Sustainability Reads: March 7- March 20

U.S.-Canada Joint Statement on Climate, Energy, and Artic Leadership
President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have teamed up on a new initiative to meet the two countries’ climate goals laid out in the “Paris Agreement” reached at COP21 in December 2015. The new initiative commits to reducing methane by 40%-45% below 2012 levels by 2025, and defines a number of strategies to meet that goal. It also affirms a commitment to reducing use and emissions of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), and to aligning fuel efficiency standards and other programs to support greenhouse gas emission reductions. We are happy to see this alignment as well as the focus on methane, which is released mainly from the oil and gas sector and has 25 times more global warming potential than CO2.

Another part of oil and gas extraction is water use and pollution. Here is a short video that illustrates the environmental and social damage particularly for low-income communities from natural gas fracking. This video captures what is currently going on in the drought-stricken Central Valley of California, which provides a fourth of the country’s food.

World’s Largest Mangrove Forest In Danger As Huge Coal Plant Comes To Bangladesh
Mangroves are tropical trees that support biodiversity and keep coastal areas from eroding. The Sundarbans, located in Bangladesh, is the world’s largest mangrove forest. The forest, which is a World Heritage site and home to more than 300 species of plants, 200 species of fish, 315 species of birds, and 49 species of mammals, is now under threat due to two coal power plants planned for construction only eight miles away. Protests took place last week in the country calling for the government to halt permits until a full, independent environmental impact assessment can be completed. Some of the likely effects from the coal power plants will be direct clearing of the forest and water pollution from leaks, dredging, and dumping. By Katie Valentine on Climate Progress

10 Brands Doing Sustainable Cotton Right
Bangladesh is also the third’s largest cotton producer so they could see the environmental and social benefits of sustainable cotton. What does sustainable cotton mean? According to the Better Cotton Initiative, it’s cotton produced by farmers who minimise the harmful impact of pesticides and insecticides, use water efficiently, care for the health of the soil, conserve natural habitats, care for and preserve the quality of the fibre, and promote equal opportunities for men and women. These ten companies get the thumbs up when it comes to working towards sustainable cotton, but take a look at the article to learn more about what each company is doing. By Mary Mazzoni on Grist.

  1. C&A
  2. Adidas
  3. Patagonia
  4. H&M
  5. Levi Strauss
  6. VF Corp (parent company of North Face, Nautica, and Timberland)
  7. Indigenous
  8. PrAna
  9. Synergy
  10. IDH

Happy First Day of Spring from the Sustainability Co-Op!

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