm Animal Production in America. Available: <a href="https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/reports/0001/01/01/putting-meat-on-the-table">https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/reports/0001/01/01/putting-meat-on-the-table</a>;<br /> Global Forest Coalition, 2016. What’s at steak? The real costs of meat. Available: <a href="https://globalforestcoalition.org/whats-steak-real-cost-meat/">https://globalforestcoalition.org/whats-steak-real-cost-meat/</a>;<br /> See also: The Goldman Environmental Prize, 2012. Sofia Gatica. Available: <a href="https://www.goldmanprize.org/recipient/sofia-gatica/">https://www.goldmanprize.org/recipient/sofia-gatica/</a><br /> 35 GRAIN &amp; Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), 2018. Emissions impossible, How big meat and dairy are heating up the planet. Available: <a href="https://www.iatp.org/blog/emissions-impossible">https://www.iatp.org/blog/emissions-impossible</a><br /> 36 Mathias, 2012. Livestock out of balance: From asset to liability in the course of the livestock revolution. League for Pastoral Peoples and Endogenous Livestock Development, Ober-Ramstadt, Germany. Available: <a href="http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.468.8404&amp;rep=rep1&amp;type=pdf">http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.468.8404&amp;rep=rep1&amp;type=pdf</a><br /> 37 Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN (FAO). The female face of farming. Infographic. Available: <a href="http://www.fao.org/gender/resources/infographics/the-female-face-of-farming/en/">http://www.fao.org/gender/resources/infographics/the-female-face-of-farming/en/</a><br /> 38 J.C. Mohamed-Katerere and M. Smith, 2013, The role of ecosystems in food security. Unasylva. Vol. 64(2). 14-22. Available: <a href="http://www.fao.org/3/i3482e/i3482e02.pdf">http://www.fao.org/3/i3482e/i3482e02.pdf</a><br /> 39 Ibid.<br /> 40 Helena Paul et al., 2009. Can agricultural biodiversity strengthen small farmers’ resilience to climate change? In book: EcoNexus, Oxford, UK (publisher). Agriculture and Climate Change: Real Problems, False Solutions. Report published for the Conference of the Parties, COP15, of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen. 36-42. Available: <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/339400587_Can_agricultural_biodiversity_strengthen_small_farmers%27_resilience_to_climate_change">https://www.researchgate.net/publication/339400587_Can_agricultural_biodiversity_strengthen_small_farmers%27_resilience_to_climate_change</a><br /> 41 International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF), 2019. Climate Change Workshop Conclusions, Omaha, United States, May 6 &amp; 7, 2019. Internal Document.<br /> 42 Ibid.<br /> 43 Ibid.<br /> 44 International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), 2015. Climate justice: There are no jobs on a dead planet (ITUC Frontlines Briefing). Available: <a href="https://www.ituc-csi.org/ituc-frontlines-briefing-climate">https://www.ituc-csi.org/ituc-frontlines-briefing-climate</a>)<br /> 45 Swiderska, 2020. Just Transitions. Hot Topic Discussion Paper (Draft for Discussion). The Climate Emergency and the Future of Food: The Salzburg Process.<br /> 46 Blattner, C. E., 2020. Just Transition for agriculture? A critical step in tackling climate change. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development. Advance online publication. Available: <a href="https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2020.093.006">https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2020.093.006</a>.<br /> 47 Anderson Teresa, 2019, Principles for a Just Transition in Agriculture. Action Aid. Available: <a href="https://actionaid.org/publications/2019/principles-just-transition-agriculture">https://actionaid.org/publications/2019/principles-just-transition-agriculture</a>.</p> <hr /> <p><strong>Upload a PFD copy of the submission <a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2020-11/IATP%20CLARA%20Submission%20KWJA%204%20CP%2023%202e.pdf">here</a>. </strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-primary-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Primary category</div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/industrialized-meat" hreflang="en">Industrial Livestock</a></div> </div> </div> Tue, 24 Nov 2020 22:47:05 +0000 Cecelia Heffron 44411 at https://www.iatp.org Statement to the KJWA by IATP on behalf of Climate Action Network https://www.iatp.org/documents/statement-kjwa-iatp-behalf-climate-action-network <div data-history-node-id="44413" class="node node--type-document node--view-mode-rss field-primary-category-industrial-livestock has-field-primary-category no-field-teaser-image title-not-empty ds-1col clearfix"> <div class="field field--name-field-author field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Author</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/about/staff/shefali-sharma" hreflang="en">Shefali Sharma</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><em>Download a PDF of the statement made by Shefali Sharma on behalf of Climate Action Network (CAN) <a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2020-11/CAN%20livestock%20panel%20KJWA%2024%20Nov%202020.pdf">here</a>. </em></p> <p><span><span><span>Thank you chair and parties to the KJWA for this opportunity.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>The biggest challenge in improving livestock management systems is the dominance of industrial animal agriculture in crowding out more sustainable systems and practices.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>The mass production and overconsumption of food animals in specific regions and populations have led to dramatic increases in food animals and greenhouse gas emissions. The industrial model with long supply chains has not only contributed to increased emissions due to land use change and non-Co2 emissions, but also to biodiversity loss, nitrate pollution, dead zones, the increase of zoonotic diseases and public health impacts such as antimicrobial resistance and cardiovascular diseases. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>This video conference due to the COVID-19 pandemic is a vivid reminder of how human degradation of wildlife habitats, including through industrial scale agriculture, is linked to the spread of infectious zoonotic diseases. Livestock often serve as intermediate or “amplifier” hosts, particularly when industrial operations make large numbers of animals of low genetic diversity more vulnerable. Bird flu and the African Swine Fever are other devastating examples of this challenge.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Parties to the UNFCCC and the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture can help address these challenges and catalyze a transformational shift in livestock systems through their NDCs, national climate and adaptation plans and the Green Climate Fund. The KJWA should explore ways to facilitate a shift towards less and better livestock production. Such a shift should benefit people, nature and climate in an equitable manner. It must also ensure that food security and nutrition are not undermined. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Approaches to this shift must be equitable. Six countries and the European Union are responsible for 43% of the world’s livestock emissions though they are 15% of the world’s population. Include China and just 8 are responsible for 60% of global livestock emissions. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>In contrast, up to 90% of livestock in West Africa is raised on extensive production where it can be a source of biodiversity, environmental sustainability, nutrition and livelihoods. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>It is therefore critical to recognise the contribution that different types and scales of livestock production and consumption have on the climate, wider planetary boundaries and social justice.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>The shift must be holistic. As such, actions must not be limited to greenhouse gas reductions, but must integrate human rights and larger planetary boundaries such as biodiversity, air, water and land pollution.  </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>The shift must address absolute livestock emissions. Advocates of the industrial model claim that “emissions intensity” reductions per kilo of meat or milk can help the livestock sector mitigate climate change. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>However, emissions intensity reductions with rising numbers of animals in production result in increasing absolute emissions. It is critical that absolute emissions and not emissions intensity reduction be the metric for livestock related climate action.  </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>The shift must include the role of diets. An equitable approach to reducing meat consumption could contribute significantly to reducing emissions and at the same time ensure food security and nutrition. Countries that overconsume must take the lead. Several studies suggest that an average per capita diet of 300g of meat a week would meet nutritional needs, while reducing the climate contribution of the meat sector by about half. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>The IPCC’s Special Report on Land substantiates that increasing amounts of plant-based protein sources such as pulses, nuts and seeds in diets could help address food security needs and reduce pressure on land, ecosystems and the climate. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Support must shift away from industrial animal agriculture towards ensuring that livestock production contributes to ecosystem restoration including through low stocking densities and well-managed pasture.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Agropastoral and agroecological systems are key to livestock’s adaptation and resilience to climate: Agroecology aims to build integrated and diversified systems at various scales. Livestock can be essential in ensuring ecosystem fertility through closing nutrient cycles. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>When permanent pasture and meadows are well-managed, grazing provides a vital source of livelihoods, carbon conservation and other ecological benefits. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>The KJWA should provide guidance and input to the development of NDCs, NAPs and Green Climate Fund policies to further these goals. In doing so, Parties should apply just transition principles for agriculture. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Such a Transition must address rather than exacerbate existing inequalities. It must be inclusive and participatory, including key actors and communities that are marginalised, including women farmers, pastoralists and indigenous peoples. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>A Just Transition must protect farmers, workers and land rights. For example, mitigation efforts in the livestock sector should not result in disenfranchisement of pastoralist communities or further consolidation of corporate supply chains. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Such consolidation contributes to low-paid and precarious working conditions in slaughterhouses, pushing smallholder farmers off their lands and paying below cost of production prices to livestock producers while public subsidies uphold a broken system. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Comprehensive policy frameworks must provide avenues for economic diversification and support farmers and workers to shift practices, including through ramping up investment, training, and social protection. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>CAN has outlined several recommendations in our submission to the KJWA. We encourage all parties to review them. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>This is a decisive decade for climate action and for our future on this planet. The livestock sector can and must do its part in preserving our planetary boundaries and protecting rural livelihoods. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><strong><a href="by Shefali Sharma, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) on behalf of Climate Action Network (CAN)—ENGO">Download the statement</a></strong>. </span></span></span></p></div> <div class="field field--name-field-primary-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Primary category</div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/industrialized-meat" hreflang="en">Industrial Livestock</a></div> </div> </div> Tue, 24 Nov 2020 19:53:05 +0000 Cecelia Heffron 44413 at https://www.iatp.org Why agricultural carbon offsets can’t play a role in international climate action https://www.iatp.org/blog/202011/why-agricultural-carbon-offsets-cant-play-role-international-climate-action <span>Why agricultural carbon offsets can’t play a role in international climate action </span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/34897" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Cecelia Heffron</span></span> <span>Tue, 11/24/2020 - 10:21</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Today, governments at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (<a href="https://unfccc.int/">UNFCCC</a>) are discussing the role of carbon markets in international climate action. The <a href="https://www.carbonbrief.org/in-depth-q-and-a-how-article-6-carbon-markets-could-make-or-break-the-paris-agreement">“Article 6”</a> rules, which define how countries can reduce their emissions using international carbon markets, are the last part of the Paris Agreement to be resolved. In preparation for these negotiations, IATP and partners <a></div> Tue, 24 Nov 2020 16:21:58 +0000 Cecelia Heffron 44412 at https://www.iatp.org Carbon Markets and Agriculture https://www.iatp.org/carbon-markets-and-agriculture <div data-history-node-id="44410" class="node node--type-document node--view-mode-rss field-primary-category-climate-change has-field-primary-category has-field-teaser-image title-not-empty ds-1col clearfix"> <h3 > Why offsetting is putting us on the wrong track</h3> <div class="field field--name-field-author-text field--type-text-long field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Author (free form)</div> <div class="field--item"><p>Carbon Market Watch, Gilles Dufranse </p> <p>Secours Catholique, Sara Lickel </p> <p>CCFD-Terre Solidaire, Manon Castagné</p> <p>IATP, Tara Ritter </p> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><article class="media media-image view-mode-feature"> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/feat/public/2020-11/carbon%20markets%20cover%203.png?itok=j2mWUvsR" width="950" height="590" alt="carbon markets cover 3" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-credit-flickr field--type-string field--label-hidden field--item">Used under creative commons license from <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/CCFD">CCFD</a></div> </article> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2020-11/Land%20Carbon%20Brief_VF_2020.pdf">Download a PDF of the brief</a>. </p> <p data-placeholder="Translation" dir="ltr" id="tw-target-text"><a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2020-11/Land%20Carbon%20Brief_VF_French.pdf">Télécharger un PDF en français</a>. </p> <h1>Executive summary</h1> <p>Climate mitigation projects in the agriculture sector, particularly those focused on storing carbon in soils, are increasingly being tied to carbon markets. But the impact of these initiatives is highly questionable.</p> <p>First, agricultural offsetting schemes can be damaging to farmers. Some markets endanger food security and limit farmers’ autonomy by incentivising the uptake of specific practices, or transforming agricultural land into tree plantations. Such projects also increase the problem of the financialization of land.</p> <p>Many of these offsetting initiatives also have very uncertain benefits for the climate, because their impacts are both extremely difficult to quantify, and highly vulnerable to changes over time, for instance when carbon stored in soil is released due to extreme weather or a change in land management practices. In addition, some projects generate carbon credits while allowing for an overall increase in emissions, because they only measure the carbon intensity of an activity, rather than absolute emissions.</p> <p>Finally, such offsetting schemes tend to lock in agricultural models that are detrimental to climate ambition. They have high implementation costs and distract from more sustainable, cheaper, and proven options, such as incentivizing agroecological practices. Also, nearly all projects aim to reduce emissions at the farm-level, even though half of agricultural emissions take place outside of the farm and are largely driven by agri-businesses, e.g. through the manufacturing of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. This puts the blame on individual farmers instead of focusing on corporate and agribusiness-led emissions.</p> <h1>Recommendations</h1> <p>To reduce the agricultural sector’s climate impact and help farmers adapt to climate change, a large scale transformative approach is needed to transition towards an agroecology-based model:</p> <ul> <li>At the national level, governments should develop a strategy to transition towards agroecology and enable the private sector to contribute to the transition without opening the door for greenwashing through offsetting mechanisms.</li> <li>At the EU level, the European Commission should not propose a framework that will allow for uncertain and unstable “negative emissions” from agriculture to justify emissions in other sectors. Instead, decision-makers need to ensure that climate and agricultural finance are directed towards systemic change that improves biodiversity, the climate, and farmers’ autonomy. The CAP must stop Single Farm Payments (SFPs) and increase finance for agroecology and organic agriculture.</li> <li>At the UNFCCC level, countries should exclude the land sector from international carbon markets under article 6 of the Paris Agreement, and should instead focus on contributing to climate finance transfers and ensuring existing tools are used as levers for the agroecological transition, e.g. through the Green Climate Fund.</li> </ul> <h1>Introduction</h1> <p>The world is currently far from being on track to meet the targets agreed upon in the Paris Agreement (2015) to limit global warming to 1.5°C.</p> <p>The IPCC Special Report on Land and Climate (2019) showed how necessary it is to protect and restore degraded ecosystems if we are to meet our climate targets. But it also articulated very clearly that land can only support a small portion of our efforts, which means it cannot be used to compensate for our current emissions levels, let alone a continuous increase in GHG emissions. Climate action simultaneously requires an immediate drastic cut in emissions, and protection and restoration of ecosystems.</p> <p>In climate policies around the world, those learnings from science are being dangerously ignored.</p> <p>We’ve seen in the last decade an increased appetite for carbon markets without absolute limits on emissions, that is, carbon markets that do not set an absolute amount of credits that can be traded<sup>1</sup>. Such carbon markets cannot solve the climate crisis. They provide cheap and abundant credits that fail to create real incentives for GHG emission reductions. But, most importantly, allowing emissions reductions in one sector to offset emissions in a different sector does not reduce overall GHG emissions, let alone GHG concentration in the atmosphere, which is what ultimately drives climate change. In the land sector, the problem of offsets is even worse. Carbon sequestered in soils and trees is often used to compensate for GHG emissions elsewhere. Planting trees in order to offset emissions from a flight, for instance, is a well-known practice. But saying that an emission has been cancelled assumes that the trees that sequestered the carbon will never burn or decompose, and that the soil will never release its carbon through a change in management practices or because of extreme weather events. This could be ensured over the course of a few years, but these assumptions are utterly unrealistic in the long run.</p> <p>In recent years, countries and companies have shown increasing interest in using voluntary agricultural carbon markets to offset their emissions. Many of these markets are created or supported by large oil or agro-industrial companies. For instance, Japan Petroleum and the Syngenta Foundation are members of the World Bank’s BioCarbon Fund, and Bayer just launched its own carbon market initiative<sup>2</sup>.</p> <p>This note discusses the specific problems related to offsetting schemes in agriculture.</p> <blockquote><p>Saying that an emission has been cancelled assumes that the trees that sequestered the carbon will never burn or decompose, and that the soil will never release its carbon through a change in management practices or because of extreme weather events.</p> </blockquote> <h1>I. The problems with carbon offsets in agriculture</h1> <h3>I.A. Reducing our chances to reach climate goals</h3> <h4>I.A.1 Agriculture : carbon markets will not meet the double challenge of mitigation and adaptation.</h4> <p>To limit global warming to 1.5°C by 2100, agriculture has an important part to play. The worldwide agricultural system emits around 1/3 of total GHG emissions<sup>3</sup>, and farmers are at the forefront of the consequences of the climate crisis. The sector needs to be fundamentally transformed to both reduce its emissions and adapt to a changing environment, but carbon offsets will not help achieve these goals.</p> <p><strong>By focusing on short-term climate goals and ignoring other metrics (ie. biodiversity, water quality, soil health, etc.), carbon offsets maintain or incentivize practices that are detrimental to real climate ambition. </strong>To avoid tilling, some conservation agriculture projects resort to glyphosate-based pesticides (e.g. the Biocarbon Fund’s project in Costa Rica<sup>4</sup>), or promote the use of genetically modified seeds. Yet, no-till agriculture can only play a marginal role in soil carbon sequestration<sup>5</sup>. For instance, Bayer created its own offsetting scheme in the US and Brazil to sell more of its products<sup>6</sup>. The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), the main carbon market under the Kyoto Protocol, also approved a methodology developed by the biotech company Arcadia Biosciences<sup>7</sup> to generate credits based on the use of GMOs<sup>8</sup>.</p> <blockquote><p>The Kenya Agricultural Carbon Project (KACP) (2009-2029) is supported by the World Bank’s BioCarbon fund, which involves the French Development Agency (AFD)<sup>9</sup>, alongside agribusiness representatives (the Syngenta Foundation) and an oil company (Japan Petroleum). Its goal is to “train farmers to (…) move out of subsistence farming practices, and transformed to agribusiness”<sup>10</sup> and “GHG removal through soil and tree carbon sequestration”. It implemented a carbon offset mechanism over 45,000 ha of land in Kenya<sup>11</sup>. </p> </blockquote> <p>These products and technologies hinder climate adaptation by reducing the diversity of plants and wildlife and impoverishing soils<sup>12</sup>. Farmers thus risk becoming dependent on these products to produce food, therefore lessening their autonomy (ie. their capacity to not depend on external resources to farm) and food security. In addition, synthetic inputs are significant sources of emissions, including indirect emissions<sup>13</sup> which are regularly not included in the accounting of carbon offset schemes<sup>14</sup>.In the livestock sector, some offsetting mechanisms promote anaerobic digesters or “new animal feed” to reduce the animals’ methane emissions<sup>15</sup>. This is the case in California’s carbon market, which encourages the development of anaerobic digesters on large dairies.</p> <blockquote><p>The California’s Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32 - 2006) enacted a carbon market that set a cap on allowable greenhouse gas emissions. In this cap-and-trade program, agriculture is primarily involved through offset projects.</p> </blockquote> <p>Anaerobic digester technology has been touted as a way to turn factory farm waste into renewable energy, but in actuality, public investment in this technology entrenches factory farming by using public dollars to clean up massive amounts of animal waste rather than avoiding it in the first place by investing in climate-friendly practices like pasture based production. Factory farms are responsible for recent increases in GHG emissions<sup>16</sup> from agriculture. Offsetting schemes promoting such practices fail to promote the real solutions we need in our animal agriculture system - well managed pasture-based systems, shifting feed production and processing and shrinking herd sizes<sup>17</sup>. These short-term fixes stand in the way of urgent long-term structural changes.</p> <blockquote><p>Cheaper and more sustainable options (agroecology, agroforestry, etc.), which are favoured options by the scientific community (PICC, IPBES), should be incentivised, without allowing the achieved emission reductions to justify pollution elsewhere.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Voluntary carbon markets in agriculture have high project implementation costs and divert decision-makers from implementing more sustainable, cheaper and proven options. </strong>The FAO estimates that it would cost 3.8 billion euros between 2010 and 2030 to establish relevant market infrastructure such as that required for monitoring, reporting and verifying methodologies and converting emission reductions into carbon credits<sup>18</sup>. Costs are so high that in the KACP project, farmers are expected to receive negligible income (estimated before the project at just over 1 dollar per year over the 20 years of the project). The main benefit for farmers is often presented as increased yields19, which, if real in the short term, are precarious since such projects do not increase farmers’ autonomy and typically lock them in agricultural practices dependent on agrochemical inputs that cause environmental degradation.</p> <p>Decision-makers seem to increasingly promote agricultural change through privately-funded offsetting mechanisms that benefit private entities<sup>20</sup>. This is problematic, since private actors remain firstly guided by their own profit, and do not have the capacity to contribute to the transformational change needed along the whole food supply chain. Instead, cheaper and more sustainable options (agroecology, agroforestry, etc.), which are favoured options by the scientific community (IPCC, IPBES)<sup>21</sup>, should be incentivised, without allowing the achieved emission reductions to justify pollution elsewhere.</p> <p>Because they have such high transaction costs, offsetting projects are profitable only at large scales, thereby promoting land concentration and disadvantaging smaller and more diversified farms. For instance, the Nori offset standard is intended for farms of 400 hectares and up<sup>22</sup> and the California carbon market promotes the development of anaerobic digesters on dairies, which are generally only economically feasible on farms with over 2000 cows<sup>23</sup>.</p> <p><strong>Carbon markets in agriculture imply that farmers, including in Southern countries, need to change, when the main sources of agricultural GHG emissions are off-farm and agribusiness-led.</strong> Less than half of total agricultural GHG emissions are emitted on cultivated land. The rest of it comes from deforestation, input production and transportation (fertilizers, seeds, chemicals), energy use, food processing, packaging, transportation, and food waste<sup>24</sup>. In offsetting projects, the responsibility of mitigation is put on farmers, when GHGs can be most meaningfully reduced along the entire supply chain.</p> <p>More importantly, these markets miss the point when they focus exclusively on smallholder farmers in the South who are least responsible for causing climate change and suffering most from its consequences.</p> <h4>I.A.2 Climate : land-based offsets do not reduce emissions</h4> <p>Agriculture offsets can result in an overall increase in emissions. There are three main reasons for this: the impossibility to ensure permanence, measurement challenges and lack of additionality.</p> <p><strong>Ensuring that carbon sequestered will not be released (i.e. “permanence”) : the impossible project of land-based offsetting initiatives. </strong>Carbon, whether stored in trees through agroforestry projects or in soils on agricultural land, can easily be released. Human action, natural catastrophes or even global warming affect carbon sinks (IPCC)<sup>25</sup>. It is therefore virtually impossible to ensure that carbon will remain stored on the timescale needed to compensate for fossil fuel emissions, since CO2 emitted continues to affect global warming for several hundred years. This is particularly true for certain types of agriculture projects, where farmers might be forced to engage in practices that will reverse the carbon storage gains, because of climate adaptation needs, e.g. farmers might need to till their land more to better adapt to climate impacts.</p> <p>The most widely used option to deal with this issue is to use buffers, which set a certain amount of carbon credits aside as insurance. These credits are not sold, and the farmers hence do not get paid for these credits. Buffers are meant to guarantee permanence for a duration of 10 to 40 years. If the carbon is released, then some of the credits set aside are cancelled to account for that “reversal”, i.e. the credits can never be used, because the carbon they represent is no longer stored. This assumes that no major reversal will occur beyond the monitoring period (typically 10-40 years, although one standard requires monitoring over a 100-year period). Such insurance either means that standards or project developers will monitor field practices for several decades, or that land use practices will not evolve over the same time-period - both prospects seem highly unlikely.</p> <p><strong>Satisfactory tools to measure carbon sequestered in agricultural soils are not available. </strong>There are significant measurement uncertainties associated with agriculture projects, and specifically soil carbon sequestration. Scientists estimate that the percentage of global GHG emissions that soils could sequester could be between 1.6% and 35% per year<sup>26</sup>. Indeed, it is very difficult to accurately measure the soil carbon content of a given area of land. Under some standards, soil carbon is measured by collecting soil samples and analyzing them for their carbon content. This method is the most accurate one, but is too costly and time-consuming to be widely used<sup>27</sup>.</p> <p>Other standards measure soil carbon through mathematical equations, using default factors. For example, COMET-farm is a common tool used across the US, a country where offset projects are increasingly being developed. This tool assigns default factors to measure how much carbon is stored on one hectare of land, based on the region and the practices applied by a farmer. However, land use and soil type vary even at the farm-level, making such a proxy unreliable while detailed data is necessary to issue offsets.</p> <p><strong>Carbon offsets should finance new projects (i.e. generate “additional” emission reductions), but in reality, this does not always happen</strong>. A carbon market project generates “additional” emission reductions only if the reductions would not have happened in the absence of the carbon market. A project needs to be additional in order to trigger change; otherwise, the offsets simply finance an emission reduction that would have happened anyway.</p> <p>A common approach to assess additionality is to compare the project scenario with a scenario in which the project would not have happened (“baseline scenario”). This is typically done by ensuring that the project is not required by law, is not common practice, and faces barriers to its implementation (e.g. a financial barrier).</p> <p>In practice, offsets frequently lack additionality, often because there is some leeway to design the “baseline scenario”. Under the CDM, emissions reductions policies can be ignored if they were adopted after 2001, or if they are not enforced - which then offers many options for project developers to design their baseline scenario. When looking at land-use projects, the CDM also allows any landuse activity adopted in a given area since 1990 to be deemed a “realistic” land-use scenario to establish a baseline. For example, if a project developer wants to plant trees on a land which used to be exploited for intensive cattle farming from 1990 to 1991; this developer can assume that intensive cattle farming would be the alternative land use practice if he had not implemented his project. The quantity of carbon credits generated will therefore be the difference between actual emissions from the project, and estimated emissions if the land had been used for intensive cattle farming. This is regardless of whether or not intensive cattle farming is still a realistic land-use activity in that area today.</p> <p>These are not agriculture-specific issues, but they are used to varying extent by most standards to design their agriculture methodologies and limit the additionality of agriculture projects<sup>28</sup>.</p> <p>Several programs also use “positive lists” of projects. If a project meets certain criteria (e.g. being located in a least developed country and being small scale), then it is automatically counted as additional. This can lead to further non additional projects being registered, which considerably weakens climate action.</p> <p><strong>Some projects generate carbon credits based on “carbon intensity”, which is a metric that does not ensure absolute emissions reductions. </strong>The Mount Elgon project generates credits based on carbon intensity - reducing emissions per unit of milk produced rather than looking at overall emissions.</p> <blockquote><p>The Mount Elgon Project (2016-2026) in Kenya was created by the Livelihoods Fund – an initiative of Danone and Mars Inc.<sup>29</sup> The project is supported by private companies aiming to offset their emissions. It is co-funded by the dairy company Brookside Africa Ltd, 40% of which is owned by Danone<sup>30</sup>. It is an agro-forestry and dairy project that aims to “implement smart agricultural practices to sustainably increase yield and milk production”<sup>31</sup>. The project is endorsed by the initiative 4p1000<sup>32</sup>.</p> </blockquote> <p>Emissions intensity metrics ignore increases in overall production. Even if herds expand, thereby generating more GHG emissions overall, the project can still be considered effective if it reduces emissions per unit produced<sup>33</sup>. Issuing carbon credits for expanding herds provides a false sense of addressing the climate crisis, while absolute emissions are actually rising.</p> <blockquote><p>With carbon intensity, even if herds expand, thereby generating more GHG emissions overall, the project can nonetheless be considered as enabling emissions reductions. </p> </blockquote> <h4>I.B. Food security and food sovereignty impacts</h4> <p>Offsetting projects lessen farmers’ autonomy and food security because they create dependency on agribusiness companies, transform the use of land and threaten land security.</p> <p><strong>Some projects increase farmers’ dependency on agribusiness by resorting to GM seeds or chemical inputs (pesticides, fertilizers, etc.)<sup>34</sup></strong> These practices threaten farmers’ autonomy by replacing or preventing them from using traditional knowledge of fighting pests and fertilizing soils<sup>35</sup>, and they tend to deplete soil’s natural fertility<sup>36</sup>. This creates a dependency on the multinational corporations that sell the inputs and raises the question of how a farmer’s livelihood will be impacted once an offset project ends and they have become dependent on synthetic inputs.</p> <p>There is also a risk for  farmers to become dependent on agroindustries as buyers of their products. In the Mount Elgon project, farmers specialize in dairy farming, with Brookside Africa committed to buying all milk produced over 10 years. Once the farmers have become milk producers and the project ends, they will find themselves without external support to renegotiate the terms of the contracts with Brookside Africa.</p> <p>This also undercuts communities’ ability to develop local markets for local populations.</p> <p><strong>Agroforestry offsetting projects tend to push local populations off the land to make room for tree plantations. </strong>Agroforestry systems include both traditional and modern land-use systems in which trees are managed together with crops and/or animal production systems in agricultural settings. Offsetting projects on the other hand, tend to convert part of the land to dedicate it only to forest plantations, leaving only a portion of the land for agriculture purposes, or displacing the agricultural activity<sup>37</sup>. Such projects often take place in developing countries where rights over natural resources are unclear<sup>38</sup>. Some certification standards require an agreement which recognizes ownership of land, but instead of protecting local livelihoods, the risk exists that project developers attribute land ownership on a private property basis, without taking into account local ownership practices. REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) is an international initiative sometimes used within offsetting mechanisms, which seeks to combat climate change by reducing GHG emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. This mechanism revealed several limitations that may repeat in agroforestry offsetting. In certain REDD+ cases, local populations have seen their access to forests for traditional subsistence activities limited, which had an impact on tenure and their access to land<sup>39</sup>.</p> <p>Offsetting projects risk increasing financialization of land and land-grabbing. When land becomes a financial asset, smallholder farmers’ access to it is threatened<sup>40</sup>. Since the carbon storage potential of land can increase its value<sup>41</sup>, agricultural land risks becoming an attractive investment option. Initiatives such as the development of a rating agency for agricultural land, which would assess the potential for carbon sequestration<sup>42</sup>, shows that the ability to store carbon can affect that land’s value, although it is not yet clear how large this impact could be.</p> <h1>II. Key messages and policy recommendations</h1> <h3>II.A. Key messages</h3> <p><strong>While farmers and the agricultural sector need to be supported in transitioning to climate- friendly practices, using carbon offsets to compensate for emissions elsewhere does not bring about the necessary changes. </strong>Some projects only marginally improve agricultural practices, when others entrench factory farming. Even if some projects support good agricultural practices, they never contribute to the holistic change that scientists call for, and risk increasing competition over land. From a climate perspective, projects based on soil carbon storage are particularly problematic because of the large measurement uncertainties, the impossibility to guarantee permanence on the needed timescale. Finally, these projects risk harming in the long term local populations who are directly exposed. Instead, a transformation of industrial food systems towards agroecological<sup>43</sup>, localized and plant based food systems would allow to answer both the climate and food crises.</p> <p><strong>Offsetting projects mostly bring short-term benefits to agribusiness companies, and no longterm benefits to local communities or the climate. </strong>Multinational companies benefit from agricultural offsetting schemes by using them to sell their products or to offset their emissions without having to change their business practices. Local communities can sometimes see short-term economic gains, but such projects infringe on their autonomy and food security.</p> <p><strong>It is necessary to adopt a systemic approach to emission reductions that not only looks at greenhouse gas emissions but also takes into account biodiversity and empowers local populations. In the food and agricultural sector, this entails shifting towards agroecological practices. </strong>The primary function of agroecology is to ensure food security by increasing and diversifying local production.</p> <p>The COVID-19 crisis showed the extreme vulnerability of globalized production systems, and the better resilience of local food systems. Agroecology also emits fewer GHGs due to the absence, or minimal use, of external inputs. It is more efficient to create resilient agroecological food systems instead of focusing narrowly on the amount of carbon sequestered: it is better for farmers, for consumers, for food security, and in the end, for the climate<sup>44</sup>.</p> <p>Transitioning towards agroecology requires a shift in public investment and public policies, without necessarily increasing overall budgets<sup>45</sup>.</p> <p><strong>The private sector can contribute to climate goals by directly reducing emissions within their activities/scope and supporting the transition towards agroecology.</strong> Policy-makers must build the legislative framework to make private sector activities compatible with a 1.5°C goal. No voluntary commitments or mechanisms can replace strong policies and public investment for a just transition.</p> <h3>II.B. Policy recommendations</h3> <p><strong>National policy level</strong></p> <ul> <li>States must not develop or encourage any carbon market or offsetting project that uses land-based credits.</li> <li>States must develop a broad public strategy for transitioning towards agroecology that involves all actors from farmers to consumers, and that redirects public budgets to incentivize practices that benefit biodiversity, food security and climate. Policy-makers must ensure that other sectoral policies (trade, etc.) do not hamper this transition.</li> <li>Policy-makers should allow private actors to contribute to the agroecological transition by helping fund the transition towards agroecology. Such climate finance must be regulated by the state. For instance, the “label bas-carbone” in France must evolve from an unambitious offsetting mechanism towards an ambitious lever for agroecology led by public authorities, in which private actors can financially contribute. This is necessary for such a tool to contribute to real climate ambition and not become a greenwashing instrument. </li> </ul> <p><strong>European policy level</strong></p> <ul> <li>The EU carbon farming initiative must not encourage the use of agricultural carbon offsets, but should rather establish a mechanism to provide important financial support<br /> to help farmers transition to agroecology.</li> <li>The Common Agricultural Policy must stop Single Farm Payments (SFPs) and increase finance through the second pillar (rural development) to increase finance for agroecology and organic agriculture. </li> </ul> <p><strong>International</strong></p> <ul> <li>Countries need to exclude the land sector from carbon markets under the Paris Agreement (article 6).</li> <li>Developed countries must increase their contribution to the UN Green Climate Fund and the Adaptation Fund to help poorer countries implement a fair transition towards agroecology, and these funds should focus on financing agroecology projects in their agriculture portfolio. </li> </ul> <p><strong>Carbon market standards</strong></p> <ul> <li>Governments and carbon market standards must not issue or approve carbon offsets for agricultural projects, especially from those focused on carbon sequestration, given the large uncertainties associated with such projects, and the risk of non-permanence.</li> <li>Governments must ensure that climate finance protects and restores carbon sinks and contributes to systemic change.</li> <li>Existing mechanisms must ensure transparency: public report of the identity of buyers on their registries, amount of credits each buyer bought or volume of finance contributed if no credits are bought, as well as display of the selling price.</li> <li>All climate finance must ensure respect of local communities and Indigenous Peoples’ human rights as well as the free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) protocols.</li> </ul> <hr /> <h1>Endnotes</h1> <p><strong>1</strong> Some have “net emissions” caps or targets in carbon intensity. Such caps lack the ambition that absolute caps (ie.<br /> absolute emissions reductions) have.<br /> <strong>2</strong> Bayer. Bayer takes steps to make carbon sequestration a farmer’s newest crop opportunity. July 2020.<a href="https://media">https://media</a>.<br /> bayer.com/baynews/baynews.nsf/id/Bayer-takes-steps-to-make-carbon-sequestration-a-farmers-newest-crop-opportunity<br /> [Accessed 28/08/2020]<br /> <strong>3</strong> IPCC. Special report - Climate Change and Land, 2019, p. 11. <a href="https://www.ipcc.ch/srccl/">https://www.ipcc.ch/srccl/</a><br /> <strong>4</strong> CDM. Clean Development Mechanism Project Design Document Form for Afforestation and Reforestation project<br /> activities - Version 4. Carbon Sequestration in Small and Medium Farms in the Brunca Region, Costa Rica (COOPEAGRI Project). 2012, p.24. <a href="https://cdm.unfccc.int/UserManagement/FileStorage/GVF1L4SX0O6MJ935WAUREBDHCIK8NZ">https://cdm.unfccc.int/UserManagement/FileStorage/GVF1L4SX0O6MJ935WAUREBDHCIK8NZ</a><br /> <strong>5</strong> INRA. How does tillage intensity affect soil organic carbon? A systematic review. 2017, p. 57.<br /> <strong>6 </strong>DAVIDSON, Jason in Medium. Following $10 billion Roundup settlement, Bayer uses climate program as front to lock<br /> in control of farmer data and sell more Roundup. August 2020. <a href="https://medium.com/@foe_us/following-10-billion-roundupsettlement-bayer-uses-climate-program-as-front-to-lock-in-control-e18ab12edbf1">https://medium.com/@foe_us/following-10-billion-roundupsettlement-bayer-uses-climate-program-as-front-to-lock-in-control-e18ab12edbf1</a> [Accessed 28/08/2020]<br /> <strong>7</strong> Arcadia Biosciences. UN CDM approves Arcadia Biosciences Methodology, Links Carbon Credits to Crop Genetics<br /> Improvements for First Time, 2012. <a href="https://arcadiabio.com/u-n-clean-development-mechanism-approves-arcadia-biosciences-methodology-links-carbon-credits-to-crop-genetic-improvements-for-first-time/">https://arcadiabio.com/u-n-clean-development-mechanism-approves-arcadia-biosciences-methodology-links-carbon-credits-to-crop-genetic-improvements-for-first-time/</a><br /> <strong>8 </strong>CDM. Reductions of N2O emissions from use of NUE seeds that require less fertilizer application. 2012. <a href="https://cdm">https://cdm</a>.<br /> unfccc.int/methodologies/DB/OTVXR8XN35SRHTBO426YXJ140MTKXZ<br /> <strong>9</strong> Funder and involved in decisions on inclusion of projects in the portfolio as well as review of proposed annual activity<br /> reports and annual budget and business plans.<br /> <strong>10</strong> VI AGROFORESTRY. Kenya Agricultural Carbon Project - Monitoring report version 3, 2017, p. 7.<br /> <strong>11</strong> Ibid.<br /> <strong>12 </strong>The “Sustainable Land Management” technique promoted in the KACP project shows project proponents are well<br /> aware of these issues. SALM Training Manual, Amos Wekesa and Madeleine Jonsson, 2014. p24<br /> <strong>13</strong> Emissions not emitted on site, also designated as scope 2 and 3 emissions.<br /> <strong>14</strong> WOODS, Jeremy et al. Energy and the food system, in Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences vol. 365,1554. 2010, pp. 2991-3006. doi:10.1098/rstb.2010.0172<br /> <strong>15 </strong>Gold Standard. Reducing methane emissions from enteric fermentation in dairy cows through application of feed<br /> supplements. 2019. <a href="https://globalgoals.goldstandard.org/404-luf-agr-livestock-enteric-fermentation-in-dairy-cows-throughapplication-of-feed-supplements/">https://globalgoals.goldstandard.org/404-luf-agr-livestock-enteric-fermentation-in-dairy-cows-throughapplication-of-feed-supplements/</a><br /> <strong>16</strong> EPA. Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks, 1990-2017. 2019. <a href="https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/">https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/</a><br /> files/2019-04/documents/us-ghg-inventory-2019-main-text.pdf<br /> <strong>17 </strong>FAO News. Keys facts and findings : <a href="http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/197623/icode/">http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/197623/icode/</a><br /> <strong>18</strong> FAO. Climate-smart agriculture Policies, practices and financing for food security, adaptation and mitigation. http://<br /> <a href="http://www.fao.org/3/i1881e/i1881e00.htm">www.fao.org/3/i1881e/i1881e00.htm</a> p. 24<br /> <strong>19</strong> IATP. Elusive Promises of the Kenya Agricultural Carbon Project. [Accessed 30/07/2020] <a href="https://www.iatp.org/documents/elusive-promises-kenya-agricultural-carbon-project">https://www.iatp.org/documents/elusive-promises-kenya-agricultural-carbon-project</a><br /> <strong>20</strong> EU carbon farming initiative announced in the EU Farm to Fork strategy by the European Commission, label bas-carbone in France, US bipartisan bill to bolster agricultural carbon markets, etc.<br /> <strong>21</strong> IPBES. The global assessment report on biodiversity and ecosystem services - Summary for policymakers. 2019, point 36; IPCC. Special report on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems, Summary for policymakers, p. 28.<br /> <strong>22</strong> <a href="https://nori.com/for-growers">https://nori.com/for-growers</a> [Consulted 30/07/2020].<br /> <strong>23 </strong>CoBANK. Interest in California Dairy Manure. <a href="https://www.cobank.com/-/media/files/ked/dairy/interest-in-california-dairy-manure-methane-digesters-follows-the-money-aug2020.pdfla=en&amp;hash=DB502502E12672EF473AEB269AA523586B2A8C9A">https://www.cobank.com/-/media/files/ked/dairy/interest-in-california-dairy-manure-methane-digesters-follows-the-money-aug2020.pdfla=en&amp;hash=DB502502E12672EF473AEB269AA523586B2A8C9A</a> August 2020, p.3.<br /> <strong>24</strong> CCFD-Terre Solidaire. Our land is worth more than carbon. 2018. <a href="https://ccfd-terresolidaire.org/nos-combats/souverainete/carbon-sinks-farmland-report-6120">https://ccfd-terresolidaire.org/nos-combats/souverainete/carbon-sinks-farmland-report-6120</a><br /> <strong>25</strong> IPCC. Special report on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems, Summary for policymakers, p. 7.<br /> <strong>26 </strong>Baveye, Philipe et Berthelin, Jacques &amp; Tessier, Daniel &amp; Lemaire, Gilles (2017). The “4 per 1000” initiative : A credibility issue for the soil science community ?. Geoderma. 309. 10.1016/j.geoderma.2017.05.005.<br /> <strong>27</strong> BASAK, Rishi. Monitoring, reporting, and verification requirements and implementation costs for climate change mitigation activities: Focus on Bangladesh, India, Mexico, and Vietnam. CCAFS Working Paper no. 162. 2016. <a href="https://cgspace.cgiar">https://cgspace.cgiar</a>.<br /> org/rest/bitstreams/78813/retrieve<br /> <strong>28</strong> We assessed the agriculture methodologies from the American Carbon Registry, Climate Action Reserve, Clean Development Mechanism, Gold Standard, and Verified Carbon Standard. The ACR is the only standard which does not formally rely at all on CDM methodologies.<br /> <strong>29</strong> Livelihoods Fund news. Momentum from the COP21 continues: Firmenich and Veolia to join Danone and Mars in a new fund that creates mutual benefits for smallholder farmers, business and the environment. 2016 <a href="https://www.livelihoods.eu/press-release-firmenich-and-veolia-join-the-livelihoods-fund-for-family-farming/">https://www.livelihoods.eu/press-release-firmenich-and-veolia-join-the-livelihoods-fund-for-family-farming/</a> [Accessed 30/07/2020]<br /> <strong>30</strong> <a href="https://www.jeuneafrique.com/8220/economie/danone-entre-au-capital-du-k-nyan-brookside/">https://www.jeuneafrique.com/8220/economie/danone-entre-au-capital-du-k-nyan-brookside/</a><br /> <strong>31</strong> Livelihoods Fund. KENYA (Mount Elgon): agroforestry &amp; sustainable dairy cycle with 30,000 farmers. Project page.<br /> <a href="https://www.livelihoods.eu/projects/mount-elgon-kenya/">https://www.livelihoods.eu/projects/mount-elgon-kenya/</a> [Accessed 30/07/2020]<br /> <strong>32</strong> “4 per 1000” Initiative, Soils for Food Security and Climate. Newsletter #4. July 2019.<br /> <strong>33</strong> Gold Standard. Gold Standard Agriculture Smallholder Dairy Methodology. 2016. <a href="https://globalgoals.goldstandard">https://globalgoals.goldstandard</a>.<br /> org/405-luf-agr-agriculture-smallholder-dairy-methodology/<br /> <strong>34 </strong>CDM. Clean Development Mechanism Project Design Document Form for Afforestation and Reforestation project activities - Version 4. 4. Carbon Sequestration in Small and Medium Farms in the Brunca Region, Costa Rica (COOPEAGRI Project). 2012, p.24. <a href="https://cdm.unfccc.int/UserManagement/FileStorage/GVF1L4SX0O6MJ935WAUREBDHCIK8NZ">https://cdm.unfccc.int/UserManagement/FileStorage/GVF1L4SX0O6MJ935WAUREBDHCIK8NZ</a> ; CDM. Commercial<br /> reforestation on lands dedicated to extensive cattle grazing activities in the region of Magdalena Bajo Seco - Monitoring report version 05.1. 2016, p.27 <a href="https://cdm.unfccc.int/UserManagement/FileStorage/KZ9GXBE1WF7AQIV284LYTMDUPCON6H">https://cdm.unfccc.int/UserManagement/FileStorage/KZ9GXBE1WF7AQIV284LYTMDUPCON6H</a> ;<br /> DAVIDSON, Jason in Medium. Following $10 billion Roundup settlement, Bayer uses climate program as front to lock in control of farmer data and sell more Roundup. August 2020. <a href="https://medium.com/@foe_us/following-10-billion-roundup">https://medium.com/@foe_us/following-10-billion-roundup</a> settlementbayer-uses-climate-program-as-front-to-lock-in-control-e18ab12edbf1 [Accessed 28/08/2020]</p> <p><strong>35</strong> This was the case in a payment for an environmental services project in Mexico. Ibarra, J.T. &amp; Barreau, A. &amp; Campo, C. &amp; Camacho, C.I. &amp; Martin, G.J. &amp; Mccandless, S.R. (2011). When Formal and Market-Based Conservation Mechanisms Disrupt Food Sovereignty: Impacts of Community Conservation and Payments for Environmental Services on an Indigenous Community of Oaxaca, Mexico. International Forestry Review. 13. 318-337. 10.1505/146554811798293935. <a href="https://www.cifor.org/publications/pdf_files/articles/acifor1107.pdf">https://www.cifor.org/publications/pdf_files/articles/acifor1107.pdf</a><br /> <strong>36</strong> SCCF. Agroecology and sustainable development. 2017, p.19. <a href="https://www.secours-catholique.org/sites/scinternet/">https://www.secours-catholique.org/sites/scinternet/</a><br /> files/publications/sccf_agroeco2016_fr.pdf<br /> <strong>37</strong> Biocarbon Fund projects : “Humbo Ethiopia Assisted Natural Regeneration Project” <a href="https://cdm.unfccc.int/Projects/">https://cdm.unfccc.int/Projects/</a><br /> DB/JACO1245724331.7/view; “Improving rural livelihoods through carbon sequestration” in India <a href="https://carbonmarketwatch.org/2012/10/31/improving-rural-livelihoods-through-carbon-sequestration-watch-this-3/">https://carbonmarketwatch.org/2012/10/31/improving-rural-livelihoods-through-carbon-sequestration-watch-this-3/</a> ; “Commercial reforestation on lands dedicated to extensive cattle grazing activities” in Colombia <a href="https://cdm.unfccc.int/Projects/DB/TUEVSUED1306749770.85/view">https://cdm.unfccc.int/Projects/DB/TUEVSUED1306749770.85/view</a><br /> <strong>38</strong> VI AGROFORESTRY. Kenya Agricultural Carbon Project - Monitoring report version 3, 2017, p. 10<br /> <strong>39</strong> GRAIN, World Rainforest Movement. How REDD+ projects undermine peasant farming and real solutions to climate<br /> change. 2015. <a href="https://www.grain.org/article/entries/5322-how-redd-projects-undermine-peasant-farming-and-real-solutions-to-climate-change">https://www.grain.org/article/entries/5322-how-redd-projects-undermine-peasant-farming-and-real-solutions-to-climate-change</a><br /> <strong>40</strong> Leach, Melissa &amp; Scoones, Ian &amp; Atela, Joanes &amp; Arhin, Albert &amp; Kijazi, MARTIN &amp; Nel, Adrian &amp; Mickels-Kokwe, Guni &amp; Kokwe, Misael &amp; Dzingirai, Vupenyu &amp; Mangwanya, Lindiwe &amp; Hashmiu, Reality &amp; Winnebah, Thomas. (2015). Carbon Conflicts<br /> and Forest Landscapes in Africa. 10.4324/9781315740416.<br /> <strong>41</strong> Cotula, L., Vermeulen, S., Leonard, R. and Keeley, J., 2009, Land grab or development opportunity ? Agricultural investment and international land deals in Africa, IIED/FAO/IFAD, London/Rome. ISBN: 978-1-84369-741-1<br /> <strong>42</strong> Le Figaro. Le confondateur de Devialet lance Greenback, une agence de notation des terres cultivées. June 2020.<br /> <a href="https://amp.lefigaro.fr/secteur/high-tech/start-up/le-cofondateur-de-devialet-lance-greenback-une-agence-de-notation-desterres-cultivees-20200605?__twitter_impression=true">https://amp.lefigaro.fr/secteur/high-tech/start-up/le-cofondateur-de-devialet-lance-greenback-une-agence-de-notation-desterres-cultivees-20200605?__twitter_impression=true</a> [Accessed 01/09/2020]<br /> <strong>43</strong> Agroecology is a practice, a movement and a science based on an optimal use of natural resources and of local<br /> knowledge to allow access with dignity to sustainably produced food.<br /> <strong>44</strong> DE SCHUTTER. Agroecology and the right to food. UN Human Rights Council, 16th session [A/HRC/16/49], 2010.<br /> <a href="http://www.srfood.org/images/stories/pdf/officialreports/20110308_a-hrc-16-49_agroecology_en.pdf">http://www.srfood.org/images/stories/pdf/officialreports/20110308_a-hrc-16-49_agroecology_en.pdf</a><br /> <strong>45</strong> LOPEZ, Ramon and GALINATO,Gregman. Should governments stop subsidies to private goods ? Evidence from rural latin America. Journal of public Economics, 91, 2007, p 1085.</p> <hr /> <p><a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2020-11/Land%20Carbon%20Brief_VF_2020.pdf"><strong>Download a PDF of the brief.</strong></a></p> <p data-placeholder="Translation" dir="ltr" id="tw-target-text"><strong><a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2020-11/Land%20Carbon%20Brief_VF_French.pdf">Télécharger un PDF en français</a></strong>.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-primary-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Primary category</div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/issues/climate-change" hreflang="en">Climate Change</a></div> </div> </div> Tue, 24 Nov 2020 14:53:15 +0000 Cecelia Heffron 44410 at https://www.iatp.org An unexpected coalition offers expected policy recommendations  https://www.iatp.org/blog/202011/unexpected-coalition-offers-expected-policy-recommendations <span>An unexpected coalition offers expected policy recommendations </span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/34897" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Cecelia Heffron</span></span> <span>Mon, 11/23/2020 - 13:42</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>There is growing consensus that we need to support farmers to be part of the climate solution.</div> Mon, 23 Nov 2020 19:42:03 +0000 Cecelia Heffron 44409 at https://www.iatp.org The Rural Climate Dialogues https://www.iatp.org/documents/rural-climate-dialogues <div data-history-node-id="44400" class="node node--type-document node--view-mode-rss field-primary-category-rural-development has-field-primary-category has-field-teaser-image title-not-empty ds-1col clearfix"> <h3 > A Community-Driven Roadmap for Climate Action in Rural Minnesota</h3> <div class="field field--name-field-author field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Author</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/about/staff/tara-ritter" hreflang="en">Tara Ritter</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><article class="media media-image view-mode-feature"> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/feat/public/2020-11/2020_10_RCD_Report_f_web_0.jpg?itok=YFOkNHgs" width="950" height="590" alt="RCD report cover 01" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> </article> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Download a <a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2020-11/IATP_RCD_Report_f.pdf">PDF of the report</a>. </p> <h2>Introduction</h2> <p>Rural America has a central role to play in meeting the climate crisis and rural residents have innovative ideas about how to do it. Rural America encompasses 97% of the land area in the United States<sup><span><span>1</span></span></sup> and is home to nearly all the nation’s energy production, including wind and solar farms, oil drilling and power plants. The nation’s vast agricultural and forested land, which are essential natural resources in responding to climate change, are managed by the 19% of the population that lives in rural America.<sup><span><span>2</span></span></sup> It seems obvious that rural Americans should be deeply involved in developing climate policy; yet, rural perspectives and ideas are too often not part of the discussion.</p> <p>There are real challenges in engaging rural communities on climate policy, including longstanding political obstacles that run deeper than views on climate change. The divide between rural and urban is not just geographic, but also cultural and political, and here in Minnesota the gap is widening. Urban and rural Minnesotans have grown apart in many ways — age, income, educational attainment, race and culture. Ignoring these differences, or trying to ram through them, has thus far delayed action on climate change.</p> <p>Climate change offers an opportunity to engage differently with rural communities in a way that focuses on solutions rather than assigning blame. Instead of trying to “sell” climate policy to rural communities, we must engage organizations and leaders rooted in rural areas in the development stage to identify solutions that work for them. As important, we need community-level engagement tools designed to overcome our current toxic political environment and map out rural-appropriate responses to climate change that feed up into policy and concrete action.</p> <p>Since 2014, IATP, in partnership with the Jefferson Center, has hosted Rural Climate Dialogues (RCDs) in five Minnesota counties. This method of civic engagement emphasizes listening and empathy building; focuses on each community’s distinct hopes, challenges and sense of place; and ultimately creates locally driven climate action plans. This report will discuss the context in which we have done this work, provide an overview of each community’s recommendations and actions, and share what we have learned.</p> <h2>The Rural Context</h2> <p>Climate change is just one in a series of economic and social challenges that are hitting rural communities disproportionately hard. Between 2010 and 2018, population grew in urban areas and declined in rural areas while employment grew in all counties except for completely rural ones. Rural communities also have an older and less educated population, and poverty rates are highest in the most rural counties. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), these gaps have grown over time.<sup><span><span>3</span></span></sup></p> <p>Rural community members have lower incomes on average, and this income discrepancy is especially acute in farming-dependent counties. Net farm income peaked in 2013, and since then, it has dramatically dropped to the point that we are now in the midst of the worst farm crisis since the 1980s. In Minnesota, farmers earned their lowest net farm income in decades in 2018.<sup><span><span>4</span></span></sup> This creates ripple effects in rural agricultural communities, impacting local seed and equipment dealers and other local businesses.</p> <p>Many rural communities also struggle with maintaining quality infrastructure. Transportation infrastructure such as roads and bridges are in worse shape due to strained county budgets. Despite smaller rural populations, 68% of the nation’s lane-miles are in rural areas, and those roads are traversed by heavy trucks carrying large volumes of freight.<sup><span><span>5</span></span></sup> Broadband access is also lacking throughout many rural areas, limiting residents’ ability to get news, find jobs, access telemedicine, integrate technology on their farm and operate businesses.</p> <p>Rural people also experience major challenges when it comes to physical and mental health care. Rural hospital closures hit a record high in 2019<sup><span><span>6</span></span></sup> and rural communities have fewer elder care facilities and childcare options.<sup><span><span>7</span></span></sup> Other public health inequities exist as well; rural Americans are more likely to die from heart disease, cancer, injury, respiratory disease and stroke than their urban counterparts.<sup><span><span>8</span></span></sup></p> <p>These challenges, and more, tend to be the focus of attention and resources in rural communities. Understandably, a phenomenon as seemingly distant as climate change rarely takes the front seat.</p> <h3>How Climate Change Will Impact Rural Communities</h3> <p>Climate change will compound the inequities present in rural America. According to the 2018 National Climate Assessment, rural communities face a “climate gap,” defined by unequal impacts of climate change and extreme weather events.<sup><span><span>9</span></span></sup></p> <p>Data from the USDA’s Economic Research Service show that rural areas have lower housing quality with lower energy efficiency on average.<sup><span><span>10</span></span></sup> This means that households with lower average incomes are paying a higher percentage of their income on energy.</p> <p>Climate change will also increase the riskiness and volatility of agriculture, forestry and other natural resource-dependent economic sectors. Rural communities that depend on these industries for their economic well-being will suffer with an increase in extreme weather events and more unpredictable temperature and precipitation swings. In 2019, record flooding decimated corn and soybean crops and damaged farm infrastructure across the Midwest.</p> <p>Rural America’s education, healthcare and infrastructure challenges will also worsen with climate change. Destinations are further apart in rural areas, and climate change will increase weather-related wear and tear on roads, as well as make roads more frequently impassable. These problems will make accessing hospitals, schools and other destinations more difficult and could increase emergency response times.</p> <p>Although climate change is often perceived as a distant phenomenon — something that will happen later and elsewhere — the impacts are being felt here and now, and especially in rural areas. Yet, many of the challenges that rural communities face are precisely what prevents them from prioritizing investment in climate action.</p> <h3>How Climate Change is Impacting Minnesota</h3> <p>Climate change has impacted Minnesota noticeably already. Participants at the RCD events, many of whom have lived in their communities for decades or their whole lives, reflected on how, over the years, they had noticed less winter snowfall, hotter summers and increased flooding. There was agreement that things had changed over time, regardless of how or why these changes occurred.</p> <p>From 1951 to 2012, statewide temperatures increased up to three degrees in some areas. Temperatures increased the fastest in the northern part of the state.<sup><span><span>11</span></span></sup> These temperature differentials impact Minnesota’s natural resource-based economies. Even a one-degree temperature difference can determine whether a waterway is habitable for a walleye, agricultural crops and animals are sensitive to heat, and the trees grown for the forestry industry are shifting from these seemingly small temperature fluctuations.</p> <p>Minnesota has also gotten wetter, with precipitation increasing by up to 20% in some parts of the state from 1951 to 2012. Much of the increase occurs in the spring and fall, leading to flooding and crop and property damage. Instead of smaller rainfalls spread out over time, Minnesota is getting less frequent but more intense rain events.<sup><span><span>12</span></span></sup> The spring of 2019 caused immense damage; in addition to washed out roads and property damage, farmers suffered the latest planting on record and over one million acres of corn could not be planted at all.<sup><span><span>13</span></span></sup></p> <p><img alt="MPR graphic" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="5a90db20-986e-40dc-b76b-85ac6d38ce02" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/MPR_graphics_0.jpg" width="60%" /></p> <p>Graphics used with permission from Minnesota Public Radio. <a href="https://www.mprnews.org/story/2015/02/02/climate-change-primer">https://www.mprnews.org/story/2015/02/02/climate-change-primer</a></p> <p>Animals and plants are more sensitive to weather changes than humans. In addition to phenomenon like shifting tree, crop and fish species, Minnesota is also seeing an increase in mosquitoes and ticks. Warmer and wetter winters lend themselves to more of these pests in the summer — and accordingly, more of the diseases they carry.<sup><span><span>14</span></span></sup> In addition, migratory birds are arriving earlier and animals are breeding sooner, causing a mismatch between the food needs of these populations and when plants bloom.<sup><span><span>15</span></span></sup></p> <p>Although the climate has always changed, it is changing more rapidly now than it ever has in our measurement history. These impacts are felt at home; Minnesota is not immune to these changes that will affect economic livelihoods, health, energy use, infrastructure and many other aspects of our lives.</p> <h3>Creating Equitable Climate Policy</h3> <p>Rural residents frequently oppose government regulation, oftentimes because government outreach and engagement strategies are inadequate and seek little, if any, meaningful input from rural constituents. This creates a deep distrust and surfaces feelings that environmental policies are thrust upon them as an attack on their way of life and already-vulnerable economy.</p> <p>As long as rural engagement is limited in environmental policymaking, so is our ability to create a clean energy future and communities that are well-equipped to handle climate challenges. We desperately need a new approach to build policy that reduces climate-related risks and increases opportunities for better livelihoods — and in a way that rural residents can see and feel the benefits for themselves.</p> <p>The good news is that rural-based climate solutions are already happening. We are seeing massive expansions of solar and wind energy and local food production. Cities and counties are building out energy efficiency programs to lower energy bills. Soil and Water Conservation Districts are investing in cost-share programs for farmers to implement conservation practices, and there is growing interest among farmers in implementing practices to boost soil health. The growth in these areas is often not due to climate change, but rather to boost economic development. For climate solutions to work, they must be connected to community solutions.</p> <p>Community-based responses to climate change must be integrated into state and federal policymaking. Listening to communities about what they need is the only way to create policies that work on the ground and bring people together.</p> <h3>The Rural Climate Dialogues</h3> <p>IATP and the Jefferson Center partnered in 2014 to devise a new approach to engage rural communities on climate change. Over the past six years, the Rural Climate Dialogues have reached five counties in Minnesota, over 10 state agencies and a multitude of partners across the country interested in this model of community engagement.</p> <p>The RCDs use the Citizens Jury method for community problem solving and leadership development. This approach brings together a microcosm of the community over multiple days to study an issue in-depth and generate a shared community response. These events provide a productive, educational and inclusive way to address complex or divisive challenges. Each RCD focuses on a specific rural community and gathers a randomly selected, demographically representative group of residents (ranging from 15-21 individuals). They are tasked with creating a collective and place-based response to the topic at hand. The facilitated events are completely participant-driven; no one tells them what to do or what to think. The participants ultimately produce their own recommendations based on community needs, priorities, concerns and values.</p> <p>The RCDs are unique as an organizing tool because they focus on building empathy and deep listening. Helping people feel heard is an important first step in creating solutions. We do this by setting up a space of respectful conversation where different viewpoints and opinions are encouraged. Participants are given ample time to get to know one another and spend time in small groups sharing their perspectives and personal stories. As participants move through the RCD process, deeper thoughts and feelings come to the surface that often center around care for their community and a fear of change that is out of their control.</p> <p>From 2014-2020, IATP and the Jefferson Center completed three phases of RCDs:</p> <ol> <li>The first phase worked in Stevens, Itasca and Winona Counties. The focus of these events was community resilience in the face of climate change and extreme weather. Participants were tasked with identifying the top priorities for local climate action to maximize community benefits.</li> <li>The second phase worked in the same three counties. In each of the initial RCDs, renewable energy emerged as a main theme. Therefore, the second phase of the RCDs zeroed in on local energy systems.</li> <li>The third phase worked in Redwood and Murray Counties in southwestern Minnesota. The focus of these events was wind energy siting. Participants were tasked with identifying challenges and opportunities around hosting wind energy in their communities and how development could maximize community benefits.</li> </ol> <h3>County Selection</h3> <p>The county selection process was intentional and based on multiple factors. For the initial round of RCDs, we targeted three counties in different geographical areas of the state with different primary economic drivers and in different Congressional districts.</p> <ul> <li>Stevens County is in west-central Minnesota. The county has a population of just under 10,000 people with over half living in the county seat of Morris. It is a largely agricultural community situated on the prairie. Morris is home to the University of Minnesota, Morris, which has a student population of about 1,500 students. Politically, Stevens County has been a swing district for the past several decades, but the area’s current State Senator and State Representative are both Republican.</li> <li>Itasca County is in northern Minnesota. The county has a population of 45,000 with 11,000 living in the county seat of Grand Rapids. Forestry is a primary economic driver in Itasca County, but the area also has a robust mining industry and the lakes and forests attract tourists year-round. Itasca County voters have tended to vote Democratic in the past, yet Donald Trump was the first Republican presidential candidate to win the county since the 1920s. The area’s current State Senator and State Representative are both Republican.</li> <li>Winona County is in southeastern Minnesota. The county has a population of about 50,000 with roughly half living in the county seat of Winona. Located along the Mississippi River, the county has a significant manufacturing industry. The county is situated in the karst region, and the distinct bluffs and vibrant art scene lend themselves to a bustling tourism industry. The area is home to Winona State University, with a student population of about 8,000 students. Politically, the county has selected the Democratic candidate in 64% of national elections. The area’s State Representative is Democrat, and the State Senator is Republican.</li> </ul> <p>For the third phase of RCDs we turned our sights to southwestern Minnesota. This area of the state has some of the best wind resource in the country and has already experienced extensive wind development over the past 20 years. Wind energy siting has become increasingly contentious, and we used the RCD model to work through community tensions.</p> <p>Research over the last 30 years has found that public acceptance of wind development can be predicted by the quality of the community engagement surrounding the development. A lack of opportunity for community participation can reduce support and increase conflicts, whereas planning processes that are perceived as fair and inclusive can boost support for projects.<sup><span><span>16</span></span></sup> The goal of this phase of RCDs was to empower community members to articulate their opinions and weigh in on the developments that would affect their communities.</p> <p>For this phase of RCDs, we selected two neighboring counties with different levels of development. Each county provided differing perspectives on the challenges and opportunities created by wind development for rural communities.</p> <ul> <li>Redwood County, a heavily agricultural region in the southwestern part of the state, has a population of 15,000. There are over 1,000 farms in the county, growing primarily corn and soybeans. It is a reliably Republican area. The county has not yet hosted any wind development, but future development is planned.</li> <li>Murray County, also a heavily agricultural county in the southwestern part of the state, has a population of 8,000. There are over 800 farms in the county, growing primarily corn and soybeans. The county has become more Republican over the past decade, though historically has been a swing area. Situated on the Buffalo Ridge, the county is one of the top wind producing counties in the state with 255 operational turbines.</li> </ul> <p><img alt="counties selected" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="860eb90f-e450-4e27-8b27-56f8be978bd3" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/RCD_map_allCounties_1.jpg" width="55%" /></p> <h3>The Pre-Organizing Phase</h3> <p>In the lead-up to an RCD event, we spend months building relationships in the community. This pre-organizing is critical to understand the community context, build trust and rapport with local leaders and help inform event design. We meet with people from many areas of the community, including:</p> <ul> <li>Staff and elected officials at the city and county levels, including county administrators, city managers, county commissioners and city council members.</li> <li>Teachers and students at local high schools, community colleges and universities.</li> <li>Community artists and place-makers.</li> <li>Media outlets including local newspapers, radio stations and TV stations.</li> <li>Local business leaders and chambers of commerce. This group also includes farmers, foresters and other natural resource managers.</li> <li>Civic engagement organizations including Rotary Clubs and Kiwanis Clubs.</li> </ul> <p>The goal of these pre-organizing meetings is to identify which issues are at the top of community members’ minds. We repeatedly hear concerns about depopulation and wanting to create welcoming communities where young people and families return. Another frequent priority is maintaining roads and infrastructure with lean county budgets. People also want to ensure that farmers and other natural resource managers can make a stable living. Other community-specific concerns emerge as well. In one community, a large nursing home was shutting down with no alternatives for elder care. In another, memories of a major 2009 flood were still front-of-mind. In yet another, a renovation of the county courthouse had the community split.</p> <p>For climate change and energy solutions to work in a community, they must yield benefits that also address larger community concerns. This can include generating revenue or saving money, increasing resilience to extreme weather events to mitigate the impacts of flooding or creating jobs that could compel young families to return to the area. On the contrary, if climate and energy solutions increase costs or put additional burdens on a community, they will not be accepted or sustainable.</p> <p>Based on our conversations in the pre-organizing phase, we identify key issues to feature as event presentations. We invite local community members to present on these issues. Featuring local speakers helps build trust and keeps the event grounded in community perspectives. Some examples of presentations include: a local insurance agent discussing how extreme weather is causing insurance premiums to increase, a city engineer presenting on how flooding is stressing the area’s stormwater infrastructure, and a DNR employee sharing how fish and tree species are shifting as temperatures warm. The selected presentations for each event are tailored to that community’s economy and interests.</p> <p>The people we meet and the relationships we build during the pre-event organizing phase are critical for the long-term success of the RCDs. As leaders in their community, the community members we meet with are motivated to create positive community change. After the event, these people are generally the ones who bring the recommendations from the event to fruition.</p> <h3>The RCD Event</h3> <p>The Citizens Jury model brings together 15 to 21 individuals from the county who are selected through an application process. We invite community members to apply to participate in several ways: we mail postcards to thousands of households in the county, place ads in the newspaper and other local media outlets, run targeted ads on social media and invite community partners to share the opportunity with their networks. The invitations emphasize that participants do not need any expertise in the topic at hand.</p> <p>The application process is brief; community members indicate their ability to attend the event in its entirety and provide basic demographic information. The Citizens Jury is designed so that the demographic makeup of the participants mirrors the demographics of the county as a whole. The demographics considered are gender, race/ethnicity, political party affiliation, age and education level. Once the application deadline is passed, we randomly select participants to match the demographics of the county.</p> <p>To reduce barriers to participation, participants are paid a daily stipend, and we cover childcare and transportation costs. This broadens the number of community members willing and able to participate. Paying participants helps us reach people who are not typically engaged in public processes, including people who may need to take a day off work and people who have limited knowledge of the topic at hand.</p> <p>The RCD events last two to three days. The beginning of the first day focuses on getting to know one another. Building a strong, shared foundation is necessary for participants to feel comfortable engaging in the event fully and expressing their diverse points of view. We start by asking participants to share why they love their community. In every event we have hosted, people have expressed appreciation for the natural environment, the tight-knit sense of community that forms in rural areas and how people show up to help one another. This simple question builds a common bond among participants — they all want the best for their community, and they are at the RCD to create solutions that are in the community’s best interest.</p> <p>Then, we agree upon ground rules for conversation and engagement. These include listening fully before responding, assuming positive intent and disagreeing respectfully. Throughout the event, we invite participants to share their own perspectives, and given the range of people and worldviews in the room we acknowledge that those perspectives will not always be the same. It is essential to define shared norms before leaning into conversations where people are encouraged to disagree.</p> <p><img alt="Morris Rural Climate Dialogue" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="363b87b2-7faa-42d1-8b11-554a719df9fa" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Morris%20RCD%201.jpg" width="75%" /></p> <p>The next part of the event moves into presentations and information gathering. We feature anywhere from four to seven presentations from local experts, and the presentation topics are based on the conversations we had in the community before the event. We coach presenters to ensure continuity between the event’s presentations. They are also asked to remain objective; participants have the opportunity to reject information if they deem it biased.</p> <p>Each presentation ranges from 15 to 30 minutes with ample time for questions. Participants are tasked with identifying the most relevant information and assessing opportunities and challenges for their communities based on the information presented.</p> <p>After every presentation, participants break into small groups to deliberate and distill their thoughts into shared takeaways from the presentation. First, participants are asked to think about and write down key information from the presentation individually. Then, each member of the small group shares their individual impressions with one another. The small group works to find common ground and identifies top takeaways as a group. The small groups then share with one another, identifying the full group’s collective takeaways. This small group deliberation is repeated to identify how the community might maximize opportunities and address challenges related to the presentation topic.</p> <p>After all the presentations and associated small group discussions, participants come together on the final day to collectively draft a statement to their neighbors and vote on main challenges for their community to address and top opportunities for their community to pursue. The result is a final report that comprehensively shares the group’s agreed-upon recommendations.</p> <p>A critical part of every RCD is evaluation. We partnered with an evaluator at the University of Minnesota to administer pre- and post-surveys at every event and conduct interviews with selected people about their experience. This evaluation data allowed us to amend each event and assess whether the RCDs were having their intended impact. In every community, we saw increases in the belief that major shifts in local climate patterns are likely. There were also marked increases in the conviction that individuals and the community can take action to address these shifts. Perhaps most notably, we saw significant increases in the willingness of participants to talk with their neighbors about climate change. In rural communities, local change is highly interpersonal and individual conversations can shape community action. The willingness of RCD participants to be vocal about climate change after the event was one of the most impactful outcomes.</p> <h3>The Post-Organizing Phase</h3> <p>Our goal after the event is to help bring the jury’s vision to life. Not every participant will be interested in staying involved long-term, but their recommendations provide a foundation for community leaders to build from when engaging in climate or energy planning. It is rare for community decisionmakers to have a roadmap designed by a representative cross section of their community, and this information can inspire and inform community action.</p> <p>We disseminate the event recommendations as widely as possible. The most effective messengers of this information are participants themselves. Participants have presented their recommendations to their county commissions and city councils, state agency staff, the Rural Minnesota Energy Board and other local collaboratives. In every community, we have also worked with the news media to write and broadcast follow-up articles and interviews about the event, and in some cases, to place opinion editorials from event participants and organizers. This ensures that RCD results are transparent and fully available to the public.</p> <p>A critical element of long-term community change is identifying the community leaders who will step up and lead the charge. Implementing any project or planning initiative takes capacity and willpower, which must come from inside the community — if outside project organizers take the lead, it is unlikely that the initiative will be sustainable. Oftentimes the people who are excited to act on RCD recommendations already wear multiple hats in the community. For this reason, adding capacity at the start of a project goes a long way. Our job is to connect interested stakeholders, facilitate initial meetings and shepherd work along until it is underway.</p> <p>One way we have added capacity to communities is securing funds for projects. Rural budgets are often already strained, and staff capacity tends to be lean. In two RCD communities, we collaboratively applied for and received grants from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. These funds enabled the implementation of RCD recommendations.</p> <h3>Connecting to Policy</h3> <p>In addition to facilitating community-driven climate action, the RCDs are intended to filter rural perspectives up into state and federal climate policy. State policy and programs are created primarily by state agency staff and elected officials, many of whom are based in St. Paul. Outreach opportunities are frequently limited; public meetings are usually in-person during the daytime (limiting people who cannot travel to St. Paul or take time off during the workday) and even when a call-in option is available, it is generally poorly advertised and creates a sense of distance for the participant.</p> <p>Furthermore, a lack of trust in government prevents many rural community members from participating in state processes. Without a baseline level of trust in state government, rural community members will avoid input opportunities, especially when they are not happening in their own community.</p> <p>Our advocacy with state-level staff and policymakers emphasizes that any climate-related decisions must be informed by direct engagement with rural communities. Decisionmakers need to be in rural communities, forging relationships and truly listening to the needs of those communities. We relay this same information and share perspectives from RCD events within networks and coalitions to inform their priorities and engagement strategies.</p> <h2>Stevens County</h2> <p><a href="http://www.iatp.org/rural-climate-dialogues/stevens-county">www.iatp.org/rural-climate-dialogues/stevens-county</a></p> <h3>Student Dialogue</h3> <h4>May 2014</h4> <p>We began our work in Stevens County with a student dialogue at the Morris Area High School. We partnered with teachers in the civics and agricultural education departments to create lesson plans on local climate impacts and had the students deliberate what responses they would like to see their community take. This process equipped students with real information on climate and effective communication and deliberation skills.</p> <p>Outside the classroom, students disseminated energy surveys to their family and neighbors to help map the community’s energy use and gauge interest in energy savings. Aside from data collection, the survey created an opportunity for conversation between students and the adults in their life about climate change adaptation and mitigation, which are topics that may not arise at the dinner table very often. The data from these surveys was collated and presented at the community RCD by students themselves, empowering the students to share their perspectives and helping the adult RCD participants connect with the content through the young people in their life.</p> <p><img alt="Morris student dialogue" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="0d2897a7-9f11-464b-b482-f795cf7fdd50" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Morris%20student%20dialogue%202.jpg" width="75%" /></p> <h3>Climate Dialogue</h3> <h4>June 2014</h4> <p>The Stevens County Climate Dialogue was held in the county seat of Morris. Over the course of three days, participants got to know one another, engaged with presenters and wrote a final statement of recommended community actions.</p> <p>Presentations included:</p> <ul> <li>Mark Seeley, a climatologist for University of Minnesota Extension, presented on local extreme weather and climate conditions. This presentation was a feature of all three of the initial RCDs, providing an informational foundation for discussion. The presentation was successful for several reasons. First, it focused solely on local impacts — not on distant phenomenon like melting ice caps or rising sea levels. Second, it presented a detailed weather history of the area — there was no mention of models or projections into the future. Grounding climate information locally and based on historical data made it easy for participants to accept and digest.</li> <li>Shalini Gupta from the Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy presented on local energy burdens. This presentation was based in part on data collected by students in the student dialogue. The presentation addressed local energy poverty — a household’s ability or inability to afford energy prices — and how climate change impacts that.</li> <li>Mark Kulda from the Insurance Federation of Minnesota presented on how weather extremes are impacting insurance rates. This presentation was especially relevant because the community had recently experienced several hailstorms that severely damaged property.</li> <li>Abdullah Jaradat from the USDA Agricultural Research Service presented on how climate change and extreme weather are impacting farmers and local agriculture, which is a primary economic driver for Stevens County.</li> <li>Blaine Hill, the city manager for the City of Morris, presented on local infrastructure concerns, including stormwater infrastructure and city buildings.</li> <li>Bill Klyve from Otter Tail Power, the local utility, presented on community energy and energy efficiency.</li> <li>Troy Goodnough from the Office of Sustainability at the University of Minnesota, Morris presented on local options to strengthen resilience.</li> </ul> <p><img alt="Mark Seeley presenting at the Morris Rural Climate Dialogue" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="6643a079-63b7-47da-8e25-2d2fea3d4240" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Morris%20RCD%20MARK%20SEELEY.jpg" width="75%" /></p> <p>Based on these presentations, participants’ top concerns included: rising energy and food costs, which would disproportionately impact low-income and elderly residents; lack of community awareness of changes in extreme weather and climate and ways to address those changes; and potential negative climate impacts on agriculture.</p> <p>Top opportunities included recommendations to strengthen the local agricultural economy; better utilize local expertise and resources; and increase local economic benefits through creating new markets for crops, increasing water and electricity efficiency and using the local tax base for climate-friendly infrastructure.</p> <p>In the post-event evaluation, 14 out of 15 participants agreed that community members and local, county and state governments should take action to address the risks created by extreme weather and shifting climate patterns. 13 out of 15 participants were willing or very willing to talk with their neighbors about the risks of extreme weather and shifting climate patterns.</p> <blockquote><p>Participants collectively authored a “Statement for Our Neighbors,” which read:<br /> Climate change is happening, and we need to adapt our behavior and infrastructure to meet the challenges of our new world, which include extreme weather events, financial difficulties, and long-term adverse effects on agriculture. Research, education, and improvements are underway in the Morris area concerning extreme weather and climate change; however, there seems to be a lack of communication between researchers and the general public and policymakers. Climate change presents short- and long-term challenges and opportunities for everyone. We must all participate to solve these issues. Education is key.</p> <p> Devastating weather is becoming more frequent in Stevens County. Increased living expenses brought about by climate change and extreme weather, including food, clean water, transportation, property damage, and energy costs currently, and will continue to, adversely affect all members of the community, especially those with low or fixed incomes. Because of a lack of community awareness and underutilization of tools and resources, community members need to be both educated on climate change and given tools they can use to deal with its effects. Once again, education is key.</p> </blockquote> <h4>Check out this video with Stevens County Climate Dialogues participant Jon Geleneau. </h4> <p><iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="450" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ybwOBW5RbSk" width="800"></iframe></p> <h3>Our Energy Future</h3> <h4>December 2017 / February 2018</h4> <p>After three years of partnership with the City of Morris and the University of Minnesota, Morris, IATP and the Jefferson Center convened two more events — one in December 2017 and one in February 2018. Each of these events was a three-hour evening convening that was open to the public.</p> <p>At the first event, 50 community members gathered to learn about the basics of the energy system, discuss local energy goals and brainstorm ways to achieve those goals. Topics and local speakers included:</p> <ul> <li>Energy 101: Mike Reese, director of renewable energy at the West Central Research and Outreach Center.</li> <li>Local energy from a utility’s perspective: Brian Draxten, director of resource planning at Otter Tail Power.</li> <li>City of Morris partnership with Saerbeck, Germany: Blaine Hill, Morris city manager.</li> </ul> <p>After the presentations, participants broke into small groups to discuss the future of the community’s energy system. There was broad interest in local production and local ownership of energy and a sense of pride that rural communities could lead the way. A top concern was a loss of local decision-making abilities, with big utilities and outside developers owning and controlling the energy. Overall, enthusiasm about a few main themes rose to the top: renewable energy, energy efficiency and behavior change, batteries and energy storage technology, district heating and local energy ownership.</p> <p><img alt="Morris energy dialogue" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="396b4fd2-7605-4130-8c1f-6e0ee19510ce" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/our%20energy%20future%20Morris.jpg" width="75%" /></p> <p>To explore the question of how to achieve the energy goals identified at the first event, we hosted a second event in February 2018, where over 80 community members gathered to explore these topics more in depth. Community members heard about the following topics from local experts:</p> <ul> <li>Energy efficiency: Alexis Troschinetz, Clean Energy Resource Teams.</li> <li>District heating: Bryan Herrmann, University of Minnesota, Morris.</li> <li>Microgrids and local energy ownership: Arne Kildegard, University of Minnesota, Morris.</li> <li>Energy storage: Joel Tallaksen, West Central Research and Outreach Center.</li> <li>Renewable energy trends: Stacy Miller, Minnesota Department of Commerce.</li> </ul> <p>After the presentations, participants discussed the potential benefits, challenges and action steps they could take to bring their energy goals to fruition. Participants voted on the topics they would like the community to address first, with district heating, energy efficiency and local energy ownership rising to the top. Since these events, Morris has pursued each of these issues aggressively and is widely recognized as an energy and climate leader in Minnesota.</p> <h3>Outcomes</h3> <p>Since the 2014 Stevens County Climate Dialogue, Morris has become a statewide model for climate and energy leadership. This cannot be attributed to the RCDs alone; however, the RCD was a springboard for conversation, connection and idea generation, and catalyzed subsequent community meetings, projects and partnerships.</p> <p>Participants at the 2014 Stevens County Climate Dialogue and subsequent energy events ranked energy efficiency high on the list of easy and recommended climate actions. Soon after the RCD, the City of Morris replaced the city-owned streetlights and lighting in 12 municipal buildings with LED lighting, which was projected to save $122,000 over 10 years. In addition, Stevens County public officials partnered with the local utility, Otter Tail Power, to pursue energy efficiency and a redesigned local economic development model that included local renewable energy.</p> <p>The RCD initiated Morris’s first resilience and climate adaptation planning work. This included an Extreme Weather Action Meeting in 2015 that gathered residents to discuss potential actions to boost community resilience in the face of extreme weather. In this initial phase of work, community members also hosted climate-related film screenings and additional opportunities for conversation and education.</p> <p>In 2015, individuals from Stevens County, the City of Morris and the University of Minnesota, Morris came together to start the Morris Model (<a href="http://www.morrismodel.org">www.morrismodel.org</a>), which has transformed the energy landscape in Stevens County. Since its inception, the Morris Model has led projects around energy, water, waste management and more. The Morris Model’s 2018 strategic plan outlined three overarching goals: produce 80% of the energy consumed in the county by 2030, reduce energy consumption 30% by 2030 and no landfilling of waste generated within the county by 2025. These aspirational goals put Morris far ahead of the curve when it comes to community sustainability.</p> <p>Also in 2015, the Morris City Council signed a climate protection technical assistance partnership with the city of Saerbeck, Germany to explore local clean energy production as a community economic driver. This partnership has resulted in learning exchanges with officials from each city visiting one another to learn about local energy production and moving towards energy autonomy.</p> <p>In recognition of this innovative work, Morris and partners, including IATP and the Jefferson Center, won the 2015 Environmental Initiative Community Action award for community-based education, deliberation and planning to enhance community resilience in the face of climate change. In 2016, the City of Morris was awarded the Clean Energy Community Award through the Minnesota Department of Commerce for their work developing the Morris Model. In 2017, The University of Minnesota, Morris earned a Minnesota Climate Adaptation Award from the Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership. Morris and Stevens counties continue to lead the state in local energy innovation.</p> <h2>Itasca County</h2> <p><a href="http://www.iatp.org/rural-climate-dialogues/itasca-county"><span>www.iatp.org/rural-climate-dialogues/itasca-county</span></a><span> </span></p> <h3>Student Dialogue</h3> <h4>April 2015</h4> <p>Our first event in Itasca County was a student dialogue at Grand Rapids High School. We partnered with geography and agricultural resource teachers to create climate-specific lesson plans where students were asked to research impacts of climate and weather across Minnesota. Then, students shared their concerns regarding climate change in the Grand Rapids area. Many comments centered around the area’s natural resources — impacts on fishing, hunting and water recreation. Student responses included sentiments such as “I fish all year round,” “I like to hunt white tail deer” and “I live on the lake.” The conversations in the classroom were effective at building enthusiasm for community climate action because they centered on topics that the students cared about.</p> <p>After the classroom conversations, we assembled a discussion entitled “Woods, Water and Workforce” at which nine local experts joined hundreds of students to answer questions about how climate change was impacting them and their professions. The experts, who represented fields from tourism to wildlife management to forestry, fielded two hours of questions from students. An ecology professor at the local community college noted, “It’s you guys who are going to make the change, and I know you can.”</p> <p>Two ninth grade students later joined the community RCD to discuss what they learned at school. RCD participants agreed that hearing from the high schoolers was one of the most powerful parts of the event.</p> <h3>Climate Dialogue</h3> <h4>May 2015</h4> <p>The Itasca County Climate Dialogue took place in Grand Rapids. Over the course of three days, participants got to know one another, engaged with presenters and wrote a final statement of recommended community actions.</p> <p>Presentations included:</p> <ul> <li>Mark Seeley, a climatologist for University of Minnesota Extension, presented on local extreme weather and climate conditions.</li> <li>Brian Palik from the USDA Forest Service presented on impacts to the local forestry industry.</li> <li>John Latimer, a local phenologist with a weekly radio show, presented on phenology and wildlife impacts.</li> <li>Tim Goeman, a local DNR employee, presented on fisheries.</li> <li>Megan Christianson from Visit Grand Rapids, the local tourism bureau, presented on how the tourism industry has been impacted by shifting weather conditions.</li> <li>Julie Kennedy, the city engineer, presented on public infrastructure.</li> <li>Michael Duval, another local DNR employee, presented on water resources.</li> </ul> <p>Based on these presentations, participants’ top concerns included reduced lifespan of capital assets and public infrastructure, stormwater runoff increasing sediment and phosphorus load in waterways, changing fish composition which will affect angling opportunities, expanded territory for the Emerald Ash Borer and summer drought impacting the growth and health of pine forests.</p> <p><img alt="Itasca climate dialogue" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="71ab2617-21b3-4dd1-987c-7ebc76ac61b2" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Itasca%202015%202.jpg" width="75%" /></p> <p>Top opportunities included recommendations to manage forests so they are more adaptable in the face of changing weather conditions, increase public accessibility of information, adapt stormwater infrastructure to manage excess water, implement water conservation measures, protect and preserve habitat and avoid developing in floodplains.</p> <p>In the post-event evaluation, 94% of participants said they were “very sure” or “extremely sure” that climate change is happening. Participants unanimously showed increases in belief that state government, Itasca County government, Itasca County residents and themselves as individuals can and should take action on climate change.</p> <blockquote><p>Participants collectively authored a “Statement for Our Neighbors,” which read:<br /> Evidence points to changing weather patterns, which will likely affect all of our lives in some way. These changes will have a real measurable impact on our overall economy, personal finances, health, and culture. The tourism, lumber, and outdoor life (fishing, hunting, hiking, camping, etc.) components of our economy can adapt and thrive with thoughtful long-term management. We as individuals and communities have the power to take action by working together. By doing so, we can improve our environment, save our natural resources, address the effects of changing weather, and create more opportunities to make a more vibrant community.</p> </blockquote> <h4>Check out this video with Itasca County Climate Dialogues participant Melissa Weidendorf. </h4> <p><iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="450" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/zmaen_d8kW8" width="800"></iframe></p> <h3>Energy Dialogue</h3> <h4>May 2018</h4> <p>Three years after the initial Itasca County Climate Dialogue, we hosted an energy-focused RCD in Itasca County in 2018. The energy dialogue brought together a randomly selected and demographically representative group of 18 residents for two days to study the energy system in detail, identify challenges and opportunities related to the energy system in Itasca County and create action plans to help address challenges and realize opportunities.</p> <p>The participant composition at the energy dialogue was a combination of community members, public officials and others involved in Itasca County energy issues. Of the 18 participants, 13 were community members randomly selected to reflect the demographic makeup of the county. The other five participants were the general manager of Grand Rapids Public Utilities, the Grand Rapids mayor, a Grand Rapids city council member, a Public Utilities commissioner and a member of the Itasca Clean Energy Team.</p> <p>Presentations included:</p> <ul> <li>Stacy Miller from the Minnesota Department of Commerce reviewed energy basics and trends in Minnesota.</li> <li>Zac Ruzycki from Great River Energy presented on the pros and cons of different energy sources, both renewable and non-renewable.</li> <li>A panel of employees from the utilities serving the area (Grand Rapids Public Utilities, Minnesota Power and Lake Country Power) discussed how municipal utilities, rural electric cooperatives and investor-owned utilities make decisions.</li> <li>Tony Ward from the Grand Rapids Public Utilities Commission presented on the impacts of the energy system on household energy consumers.</li> <li>Burl Ives, an Itasca County commissioner and businessowner, presented on the impacts of the energy system on business and industry energy consumers.</li> </ul> <p>Discussions centered around four criteria for a productive energy system: reliability, affordability, minimizing pollution and climate change and supporting local jobs and investment.</p> <p>Top challenges identified by participants included the lack of energy storage to make renewables a more feasible option, the difficulty of replacing energy infrastructure and the challenge of educating consumers about how energy usage affects peak demand.</p> <p>Top opportunities included greater community dialogue and public engagement to educate community members about the energy system; the opportunity to develop local biofuel technologies; that smart grids and other new technologies will enable customers to manage their resources more effectively; and incentives for more efficient energy use can benefit individual users, as well as utilities.</p> <p>A suite of recommendations (available in the event’s final report<sup><span><span>17</span></span></sup>) outlined potential individual and community actions to achieve an affordable and reliable energy system that is friendly to both the environment and the local economy.</p> <blockquote><p>Participants crafted the following statement:<br /> As individuals and as a community, we can play an important role in shaping our energy system, especially if everyone is involved. Individuals and businesses can conserve energy and save money by installing LED bulbs and other energy saving devices. Communities can save money for everyone by reducing electricity usage during periods of high demand (peak demand). There are many individuals and groups looking for creative ways to lower energy costs and make our energy system work for our community. It’s on us to get educated and be involved. Knowledge is power! </p> </blockquote> <h3>Outcomes</h3> <p>Since the 2015 Itasca County Climate Dialogue, the community has hosted additional community education events and explored expanding local renewables. After the 2015 RCD, participants presented their findings to interested community members who asked questions and deepened the conversation about local climate and weather impacts. RCD recommendations were also sent to local decisionmakers, including the Grand Rapids City Council and Itasca County Commission.</p> <p>Following the 2018 Energy Dialogue, the Itasca Clean Energy Team, a local group of individuals interested in expanding renewables, petitioned the Grand Rapids Public Utilities Commission and Minnesota Power for a community solar garden. As a result of this community advocacy, the utilities partnered to evaluate and plan for a buildout of community solar.</p> <p>In 2018, IATP and the Jefferson Center partnered with Grand Rapids Public Utilities to hire a consultant and host a community solar forum.<sup><span><span>18</span></span></sup> Forty community members attended the forum to learn about the proposed community solar garden. Participants heard from speakers who described the proposed project’s impact on the utility, the community-driven process and the specifics about the project’s associated benefits, costs and construction. Following the presentations, attendees participated in a facilitated discussion identifying key information about the proposal and the possible opportunities and concerns associated with the project’s implementation. Grand Rapids Public Utilities concluded that the solar garden could save more than $6 million over two decades. Construction remains in the works due to legal challenges between Grand Rapids Public Utilities and Minnesota Power. However, the two utilities are working together on an arrangement for the project to move forward.</p> <h2>Winona County</h2> <p><a href="http://www.iatp.org/rural-climate-dialogues/winona-county">www.iatp.org/rural-climate-dialogues/winona-county</a></p> <h3>Student Dialogue</h3> <h4>February 2016 / May 2018</h4> <p>Our work in Winona County started at Winona Senior High School. We worked with an environmental science teacher to design a daylong event where nearly 100 students heard from local experts about climate change and discussed their own concerns and priorities. Topic areas were chosen to align with student interests and areas of study, including climate impacts on outdoor recreation, wildlife and habitat and impacts of floods. This process fostered effective communication and deliberation between students and community leaders. One presenter noted that students have a voice “more powerful than ours as it more clearly represents the future.”</p> <p>We hosted a second student dialogue in May 2018 before the Winona County Energy Dialogue. Over the course of three days, students learned the basics of solar energy, energy efficiency, utility operation and wind energy. Through small group conversation and deliberation, students recommended that the community communicate the benefits of solar energy, focus on the cost savings and workforce opportunities that energy efficiency projects provide, promote local energy generation as a source of economic stability and showcase the opportunity for wind energy to support sustainable local economic development.</p> <h3>Climate Dialogue</h3> <h4>March 2016</h4> <p>The Winona County Climate Dialogue took place in Winona. Over the course of three days, participants got to know one another, engaged with presenters and wrote a final statement of recommended community actions.</p> <p>Presentations included:</p> <ul> <li>Mark Seeley, a climatologist for University of Minnesota Extension, presented on local extreme weather and climate conditions.</li> <li>Lynn Hinkle from the Minnesota Solar Energy Industry Association (MnSEIA) and Chris Meyer from the Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) presented on renewable energy and energy efficiency.</li> <li>Jennifer Biederman from Winona State University and Josh Eash from the Fish and Wildlife Service presented on water resources.</li> <li>Mark Kulda from the Insurance Federation of Minnesota presented on how weather extremes are impacting insurance rates.</li> <li>Bruce Snyder from the University of Minnesota presented on public health impacts of climate change.</li> <li>Jake Overgaard from University of Minnesota Extension presented on how climate will impact the local agricultural system.</li> </ul> <p>Based on these presentations, participants’ top concerns included adjusting farming practices and other land management to adapt to more frequent extreme weather events; dealing with erosion, runoff and degradation of stream habitat from high intensity precipitation; and rising homeowner’s insurance costs due to extreme weather events.</p> <p><img alt="Winona climate dialogue" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="df5eedf9-c346-4f84-961b-ed1e21675df6" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Winona.jpg" width="75%" /></p> <p>Top opportunities included local development of clean energy, implementing best management practices to slow runoff and restore ecosystems, adopting agricultural best management practices and planting perennials to boost soil health, and striving for responsible land use practices with agriculture and mining.</p> <p>In the post-event evaluation, the number of participants who were “very sure” or “extremely sure” that climate change is happening rose from 55% to 83%.</p> <blockquote><p>Participants collectively authored a “Statement for Our Neighbors,” which read:<br /> Evidence suggests that Minnesota’s climate and weather are changing more rapidly and more dramatically than many other parts of the country, including through increasing temperatures and more extreme weather events. These changes will have a real measurable impact on our overall economy, our environment, fish and wildlife habitat, health, insurance rates, and more. Individually and as a Winona County community, we need to take action by working together to prepare for the future. We need to educate ourselves, our neighbors, and our elected officials to face challenges and pursue opportunities together. By doing so, we can ensure Winona County remains vibrant, resilient, and prosperous into the future.</p> </blockquote> <h4>Check out this video with Winona County Climate Dialogues participant Shona Snater. </h4> <h4> <iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="450" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/lvvLpoVZdtE" width="800"></iframe></h4> <h3>Energy Dialogue</h3> <h4>June 2018</h4> <p>Two years after the initial Winona County Climate Dialogue, we hosted an energy-focused event in Winona County in 2018. The Energy Dialogue brought together a randomly selected and demographically representative group of 19 residents for two days to study the energy system in detail, identify challenges and opportunities related to the energy system in Winona County and create an action plan to help address challenges and realize opportunities.</p> <p>The participant composition at the energy dialogue was a combination of community members, public officials and others involved in Winona County energy issues. Of the 19 participants, 13 were community members randomly selected to reflect the demographic makeup of the county. The other six participants were two Winona City Council members, two Winona County commissioners, a local energy developer and a representative from the local community action agency.</p> <p>Presentations included:</p> <ul> <li>Lissa Pawlisch from the Clean Energy Resource Teams reviewed energy basics and trends in Minnesota.</li> <li>Eli Massey from the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) presented on different energy sources and the grid.</li> <li>A panel of employees from the utilities serving the area (Dairyland Power Cooperative, St. Charles and Xcel Energy) discussed how municipal utilities, rural electric cooperatives and investor-owned utilities make decisions.</li> <li>Ben Bratrud from the Citizens Utility Board of Minnesota presented on the impacts of the energy system on household energy consumers.</li> <li>Jim Goblirsch from Winona State University presented on the impacts of the energy system on business and industry energy consumers.</li> </ul> <p>Discussions centered around four criteria for a productive energy system: reliability, affordability, minimizing pollution and climate change, and supporting local jobs and investment.</p> <p>The top challenge identified by participants was the difficulty of improving existing infrastructure while taking advantage of current technologies and preparing for security and distribution issues. Other identified challenges included the difficulty of providing energy at a reasonable cost while also complying with emissions standards and the need for more consumer education around energy.</p> <p>Top opportunities included offering education to residents and policymakers so they can make informed decisions around energy; encouraging local energy options, including renewable energy built and maintained by local workers; and diversifying energy options through bioenergy, renewable energy and other technologies.</p> <p>A suite of recommendations outlined potential individual and community actions to achieve an affordable and reliable energy system that is friendly to both the environment and the local economy. These recommendations are available in their entirety in the event’s final report.<sup><span><span>19</span></span></sup></p> <blockquote><p><span><span>Participants crafted the following statement:<br /> The Winona County Energy Dialogue featured a wide collection of opinions, perspectives, and great ideas from people from all walks of life and across the county. It was a productive conversation that helped bring shape to the major themes and concerns for Winona County’s present and future energy situation. We reviewed a lot of technical details and other information about our energy system in order to highlight the key information and recommendations in the report below. <br /> To start, the energy system is changing, and there’s much Winona County can do to help shape our energy system. But that change will take time and investment. We need to continually educate ourselves on energy and related issues. We also need to actively educate our neighbors, children, and officials to make a positive impact in our community and beyond. </span></span></p> <p> <span><span>We can do more to conserve energy and use energy efficiently. We can research what’s trending our way, like new technology and renewable energy. And government is not the only solution to energy issues. All of us, as citizens or the private sector, can be involved. While we didn’t agree on every topic or issue, there was more consensus than we expected. </span></span></p> </blockquote> <h3>Outcomes</h3> <p>After the 2016 Winona County Climate Dialogue, IATP and the Jefferson Center partnered with Sustain Winona (<a href="http://www.sustainwinona.org">www.sustainwinona.org</a>), a partnership of local government, education and other community leaders, to secure a grant from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to organize and lead a series of projects based on recommendations from the RCD. The goal of the project was to motivate climate adaptation and climate change awareness in Winona County by engaging 7,500 different Winona County residents and workers in climate resilience education and implementation activities. Over the course of the grant period, Sustain Winona hosted county-wide energy and water saving contests, educational sessions, pilot projects and more.</p> <p>To boost local water quality, the City of Winona launched a rain garden program by funding plantings for three residential rain gardens featuring native plants. The City of Winona partnered with Bluff Country Co-op and First National Bank in downtown Winona to install rain gardens in their parking lots.</p> <p>Sustain Winona’s energy-focused goal was to expand access to energy efficiency improvements for households across the county. Xcel Energy, which serves the majority of the county’s energy needs, administers many energy efficiency programs through its Home Energy Squad. However, Winona’s distance from the Twin Cities meant that the Home Energy Squad was unable to serve Winona County residents. To address this issue, Sustain Winona partnered with Xcel Energy and Semcac, the local community action agency, to enable Winona residents to receive Home Energy Squad visits implemented through Semcac. This innovative coordination expanded local capacity for rural energy efficiency improvements while leveraging Xcel’s existing funds dedicated to energy conservation. In 2017, 197 Winona County households received Low Income Home Energy Squad visits.</p> <p><img alt="Winona wins clean energy community award" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="b956b77c-988b-4b1b-93a2-97e86e6758e9" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Winona%20wins%20clean%20energy%20community%20award.jpg" width="75%" /></p> <p>Winona’s efforts on energy efficiency and conservation led the City of Winona and Sustain Winona to win the 2018 Clean Energy Community Award from the Minnesota Department of Commerce.</p> <p>In 2017, a Winona Energy Action Team formed from a group of city staff, elected officials, local business representatives, educational institutions and committed community members. This team created an Energy Action Plan for the City of Winona,<sup><span><span>20</span></span></sup> which included the bold goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. The Energy Action Plan mapped out avenues to meet that goal, with benchmarks for residential energy consumers, institutions, industrial energy users and businesses.</p> <p>In 2019, IATP and the Jefferson Center partnered with the Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) to host a community conversation after a film screening at Winona County’s Frozen River Film Festival. The film, called “The Power of Minnesota” and produced by CERTs, was a documentary about renewable energy in Minnesota. The City of Winona’s Natural Resource Sustainability Coordinator began the conversation by sharing about local energy projects. Then, participants were asked to identify ideas for local energy action, which ranged from increasing adoption of solar to incentivizing energy audits for all buildings in the county. The ideas generated at the event were relayed to the Winona Energy Action Team and Sustain Winona to inform their 2019 activities.</p> <h2>State Convening</h2> <p><a href="http://www.iatp.org/rural-climate-dialogues/state-convening">www.iatp.org/rural-climate-dialogues/state-convening</a></p> <h3>The Event</h3> <h4>September 2016</h4> <p>After the initial three RCDs were completed, a common theme emerged — many of the actions proposed by the participants would benefit from successful and responsive government programs. In response, we organized a State Convening that gathered residents from each county with staff from over 10 Minnesota state agencies for two days in St. Paul, MN.</p> <p>We recruited participants to participate in the State Convening balanced across the three RCD communities. Roughly half of the State Convening participants had participated in a previous RCD, and half were community leaders identified through prior relationship-building. The participants comprised a cross section of lifelong rural residents, recent transplants, retirees, young farmers, public servants, small business owners, researchers and more. We also invited representatives from every major state agency as well as a handful of Twin Cities-based climate and energy nonprofits.</p> <p>On the first day of the State Convening, participants from the three rural communities were asked to separate into three groups by interest and expertise: energy transition, infrastructure needs and land stewardship. Each of the three groups identified how their communities were working to address the issue. These discussions drew heavily on the recommendations from the RCDs and participants found common threads between each of their counties. The resulting lists of priorities, actions and barriers in each category were presented the following day to frame the discussion with state agency and nonprofit representatives.</p> <p>Top priorities that participants from the three communities shared included pursuing the transition toward a clean energy future; strengthening infrastructure like roads, housing and utilities to be more climate resilient; improving the stewardship of rural land by adopting more sustainable agricultural practices and promoting watershed-based planning and management strategies; and integrating ecotourism and education to drive community-level change.</p> <p>The Center for Rural Strategies, a Kentucky-based nonprofit, joined the State Convening to help participants craft and share their personal stories. Before state agency representatives joined for the second day, the rural residents developed stories highlighting their ties to the community and assessments of the urgency for action on climate resilience. These stories helped participants clearly share their interests and perspectives with agency and nonprofit representatives, condensing complex and lengthy personal histories into meaningful statements.</p> <p>The second day of the State Convening featured presentations from state agency staff on program offerings and efforts targeting climate and extreme weather, health, economic development, agriculture and the environment. The rural participants had the opportunity to take notes and ask questions of presenters. In the afternoon, small group discussions focused on the topics of energy transition, infrastructure and land stewardship. Each small group was made up of a combination of rural residents and state agency and nonprofit representatives. The groups identified existing programs which could support community efforts, program gaps and other oversights, possible methods for greater rural inclusion in state program development and execution, and ways to improve rural access and uptake of programs.</p> <p>Participants from the rural communities and the state agencies strategized together on where change is needed and identified the following areas: better connecting rural areas with state programs by creating a one-stop-shop with agency programs and contacts, encouraging more rural-focused research on climate resilience, sharing best practices between rural communities and creating an ongoing space for state agency staff to engage constructively with rural citizens.</p> <p><img alt="State convening" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="5c4e22fb-b875-410d-8221-896e464a2da4" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/StateRCD_Poynter_10.jpg" width="75%" /></p> <p>Because state agencies do not often have the opportunity to engage directly with rural Minnesotans, the voices and unique concerns of these communities are not fully reflected in agency policy or their promotion of existing programs. For this reason, state agency staff expressed excitement about the opportunity to speak in-depth with rural community leaders. From the rural participants’ perspective, they often felt left out of policy and without a solid understanding of the state resources available to them. Engaging in small group conversations and sharing stories with state agency staff provided an avenue to feel heard and build relationships.</p> <p>The post-event evaluations illustrated how the State Convening bridged rural community members and urban policymakers. The amount of rural community participants that “agreed” or “strongly agreed” with the statement “Minnesota’s state government knows enough about climate risks to take action” rose from 30% to 77%.</p> <p>Participating agencies and organizations included: MN Department of Agriculture, MN Board of Water and Soil Resources, MN Department of Commerce, MN Department of Employment and Economic Development, MN Environmental Quality Board, MN Department of Natural Resources, MN Pollution Control Agency, MN Department of Transportation, CERTs, Climate Generation, Great Plains Institute, St. Paul Port Authority, Region Nine Development Commission and University of Minnesota Extension.</p> <h4>Check out this video with the State Convening participant Caleb Tomilla. </h4> <p><iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="450" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/0_RYasOCyOU" width="800"></iframe></p> <h3>Outcomes</h3> <p>At the State Convening, rural residents voiced a desire for a State Program Navigator that could better connect rural areas with state programs by creating a one-stop-shop with agency programs and contacts. State agency staff agreed that this was a gap; there was consensus that government websites can be challenging to navigate and that given the sheer number of available resources and lack of program standardization, programs are frequently underutilized.</p> <p>There was a strong desire for communities to have the opportunity to access resources presented to them in a collected form that can be digested as more of a menu to consider.<br /> — Michelle Gransee, MN Department of Commerce</p> <p>In 2019, IATP published a State Program Navigator<sup><span><span>21</span></span></sup> that aggregated some of the state’s major program offerings, including both financial and technical assistance. The Navigator provides in-depth information for 15 major state programs and contains an appendix with brief descriptions of 62 programs. The Navigator also includes case studies and interviews with individuals who have accessed certain programs. In addition to being a resource to rural communities throughout the state, the State Program Navigator — and the process of finding the information to create it — offered state agencies insight on how to share the vast array of financial and technical resources that the state has to offer.</p> <p>In December 2019, we presented our findings to the Interagency Climate Adaptation Team (ICAT), a collaboration of state agencies working to adapt to climate change and increase resilience in Minnesota. This group is working to coordinate more closely with rural communities on adaptation, local and regional responses to extreme weather events, and increased community involvement in energy, infrastructure and land use issues. Presenting the State Program Navigator to this group resulted in productive conversations across agencies and informed how the team is coordinating programs and conducting rural outreach.</p> <h2>Redwood County</h2> <p><a href="http://www.iatp.org/rural-climate-dialogues/redwood-county">www.iatp.org/rural-climate-dialogues/redwood-county</a></p> <h3>Energy Dialogue</h3> <h4>September 2019</h4> <p>Redwood County is on track to house a growing number of wind farms as the energy economy shifts towards more renewables. Although Redwood County does not currently have any wind development, future development is planned, and community feelings are mixed. Wind energy development can challenge a rural community’s identity. For farming communities, building new technology on traditionally agricultural land and changing the landscape can stir complex feelings. Some rural residents feel as though they are left to deal with visually jarring developments that primarily benefit urban areas, where most energy is consumed. Yet, wind energy can provide much-needed money to counties and landowners. This is the context in which we hosted our first wind energy-focused event.</p> <p>The Redwood County Energy Dialogue took place in Redwood Falls. Over the course of two and a half days, 18 participants shared their perspectives with one another, learned about the local state of wind energy development and wrote a final statement of challenges and opportunities for their community to consider.</p> <p>Presentations included:</p> <ul> <li>Brian Ross, senior program director at the Great Plains Institute, provided an overview of energy development. This presentation walked participants through the process of how a wind development shows up in their community, from the developer’s initial proposal to construction on the ground.</li> <li>Vicki Knobloch Kletscher, the county administrator, gave an overview of Redwood County’s finances and how the county makes decisions.</li> <li>Shanelle Montana, a senior project developer for EDF Renewable Energy, presented on design guidelines and regulations that developers face and how developers interact with communities as they construct projects.</li> <li>Gene Metz, a farmer and county commissioner in nearby Nobles County, presented on the economic impacts of wind development for both landowners and the county.</li> </ul> <p>Based on these presentations, participants identified the top benefits of wind development for Redwood County. These included the funding that Minnesota’s wind energy production tax could provide to the local government, financial gains for landowners and the possibility of property tax reductions, and the potential for new local jobs and increased money spent locally.</p> <p><img alt="Redwood county energy dialogue" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="65786e79-27f5-4a35-b07a-a34281a319ea" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Redwood%20County%2001.jpg" width="75%" /></p> <p>Top drawbacks included that there might not be an opportunity for local utilities to use the power generated by the turbines, that funding may not be distributed fairly between the county and townships, and the transmission grid is lacking capacity and would be very expensive to upgrade.</p> <p>At the end of the event, participants were asked, “Based on what you’ve learned through this experience, do you feel residents should support expanded/future wind development in Redwood County?” Ten participants voted “Yes, under most circumstances/whenever possible.” Eight participants voted “Yes, but only if certain circumstances are met/put in place.” Nobody voted against expanded or future wind development.</p> <blockquote><p>Participants collectively authored a “Statement for Our Neighbors,” which read:<br /> When people work together, they have the opportunity to get a lot done. We can see a future in wind energy and are inspired by the possibility of realizing its benefits. It is important for community input since this will directly or indirectly affect all residents. There are many ways for community members to make a difference, like joining any of the over one hundred committees the county has. <br /> This is a subject not to be taken lightly, and there is a lot of thought and care that needs to be put into the process of wind development. If we get started with thoughtful exploration of expanded wind development in Redwood County now, we can move ahead faster. It’s time to move forward.</p> </blockquote> <h4>Check out this video about the Redwood County Energy Dialogue. </h4> <p><iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="450" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/v7PAgaxz51Y" width="800"></iframe></p> <h3>Outcomes</h3> <p>After the event, participants were eager to share their perspectives and recommendations with their community. Three participants joined the Jefferson Center at a County Commission meeting to present their recommendations to the Commission. In November 2019, a participant joined IATP at a presentation to the Rural Minnesota Energy Board, a group of 18 counties in southern Minnesota that regularly meet to provide policy guidance on issues surrounding energy development in rural Minnesota.</p> <p>Throughout our engagement in southwestern Minnesota, we worked with the Minnesota Agriculture and Rural Leadership program (MARL) to broaden and engage a network of regional leaders on climate and energy issues and cultivate local leadership. With support from the Southwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, we curated a session at a MARL gathering in December 2019 on courageous leadership around climate change and renewable energy development. This was followed by a deeper group discussion and workshop to discuss the role of respectful dialogue in creating healthy communities and people; to share pitfalls, advice and action steps to help empower participants to host productive discussion around local contentious issues; and to discuss being community leaders.</p> <p>Finally, IATP partnered with LINC Redwood County to expand access to the program for local residents. LINC is a 9-month leadership program that engages a cohort of community members to lead, inspire, network and create to build a sustainable future in Redwood County. The RCDs were created to boost civic engagement and create local leaders on climate and energy issues, and LINC Redwood County is carrying out that mission locally.</p> <h2>Murray County</h2> <p><a href="http://www.iatp.org/rural-climate-dialogues/murray-county">www.iatp.org/rural-climate-dialogues/murray-county</a></p> <h3>Energy Dialogue</h3> <h4>February 2020</h4> <p>Murray County, which neighbors Redwood County to the southwest, has already experienced wind development for over 20 years. With 255 operational turbines, residents are no stranger to what it is like to live in the midst of wind development. Yet, more development is planned, and many existing developments are facing decommissioning and repowering.</p> <p>Over the course of two and a half days, 18 participants shared their perspectives with one another, learned about the local state of wind energy development and wrote a final statement of challenges and opportunities for their community to consider.</p> <p>Presentations included:</p> <ul> <li>Jessi Wyatt and Jenna Greene from the Great Plains Institute provided an overview of energy development. This presentation walked participants through the process of how a wind development shows up in their community, from the developer’s initial proposal to construction on the ground.</li> <li>Jean Christoffels and Heidi Winter, the zoning administrator and county auditor, gave an overview of Redwood County’s finances and how the county makes decisions.</li> <li>Mark Lennox from NextEra Energy presented on design guidelines and regulations that developers face and how developers interact with communities as they construct projects.</li> <li>Dennis Welgraven, a Murray County commissioner, presented on the economic impacts of wind development for both landowners and the county.</li> </ul> <p>Based on these presentations, participants identified the top benefits of wind development for Murray County. These included that wind development provides cheaper, cleaner and safer energy than fossil fuels; that wind development provides an increase in all-around tax revenue for the county; and that wind development provides good paying jobs that require additional training, increasing residents’ income and education for those who choose careers in the field.</p> <p><img alt="Murray county group" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="73297257-e1f7-4118-b960-41543af061f3" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Murray%20county%20group.jpg" width="75%" /></p> <p>Top drawbacks included uncertainty about the health effects of wind energy; concerns around the end-of-life cleanup process, waste and cost from the decommissioned turbine parts; and possible legislative changes that could impact the wind energy production tax.</p> <p>At the end of the event, participants were asked, “Based on what you’ve learned through this experience, do you feel residents should support expanded/future wind development in Redwood County?” Six participants voted “Yes, under most circumstances/whenever possible.” Twelve participants voted “Yes, but only if certain circumstances are met/put in place.” Nobody voted against expanded or future wind development.</p> <blockquote><p>Participants collectively authored a “Statement for Our Neighbors,” which read:<br /> In the future, we hope to have more opportunities for public dialogue and a shared focus addressing the challenges related to wind development. As a community, we want more high-quality information from local officials about wind energy and have a desire for direct communication from groups involved in wind development — this may include clearer ways for the community to get involved like local boards focused on incorporating public input on these matters. We believe that communication and education are key and that it is important for community members to be curious and informed about wind energy and other issues in our country and beyond. <br /> There are clear benefits to wind energy development, but there is also much more to learn. We hope to see expanded wind development in Murray County, and believe that it will be an overall benefit to the community if we acknowledge the challenges in our policy and ensure that our permitting reflects those considerations</p> </blockquote> <h3><span>Outcomes</span></h3> <p>The Murray County Energy Dialogue finished just weeks before Minnesota received a shelter-in-place order due to the coronavirus pandemic. This slowed our ability for follow-up work.</p> <p>In July 2020, IATP presented virtually to the Rural Minnesota Energy Board. The Commissioners were excited to hear widespread regional support for wind energy development and took note of community concerns.</p> <p>We will continue to foster our relationships in the area and share results of the event with our networks both regionally and statewide.</p> <h2>Lessons for the Policy and Advocacy Community</h2> <p>In a 2017 report,<sup><span><span>22</span></span></sup> the Interagency Climate Adaptation Team recommended six priority action steps for Minnesota:</p> <ol> <li>Build greater resilience to extreme precipitation.</li> <li>Identify opportunities to strengthen the health and resilience of vulnerable populations to climate effects through cooperation with local governments.</li> <li>Increase focus on preserving natural and restored ecosystems and habitat to increase resilience of wildlife and native plants.</li> <li>Strengthen agricultural water-management efforts to increase resilience to climate change impacts.</li> <li>Increase focus on managing climate impacts in cities, towns and other population centers.</li> <li>Strengthen our climate information infrastructure to support adaptation practices.</li> </ol> <p>The recommendations from the RCDs largely mirror these priorities identified by the state, indicating we are not as divided as it may seem. However, the way these recommendations are designed and implemented is critical to making sure that all communities benefit and that rural communities see their priorities reflected. Some takeaways for successful engagement and relationship building in rural communities on climate change include:</p> <ul> <li>Opportunities for effective conversations about climate change are cut short when we focus only on messaging or educating. Listening is critical to build empathy and a true understanding of where people are at. Productive conversation only happens once everyone feels heard, understood and respected.</li> <li>Leading with values is a good way to connect with people. Regardless of political opinions, people generally want what’s best for their communities and neighbors. Building community resilience and taking care of one another are shared values upon which solutions can be built. When we connect over celebrating a place and building a vibrant future, deeper relationships are built and more work can get done.</li> <li>We must enter all our conversations, especially those in communities that are not our own, with humility. Nobody knows better what a community needs than that community itself, and sustainable solutions are community driven. Advocates can play important roles of convening and connecting, but long-term action will be led by the people who are anchored in that community.</li> <li>Rural areas face an array of challenges and generally have fewer resources than urban areas to meet them. As a result, climate and energy are usually not top priorities. Any climate work must recognize this reality and focus on creating solutions that address other community priorities as well. Climate solutions must also be community solutions.</li> </ul> <p>To heal the divisions within our state, we need to engage with one another in ways that build empathy, recognize our shared humanity and are rooted in deep listening and respect for community. Climate change will impact every Minnesotan and tackling this monumental challenge will require all of us to work together.</p> <p>For more information, stories and articles, visit <a href="http://www.iatp.org/rural-climate-dialogues">www.iatp.org/rural-climate-dialogues</a>.</p> <p> </p> <h3>Endnotes</h3> <ol> <li>United States Census Bureau. “What is Rural America?” Accessed August 13, 2020. <a href="https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2017/08/rural-america.html">https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2017/08/rural-america.html</a></li> <li>Ibid</li> <li>United States Department of Agriculture. “Rural America at a Glance: 2019 Edition.” Accessed August 13, 2020. <a href="https://www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/publications/95341/eib-212.pdf?v=3322">https://www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/publications/95341/eib-212.pdf?v=3322</a></li> <li>University of Minnesota Extension. “Minnesota farm income hits historic low.” Accessed August 13, 2020. <a href="https://extension.umn.edu/news/minnesota-farm-income-hits-historic-low">https://extension.umn.edu/news/minnesota-farm-income-hits-historic-low</a></li> <li>United States Department of Transportation. “Rural Transportation Statistics.” Accessed August 13, 2020. <a href="https://www.transportation.gov/rural/rural-transportation-statistics">https://www.transportation.gov/rural/rural-transportation-statistics</a></li> <li>Becker’s Hospital CFO Report. “Rural hospital closures hit record high in 2019 – here’s why.” Accessed August 13, 2020. <a href="https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/finance/rural-hospital-closures-hit-record-high-in-2019-here-s-why.html">https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/finance/rural-hospital-closures-hit-record-high-in-2019-here-s-why.html</a></li> <li>Center for American Progress. “America’s Child Care Deserts in 2018.” Accessed August 13, 2020. <a href="https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/early-childhood/reports/2018/12/06/461643/americas-child-care-deserts-2018/">https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/early-childhood/reports/2018/12/06/461643/americas-child-care-deserts-2018/</a></li> <li>Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “About Rural Health.” Accessed August 13, 2020. <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/ruralhealth/about.html">https://www.cdc.gov/ruralhealth/about.html</a></li> <li>U.S. Global Change Research Program. “Fourth National Climate Assessment.” Accessed August 13, 2020. <a href="https://nca2018.globalchange.gov/chapter/10/">https://nca2018.globalchange.gov/chapter/10/</a></li> <li>USDA Economic Research Service. “Rural Poverty and Well-Being.” Accessed August 13, 2020. <a href="https://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/rural-economy-population/rural-poverty-well-being/">https://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/rural-economy-population/rural-poverty-well-being/</a></li> <li>Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. “Effects of climate change in Minnesota.” Accessed August 13, 2020.  <a href="https://www.pca.state.mn.us/air/effects-climate-change-minnesota">https://www.pca.state.mn.us/air/effects-climate-change-minnesota</a></li> <li>Ibid</li> <li>Farm Bureau. “Prevent Plantings Set Record in 2019 at 20 Million Acres.” Accessed August 13, 2020.  <a href="https://www.fb.org/market-intel/prevent-plantings-set-record-in-2019-at-20-million-acres">https://www.fb.org/market-intel/prevent-plantings-set-record-in-2019-at-20-million-acres</a></li> <li>Minnesota Department of Health. “Vectorborne Diseases and Climate Change.” Accessed August 13, 2020. <a href="https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/vectorborne/climate.html">https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/vectorborne/climate.html</a></li> <li>Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. “Effects of climate change in Minnesota.” Accessed August 13, 2020.  <a href="https://www.pca.state.mn.us/air/effects-climate-change-minnesota">https://www.pca.state.mn.us/air/effects-climate-change-minnesota</a></li> <li>Berkeley Lab Electricity Markets and Policy. “Thirty years of North American wind energy acceptance research: What have we learned?” Accessed August 13, 2020. <a href="https://emp.lbl.gov/publications/thirty-years-north-american-wind&amp;nbsp">https://emp.lbl.gov/publications/thirty-years-north-american-wind&amp;nbsp</a>;</li> <li>Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy and the Jefferson Center. “Itasca County Energy Dialogue Final Report.” Accessed August 13, 2020. <a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2018-10/Itasca%20Energy%20Report%20Final.pdf">https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2018-10/Itasca%20Energy%20Report%20Final.pdf</a></li> <li>Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy and the Jefferson Center. “Community Solar Forum.” Accessed August 13, 2020. <a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2018-10/Community%20Solar%20Forum%20final%20report.pdf">https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2018-10/Community%20Solar%20Forum%20final%20report.pdf</a></li> <li>Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy and the Jefferson Center. “Winona County Energy Dialogue Final Report.” Accessed August 13, 2020. <a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2018-10/Winona-Energy-Dialogue-Final-Report.pdf">https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2018-10/Winona-Energy-Dialogue-Final-Report.pdf</a></li> <li>City of Winona. “An Energy Action Plan for Winona.” Accessed August 13, 2020. <a href="https://www.cityofwinona.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/PiE-Energy-Action-Plan-Winona-FINAL-With-Appendices.pdf">https://www.cityofwinona.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/PiE-Energy-Action-Plan-Winona-FINAL-With-Appendices.pdf</a></li> <li>Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. “Building rural climate resilience: The role of Minnesota state agencies.” Accessed August 13, 2020. <a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2019-02/2019_02_BuildingRuralClimateResilience_report_appendix_0.pdf">https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2019-02/2019_02_BuildingRuralClimateResilience_report_appendix_0.pdf</a></li> <li>Interagency Climate Adaptation Team. “Adapting to Climate Change in Minnesota.” Accessed August 13, 2020. <a href="https://www.pca.state.mn.us/sites/default/files/p-gen4-07c.pdf">https://www.pca.state.mn.us/sites/default/files/p-gen4-07c.pdf</a></li> </ol> <hr /> <hr /> <p>Download a <a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2020-11/IATP_RCD_Report_f.pdf">PDF of the report</a>. </p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-primary-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Primary category</div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/rural-development2" hreflang="en">Rural Development</a></div> </div> </div> Wed, 18 Nov 2020 00:22:38 +0000 Colleen Borgendale 44400 at https://www.iatp.org The Rural Climate Dialogues: Lessons for rural climate leadership https://www.iatp.org/blog/202011/rural-climate-dialogues-lessons-rural-climate-leadership <span>The Rural Climate Dialogues: Lessons for rural climate leadership</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/34897" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Cecelia Heffron</span></span> <span>Tue, 11/17/2020 - 16:32</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><span><span><span><span>This year has demonstrated the devastating impacts of climate change on rural communities, from the Iowa derecho to wildfires raging across the west. Despite the increase in extreme weather events, longstanding cultural and political obstacles have hindered support for climate action in rural communities.</div> Tue, 17 Nov 2020 22:32:32 +0000 Cecelia Heffron 44402 at https://www.iatp.org New Report Charts Roadmap for Rural Climate Engagement https://www.iatp.org/documents/new-report-charts-roadmap-rural-climate-engagement <div data-history-node-id="44403" class="node node--type-document node--view-mode-rss field-primary-category-rural-development has-field-primary-category no-field-teaser-image title-not-empty ds-1col clearfix"> <h3 > Rural Climate Dialogues in Minnesota offer lessons for creating community-driven climate plans </h3> <div class="field field--name-field-author field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Author</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/about/staff/iatp" hreflang="en">IATP</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><em><span><span><span><a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2020-11/PRESS%20RELEASE_IATP_Rural%20Climate%20Dialogues%20Report%202020_0.pdf">Download a PDF of the press release</a>. </span></span></span></em></p> <p><span><strong>MINNEAPOLIS</strong>—The <a href="https://www.iatp.org/">Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy</a> (IATP) released a new report on the outcomes and lessons learned from its Rural Climate Dialogue (RCD) program in partnership with the <a href="https://jefferson-center.org/">Jefferson Center</a>. Over the past six years, the RCDs engaged rural communities across Minnesota to think critically and plan strategically to address local challenges related to weather and climate. The report, <a href="https://www.iatp.org/documents/rural-climate-dialogues"><em>The Rural Climate Dialogues: A Community-Driven Roadmap for Climate Action in Rural Minnesota</em></a>, proposes a roadmap for rural climate engagement.</span></p> <p><span>Longstanding cultural and political obstacles have hindered climate action in rural communities. The RCDs address community tensions by focusing on solutions rather than assigning blame. The events provide a venue for community members to share their experiences, connect over community values and priorities and develop locally-driven climate action plans outside of the polarized political process.</span></p> <p><span>The RCDs worked in five counties throughout Minnesota: Stevens, Itasca, Winona, Redwood and Murray. The events were tailored to each community, leading to unique recommendations in each county. Stevens County recommended ways to strengthen the local agricultural economy, Itasca County included recommendations to manage forests, and Winona County prioritized local development of clean energy. In Murray County and Redwood County, the RCDs focused on local wind energy development. Both counties recommended supporting future wind development.</span></p> <p><span><span><span>Each community has taken action based on RCD recommendations. In Stevens County, the Morris Model formed and has since led projects around energy, water and waste management. Itasca County pursued installing a community solar garden. Winona County created an Energy Action Plan for the City of Winona that included the bold goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Despite perceived differences, participants voiced appreciation for the events uniting the community. An Itasca County participant noted, <span>“I came away impressed with how diverse of a group we were, that we could come away with a common goal. That gives me hope for the community at large.”</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>Tara Ritter, senior program associate for climate and rural communities at IATP, said, “Productive conversation about climate change can only happen when everyone feels heard, understood and respected. The RCDs are unique in their ability to bring people together around shared values and create solutions that not only address climate change but also boost community resilience.”</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span>To read, please visit: www.iatp.org/documents/rural-climate-dialogues. </span></p> <p><span><span>###</span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>Based in Minneapolis with offices in Washington, D.C., and Berlin, Germany, the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy works locally and globally at the intersection of policy and practice to ensure fair and sustainable food, farm and trade systems. To learn more, visit: </span><a href="http://www.iatp.org"><span>www.iatp.org</span></a>.</span></span></span></p> <p><em><span><span><span>Download a PDF of the press release <a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2020-11/PRESS%20RELEASE_IATP_Rural%20Climate%20Dialogues%20Report%202020_0.pdf">here</a>. </span></span></span></em></p></div> <div class="field field--name-upload field--type-file field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Upload</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"><span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf icon-before"><span class="file-icon"><span class="icon glyphicon glyphicon-file text-primary" aria-hidden="true"></span></span><span class="file-link"><a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2020-11/PRESS%20RELEASE_IATP_Rural%20Climate%20Dialogues%20Report%202020_0.pdf" type="application/pdf; length=163629" title="Open file in new window" target="_blank" data-toggle="tooltip" data-placement="bottom">PRESS RELEASE_IATP_Rural Climate Dialogues Report 2020_0.pdf</a></span><span class="file-size">159.79 KB</span></span></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-primary-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Primary category</div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/rural-development2" hreflang="en">Rural Development</a></div> </div> </div> Tue, 17 Nov 2020 22:20:44 +0000 Cecelia Heffron 44403 at https://www.iatp.org Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy Comments on the Environmental Assessment Worksheet for Waukon Dairy https://www.iatp.org/documents/institute-agriculture-and-trade-policy-comments-environmental-assessment-worksheet-waukon <div data-history-node-id="44381" class="node node--type-document node--view-mode-rss field-primary-category-climate-change has-field-primary-category no-field-teaser-image title-not-empty ds-1col clearfix"> <div class="field field--name-field-author field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Author</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/about/staff/tara-ritter" hreflang="en">Tara Ritter</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/about/staff/ben-lilliston" hreflang="en">Ben Lilliston</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) thanks the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) for the opportunity to comment on the Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) for Riverview’s proposed Waukon Dairy in Norman County. <br /> IATP is a 33-year-old organization based in Minneapolis. We work at the local, state, national and international levels to create fair and sustainable agriculture and trade systems. IATP was born in response to the family farm crisis of the 1980s, and we continue to pursue policy solutions that benefit family farmers, rural communities and the environment. Minnesota, as one of the largest agricultural states in the country, has a critical role to play in setting a precedent for how state governments respond to the climate crisis. </p> <p>We envision an animal agriculture system that keeps small and mid-sized farmers on the land, sequesters carbon and protects water quality. However, agricultural consolidation has pushed dairy farmers off the land,1 resulting in mega-farms that concentrate profits in the hands of the few, emit potent greenhouse gases (GHGs) methane and nitrous oxide and contaminate waterways. Minnesota has an imperative to create an environment conducive to small and mid-sized dairy farmers raising animals in ways that protect the water and the planet.  </p> <p>The EAW for the proposed Waukon Dairy does not fully capture the operation’s environmental effects and underestimates its climate impacts. It also does not consider the damaging impact of agricultural consolidation on the farm economy and rural communities or adequately evaluate more climate-friendly methods of animal agriculture that also make farms more resilient to climate impacts. Furthermore, a large hog operation (Barrick Farms) is being started in Norman County at the same time, and the combined environmental impact of these operations on water and the climate is not considered. These oversights make it impossible for MPCA to determine the significance of environmental effects fairly. We strongly urge MPCA to require an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Waukon Dairy to measure fully its environmental impacts and outline alternatives. </p> <hr /> <p><em><strong>To read the comment, please <a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2020-10/IATP%20Waukon%20Dairy%20Comments%20FINAL.pdf">click here</a>. </strong></em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-upload field--type-file field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Upload</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"><span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf icon-before"><span class="file-icon"><span class="icon glyphicon glyphicon-file text-primary" aria-hidden="true"></span></span><span class="file-link"><a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2020-10/IATP%20Waukon%20Dairy%20Comments%20FINAL.pdf" type="application/pdf; length=318725" title="Open file in new window" target="_blank" data-toggle="tooltip" data-placement="bottom">IATP Waukon Dairy Comments FINAL.pdf</a></span><span class="file-size">311.25 KB</span></span></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-primary-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Primary category</div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/issues/climate-change" hreflang="en">Climate Change</a></div> </div> </div> Wed, 14 Oct 2020 21:50:51 +0000 Cecelia Heffron 44381 at https://www.iatp.org IATP Welcomes CFTC Advisory Committee Report on Climate-Related Financial Risk https://www.iatp.org/documents/iatp-welcomes-cftc-advisory-committee-report-climate-related-financial-risk <div data-history-node-id="44353" class="node node--type-document node--view-mode-rss field-primary-category-climate-change has-field-primary-category no-field-teaser-image title-not-empty ds-1col clearfix"> <div class="field field--name-field-author field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Author</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/about/staff/iatp" hreflang="en">IATP</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><span><strong>MINNEAPOLIS</strong>—On September 9, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) released a much-anticipated advisory report, <a href="https://www.cftc.gov/sites/default/files/2020-09/9-9-20%20Report%20of%20the%20Subcommittee%20on%20Climate-Related%20Market%20Risk%20-%20Managing%20Climate%20Risk%20in%20the%20U.S.%20Financial%20System%20for%20posting.pdf"><em>Managing Climate Risk In The U.S. Financial System</em></a>. The report, a consensus product by 34 authors, is a path-breaking initiative that makes dozens of recommendations for action by several U.S. financial regulators and by different sectors of the financial services industry. </span></p> <p><span>Steve Suppan, author of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP)’s just-released report, <a href="https://www.iatp.org/ag-finance-climate"><em>Agricultural Finance for Climate Resilience</em>, </a>said of the CFTC report, “Although the report does not make recommendations to agricultural finance regulators, the authors recognize the ‘sub-systemic risks’ of agricultural finance due to  the multiple vulnerabilities of agriculture to climate change. The research basis for the recommendations is extensive: equally impressive is the report’s emphasis on what we don’t know about climate-related financial risk because of insufficient or even absent data. IATP urges Congress to revise the current CFTC reauthorization bill (HR 6197) to make it a self-financing agency able to implement the recommendations of this report.”</span></p> <p><span>IATP responded to two CFTC requests for information for the report. In our <a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2020-05/CFTC%20climate%20risk%20comment%205.14.20%20IATP%20Final.pdf">May 14 letter</a>, we recommended that the CFTC or the Department of Treasury’s Office of Financial Research (OFR) establish a climate-related financial risk research program. Although IATP is surely not the only respondent to have made that recommendation, it is nevertheless important that the advisory report makes the recommendation to OFR, which serves all federal financial regulators. </span></p> <p><span>Our <a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2019-06/Letter%20to%20the%20CFTC%20on%20Climate%20Financial%20Risk.pdf">June 19, 2019 letter</a> to the CFTC, before work had begun formally on the report, urged the advisory committee to recommend that the CFTC conduct a “360 degree review” of its rules and data analysis, to determine which of them should be recommended for revision in light of the report’s findings. This report, however, is considerably more ambitious than what IATP had envisioned originally. We hope that federal financial regulators and the financial services industry will implement many of the report’s recommendations.  </span></p> <p><span>###</span></p> <p><span><span>Based in Minneapolis with offices in Washington, D.C., and Berlin, Germany, the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy works locally and globally at the intersection of policy and practice to ensure fair and sustainable food, farm and trade systems.</span></span></p></div> <div class="field field--name-upload field--type-file field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Upload</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"><span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf icon-before"><span class="file-icon"><span class="icon glyphicon glyphicon-file text-primary" aria-hidden="true"></span></span><span class="file-link"><a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2020-09/PRESS%20RELEASE_IATP_CFTC%20Climate%20Financial%20Risk%20Report.pdf" type="application/pdf; length=165420" title="Open file in new window" target="_blank" data-toggle="tooltip" data-placement="bottom">PRESS RELEASE_IATP_CFTC Climate Financial Risk Report.pdf</a></span><span class="file-size">161.54 KB</span></span></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-primary-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Primary category</div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/issues/climate-change" hreflang="en">Climate Change</a></div> </div> </div> Wed, 09 Sep 2020 21:27:10 +0000 Cecelia Heffron 44353 at https://www.iatp.org