Ecowatt Blog News & Media

Ecowatt Sponsors the Arabian Ocean Rowing team’s Attempt to Row the Atlantic

Ecowatt, the green investment platform building renewable energy plants and funding social impact projects, have announced that they will be partnering with the Arabian Ocean Rowing Team as a proud Gold Sponsor. The team are set to become the first UAE flagged boat to row completely unassisted and unsupported across the Atlantic Ocean and are doing so in a bid to raise critical awareness about clean energy sources and oceanic plastic pollution.

Ecowatt’s engagement will ensure crucial financial support but will also underscore their commitment as a sustainable green investment enterprise.

We’re delighted to join forces with the Arabian Ocean Rowing Team,” said Thomas Puskas, Founder and CEO of Ecowatt. “As a company with a focus on the United Arab Emirates, we were struck by the work the team is doing in the region. To partner in their landmark sporting achievement, especially in a sustainable way, is a real honour.”

The three-man team will depart on 12 December as part of the “Atlantic Campaigns Challenge”, and will consume water drawn only from the ocean (by means of desalination, powered by electricity generated only from on-board solar power.

Months of training in preparation for the big row attempt.

One of our goals in this challenge is to highlight just what is possible in a sustainable environment,” said team founder Toby Gregory. “Operating all our critical and lifesaving systems communications and navigation by solar power alone, drinking desalinated sea water, propelling ourselves by the strength of our own bodies.”

Gregory said that to have an innovative green energy company like Ecowatt partner with them in their mission was the perfect fit: “Ecowatt share our passion for the environment and are committed to a range of initiatives, including ending marine plastic pollution. Their support of our efforts has been relentless, and we can’t thank them enough for their support and to have them join us as partners speaks volumes about their company mission.”

The men on a mission from left to right: James Raley, Toby Gregory and Raimundo Tamagnini.

This is Ecowatt’s second successive sporting partnership after the company made headlines as the new training kit sponsors for FA Premier League club Southampton FC. Ecowatt’s partnership with the team is structured in a way to help them reach the top of the “sustainability league”, a league tabling the most environmentally positive clubs in the Premier League.

Part of that opportunity is to calculate the AORT’s carbon emissions for the duration of their gargantuan crossing and provide them with carbon credits to offset those emissions, especially when the team is required to mobilise the boat to the start point in the Canary Islands, and back from the race’s end point in Antigua. This carbon offsetting process is a key service of Ecowatt, and is helping them fast become the leading sustainability partner for major brands and athletes active in the fight against climate change.

The Arabian Ocean Rowing Team is made up of Toby Gregory, an Ultra Endurance Athlete; Raimundo Tamagnini, a Portuguese Ironman competitor; and James Raley, a British Army Veteran. The team will spend between 40 and 60 days in an 8 metre vessel and will work in 2 hour shifts to row the 5,000-kilometre voyage.

Ecowatt Blog News & Media

Reforestation vs Afforestation: what is the difference?

Habitat loss and deforestation are one of the most critical threats currently facing Earth’s biome. It is no secret that forests provide indispensable biodiversity to keep the planet’s ecosystems in balance, but more than that, they are crucial components in Earth’s equilibrium of chemical elements and gasses. 

We’ve covered comprehensively here on the EcoWatt blog that one tree absorbs ~21kg of carbon each year. The benefits of this absorption cannot be understated. With the amount of CO2 that mankind is dumping into Earth’s atmosphere, these carbon absorption machines are our ticket to survival. Leveraging this ticket as best as we possibly can, organisations around the world are working to ensure that there are enough mature trees to stabilise the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere. 

These organisations are working to prevent extensive deforestation as well as repopulate previous forests that once were thriving biological ecosystems. But one of the challenges with forest repopulation is determining the right balance of biodiversity. An easy method is to plant new trees of the same species just as their mature counterparts are removed for various consumption purposes, this is known as “reforestation”. But something a little more nuanced is the work of planting new forests where there were none before, this is known as “afforestation”. So let’s take a look at the difference…

Strong beautiful fog and sunbeams in the forest

The Difference Between Reforestation And Afforestation

Reforestation is a very common form of sustainable forestation. Many timber, fuel, and paper companies use this method to consume trees within a specific space and re-plant new trees in a sustainable way. Once an area and environment has been assessed and evaluated, the right species of tree is identified, and often planted at intervals that are adequate for a plantation to replenish its population within good time.

Afforestation on the other hand is primarily driven by the need of capturing carbon in the atmosphere. With such frighteningly high levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, scientists and eco friendly organisations are frantically identifying vast open spaces of land in order to plant as many trees as is humanly possible. IE. Afforestation is the planting of new trees and new forests where before there was only smaller forms of plant life.

Afforestation can come with a fair set of challenges, because in many areas identified, there are already complex ecosystems in place. These ecosystems rely on smaller, thinner grasses for instance, or open patches of land for sunlight or grazing. Planting entire forests in these areas can have a negative impact on these ecosystems, which is why thorough research is needed before new forests can be planted.

There is no doubt that large trees planted en masse are crucial tools in the fight against man-made climate change, but it is seriously irresponsible to do so at the detriment of other equally important biospheres.

Vivid colours in a water-rich forest

Ecowatt’s Forestation Work

At Ecowatt, our forestation projects are carefully researched and surveyed before going ahead, and make use of the best scientific data to ensure as little negative impact is made on local ecosystems as possible. We currently have multiple reforestation projects on the go as this blog is being written:

Uganda: Reforestation  

With the explosion of coffee culture globally, Uganda has seen horrific deforestation in key regions in order to plant coffee beans. The same can be said for banana crops as well.

Part of Ecowatt’s work in this region has been to educate families who have planted coffee or banana crops in unsustainable fashion, and now sit with very little because these crops have been severely hampered by mudslides in the rainy season. These mudslides occur because the now removed forests acted as natural binding agents for the soil.

Ecowatt is helping these families re-plant deep rooted, multi-purpose trees intercropped with the banana and coffee plantations in order to stabilise soil during the rains and also improve soil fertility, thereby increasing yields, food security and income.

We have partnered with the “Trees for the Future” organisation on a “Forest Garden Program” to train 500 families in the area to plant enriching trees and teach sustainable farming practices. The program has a goal to plant a total of one million trees, and with government support we are planning to scale this project and plant a further 100 million trees by 2025. 

Hungary: Afforestation 

We are delighted at the development of our first “Ecowatt Nature Park” in Hungary! It will be the first of its kind, with a 6000 hectare plot of land in the Eastern European Country being transformed into a thriving and diverse forest environment. 

Part of the project includes the rewilding of numerous keystone animal and plant species, because many of them have disappeared due to unsustainable construction projects in the middle of the twentieth century. Human development of dams, bridges and roads has wrought havoc on certain regions, and this first Ecowatt Nature Park will remove specific human artefacts and reintroduce flagship species along with the planting of over 100,000 biologically diverse trees to ensure a sustainable biome.

In Conclusion

Reforestation is not the only carbon capture process available in our fight against climate change. Afforestation, when done sustainably, can be a critical element as well.

Both forms of environmental fightback require different types of research and engineering, and must be approached and leveraged with wisdom and discretion. As a company committed to the longtime survival of all species on Earth, the sustainability of our work is paramount, which is why we are so dedicated to using the right methods for the right place and time.



Siberian Elm Trees: 

Rewilding in Biology:

Keystone animal species:
Ecowatt Blog News & Media

What are Green Bonds?

The need for sustainable economies has never been more apparent. With just over 6 and a half years left on the “Climate Clock”, where humans must stop the planet from warming by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, technologies and innovations are afoot to prevent catastrophe. And on a planet that is overwhelmingly complex economically, many of those innovations are indeed financially sustainable.

One of the more recent innovations that have become a huge asset to both financial institutions and even the planet itself are “green bonds”. These are financial instruments that finance significant environmental regeneration projects, all the while providing their owners (investors) a fixed income annuity. This annuity currently averages 9% per annum, which is a remarkable return considering the dire state of the global economy at the moment. Never has it been more beneficial to invest in environmentally regenerative projects.

What Are Green Bonds?

A green bond is in essence a loan packaged by a large financial institution and then allocated to a promising environmental company or project which is set to generate sustainable revenue once it is up and running. This company or project would not be able to get started without the loan, and the financial institution receives the loan paid back with good interest.

How financial institutions do this is by packaging the loan into smaller percentage allocations that are provided by their customers (this is where the capital comes from), and then the capital repayments and interest are paid back to those customers. The added bonus to these bonds is that there are substantial tax incentives for investors due to the regulatory structure of green energy financing.

Green Bond History

Technically, green bonds were first rolled out in 2001 in San Francisco in order to finance hefty solar installations. The project was so successful that the European Union took notice and quickly moved to issue similarly structured bonds in 2007. First issued by the European Investment Bank as a “Climate Awareness Bond”, the bond was linked to equity in wind, hydropower, geothermal power, and energy loss reduction projects. However, it wasn’t until 2008 when the term “green bond” truly took root, with the World Bank issuing a product named as such for solar installations in Sweden to the value of 2.3 billion Swedish Krona (US $210 billion).

Ecowatt And Green Bonds

Green bonds are exactly the type of investment product that Ecowatt plans to leverage in our own climate action. Our model involves key partnerships with leading institutions, and through these collaborations we can then procure considerable capital deployment in the form of Green Bonds to fund promising renewable energy projects around the globe. Green bonds offer investors a solid, reliable, low risk return model alongside a valuable ESG portfolio component.

Through these procurements, we have already begun the process of building renewable energy power plants including a solar power station in Hungary that will generate 36 MW. Our pipeline of projects sits with a future total capacity of +700 MW. This capacity will be generated through highly efficient solar, wind, hydrogen, and even geothermal, and the intention is to expand this output ten fold within the next 3 years.

Without economically sound and well regulated financial structures like green bonds, this kind of capacity would be difficult to fund, especially at the speed with which we are operating. Ecowatt has an extraordinary team of business analysts and finance executives who have extensive experience in green energy, and with their expertise at our disposal, we are able to execute on lucrative and sustainable green energy projects in an innovative way.


Green Bond investing:

San Francisco climate bonds plan:

EU’s Green Bonds announcement:

World Bank’s green bonds announcement:

News & Media

How can Clean Energy Impact the Bottom Line?

Clean energy is given an enormous amount of media attention these days, so much so that it’s hard to imagine that 80% of the world’s energy is still produced from the combustion of fossil fuels. And while that share is projected to drop to 56% by 2050, it’s still staggering considering we are told daily about renewable energy exploits.

News & Media

A new IPCC report says the window to meet UN climate targets is vanishing

Turns out timing is everything.There are moments when world events combine to rescue the truth of old lines from mere cliché.

The release of the latest landmark report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) this week was one of them.

If you were to distill the thousands of pages of “Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change. Working Group III Contribution to the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report” detailing our shrinking window to avert climate catastrophe into a single line , it would simply be this:

Timing is everything.

Everything, because the report delineates with clinical precision the steps to something like a livable future and exactly how much time the world has for each . (Spoiler alert: Less than we thought.)

But everything also, because at a moment when the human tragedy in Ukraine has forced a global conversation on fossil fuels and our energy future, the report is exactly what the world needs to hear right now.


The toplines of the report will not surprise anyone who’s been paying attention to the headlines on climate recently. In a nutshell, we have just three years – not decades – to reach the highest level of greenhouse gas emissions (aka “peak emissions”) planetwide before rapidly reducing fossil fuel use and reaching net-zero levels by 2050.

Three years, that is, to have any reasonable chance at holding global warming to something like 1.5 degrees Celsius, the danger line after which climate-fueled destruction threatens to go from “quite bad” to “downright Biblical” with projected human suffering growing exponentially with every fraction of a degree above 1.5.

The stakes are huge. Miss this goal and emissions keep rising, which the report estimates could lead to warming of 2.2–3.5 degrees (Celsius) by 2100.


Needless to say, peaking global emissions in just three years is a tall order. One of almost Everest-like proportions.

Despite years of promises by the international community and the historic accomplishment of the Paris Agreement, the report authors underscore that global emissions continued to grow over the last decade from 2010–2019.

Perhaps most concerningly with respect to 2025, a recent study shows that the first and third-greatest polluting nations – China and India, respectively – both rosebetween from 2019–2021. China’s current Paris Agreement commitment calls for the country to peak emissions “before 2030” but doesn’t specify a year. India, meanwhile, doesn’t plan to peak emissions before 2040 at the earliest.

(To be clear, India and China are not the sole villains in the global emissions picture, as both are working to develop and pull millions out of poverty. The US and EU, for example, are in no position to throw stones.)

The result, the report notes is that: “Without a strengthening of policies beyond those that are implemented by the end of 2020, GHG emissions are projected to rise beyond 2025, leading to a median global warming of 3.2 [2.2 to 3.5] °C by 2100.”

In short, the world is not doing enough. Not nearly.


There is an implicit note of hope here. For all the task of reaching net zero by 2050 is a huge one, we can still do it. But it’s going to take an unprecedented effort and we’re talking about making it by the proverbial skin of our 2050 teeth.

Much of the report is given to the steps we need to take quickly to accelerate just energy transition and social transformation. Some of the key takeaways here:

  • It’s going to take an all-of-society approach.
  • “All global modelled pathways that limit warming to 1.5°C (>50%) with no or limited overshoot, and those that limit warming to 2°C (>67%) involve rapid and deep and in most cases immediate GHG emission reductions in all sectors.”
  • It’s going to mean shifting from fossil fuels to clean energy sources on a massive scale.
  • “Modelled mitigation strategies to achieve these reductions include transitioning . . . to very low- or zero-carbon energy sources.”
  • Energy transition alone won’t be enough to hold warming to 1.5 degrees – we need carbon removal technology too.
  • “[D]eploying carbon dioxide removal (CDR) methods to counterbalance residual GHG emissions.”
  • Acting on climate and accelerating energy transition will make life better – and be cheaper than the alternative.
  • “The global economic benefit of limiting warming to 2°C is reported to exceed the cost of mitigation in most of the assessed literature.”
  • Wealthy nations have to step up and support developing countries at much higher levels than are currently pledged.
  • “Accelerated financial cooperation is a critical enabler of low-GHG and just transitions, and can address inequities in access to finance and the costs of, and vulnerability to, the impacts of climate change.”
  • The future of billions in developing nations depends on rapid energy transition and ambitious climate action.
  • “There is a strong link between sustainable development, vulnerability and climate risks. Limited economic, social and institutional resources often result in high vulnerability and low adaptive capacity, especially in developing countries.”
  • Perhaps most important, many of the tools we need for rapid emissions cuts – from better use of land resources to improving demand and efficiency to effective electric vehicles – are in our hands today.


There was, of course, no way for the IPCC to know it would be releasing the report at a time when the war in Ukraine is the backdrop to almost everything. And when the world is grappling with the real and wide-ranging costs of fossil fuels like perhaps never before.

But that’s exactly what’s happened. Even before Russian tanks rolled across the border, the EU was working on a new energy strategy to wean the bloc off Russian gas within the decade and – critically – accelerate the pace of clean energy transition. As European Commission President Ursula von der Leyden told policymakers at a conference on February 19, “We are doubling down on renewables. This will increase Europe’s strategic independence.”

The war has – for Europe – added new urgency to this effort, with the EU now scrambling to cut its reliance on Russian gas by more than two-thirds this year. Meanwhile, in the US, President Biden has pointed to renewables as the path to not only providing true energy security and fighting global warming, but also protecting families from painful fuel prices.

What happens next and how quickly these statements turn into concrete policies is still an open question. Both the US and EU face real but solvable challenges to get to clean energy economies, and the Drill Baby Drill contingent in Congress is seizing every opportunity to argue for more of the same dirty energy that got us here in the first place.

With the world asking how can we keep the lights on without propping up murderous petro-state dictators and protect working families from crippling energy prices, the short-term strategy seems to be a lesser-of-two-evils approach, with Europe trying to trade Russian gas for US alternatives in a global game of energy musical chairs.

Long-term, simply trading one source of the same fossil fuels that got us here for another and expecting peace and democracy to flourish and low prices to return forever sounds a lot like the popular definition of insanity (i.e. doing the same thing twice and expecting different results). Vladimir Putin being far from the only petro-state dictator with a violent turn, and 2022 being not our first oil price spike rodeo.

Let’s be clear: this is a decision point, not just on how we heat our homes in 2022, but what the world looks like in 2052. And this is why the timing of the IPCC report matters, effectively reminding world leaders that responding to what Ukraine’s top climate scientist – and previous IPCC contributor – has called “a fossil fuel war”with more pipelines, terminals, and more is just an invitation to climate disaster: “The continued installation of unabated fossil fuel infrastructure will ‘lock-in’ GHG emissions (high confidence).”

The simple truth is that we cannot drill ourselves to safety or energy security. We cannot pretend the climate bill for doing so will not come due with devastating interest. The only path forward – for our families, our democracies, and our planet has to be to accelerate the just transition to clean energy already underway across the globe.

The stakes are clear. The steps we have to take – peak emissions by 2025 and rapidly reduce fossil fuels to reach net zero by 2050 – are too. It’s now or never. The timing of our collective response is everything.


Learn how you can make a difference on climate when it matters by becoming a Climate Reality Leader. Join us for an upcoming training in Las Vegas, Nevada from June 11–13 and get the tools, know-how, and network to lead the fight for solutions.


News & Media

Fertilizers are necessary – and only as evil as we let them be

A better, more sustainable fertilizer production industry and application management regulations and training for farmers, alongside regenerative solutions, could dramatically reduce emissions from farming, while still feeding a booming world population.

Here at Climate Reality, we’ve long taken a keen interest in climate-smart agriculture and the ways farmers and gardeners can do their part to help turn the tide on climate by taking action to fight this crisis.

From edible landscaping and “lasagna gardening” to industrial-scale regenerative farming, the ways we grow food have a vital role to play in helping us end the climate crisis, and create a safe, sustainable future without carbon pollution. One where we can provide our booming world population with fresh, healthy food grown in a sustainable ecosystem.

Our focus has largely been on solutions. Things like, tips and tricks for everyday gardeners and hobby farmers to help lower their respective carbon footprints. Or overviews of larger, system-wide changes that need to be advocated for to reduce emissions from one of our biggest sources of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), the greenhouse gas (GHG) most responsible for the changes we are seeing in our climate today.

But for all of our coverage, we’ve left one big, 500-million-tons-of-CO2-sized elephant in the cornfield: synthetic fertilizers.


There are plenty of reasons to be weary of synthetic fertilizers.

Chemical runoff from haphazardly applied fertilizer can drain into streams and lakes, leading to recurrent algal blooms that kill fish and other marine life in places like Lake Erie and “dead zones” in the Gulf of Mexico. There’s also the matter of it then making its way into our groundwater and reservoirs, contaminating fresh drinking water depended on by people just like you and me.

Misapplication of fertilizers and other soil amendments can disrupt the natural relationship between microorganisms and plant roots, damaging the long-term health of both the plant and the soil (and making both reliant on further application of fertilizer).

Its production can also be incredibly dangerous, as thousands of Winston-Salem, North Carolina residents learned just a few weeks ago, when a fire at a fertilizer plant there led to an evacuation order because of the risk of an explosion.

When it comes to our climate alone, however, it’s the manufacturing of synthetic fertilizers that really gets our goat.

But we’ll get to that after a brief history lesson, courtesy of the United Nations Environment Programme:

At the start of the 20th century, German chemists Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch developed a method for taking nitrogen from the air and melding it with hydrogen. It would prove to be one of the great scientific advances of the century.

Combined, the two elements made liquid ammonia, a key ingredient in synthetic fertilizers, which would drive an unprecedented agricultural expansion and help feed a fast-growing world.

The thing about that “method” they invented? (Well, the modern iteration of it, at least.) It takes a lot of energy. Energy that comes from burning lots of coal, oil, and natural gas. Which emits a lot of CO2 into the atmosphere, causing our planet to warm faster than at any time in recorded history and our climate to change in ways that could undermine its capacity to support a large and thriving human population.

All told, ammonia production accounts for about 1.8% of global CO2 emissions.

Together with forestry and other land use, agriculture is responsible for just under 25 percent of all human-created GHG emissions. With fertilizers, we’re only talking about a small piece of that very big pie; however, it’s a piece that has an outsized impact.

“Four to six tons of carbon are typically emitted into the atmosphere per ton of nitrogen manufactured,” according to Dr. David Wolfe, professor of plant and soil ecology in the School of Integrative Plant Science at Cornell University. “Anything you can do to be more efficient and conservative about nitrogen use is one of the biggest things you can do in the garden.”


It’s tempting here to go all-in on compost, worm castings, manures, and other natural soil amendments to perk up your plants. To preach the gospel of sheet composting, a cold composting method where alternating layers of carbon and nitrogen materials are placed directly on the soil and break down over time, turning into a fantastic growing medium.

We’ve written reams on the enormous benefits of climate-smart gardening and large-scale regenerative agriculture, and even an entire e-book on the importance of soil health and its role in fighting climate change (download it for free here).

And it’s all true, of course. Every word. The future of food is kind of a big deal around our (virtual) office.

We really do need to broadly deploy regenerative practices like conservation tillage to sequester more carbon where it belongs (in the ground); help diminish erosion, runoff, and other soil damage at the same time that climate change makes each more likely; and grow healthy, resilient crops that can better withstand impacts like heavy precipitation and drought.

The food-growing status quo simply isn’t going to cut it in a world that needs to reach net-zero GHG emissions by 2050 or earlier.

But here’s the thing: We also can’t walk away from human-made, non-organic fertilizers entirely. Not really, and certainly not right now; not without harming some of the most vulnerable people and communities in the world.

“Globally, synthetic fertilizers are behind the bulk of global food production and they’re especially important in developing countries,” the UNEP writes.

Indeed, it’s estimated that fertilizer use contributes to around half of all food production around the world.

And notably, fertilizers “play a key role in reducing micronutrient deficiencies in people: the fertilizer fortification of staple food crops with micronutrients (also known as agronomic biofortification) has alleviated deficiencies in zinc, selenium, and iodine in communities around the world,” according to the International Fertilizer Association (IFA).

With the global population expected to grow from nearly 7.7 billion today to 9.7 billion in 2050, demand for food is likely to explode around 60% compared to what it was in 2005. At the same time, increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere are making some foods less nutritious.

So what do we do, knowing that synthetic fertilizer is both a major emitter of the GHGs driving global warming and a dangerous environmental pollutant – but that it is also necessary for providing food security to billions of people all around the globe?


Remember, synthetic fertilizers require a lot of energy to manufacture. We already know that. But did you know that fertilizers also produce GHGs after they’ve been applied to fields?

It’s true: On average, crops only take up about half of the nitrogen they get from fertilizers. Of what’s left, what doesn’t run off into waterways mostly gets broken down by soil microbes, releasing nitrous oxide, a potent GHG with 300 times the planet-warming capacity as CO2, into the atmosphere. So things just keep getting better and better.

(Wouldn’t it be so much cooler if plants got their nitrogen from the air, absorbing it the way they do carbon dioxide? But no, they insist on getting it through the soil, creating this whole mess. Thanks for nothing, plants.)

By now, two things should be clear –

  • We need to be applying only the necessary amount of fertilizer and not a drop more (more on that below); and
  • The fertilizer we do manufacture should be produced in as green and sustainable a way as possible.

That second one is easier said than done, but the right minds are on the case.

“Scientists and engineers are working to reduce the high temperature and pressure currently needed to manufacture ammonia. These changes would make it easier to run fertilizer plants entirely on renewable energy or other climate-friendly sources,” according to MIT. “They would also allow ammonia to be made in smaller factories, making fertilizer more accessible to farmers in developing nations.”

Some industries are harder to electrify than others because they require fuel that is high in energy density or heats to particularly high temperatures. Chemical manufacturing is one of them – but by targeting the production of hydrogen in the fertilizer creation process, manufacturers can dramatically reduce emissions.

In particular, they can employ carbon capture and storage (blue hydrogen), though this  still involves the use of natural gas and other fossil fuels. It’s a good thing they can produce zero-carbon ammonia through the use of “green hydrogen,” which captures hydrogen from water molecules using renewable sources like wind and solar to power an electrolyzer.

More generally, green hydrogen could play a critical role in the decarbonization of the global economy. It remains a fairly new and somewhat niche energy presently, but holds huge promise in electrifying high-juice industries like steel manufacturing, aviation and shipping, which is why many nations have included hydrogen roadmaps as part of their plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in their power, transportation, or industrial sectors.

(There’s a lot more to talk about when it comes to green – truly green! – hydrogen. Learn more here.)


To be clear, we’re definitely not talking about pumping the brakes on any nature-based solutions here. The many competing pressures of feeding a rapidly growing population while at the same time reining in the emissions driving widespread climate disruption and the escalating destruction that accompanies it requires a unified, all-hands-on-deck response.

That’s why we’re suggesting that they are going to have to work in concert with a better, more sustainable fertilizer production industry and regulations and training that encourage farmers to apply only the exact amount of the necessary fertilizer that each individual crop needs exactly when it needs it.

For some reason, that’s not the case today. We have policies that *checks notes* “at present encourage farmers to apply more fertilizers to their fields than they need.” Because of all the good all that extra fertilizer does when it makes it into Lake Erie, like we talked about earlier, we can only presume.

No – the correct and balanced application of soil amendments is necessary to “sustainably increasing agricultural productivity and incomes; adapting and building resilience to climate change; and reducing and/or removing greenhouse gas emissions, where possible.” But don’t take our word for it; the preceding is in quotes because it’s part of the UN Food and Agricultural Organization’s definition of climate-smart agriculture (CSA).

So how do we actually do it? The IFA has some ideas.

“The fertilizer industry promotes nutrient stewardship programmes and fertilizer best management practices (FBMPs) in order to encourage farmers to use fertilizers in an effective and efficient way,” IFA writes. “FBMPs refer to site- and crop-specific production techniques and practices developed through agronomic research, verified and continuously adapted in the fields to maximize economic, social, and environmental benefits.”

Site- and crop-specific nutrient management has proven an efficient way to reduce emissions associated with the use of nitrogen fertilizers while still getting crops the nutrients they need to succeed. It deploys four principles – source (what), rate (how much), time (when), and place (where) – to determine minimal necessary input to optimize plant uptake and eventual crop output.

At the end of the day, what we’re really talking about here is producing as little fertilizer as possible and using only what is truly necessary very deliberately to maximize plant resilience and carbon sequestration while minimizing nutrient losses to the environment and polluting run off.

So while we may need some synthetic fertilizers to facilitate agriculture, particularly in the developing world, at a time when about 50% of nitrogen applied to crops is lost to the environment, we also need to be producing much less of it and using it much, much more efficiently.


Reducing GHG emissions from the whole of the agriculture sector, including from fertilizer production and application, while ensuring global food security is essential to ending the climate crisis.

Period. Point blank. With a bow on top.

It’s a critical challenge. But you don’t have to manage a thousand acres to do something real about it.

You don’t even have to leave your own backyard to get started.

First, be the change you want to see and do your part:

  • Spring Into Action: 6 Tips For Climate-Smart Gardening
  • What to Plant In A Warming World
  • Take Climate Action By Transforming Your Lawn With Edible Landscaping
  • ‘Lasagna Gardening’: Grow Healthy Veggies While Taking Climate Action

And if you do need to pick up some synthetic fertilizer, keep in mind what you’ve just read. Only purchase what you need (source), apply it exactly as directed (rate) at the correct time for fertilization for that specific plant (time), and be sure to apply it directly near the plant roots (place).

Plus, many soil amendment manufacturers are every bit as worried about the future of our climate as you are – and that’s why they’re already using renewable resources like solar, wind, and recycled food waste in their production processes.

So be on the lookout for stamps, stickers, or direct branding on products that indicate the manufacturer is using sustainable methods in their production.

And when your neighbors, colleagues, or family members ask what you’re up to, tell them you are taking action for the planet. Sometimes, the most powerful climate action you can take is simply talking about the crisis and the ways we can fight it and win together.

Sign up below to join Climate Reality’s email list and we’ll keep you posted on the latest developments in climate policy and how you can help solve the climate crisis.


News & Media

Climate Denial: Why it happens and what to do about it

Carbon pollution from burning fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas is warming our planet and driving climate change. It’s throwing natural systems out of balance – to often devastating effect.

These are fairly basic facts. The reality of the human-caused climate crisis is settled science.

But you don’t even need to be a climatologist to know that something is up. From increasingly extreme weather events to record-breaking heat, the evidence of how our climate is changing is right in front of us – all you have to do is look out the window.

Yet, some people still won’t see these signs for what they are.

There are numerous reasons why this is the case. Because climate denial in many cases doesn’t start with what people do or do not believe about the science, per se – but what they believe about themselves and who they are.

We know it can be difficult to hear climate denial and not simply roll your eyes and disregard the individual entirely as too far gone, perhaps even “brainwashed,” so to speak, by years of living in an information or filter bubble, “an environment and especially an online environment in which people are exposed only to opinions and information that conform to their existing beliefs,” according to Miriam Webster.

But that’s exactly the wrong thing to do. Because when it’s coming from someone close to you, your relationship means you can play a key role in opening their mind.

It can be tough to get someone to move past the talking points they’ve heard time and time again. And it doesn’t help that well-funded opposition is poisoning the well with misinformation and outright lies. But the climate crisis is too urgent a problem to let even one person off the hook.

If we are going to win this thing, we’re going to do it together.

Besides, no one is ever too far gone.


Denial is based on one very specific desire – for something to not be true.

“If you’re in denial, you’re trying to protect yourself by refusing to accept the truth about something that’s happening in your life,” the Mayo Clinic writes. “Denial is a coping mechanism that gives you time to adjust to distressing situations — but staying in denial can interfere with treatment or your ability to tackle challenges.”


In the short-term, denial can be a good thing, offering us a period of time to adjust to a difficult or stressful circumstance or learn new information. But when denial progresses, like a tumor, it can become malignant, inspiring people to seek out misleading information that refutes broadly held consensus and supports what they already believe they know.


With denialism pervasive in any number of spaces, it’s valuable to know that, in general, a person’s political, religious, or ethnic identity has been found to impact their willingness to accept an expert’s take on a given issue.

So what happens when scientific consensus conflicts with someone’s established ideological worldview? They don’t want to believe it – and often seek out information to disprove it. And the Internet being the Internet, they often find exactly what they are looking for.

Social scientists have even given the process of deciding what evidence to accept based on the conclusion one prefers a name: “motivated reasoning.”

When people come to a conclusion based not just by examining facts but also driven by an unconscious bias, their view of what’s “true” may be skewed – but it doesn’t make it any less true to them.

>> Click here to learn more about two psychological concepts that help explain why people ignore the science behind the climate crisis. <<


Remember, more than 99% of publishing, peer-reviewed climate scientists agree that our climate is changing, and they know those changes are the result of our burning of fossil fuels for energy.

With that in mind, it’s hard to not believe that those in denial really do know the truth at some level. But what if that fact about overwhelming scientific consensus never reached your ears?

“My fear is that we now live in this hyper-partisan media atmosphere, where people are increasingly sort of syphoned off in silos and they get their information from media outlets that simply reinforce their preconceptions and biases,” Dr. Michael Mann, distinguished professor of atmospheric science at Penn State University and the inspiration for Leonardo DiCaprio’s character in “Don’t Look Up,” the polarizing-if-enormously popular (Ed. note: We loved it.) film about, well, climate denial, told Climate Reality in 2017.

“We have to get past this fake debate about whether the problem exists because that is an unworthy debate, and anyone who adheres to the notion that climate change is a hoax or that it isn’t caused by us or even that it’s not creating problems already is on the wrong side of science and the wrong side of history,” he continued.

But they didn’t get there on their own. A sprawling network of talking heads, “think tanks,” and front groups telling everyone who will listen that they have nothing to worry about helped them along

>> Be Part of the Solution: Four Lessons Psychology Teaches Us About Inspiring Climate Action <<

It’s not easy to shape public opinion when the facts are against you. So, the fossil fuel industry simply began attacking the facts, creating an alternate universe where decades of rising CO2 and rising temperatures had nothing to do with each other and scientists who claimed otherwise were alarmists or had ulterior motives – and were not to be trusted.

As the Washington Post explains, “in the 1990s, oil companies, fossil fuel industry trade groups and their respective PR firms began positioning contrarian scientists such as Willie Soon, William Happer and David Legates as experts whose opinions on climate change should be considered equal and opposite to that of climate scientists.”

Thus, in denial, people find a world where nothing can be taken for granted as true. If “they” – the grand “they” – can’t be trusted and you are being constantly lied to, or at the very least people really aren’t 100% sure about the problem, perhaps there is nothing to acknowledge at all.

“This picture is a bit grim, because it suggests that facts alone have limited power to resolve politicized issues like climate change or immigration policy,” the Conversation writes. “But properly understanding the phenomenon of denial is surely a crucial first step to addressing it.”



Climate change is already happening. How much the climate warms in the future is up to us. All of us.

Together, we can build pressure on federal officials to take bold climate action, join forces with fellow environmental advocates to work in coalition and win, and make sure all of our voices are heard in demanding a cleaner, greener future.

It Starts with a Conversation

When you talk, your friends and family listen – even (sometimes especially) when they disagree with you. That’s why talking about the facts of the climate crisis is one of the best ways to take climate action.

Whether it’s at the grocery store, after church, or over lemonade at a family picnic, talking about the reality of the climate crisis is your chance to change minds and ensure the people you care about hear the truth.

Give Them The Facts

Climate change can be an incredibly complex, multi-faceted topic. But the basic truths of the crisis – that the science overwhelmingly demonstrates that modern global warming is a man-made phenomenon, for example — are readily accessible to everyone.

So while an advanced science degree isn’t required to share the fundamentals of how climate change works, a commitment to objective facts is.

We mean, the reason we are here is because discussions of climate, even among otherwise rational people, can sometimes become clouded with misinformation, making it more important than ever to first consult evidence-based science.

Climate Reality has created a number of free, easy-to-read informational pieces about the science of climate change and its impacts. Use them to reacquaint yourself with the facts and to brainstorm points of entry for your discussions. The more you know, the better:

  • Extreme Weather and the Climate Crisis: What You Need to Know
  • Beginning the Climate Conversation: A Family’s Guide
  • Climate 101: Weather vs. Climate (fact sheet)
  • The Climate Crisis and Your Health: What You Need to Know

Hope is Key

Denial usually comes from a place of sadness. People turn to it as a last resort. And it can seemingly change the very reality they inhabit.

Plus, it’s easy to despair when it comes to the climate crisis. Trust us – we know. It’s only natural that people would bend over backwards to look the other way.

But accepting the truth of the climate crisis doesn’t mean embracing a future that’s some sort of desert-like dystopia. Because what actually lies head is the opportunity to build a more just and equitable way of life for all of us.

But it won’t happen on its own.

The transition to a just, inclusive, and climate-sustainable economy will create millions of well-paying and safe jobs while improving public health outcomes for all – starting with those most immediately in need of them. It will slow a crisis that is already changing the planet as we know it.

It will give us every reason to celebrate a better tomorrow.

A tomorrow where there will be no reason to hide from the crisis behind denial – because success in the future will depend on how well we stand up to it today.

Join us and tell the full truth about what’s happening to the planet — so we can stop the fake debates and start working on real solutions.