This article, by The Regenerative Agriculture Initiative (RAI) team at the Yale Center for Business and the Environment (CBEY), is the first in a series on key opportunities to accelerate regenerative agriculture in the United States. Ordinary agricultural production aggravates greenhouse gas emissions as well as soil health, water quality, and biodiversity. At today’s rate of soil degradation, some scientists predict the world’s topsoil could be destroyed within 60 years. Regenerative agriculture can reverse that. The Regenerative Agriculture Initiative (RAI) conducted a landscape analysis of ongoing efforts to accelerate regenerative markets in the United States.
Given the short history and dynamic state of the green bond market, wide variation exists in external review processes — based on regions, frameworks and evaluation parameters. Green bonds can fund energy, transportation, buildings or natural capital such as conservation. Work so far on certification shows how investors can keep building confidence and volume in this form of financing.
Mayor Byron W. Brown announced during his 14th State of the City address that Buffalo will launch the largest environmental impact bond in the country at $30 million. The funds from this investment will allow the City of Buffalo and Buffalo Sewer Authority to capitalize on the Rain Check Buffalo program.
The investment will focus on driving innovation, advancing clean air travel technologies, accelerating reductions in waste and emissions, and establishing new offsetting and natural carbon sequestration projects, the company said.
The new program will offer farmers wheat and oat contracts to deliver grain to Smithfield’s Allerton and Davis City elevators in south-central Iowa, along with a cost-share rate of $25 per acre through Practical Farmers of Iowa to establish a cover crop after oat or wheat harvest.
Private equity firm Ecosystem Investment Partners has been helping investors profit off of ecological restoration and conservation projects since 2007. EIP has raised nearly $1 billion from investors through three institutional funds, including $454.5 million for its latest fund, Ecosystem Investment Partners IV.
Mainstream green finance initiatives conceptualize environmental funding gaps as examples of market failures. Nature- and climate-related risks are perceived as underpriced in financial markets, resulting in negative externalities borne by society and the natural world.