Tropical forests are under siege, and so are the indigenous peoples who inhabit and protect them. EDF helped local partners win a historic victory for indigenous rights in Brazil’s highest court. The court held the federal government responsible for removing illegal loggers and miners who have invaded 75,000 square miles of indigenous territories, spreading the coronavirus. The fight to end the deforestation of the Amazon continues.
Protecting rainforests and their peoples
Growing climate solutions in India
EDF and partners in India, the world’s fourth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, are designing, testing and expanding low-carbon development solutions to help India’s 800 million rural residents. These include clean biogas cookstoves and a digital platform, including a cell phone app, that helps farmers boost their yields and profits and provides climate-smart farming advice. Now we are advising Bihar, a state of 100 million people, on a climate action plan for agriculture that reduces pollution and helps farmers prosper.
Putting climate back on the agenda
EDF played a major role in developing bipartisan bills on issues like declining limits on greenhouse gases, sustainable agriculture and clean energy innovation. We were a lead partner in legislation that provides a framework for farmers to contribute to, and benefit from, comprehensive climate solutions. In addition, the Moving Forward Act that passed the U.S. House incorporates 18 of our policy recommendations. It is a blueprint for progress. To ensure broad-based support for a clean energy future, EDF stepped up engagement with diverse groups such as Poder Latinx, Mi Familia Vota and BlueGreen Alliance.
Protecting children’s health
“We demand ‘Justice in Every Breath’ of every policy impacting the health and well-being of children,” Heather Toney said in testimony before members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Toney is senior director for EDF affiliate Moms Clean Air Force, a community of more than 1 million parents across the nation fighting for clean air and climate safety.
Beauty cleans up
We all deserve to live in a world free of harmful chemicals — and that applies to the products we put on our bodies. Together with leading beauty retailer Sephora and partners, EDF is working with companies to identify and introduce safer ingredients. Thanks to Sephora’s chemicals policy, 94% of products the company sells are now free from the chemicals of greatest concern.
Challenging business to slash emissions
Worldwide, more than 1,500 companies with over $11 trillion in revenue have committed to a net zero future. We’re working with companies and investors to turn goals into action. Together with Microsoft, EDF convened a group of companies including Nike and Unilever that are building a road map for slashing emissions. We’re also a founding member of the CEO Climate Dialogue, a group of leading companies and environmental groups committed to advancing federal climate policy.
Young leaders driving change
Fiona Li spent her summer break helping Colgate-Palmolive slash energy use across its operations in 30 countries. To date, more than 1,100 EDF-trained Climate Corps fellows like Li have worked with over 500 organizations to build a more sustainable future. Today, 80% of our alumni work on energy or sustainability at companies like Con Edison, McDonald’s and Tesla.
Resilient land, resilient people
Even as some areas of the country suffer from recurring drought, others are battered by too much water. Rising seas and more intense storms threaten over 20 million U.S. homes and businesses with flooding. Wetlands and floodplains are a critical line of defense. In North Carolina, EDF helped secure bipartisan legislation that unlocks millions of dollars to restore such natural defenses. This success builds off our work in Louisiana and serves as a model for other vulnerable states. We also work with agricultural partners representing 300,000 farmers, to promote farming practices that protect communities from floods.
Farming for pollinators
In California, our innovative work to help pollinators and their vanishing habitat is winning converts. EDF enlisted pecan farmers to plant native cover crops around their orchards, providing food for monarch butterflies and other imperiled pollinators. Now farmers are expanding the project, which reduces the need for spraying and improves soil health.
Healing the waters of the Caribbean
This year, Cuba and Belize, two countries where EDF scientists have worked for many years, put national fisheries laws into effect. Belize expanded protections for imperiled marine areas, while establishing national fishing rights for small-scale fishing communities. Cuba enacted its first national fisheries law, calling for science-based fishing measures that will benefit many of the Caribbean’s most important coral reef systems.
A vast tract of U.S. ocean habitat is protected
More than 135,000 square miles of critical deep-sea habitat off the West Coast have been protected, thanks to a historic plan brokered by EDF, fishers and others. Simultaneously, around 2,000 square miles reopened to fishing, after new management strategies we helped develop allowed species to rebound. “This agreement shows we can improve habitat protection while creating opportunities for fishermen,” says fisherman Paul Kujala. “It’s a model for other fisheries globally.”