N4C Weekly Brief: Nov 15-21
Briefing Room 23.11.23
Finance partnership to offer forest nations cash for emissions reductions agreements, eyes two deals pre-COP28
Carbon Pulse, 16 November
Carbon Pulse covers a financing mechanism that will offer funding to forest-rich countries that sign Emissions Reduction Purchase Agreements (ERPAs) with the LEAF coalition. The initiative was launched last Thursday, supported by the UK government. The mechanism, designed by non-profit Emergent with support from the Environmental Defense Fund, will run as a trial financing model aiming to close funding gaps faced by forest-rich countries when implementing jurisdictional REDD+ programs. It will help forest-rich countries develop the required capacity to sign ERPAs and issue carbon credits.
MarketWatch carries an opinion piece from Eron Bloomgarden, founder and CEO of Emergent, arguing that pessimism towards carbon markets drives away the companies that need them most. The voluntary carbon market is one of the most powerful and large-scale sources of financing to reverse loss of ecosystems such as tropical forests. However, the criticism of companies that are taking action is pushing others away. While not all carbon credits are equal, he argues the Jurisdictional REDD+ approach has the potential to help restore confidence in the voluntary carbon market and encourage more companies to take action by investing in high-integrity credits. Fortune shares an opinion piece by Gabriel Labbate on the importance of nature, including nature-based carbon markets, in the transition to net zero economies. The article argues that we need the energy, transportation, and construction sectors to increase decarbonization efforts, while simultaneously increasing funding and incentives for ecosystem conservation and restoration. “Nature-based solutions can fill the gap that other sectors won’t,” Bloomgarden explains.
An Unravelling of the Threads of Deforestation
ESG Investor, Vibeka Mair, 15 November
ESG Investor reports the challenges of deciphering supply chain links to deforested land. These links are difficult to uncover, and some say governments need to unlock key economic data to move the needle. The risk to investors from deforestation is vast, with global disclosure platform CDP last year finding forest-related risk associated with company supply chains could cost over US$79.2 billion across 211 companies. The majority of these companies do not have sufficient traceability or monitoring systems throughout their supply chains to implement commitments made or assess progress against them.
Earth Needs an Amazon Bioeconomy
Project Syndicate, Robert Muggah, Tatian Schor, & Ilonza Szabó, 14 November
Project Syndicate covers the newly developing bioeconomy of the Amazon Basin, which aims to address deforestation by pairing significant emissions reductions with viable productive alternatives to clearing the land. By some estimates, fully implementing a bioeconomy approach would enable Brazil to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 550 million tons and generate $284 billion per year by 2050. However, the institutional scaffolding of the Amazon bioeconomy is only just being erected. Scaling it up will require sustained, high-quality research and development, widely available infrastructure and capital, and new, resilient supply chains.
EU criminalises environmental damage ‘comparable to ecocide’
The Guardian, Isabella Kaminski, 17 November
The Guardian reports on the European Union’s decision to criminalize wide-scale environmental damage “comparable to ecocide.” Ecocide encompasses actions that cause widespread, substantial and irreversible or long-lasting damage to large or important ecosystems, habitats or the quality of air, soil or water. Lawmakers agreed an update to the bloc’s environmental crime directive punishing the most serious cases of ecosystem destruction, including habitat loss and illegal logging, with tougher penalties. The environmental crime directive will be formally passed in the spring, and member states will then have two years to put it into national law.
How America Is Making Tree Equity a Climate Solution for Cities
TIME, Jad Daley, 17 November
In an article for TIME, Jad Daley covers approaches to the challenge of protecting communities from extreme heat, which is the leading cause of death from extreme weather in the United States. Heat resilient homes and air conditioning must be part of the solution, but they cannot be widely and equitably deployed. Instead, trees are a complementary form of cooling that don’t increase greenhouse gas emissions. A tree can cool the area underneath it by as much as 45 degrees Fahrenheit, and studies have found trees can reduce cooling load in a home by more than 50 percent when placed in the right locations. The Biden administration included $1.5 billion for urban trees in the Inflation Reduction Act, delivered through the U.S. Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry Program.
SPOTLIGHT – Nature Positive Pavilion @COP28
Nature4Climate, along with Global Commons Alliance and High-Level Climate Champions, are convening the Nature Positive Pavilion in the Blue Zone at COP28. The Nature Positive Pavilion brings together over 80 organizations in the nature-positive movement in support of the robust and rapid implementation of the Global Biodiversity Framework.
Natural ecosystems are embedded into every aspect of our lives, but the crucial role that natural ecosystems play in helping regulate our climate is still not prioritized. Enter Nature4Climate’s naturebase: a new free data platform that turns peer-reviewed science into actionable information. The platform, available on a beta version from November 27, integrates an array of data and information acquired through various technologies, including satellite data analysis and land system modelling, as well as machine learning.
FOR YOUR INFORMATION
Mighty Earth highlights the challenges in Côte d’Ivoire’s cashew industry and provides recommendations for creating a sustainable future for cashew production.
UNEP shares a new database that matches nature- and biodiversity-related projects with public and private funders, facilitating an effective allocation of financial resources for biodiversity conservation and restoration.
The Nature Conservancy explains how one key provision in the EU’s new deforestation law could be the first step to revolutionize global agriculture practices away from deforestation.
ACR shares 10 reasons why the world needs carbon markets to meet Paris Agreement goals.
FAIRR calls for sign-ons to its Seafood Traceability initiative, which aims to drive the development and robust implementation of full-chain traceability systems by seafood companies as a means of identifying and addressing key biodiversity, labor, and transition risks in global seafood supply chains.
Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change publishes guidance to help investors identify, classify and measure allocation to climate solutions.
MSCI’s Net-Zero Tracker shares a report finding a deceleration in the decarbonisation efforts of global listed companies, suggesting that while countries are gearing up to accelerate their efforts, the corporate sector is projected to fall short in achieving the 1.5°C pathway.
Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership releases a policy brief outlining how the private sector can scale up finance for climate and nature-focused action.
US Global Change Research Program shares the Fifth National Climate Assessment, analyzing the impacts of climate and global change in the United States.
Clean Cooking Alliance announces a partnership with the Government of Nepal selling affordable electric cookstoves to 5,000 Nepalese households to help achieve the country’s commitment to universal access to clean cooking by 2030.
IUCN shares the conclusions of a report on the Tharparker region of Pakistan, indicating the need for implementation of a community-based conservation program for the threatened animal and plant species.
IUCN announces a partnership with SeaTheFuture to advance ocean conservation and boost funding.
WWF launches its Oceans Futures platform, a first-of-its-kind initiative that uses global climate and fisheries models to highlight 20 regions of the world that will likely see greater conflict, food insecurity, or geopolitical tensions over ocean resources by 2030.
UNEP releases its latest Emissions Gap Report, finding that current pledges under the Paris Agreement put the world on track for a 2.5-2.9°C temperature rise above pre-industrial levels this century, pointing to the urgent need for increased climate action.
Woodwell Climate Research Center announces that one of its scientists, Dr. Taniya Roy Chowdhury, has been awarded the inaugural Christiana Figueres Prize for microbiology, an award which recognizes scientists using microbiology to make a significant contribution to our understanding of terrestrial life and the preservation of our global ecosystem.
WBCSD shares a new framework designed to guide organizations in transitioning from short-term to long-term decision-making to reduce supply chain emissions and build resilience.
N4C is compiling an index of NBS case studies, together with an interactive map, to highlight action on the ground. Each week, we will be choosing a case study to present, to help give concrete examples of work being done to bring NBS theory into practice.
Managing Watersheds for Enhanced Resilience in Nepal
WHERE: MARIN, NEPAL
TYPE OF NCS SOLUTION: MANAGE
This World Wildlife Fund project aims to enhance climate resilience of Indigenous people and local communities in the Marin watershed through nature-based solutions and livelihood diversification. The project is working to reduce vulnerability, increase adaptability, and improve the transfer and expansion of locally appropriate nature-based solutions.
NUMBER OF THE WEEK – $1 trillion
Annual climate finance flows across the globe surpassed the $1 trillion mark in 2021, according to new research from the Climate Policy Initiative (CPI). The average annual flows in 2021 and 2022 hit $1.3 trillion, double the level of 2019 and 2020.
A new study published in Science Advances suggests that the Earth’s plants could absorb more atmospheric CO2 caused by human activities than previously thought. Researchers suggest that nature-based solutions to climate change, such as reforestation and afforestation, could be more impactful and sustainable. This research from the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment at Western Sydney University underlines the importance of not only planting more trees but also conserving existing vegetation. However, it emphasizes that this is not a standalone solution but one of the many steps needed to tackle climate change.