Everything we produce has a climate impact at every stage of its life cycle, including production, transportation, and disposal. While recycling and compostingare important, preventing waste from occurring in the first place does much more to curb climate change. In the case of food, for example, significant amounts of greenhouse gases are produced from wasted food—food that was produced and perhaps even transported to supermarket and then home or restaurant, but not eaten. And part of those emissions are methane, a highly potent greenhouse gas.
Those climate implications are a reason why both the United States and the United Nations have goals of reducing food waste and loss by 50 percent by 2030. Achieving this goal would have huge climate benefits. It would also help create jobs and, most importantly, feed people who are food insecure.
Of course, individuals can—and should—do their best to avoid wasting food. Food makes up the largest share of materials deposited in landfills, with a lot coming from households.
But this is a huge, deeply-rooted societal issue that individuals cannot solve on their own. We need policy interventions to achieve impact on a massive scale—at every stage in the food production and consumption cycle.
It takes so much energy to create and distribute food and other products that people buy. Diverting them from landfills will not diminish the climate impacts much. Waste prevention is a much more effective climate strategy.
Thank you so much for the important role you are playing in ensuring that federal decision makers have all the information they need to enact effective and well-informed policies!
Regardless of what we accomplish this year in terms of climate action, we still have a lot of work to do to avoid the worst scenarios described by the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The report tells us to expect global warming to continue and get worse unless “deep reductions in CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions occur in the coming decades.”
At this moment of urgency for climate action, you are making a difference. For example, you’ve enabled this timely analysis of what’s in the bipartisan infrastructure deal.
And just a couple weeks ago, you helped EESI to host its annual Congressional Clean Energy EXPO and Policy Forum. Five members of Congress, both Republicans and Democrats, delivered messages. Panelists included professionals and leaders from the energy efficiency and clean energy fields.
The latest annual EXPO explored climate change in the context of national security and renewable energy. Speakers also covered the crucial topic of what addressing climate change means for jobs and workforce development.
You’ve also enabled four briefings for congressional staff, businesses, nonprofits, and the public on the benefits of a national green bank, electric vehicles, and more! Check out our recent online briefings here.
Thank you for caring about the climate crisis and recognizing the essential opportunities we have in 2021 to provide sustainable solutions. You make all of our work possible, including the Richard L. Ottinger Internship Program.
EESI’s paid internship program allows people like me to learn about climate policy, clean energy strategies, and nonprofits—right now, on a remote basis during the pandemic. As someone who is studying philanthropy, I have gained invaluable experience through this program that will help me launch my career.
You, like EESI, also understand that there are many problems facing our world, including racial inequality, the need to recover from the pandemic quickly in a way that fosters equity, and the need for workforce development and sustainability.
We recognize that to achieve an equitable and just transition to a decarbonized, clean energy economy, we need to ensure that marginalized voices are especially represented in policymaking.
Thank you so much for joining forces to create this future together.
As Congress considers an array of policy options to bolster the economy and address climate, you’ve been helping to make possible a vital series of briefings through our new Congressional Climate Camp.
You are making it possible to engage and inform Congressional staff, who may not be well versed in climate issues, on areas and opportunities for advancing equitable climate solutions that protect communities and create jobs.
The five-part series explores areas ranging from budget reconciliation (scheduled for May 21) to ways to decarbonize sectors with high emissions.
As an intern at EESI this spring, I’ve gotten the opportunity to support our policy work by compiling notes for our third Congressional Climate Camp installment; that briefing focused on lessons learned from previous Congresses' work on energy and public opinions on climate change; they are posted here if you’re interested.
I learned so much by attending this briefing, taking notes, and seeing how the EESI staff edited and tweaked my notes. So many past actions, challenges, and victories have influenced current environmental policy and also engaged stakeholders in action towards climate solutions and how to make success more likely. The briefing brought together experts from different sectors to deconstruct past climate policies and current attitudes towards these policies.
Finally, I am so excited to announce EESI’s participation in GlobalGiving’s Climate Action Campaign! The campaign runs from Monday, April 19 to Friday, April 23. During that week, donations to EESI made through the GlobalGiving platform, up to $100 per donor, will be matched at 50%!
The Climate Action Campaign is an opportunity for your gift for climate solutions to go further! Please mark your calendar to give between the 19th and the 23rd to double your impact during Earth Week!
Thank you again for your continued commitment to climate change solutions. You make all of this possible by supporting our programs (including the Richard L. Ottinger internship program that has made it possible for me to be part of EESI).
It is hard to know where to focus or whether to be hopeful or distraught. But colleagues and I are choosing to hope for a more equitable and cleaner, more sustainable future.
As we recognize real struggles and challenges, we also see a lot of reasons to be optimistic! We hope you do, too. And we are so, so grateful to have you as a partner in creating climate solutions.
If you haven’t already, please feel free to check out our recent online briefings. In the last three months, these have included a report on resilient coastal communities, an exploration of nuclear waste legislation, a three-part transportation series (sea ports, aviation, and public transit), and a year-end progress update on climate mitigation and adaptation. You helped make all of this happen -- thanks!
You’ve also been part of enabling an expansion of our communications tools -- please also listen and subscribe to our new podcast and tell your friends!
The first four podcast episodes highlight coastal resilience, aviation technology, post-election climate action possibilities, and first-hand stories from some of our own recent interns who continue to be a vital part of our team even as we work remotely.
Sending you care, fortitude, patience, and optimism for what is sure to be an interesting new year.
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
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