TITLE: Platform Amendment – Ecological Restoration
SPONSOR: Youth Caucus
Passed in a vote by a majority of the caucus steering committee on our 12/17/17 conference call.
This proposal expands our Green solutions to also include carbon sequestration not simply reduction efforts.
Section being addressed:
IV. Ecological Sustainability
A. Climate Change
7. Carbon Sequestration Using Ecological Restoration
To stabilize the climate, limiting emissions is not enough; carbon must be removed from the atmosphere and sequestered in the ground. Ecological restoration is a valuable tool to achieve this and it will increase the quality of living for all. When forests, grasslands, and farmlands are restored, they act as carbon sinks and improve the health of the soil.
Greens support creating a federal program under the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for carbon sequestration to fund local public initiatives that:
1. Plant trees, reforest and afforest public lands
1. Revegetate grasslands with native species to prevent desertification and improve climate resilience
2. Encourage the use of regenerative agricultural techniques
3. Restore ecosystems on privately-owned lands by providing incentives to landowners
1. “Although forests alone can’t sequester all of the excess carbon added by burning fossil fuels, they can make a difference, especially if we help and encourage them. Wisely managed forests can sequester carbon and also provide a sustainable source of fuel and lumber, help clean our air and water, preserve wildlife habitat, provide recreation opportunities and preserve the beauty of trees in their natural home for generations to come.”
1. “Economic studies have demonstrated that agricultural landowners could mitigate significant quantities of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through afforestation.”
1. “Grazing management can be improved to reverse grazing practices that continually remove a very large proportion of aboveground biomass. Implementing a grazing management system that maximizes production, rather than offtake, can increase carbon inputs and sequester carbon. 2. Sowing improved species can lead to increased production through species that are better adapted to local climate, more resilient to grazing, more resistant to drought and able to enhance soil fertility (i.e. N-fixing crops). Enhancing production leads to greater carbon inputs and carbon sequestration. 3. Direct inputs of water, fertilizer or organic matter can enhance water and N balances, increasing plant productivity and carbon inputs, potentially sequestering carbon. Inputs of water, N and organic matter all tend to require energy and can each enhance fluxes of N2 O, which are likely to offset carbon sequestration gains. 4. Restoring degraded lands enhances production in areas with low productivity, increasing carbon inputs and sequestering carbon.” — page 24