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New Initiative Aims to Mobilize the Restaurant Industry to Fight Climate Change
By Lindsay Campbell
The San Francisco chef has a new project in the works. In January, Myint hopes to formally launch Restore California, a joint initiative with the State of California that will enlist the golden state's restaurant industry to support climate-beneficial farming practices.
"If you can imagine a scientist at Exxon discovering a fuel additive that made it so burning gas had no emissions and in fact it subbed emissions out of the atmosphere to make more gas, that would be an amazing discovery," Myint says. "In some ways, it feels like food and farming are actually offering that same opportunity to actually solve and reverse the problem and almost nobody is aware of it or taking advantage of that opportunity."
Participating restaurants will add an optional one-percent surcharge to customer's bills. Customers will be able to choose whether to pay the surcharge, and these funds will go directly to Californian farmers implementing practices that will sequester carbon.
Myint says there are better ways to farm, but he believes the current food system rewards conventional practices.
So far, he's had 33 restaurants join the initiative. But he says he's aiming to get one percent of California's restaurants to sign up for the surcharge in its first year. He estimates this would generate about $10 million a year to help farmers sequester carbon.
Restore California will offer a funding boost to the state's Healthy Soil Program, which already pays farmers to implement practices that improve soil health, sequester carbon and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Myint says that the program hasn't yet received sufficient funding to make an impact.
He's hopeful that if his initiative takes off, it will certainly benefit state efforts.
An interesting idea: A new initiative asks restaurants that opt into the program to add a 1% surcharge (a voluntary fee) to each bill. The money will go to a state fund supporting sustainable agricultural practices that reduce #GHGemissions. https://t.co/RJOLcak65x— Center 4 Food Safety (@CFSTrueFood) April 30, 2019
Reposted with permission from our media associate Modern Farmer.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Elliott Negin
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences' recent decision to award the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry to scientists who developed rechargeable lithium-ion batteries reminded the world just how transformative they have been. Without them, we wouldn't have smartphones or electric cars. But it's their potential to store electricity generated by the sun and the wind at their peak that promises to be even more revolutionary, reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and protecting the planet from the worst consequences of climate change.
The global population of the critically endangered Javan rhinoceros has increased to 72 after four new calves were spotted in the past several months.
Are tigers extinct in Laos?
That's the conclusion of a detailed new study that found no evidence wild tigers still exist in the country.
Methane emissions are a far more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide – about 28 times more powerful. And they have been rising steadily since 2007. Now, a new study has pinpointed the African tropics as a hot spot responsible for one-third of the global methane surge, as Newsweek reported.