Project Climate works to identify and promote climate change solutions with significant potential. Each solution involves different sectors, technologies, and policy makers. As a result, each requires different approaches.
Here are the current projects we are researching:
We have created an AmeriCorps program, called GrizzlyCorps, that sends 20 recent college grads each year to farm and forest communities. Americorps members will work on regenerative agriculture, ecological forestry, and carbon sequestration – helping those communities build resilience and fight climate change. We are now working on expanding the program for next year.
At the end of his administration, Governor Jerry Brown announced a partnership between California and Planet Labs to launch low orbit satellites with instruments that can detect methane emissions. Methane is one of the most potent greenhouse gases, accounting for as much as 25% of greenhouse gas impact. The satellite partnership has been expanded by Governor Newsom and now includes the Bloomberg organization. Project Climate is focusing on what happens when, in about two years, we have data from the satellites, potentially showing methane emissions (from agriculture, landfills and oil and gas operations primarily) in every jurisdiction in the world. If jurisdictions can act quickly to control and capture methane, we can make a significant dent in worldwide emissions. At the same time, we are working on a methane reduction Protocol for every jurisdiction that has oil and gas operations.
Low Hydrocarbon Plastics Standard
Almost all plastics are made from petroleum products (most prominently from natural gas). Oil and gas companies see plastic as a growth area over the next decades, exacerbating our plastic pollution problem as well as generating more greenhouse gases. Project Climate is exploring mechanisms to reduce or eliminate hydrocarbon content of plastic and provide incentives for plastic substitutes and bioplastics.
Most institutions (cities, states, colleges, universities, businesses, etc.) have sustainability and climate goals. Most often, those goals are not incorporated into how those institutions procure products. Project Climate is working with institutions and vendors to integrate sustainability and procurement, so that products procured reflect the goals of the institution without adding to the work burden of the procurement department. Given that consumers make up seventy percent of the economy, changing procurement criteria can have a significant impact on greenhouse gas emissions and other sustainability criteria.
Marin County in Northern California is implementing an aggressive climate response through Drawdown Marin. The County has hired a program manager and convened six citizen groups across different sectors to identify and implement concrete actions to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the County. Project Climate is working with Marin, learning what works and what does not, what barriers remain and how those are resolved. Project Climate will share what we learn with other jurisdictions and networks so that progress can accelerate.
Climate Break is a radio program, podcast, and website that presents stories of climate progress and interviews with climate innovators in California and around the world, 90 seconds at a time (and in a longer form by podcast). Climate Break is a joint production of CLEE/Project Climate and the UC Berkeley School of Journalism.
Trump Environmental Rollbacks
Over the past four years, the Trump administration has undermined environmental protection and action on multiple fronts, including clean air, clean water, and climate change. Project Climate is compiling all of the rollbacks and identifying actions and strategies to rescind the rollbacks should a new administration be inclined to do so.
Environmental Enhancements, San Jose Pilot
How can we incentivize landowners not only to maintain their land as open space or agricultural land, but also to enhance the environmental benefits of that land? For example, how can we get farmers to increase the ability of soil to sequester carbon? Project Climate is working with San Jose and other partners on an innovative pilot project in Coyote Valley that will pay landowners to affirmatively enhance their land, in conjunction with promotion of infill development projects in designated areas of the City.
Climate Center at Lake Tahoe
With a grant from the California Tahoe Conservancy, Project Climate/CLEE (along with partners in Lake Tahoe) is evaluating the viability and possible focus of a Climate Center located at Lake Tahoe.
Climate Corporate Risk Disclosure
Amazingly in 2020, corporations still have only minimal obligations to identify and inform shareholders about their risks related to climate change. Project Climate is exploring state law solutions to this public information gap.
Project Climate is working to accelerate other promising climate solutions and actions, to the extent time, staffing, and funding allow.