View Blog Archive ITP Blog - Archives > Divest/Invest Workshops in Organic Materials

Posted - 01/07/2017
Divest/Invest Workshops in Organic Materials
In the ongoing human response to the dynamic challenges of climate change, it is imperative that our initiatives be synchronous with living systems.   In the spirit of minimizing our impacts to the biosphere, reconsidered land management practices are vital.

ITP sponsored two workshops in 2016, which sought to positively affect the carbon cycle through the processing of organic wastes into compost that can be applied as a source of regenerative nutrients to working lands. 
The first workshop was held at the Presidio in San Francisco in May, the second in Sacramento in October.  Participants were members of a diverse and growing community of Californians who envision a series of critical systemic changes that converge towards a climate beneficial future.

The workshops were successful in facilitating thoughtful and vigorous discussions toward encouraging greater private investment in regenerative land management practices. In fact, the workshops were a regional expression of a worldwide effort to facilitate those practices by revamping investment strategies.  In particular, current investments in fossil fuel and extraction industries are being reconsidered through the efforts of the Divest/Invest movement, which encourages investors to support new infrastructure and practices that are climate positive. Positively affecting the carbon cycle through land application of composted material is an emerging focus of local, regional and international organizations.

John Wick of the Marin Carbon Project detailed his ongoing exploration of how an improved understanding of the carbon cycle is critical to creating a collective and scalable response to climate change.  Through his hands-on efforts to reconsider the uses of organic wastes, Wick has subsidized advanced science through the UC system to support the climate positive aspects of compost application on rangelands and grasslands.  Wick’s work is complimentary to new state laws focused on rehabilitating soil health, unifying the regulatory response to effective organics management, and enhancing environmental resilience.   

Amelia Timbers from As You Sow in Oakland offered her valuable insights regarding the development and issuance of green bonds as ideal vehicles for developing financial resources that could provide funding to create necessary processing infrastructure. This linkage of viable financing mechanisms to emerging waste management practices is a critical nexus going forward. 

Rob Parenteau of MacroStrategy Edge helped articulate the critical path needed to access funding that will assist the private sector in providing vital infrastructure.   Neil Edgar of the California Compost Coalition expressed the concept clearly in the second workshop:  that the proper management of organic wastes and the proactive use of compost use are in fact “essential services” which benefit the public good.  

This important work will continue in the future; Governor Jerry Brown enunciated the spirit of the challenge recently when he announced at the American Geophysical Union meeting in December:  “California is no stranger to this fight; we’ve got the scientists, we’ve got the lawyers, we’re ready.”