Day 9 at COP26 – #NaturePositive highlights

This news piece is an excerpt from the COP26 Daily Newsletter that Nature4Climate is publishing.

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The Final Stretch

Yesterday was Science, Gender, Innovation and Industry Day. There were a wide range of announcements under this rather large umbrella (see Climate Champion Nigel Topping’s round-up), including a number of pledges to better incorporate gender equity in climate action. This included Canada saying it would aim for 80% of the climate projects it funds to incorporate gender equality; Germany stating that “gender justice” will be a guiding principle for their €4.5 billion International Climate Initiative; and the UK announcing plans to spend £165m on projects around the world that aim to tackle gender inequality while at the same time addressing climate change.

Under innovation, one of Nature4Climate’s work streams this year has been to breathe life into the concept of “NatureTech,” which covers how technology can be used to enable, scale-up and build trust in nature-based solutions. Yesterday saw a couple of important NatureTech announcements (see below), and NatureTech was featured prominently in Nature’s Newsroom (also see below). If you want to learn more about it, register for a Devex event on the 11th at 10:45am GMT featuring Lucy Almond that will explore the opportunities for using geospatial technology and data in supporting evidence-based decision-making for sustainable land use.

In terms of the negotiations, we hear that Tuesday was characterized by negotiators defending well established positions on a number of key issues. Now is the time for ministers to use their political power (and the momentum from week 1), to mandate negotiators to build bridges and identify possible landing grounds.

Day 9 Round Up

AmazonFACE
The UK Met Office announced that it will work in partnership with Brazil’s National Institute for Amazon Research (INPA) to advance AmazonFACE, a real-world climate experiment to build understanding of how the Amazon forest may respond to environmental change. Free-Air Carbon Dioxide Enrichment (FACE) experiments pump controlled volumes of carbon dioxide into small areas of forests to simulate its response to climate change. This type of experiment has never been done at scale within a tropical rainforest environment

Space and climate 
Eleven UK organisations have been awarded a share of just under £7 million of government funding to put into action the latest advances in space innovation. Projects receiving the cash include one from the Open University in Milton Keynes, which will develop the mission concept for “TreeView”, a forestry and management tool that will support nature-based solutions by monitoring the health of trees from space.

Tree Equity 
In the US and cities around the world, a map of trees is also a map of income and race, which leaves at-risk neighborhoods without the natural cooling and air purification of trees. American Forests has created a searchable online Tree Equity Score to show where tree planting and protection is most needed in the US to assure every neighborhood is protected. Planting and protecting trees to achieve Tree Equity in our cities will advance climate action and climate justice. [Noting the Infrastructure and Build Back Better bills together have more than $3 billion for Tree Equity—compared to tens of millions today.]

Soy Manifesto 
27 UK brands including Tesco, Nestle, Sainsbury’s, Nando’s, KFC UK and Ireland, Morrisons and McDonald’s UK and Ireland have signed up to the new UK Soy Manifesto. They have committed to buying only soya that has been grown without deforestation or removal of native vegetation by 2025.  Between them, they represent nearly 2 million tonnes of soy purchases each year and nearly 60% of all UK soy bought every year.

Consumer Goods Forum
Led by the CEOs of Unilever and Walmart, the sector’s largest trade association will work to bring more consumer goods and retail companies into the Race to Zero campaign and ensure they meet commitments towards halving emissions within the 2020s and reaching net-zero before 2050. The Consumer Goods Forum represents more than $4 trillion in revenues. Half its members, or 45 companies, are already in the Race to Zero, representing $1.69 trillion in revenue committed to halving emissions between 2020 and 2030. That’s 52% of members, up from 22% six months ago.

1t.org
The US Chapter of 1t.org has received 86 pledges to conserve, restore and grow 50.8 billion trees globally by 2030. Read more about this initiative in a TIME op-ed, published in August, by Jad Dailey and Marc Benioff.

This news piece is an excerpt from the COP26 Daily Newsletter that Nature4Climate is publishing.

Sign up here to get the full newsletter direct to your inbox.

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