The climate has already warmed by an average of 1.1 degrees Celsius. The catastrophic consequences of climate change are all around us. Should keeping global warming to “only” 1.5 degrees Celsius really be our collective climate goal?
At the Foundation for Climate Restoration (F4CR), we believe that a goal should represent an achievement we would be proud of. Climate restoration will bring levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere back to pre-industrial levels. F4CR’s Fourth Annual Global Climate Restoration Forum took place on September 13-14, 2022. In a series of panels and workshops, experts, community advocates, innovators, and academics came together to highlight the exciting progress of climate restoration over the past year.
While previous Forums have focused on the “what” of climate restoration — defining the goal and explaining some of the greenhouse gas removal solutions — this year brought a renewed focus on the “how.” Equity, global engagement, and youth activism were at the forefront of this year’s Forum.
Equity and Justice in Climate Restoration
In our equity and justice panel — the most widely attended of the Forum — speakers discussed commitments made by the Biden administration, including key resources that can guide our thinking about equity and reparations around climate action and how to ensure that climate restoration projects are tailored to the needs of a community rather than rolled out with a one-size-fits-all approach.
“The climate crisis is the world’s biggest existential threat, but it also provides the world’s greatest opportunity for righting the wrongs of the past, if we do it in the right way,” said Joe James, Founder & President of Agri-Tech Producers.
Why You Should Watch
Equity and justice are much more than buzzwords. They should be integral to every single environmental project currently in the works. This session brought together a diverse set of voices from different industries and different parts of the world. An important step in being an effective climate advocate in 2022 is becoming familiar with these concepts and centering equity in your work. Watch it here.
Equity Extra Credit
In the equity workshop led by Delaney Pues, F4CR’s Director of Solutions, Equity & Stewardship, attendees learned how different types of justice can be incorporated in climate restoration, and worked together to analyze environmental case studies with an eye toward equity. Watch the workshop here.
Climate Restoration Is Young
What do Liberia, Indonesia, and India have in common? There are lots of correct answers to that question, but as you’ll learn from this session, these countries are home to the winners of our inaugural Youth Climate Innovator Awards. The Forum session on young people leading climate restoration brought impressive lineups of speakers from many corners of the globe. In addition to those three countries, we also feature climate restoration enthusiasts from Nigeria, Pakistan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Why You Should Watch
It’s not often that you get to hear the voices of young climate activists from Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America in a 30-minute program. These young leaders are blazing the trail toward climate restoration, and they’re not going to stop until we get there! Watch them here.
Climate Restoration Is Global
The goal of climate restoration is to return concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to pre-industrial levels. This is no small goal, and it will require changes big and small in all parts of the world. Climate restoration policies are accelerating at an impressive level on the local, state, and national level. Many climate restoration policies in the US have already garnered bipartisan support.
Why You Should Watch
Different parts of the world have distinct roles to play in achieving a restored climate. In this session, you’ll hear from speakers who are doing climate restoration advocacy in the Global North — including the United States and various European countries — as well as the Global South, including Brazil, Madagascar, Nigeria, and Uganda. Watch it here.
Extra Credit: Transform Your Democracy
The advocacy workshop, Training for Transformational Democracy, was led by Mark Reynolds, former executive director of Citizens’ Climate Lobby, which now has hundreds of active chapters in dozens of countries. Watch it here.
Going Deep on the Ocean
The most-attended workshop of this year’s Forum was Advancing R&D in Ocean-based CDR (carbon dioxide removal) facilitated by Sarah Mastroni and Nikhil Neelakantan from Ocean Visions. Planet Earth’s surface is 71% covered by water. The oceans have always played a significant role in regulating atmospheric greenhouse gas levels.
Why You Should Watch
In this workshop, we focused on how to balance the need to build social acceptance of ocean-based carbon removal projects with the need for swift and decisive action. Climate restoration is an urgent need, but solutions cannot be implemented without the knowledge and consent of relevant stakeholders. Due to the early stage of research into most ocean-based solutions, there is still a lot of work to be done in determining which solutions should be rolled out soonest and at what scale. Watch the workshop here.
Watch On Demand
This year’s climate restoration Forum was unique because it rode on such incredible momentum from policy advancements, growing activism, exciting solution innovations, and more. The Forum makes it clear that not only would climate restoration create a future we can be proud of, but it is also a goal that is achievable. All sessions of the Fourth Annual Global Climate Restoration Forum are available on demand on YouTube.
About the Author
Rick Wayman is the CEO of the Foundation for Climate Restoration, the nonprofit working to restore the climate. Prior to his role at the Foundation, he served as the CEO of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, where his team received the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for their collaboration and work with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. Rick has devoted his career to solving a range of social challenges, and he is honored to now lead the efforts to safeguard the climate for future generations.