Bezos Earth Fund invests US$34 million to help deliver healthy, climate-friendly food and improve corporate climate accountability
The Bezos Earth Fund has announced US$34.5 million in grants as part of its US$10 billion commitment to fight climate change and protect nature, supporting transformative work to improve greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting and disclosure and advance food systems transformation.
Companies need reliable information about their GHG emissions and those within their supply chain to set ambitious climate targets and reduce emissions. They rely on GHG accounting and disclosure services to do it. The organizations behind the current standards and infrastructure for necessary corporate action need urgent updates to their guidance, systems, governance and infrastructure to keep up with the rising demand for quality standards and services. The Earth Fund is supporting this effort with US$19.1 million in new grants to CDP and the GHG Protocol. These build on earlier grants to drive ambitious corporate climate action to the Science Based Targets Initiative, The Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market and the Voluntary Carbon Market Integrity Initiative totaling US$21 million .
"The global demand for greenhouse gas accounting and disclosure is skyrocketing and must be scaled and modernized to deliver needed standards, tools and training," commented Dr Andrew Steer, President & CEO of the Bezos Earth Fund. "Trust in these systems is paramount and this investment in two critical corporate climate and accountability disclosure initiatives will help enable companies to take urgent climate action."
The GHG Protocol is the most widely recognized international standard for calculating and reporting GHG emissions and is embedded in all major climate standards and initiatives. The Earth Fund – in partnership with World Resources Institute and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development – is supporting this critical work with a US$9.25 million grant. The funding will allow the GHG Protocol to update and clarify existing standards, develop new guidance, improve efficiency and provide additional technical services to companies to improve the greenhouse gas data and reporting essential for a low carbon transition.
CDP, recognized as the primary global mechanism for environmental disclosure, receives US$9.9 million to update its disclosure framework and technical systems. This grant supports the update of CDP's processes and systems to improve performance and usability and efforts to ensure that crucial climate data is publicly available.
The food system is the second-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. We must transform how we deliver healthy and diverse food to a growing population, using less land and drastically reducing emissions. The Earth Fund will partner with Cornell University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the Good Food Institute (GFI) to develop innovative solutions to reduce farming's impact on the planet and support research to develop alternative proteins to help feed a growing population.
"We must find new ways to feed and nourish a growing population without degrading our planet, and we can do it if we think boldly and act innovatively," added Lauren Sánchez, Vice Chair of the Bezos Earth Fund. "With these new partnerships and our US$1 billion commitment to food transformation, we can rethink the food system and drastically reduce its footprint on our planet."
Cornell University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences receives US$9.9 million in support of a project developing low-cost virtual livestock fencing that would benefit farmers and animals, improve public health in developing countries and combat climate change. Virtual fencing involves equipping animals with wearable, GPS-enabled devices that discourage animals from leaving grazing areas designated by animal managers. Existing technologies, however, are too expensive for most farmers in low- and middle-income countries. The conversion of forests for agricultural purposes is a major cause of deforestation. This technology, by facilitating the introduction of rotation in cattle ranches across the globe, can take pressure off forests and bring about significant potential benefits to climate and nature by lowering emissions.
Alternative proteins such as plant-based and cultivated meat can satisfy the growing demand for meat while reducing pressure on the planet, creating more sustainable livelihoods for farmers and other frontline food system workers while increasing resilience across the global food system. To be successful, they must reach taste and price parity to compete with conventional meat and be tailored to markets with high projected growth in demand.
In partnership with the Good Food Institute, the non-profit think tank and global network of organizations focused on alternative protein science and innovation, the US$5.5 million grant supports research to catalyze the development of alternative proteins. Specifically, it supports elements including policy, consumer and market roadmaps to spur and sustain growth in specific geographies and foundational, open-access research grants to solve some of the most pressing R+D challenges in the sector.
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