Contributor: Hans Stroo, Washington Business Alliance
Business leaders from across Washington State met on January 17th, 2017 to learn about the next wave of opportunities and threats associated with climate change and the transition to a clean energy economy. The gathering was part of the "Where to Next" series organized by Washington Business Alliance, Washington Business for Climate Action, and The Nature Conservancy. It's an effort to design non-partisan, practical, and cost-efficient carbon policy solutions in Washington State. The event was centered around guest speaker Kate Gordon, Senior Advisor to the Paulson Institute.
Gordon shared insights from the Risky Business Project’s new report: From Risk to Return: Investing in a Clean Energy Economy. Gordon told the audience that addressing climate change requires reducing carbon emissions at least 80 percent by 2050 in the US and across all major economies. “This goal is technically and economically achievable using commercial or near-commercial technology… [It] does not require an energy miracle or unprecedented spending.”
- See the full article here
Contributor: Hans Stroo Washington Business Alliance
On November the 16th Washington Business for Climate Action, Washington Business Alliance and The Nature Conservancy held a business event at the World Trade Center, “Where to Next- the Future of Carbon Policy in Washington State”.
The 2 hour workshop, followed by a reception, was sponsored by Vulcan and MacDonald Miller. Dave Metz of FMM shared polling results that had been specially commissioned to examine voters’ views on support for climate action, this was followed by a panel and a facilitated business conversation.
Present for the discussion were representatives from Alaska Airlines, Boeing, Clallam PUD, Kaiser Aluminum, Masco Petroleum, Microsoft, Seattle City Light, Sellen Construction, Vigor Industrial, and Weyerhaeuser among others. Though their viewpoints often diverged, participants all acknowledged the importance of engaging in an honest conversation about how Washington’s business community can coalesce around a cost-effective and environmentally effective carbon policy.
For a full recap of the event please use the link below.
Contributor: Brad Warren, Director, global ocean health program, NFCC
Dick Feely of NOAA's Pacific Marine Environmental Lab helped put ocean acidification on the map—and he has worked tirelessly to help many of us learn to understand this problem. Lately, Feely and other researchers are widening the lens: a high-CO2 ocean brings a suite of simultaneous challenges, including warming, hypoxia, acidification, and toxic algae blooms. His report (https://westcoastoa.wordpress.com) from the 2016 West Coast Ocean Acidification Research Cruise highlights the continuing acceleration and expansion of seawater conditions that are now considered "corrosive" to many key species. When this cruise started, the infamous hot water "blob" had dissipated, but researchers still found warmer-than-normal temperatures and a spreading region of corrosive waters. They got a look at hazardous algae that appear to thrive in these conditions. They also took extensive samples of copepods and pteropods (important planktonic prey for many fish) that should permit a close examination of how well these delicate critters are holding up under the strain.
On July 14th a group from the WBCA leadership team accompanied members of Washington Environmental Council (WEC) to visit the Nisqually Land Trust carbon credit project in the Mount Rainier Gateway Reserve.
The project gained wide media coverage when Microsoft announced that they were acquiring 37,000 carbon credits as part of their $20 million-a-year initiative to offset their global carbon emissions.
The project is registered under the most rigorous system available in the United States: California's Offset Protocol for U.S Forests, and we wanted to learn more about what this means.
Joe Kane, Executive Director of the Nisqually Land Trust, and Paula Sweeden, Forest Policy Specialist at WEC provided a wonderful overview and answered our many questions. We learned about the demands of developing and verifying a project, and how managing a forest for increased carbon stocks has co benefits for water, fish and wildlife and local economies.
The Nisqually is the only river in the country with its headwaters protected by a National Park and its delta protected by a National Wildlife Refuge. Threatened and at-risk species found in the Nisqually watershed include Chinook salmon, steelhead trout, northern spotted owls, marbled murrelets, bald eagles, northern goshawks, pileated woodpeckers and peregrine falcons.
Thank you, Microsoft, WEC, and Nisqually Land Trust for your true climate leadership! You are an inspiration to us all.