Author Archives: Michael Jenkins

Michael Jenkins is the founding President and CEO of Forest Trends which works for conserve forests and other ecosystems through the creation and wide adoption of a broad range of environmental finance, markets, and other payment and incentive mechanisms.

Exiting the Paris Agreement Doesn’t Make America Great

Yesterday’s decision by the US administration to exit the Paris Climate Agreement will not make America or the world great. It is a decision that ignores basic science and turns its back to the global efforts to fight climate change. The Paris Agreement, by design, provides flexibility that the US could have used, if it had concerns about specific aspects of the agreement, such as lowering the costs by allowing the use of market mechanisms like cap-and-trade.

The US exit …

By Pulling out of Paris Agreement, Donald Trump Offers U.S. Farmers a Bad Deal

U.S. President Donald Trump seems ready to punish his own supporters once again – this time by pulling the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement, depriving U.S. farmers and private forest owners of billions of dollars in income.

To understand that figure, first try to remember your high school biology: specifically, the part about how plants inhale carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen, storing the carbon in their trunks and roots. Because of this capacity, healthy forests, farms, and …

Green Infrastructure Key to Solving 21st Century Water Crises

Cities and communities all over the world are facing severe water crises. Sub-Saharan Africa is experiencing its worst drought in decades; and while California is finally seeing its parched reservoirs being refilled, the intensity and fierceness of the storms bringing this relief also harbor new dangers, triggering mudslides, flooding, blizzards, and avalanches – thereby putting lives at risk. Intense and erratic weather patterns such as these put much of our natural infrastructure at risk, and, among other things, make access …

A Path for Forests and the Planet

On November 19, the 22nd Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 22) ended in Marrakesh. It was at COP 21, just last December, in Paris that 195 countries came together to adopt the historic agreement to mobilize global action against climate change. Many called it the most important treaty ever. Working at the front lines, Forest Trends fought to ensure that forests were at the center of the Paris Agreement, and …

Peru Approves New Innovative Environmental Policies

In the last week we have seen the announcement of several important steps forward for the people of Peru and the critical ecosystems that sustain their livelihoods and cultures. The Peruvian government has formally released: 1) the regulation of its groundbreaking national payments for ecosystem services law; 2) a separate regulation of the Sanitation Sector Reform Law that creates a process for water utilities to utilize payments for ecosystem services to secure their water supply through watershed conservation; 3) a …

Can Farms, Forests, and Grasslands Help U.S. Fight Climate Change?

Last December, when the gavel came down in Paris to seal the global climate change agreement, hundreds on hand to see the historic moment thrust their arms into the air in a moment of jubilation. At the same time, back here in the U.S. climate policy experts may have been throwing their arms up in exasperation as they watched domestic climate policies increasingly jeopardized.

A new report by Forest Trends and the Nicholas Institute at Duke University, “Building Carbon