The Forest Carbon Partnership, plus Palestine’s first solar park. Portland Public Schools’ new climate crisis response policy, and passive home design creates climate solutions.
The Forest Carbon Partnership, Palestine’s Ever Solar Park, Portland Public Schools’ New Climate Crisis Response Policy, Passive Home Design Climate Solutions
THE FOREST CARBON PARTNERSHIP
The Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) is a funding organization that currently partners with 47 developing countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. Launched in 2008, the FCPF works between governments, businesses, civil society, and Indigenous Peoples for one purpose: To protect forest carbon stock to help fight climate change.
FCPF focuses on forest carbon stock conservation, the sustainable management of forests and the enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries (activities commonly referred to as REDD+). REDD+ stands for Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation.
Forest carbon stock is defined as the amount of carbon that has been sequestered, or taken out, of the atmosphere and stored within the forest ecosystems. Carbon stock can be stored in trees, as living biomass, soil, or even in deadwood.
FCPF has two main funds to support its work:
- The FCPF Readiness Fund
- The FCPF Readiness Fund helps a partnering country at the initial REDD+ design stage.
- The FCPF Carbon Fund
- The FCPF Carbon Fund is at the implementation stage and delivers results-based payments to countries that have achieved verifiable emissions reductions in their forests and broader land-use sectors.
Why does the FCPF matter to us? Recent research shows that nature-based solutions, including forests, can provide up to 37% of the needed mitigation to meet international climate targets.
In 2021, Mozambique became the first country to receive a payment of $6.4 million from the World Bank’s FCPF for verified 1.3 million emissions reductions, also called carbon credits.
CLIMATE CHANGE SOLUTION, THE PASSIVE HOME BUILD DESIGN
Jesper Kruse, founder of home construction company Maine Passive House, is seeing a distinct rise in demand for climate change adaptation solutions. The passive home design is one such solution. Although he’s been working with this design for a few decades now, the uptick in interest is due to the design’s resilience to extreme weather brought on by climate change.
The key element that makes this design an effective tool against climate change is that the homes are built air-tight and with highly efficient air-source heat pumps. These eliminate the need for fossil fuel burning furnaces. Low energy heat pumps exchange inside with outside air to keep the home cool in summer and warm in winter. Passive home design reduces energy consumption for heating and cooling by as much as 75%.
Kruse uses a software program to design and model the homes’ energy consumption. He says of the process, “It gets nerdy pretty quick.” Some of the factors used in the software design and model phase are the location of the building, impact of insulation and types of windows and doors.
While passive houses have been most popular in cold regions like the Northeast, climate change is sparking interest in the West as residents face increasingly intense and frequent heat waves and wildfires. Why does the passive home building design matter to us? The passive home design is for all. Kruse says, “We have clients who want to save the world. But there are also people out there who just want a well-built and resilient home.”
PORTLAND PUBLIC SCHOOLS ADOPTS CLIMATE CRISIS RESPONSE POLICY
Last month, the Portland Public School board adopted a climate crisis response policy. The policy aims to cut its greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030. The climate policy is wide-ranging, from looking at what students learn to where the students learn it. Some of the policy points include::
- Integrating climate and sustainability education into district-wide student curriculum
- Phasing out fuel-driven equipment on all properties by 2050
- Constructing new buildings to be net zero ready
- Establishing more systems for recycling and reducing waste throughout the PPS board district
- Establishing a Climate Crisis Response Committee composed of a majority of members who identify as people of color and two members who are current PPS students.
Why does PPS climate policy matter to us? It offers both inspiration and a template for other school boards to adopt in their communities. Former school board member Michael Rosen said it best, “We are shaping future generations of children to be better citizens and they get it.”
PALESTINE’S FIRST EVER SOLAR POWER STATION
In the wilderness of Nuwimeh, Jericho, stands the largest solar park constructed in Palestine to-date. The Noor (light) Jericho Photovoltaic (PV) Solar Park project launched in 2019. At 7.5 MW, it’s the first part of a planned 200 MW portfolio.
Along with a few ground mount installations, the Palestinian authorities set out to achieve substantial parts of the portfolio by tapping public rooftops. The authorities have already secured rooftop spaces at 500 schools for the installation of 35 MW of capacity.
Massader, the arm of the Palestinian Investment Fund (PIF) for Development of Natural Resources and Infrastructure Projects funded the building of the park. According to Mohammad Mustafa, PIF Chairman of the Board, “the power generated from the solar parks is going to reduce Palestinian dependence on Israeli power, which provides Palestine with 98% of its power needs.
The solar park will be able to give the Palestinian community about 17% of its power needs. The project will ultimately include three solar parks in total, Noor Jericho, Noor Tubas, Noor Jenin, as well as thousands of solar panels on rooftops of 500 public schools throughout Palestine.
Why does the Noor (light) Jericho Photovoltaic (PV) Solar Park matter to us? The Palestinian Investment Fund‘s solar rooftop program won the tenth United Nations Global Climate Action Award in 2021 under the category of “Financing for Climate-Friendly investments.”