To advance food system transformation and improve greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting and disclosure, the Bezos Earth Fund announced $34.5 million in grants today as part of its $10 billion commitment.
Accountability and Transparency in the Corporate Climate
Businesses need accurate information on their GHG emissions and those throughout their supply chain in order to set strong climate goals and reduce their carbon footprint. To achieve this, they rely on GHG inventory and reporting services. However, the organizations responsible for supplying the current standards and infrastructure to facilitate corporate action must make important upgrades to their guidance, systems, governance, and infrastructure in order to meet the growing demand for quality standards and services. The Earth Fund is dedicating $19.1 million in fresh grants to CDP and the GHG Protocol to help with this objective. This builds upon prior grants of $21 million given towards spurring robust corporate climate action with the Science Based Targets Initiative, The Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market, as well as the Voluntary Carbon Market Integrity Initiative.
Sustainable Agriculture: Advancing the Cause
As the second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, the food system must be transformed, utilizing less land and drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions in order to provide healthy and diverse food to an ever-growing population. In order to reduce farming's impact on the planet and support research to develop alternative protein to feed a growing population, the Earth Fund will partner with Cornell University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the Good Food Institute (GFI).
Low-cost, Accessible Virtual Fencing Combats Climate Change and Aids Farmers
Cornell University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences recently received $9.9 million to support a project which seeks to develop low-cost virtual livestock fencing, a technology that would be extremely beneficial for both farmers and animals. It involves equipping animals with GPS-enabled devices, which alert them to stay within their designated grazing area. Unfortunately, existing technologies in this field are far too expensive for most low- and middle-income countries. Nevertheless, if virtual fencing can become more accessible and encourage the introduction of rotation in cattle ranches around the world, then it has the potential to decrease deforestation by taking pressure off of forests, as well as lowering emissions and bringing positive changes to both climate and nature.
Sustainable Food Systems: Accelerating Alternative Proteins
Alternative proteins like plant-based and cultivated meat can satisfy the growing demand for meat while reducing pressure on the planet, creating sustainable livelihoods for farmers and other frontline food system workers while increasing global food system resilience. They must compete with conventional meat at the same taste and price, and they must be tailored to high-growth markets.
In partnership with the Good Food Institute, a nonprofit think tank and global network of organizations focused on alternative protein science and innovation, the $5.5 million grant supports research to catalyze the development of alternative proteins. This includes elements such as policy, consumer and market roadmaps that spur and sustain growth in specific geographies, and foundational, open-access research grants to address the sector's most pressing R+D challenges.
Accounting and Disclosure of Greenhouse Gases
The GHG Protocol, the most widely recognized international standard for GHG emissions calculation and reporting, is embedded in many major climate initiatives. Through a grant of $9.25 million, The Earth Fund—along with World Resources Institute and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development—is supporting this critical work. This funding will allow the GHG Protocol to make updates and clarifications to their existing standards, devise new guidance and increase efficiency, while providing technical services to businesses to help them get better data on greenhouse gas emissions and carry out the necessary reporting for low carbon transitions.
As the primary global mechanism for environmental disclosure, CDP has received $9.9 million for updating its technical system and disclosure framework. In addition to improving CDP's performance and usability, this grant also supports efforts to make crucial climate data available to the public.