RNRF & Member News
Renewable Natural Resources Foundation
Renewable Resources Journal – New Issue Now Available
A new issue of the Renewable Resources Journal is now available.
This issue includes the following articles:
Where Does Our Plastic Accumulate in the Ocean and What Does That Mean for the Future?
Hannah Ritchie, Oxford Martin School
Managing Climate Risk in the U.S. Financial System
U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission
We Are Losing the "Little Things That Run the World" – Insects
United Nations Environment Programme
To download this issue, click here.
RNRF Conference on Science's Journey 2021 – Report Now Available
The October 6 conference featured presentations on how the science community can advocate for science’s role in public policy, opportunities for the science community to participate in the presidential transition process, and restorative actions that can be advanced in 2021.
The conference website, featuring PowerPoint presentations and links to important reference resources, can be accessed by clicking here.
The conference report summarizing all presentations can be downloaded here.
RNRF Round Table: Creating A Sustainable Path Forward for America’s Infrastructure
On August 10, RNRF conducted a virtual round table on the issues facing America’s infrastructure and explored how to create a progressive path forward during climate change. Speakers were Doug Sims with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and Cris Liban with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro). Both speakers discussed the intricacies of implementing sustainable infrastructure projects and practical lessons learned.
Doug Sims is a senior advisor for Green Finance and director of the Green Finance Center at NRDC. Sims provided an overview of NRDC’s High Road Infrastructure framework and shared his insights on its practical implementation.
High Road Infrastructure differs from typical infrastructure in that it fulfills the core function of traditional infrastructure while delivering resilience, environmental, and social benefits cost- effectively. Taking the High Road means more beneficial outcomes for all. High Road Infrastructure accomplishes these outcomes by applying broader standards to infrastructure projects.
The High Road methodology incorporates upfront capital costs and minimal service delivery as well as environmental, social, and climate performance into project design and conceptualization. It elevates the highest value projects, raises resilience, preserves natural resources, creates quality jobs, builds community consensus, and ensures the “biggest bang for the buck.”
Cris Liban is the chief sustainability officer at LA Metro as well as the national chair of the American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) Committee on Sustainability. Liban showcased LA Metro’s sustainability efforts and how they align with the High Road Infrastructure concept.
LA Metro is leading the way on implementing sustainable practices in the expansion and operations of its transportation system. The agency has worked to implement sustainable practices and initiatives for over a decade. The High Road framework, in essence, formalized these principles and provides a path to duplicate these with partners in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles County has a diverse population of over 10 million and the 21st largest economy in the world. LA Metro is a state-chartered special jurisdiction that acts as a regional transit planner/funder, system builder, and operator. The decisions made at LA Metro impact millions of people and have deep permeating effects.
Renewable Resources Journal Selected by Library of Congress for Inclusion in “Digital Collections"
The United States Library of Congress has selected Renewable Resources Journal for inclusion in the Library's collection of digital materials. "We believe this publication is an important and valuable addition to our collections and to the historical record. The Library of Congress preserves cultural artifacts and provides enduring access to them in order to serve the needs of Congress and to support education and the creation of new scholarship. The Library's traditional functions of acquiring, cataloging, preserving, and serving collection materials of historical importance extend to digital materials." For more information about the Library of Congress's digital collections, please visit its website https://www.loc.gov/collections
Renewable Resources Report
A Biden Administration's Return to the Paris Agreement
On June 1, 2017, President Donald Trump announced that the United States would be leaving the Paris Agreement. In accordance with Article 28 of the agreement, member states cannot give notice of withdrawal until three years after the agreement’s start date in that country. On November 4, 2019, the earliest possible date, the administration submitted its formal intention to withdraw. A year later, on November 4, 2020, the withdrawal went into effect, and the United States, which has cumulatively emitted more carbon into the atmosphere than any other country, became the first and only member state to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.
Despite the year-long waiting period to withdraw from the agreement, the process of returning to it is far more expedited. President Elect Joseph Biden has expressed his intent to immediately rejoin the agreement as soon as he is in office. Once the United States notifies the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) of its intention to rejoin, it will formally become a party to the agreement once again 30 days later. However, this does not mean that the U.S. can pick up where it left off in 2016 in the agreement. Negotiations and commitments have continued without significant U.S. involvement, and the Biden administration will need to set new emissions commitments for 2030, as well as rebuild credibility that has been lost in the last four years.
Read more on RNRF's blog, the Renewable Resources Report, by clicking here.
Preventing the Next Pandemic
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take lives and disrupt economies across the world, a new report warns that further outbreaks will emerge unless governments take active measures to prevent other zoonotic diseases from crossing into the human population, and sets out ten recommendations to prevent future pandemics.
The report, “Preventing the Next Pandemic: Zoonotic diseases and how to break the chain of transmission,” is a joint effort by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).
It identifies seven trends driving the increasing emergence of zoonotic diseases, including increased demand for animal protein; a rise in intense and unsustainable farming; the increased use and exploitation of wildlife; and the climate crisis. The report finds that Africa in particular, which has experienced and responded to a number of zoonotic epidemics including most recently, to Ebola outbreaks, could be a source of important solutions to quell future outbreaks.
“The science is clear that if we keep exploiting wildlife and destroying our ecosystems, then we can expect to see a steady stream of these diseases jumping from animals to humans in the years ahead,” said UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen. “Pandemics are devastating to our lives and our economies, and as we have seen over the past months, it is the poorest and the most vulnerable who suffer the most. To prevent future outbreaks, we must become much more deliberate about protecting our natural environment.”
Read more on RNRF's blog, the Renewable Resources Report, by clicking here.