N4C Round-Up: Top outcomes from COP 27
The 27th edition of the UNFCCC Climate Change Conference, COP 27, is finally behind us and if roaming through the news coming from inside and out of the Blue Zone was as complex for you as it was for us, you might be just as eager for a quick round-up of key announcements and outcomes. The list below compiles major commitments, reports, partnerships and tools that have emerged from the nature conversations held at COP 27.
Here’s what we’ve heard so far:
- Forest and Climate Leader’s Partnership. The Forest and Climate Leaders’ Partnership (FCLP) was launched by world leaders, including UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, President Emmanuel Macron of France, President Akufo-Addo of Ghana, President Denis Sassou Nguesso of Congo, President Petro of Colombia, Chancellor Scholz of Germany, and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
- The FCLP is a voluntary partnership of 28 countries (and counting) committed to accelerating momentum to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030. The partnership aims to drive delivery and accountability to global forest commitments through annual high-level events. It will also provide a space for governments to innovate, and problem-solve to create collective consensus about how to drive progress towards the 2030 target.
- Co-chaired by the US and Ghana, member countries will commit to being leaders in at least one of the FCLP’s action areas. Within each action area, the FCLP will support, lead, establish or showcase, as appropriate, one or more initiatives as the principal mechanism to scale and drive delivery.
- Action areas: 1/ International collaboration on the sustainable land use economy and supply chains; 2/ Mobilising public and donor finance to support implementation; 3/ Shifting the private finance system; 4/ Supporting Indigenous Peoples’ and local communities’ initiatives; 5/ Strengthening and scaling carbon markets for forests; 6/ Partnerships and incentives for preserving high-integrity forests.
- Enhancing Nature-based Solutions for Climate Transformation (ENACT). IUCN and the COP27 Presidency launched the ENACT NBS Partnership. This effort aims to enhance the protection and resilience of at least:
- 1 billion vulnerable people (including at least 500 million women and girls);
- Up to 2.4 billion hectares of healthy natural ecosystems secured through protection of 45 million ha, sustainable management of 2 billion ha, and restoration of 350 million ha.;
- And significantly increase global mitigation efforts through protecting, conserving and restoring carbon-rich terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems.
- ENACT will serve as a hub for government and non-state actors to foster collaboration, accelerate action, facilitate policy dialogue, bring global coherence to activities, and ensure adherence to the NbS Global Standard. The initiative will “coordinate global efforts to address climate change, land and ecosystem degradation, and global biodiversity loss through NBS”. The initiative will produce an annual State of Nature-based Solutions report to update COP28 and subsequent meetings.
- Large Rainforest Nations United. Brazil, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Indonesia announced a new formal partnership to cooperate on forest preservation. During talks preceding the G20 summit, the three nations signed a joint statement stating their intent to work together to negotiate “a new sustainable funding mechanism” to help developing countries preserve their biodiversity, as well as to increase funding through the United Nations’ REDD+ program for reducing deforestation.
- US NBS Roadmap. The Biden-Harris Administration released the Nature-Based Solutions Roadmap, an outline of strategic recommendations to put America on a path that will unlock the full potential of nature-based solutions to address climate change, nature loss, and inequity. The Administration also announced new interagency commitments aligned with the roadmap including: agency actions to ensure over $25 billion in infrastructure and climate funding can support nature-based solutions; a new guide for bringing the power of nature to maximize the value and resilience of military bases; and a new technical working group to better account for nature-based options in benefit-cost analysis.
- US Forest Relations Progress Report. The US government released a progress report on the implementation of its Plan to Conserve Global Forests: Critical Carbon Sinks. Since the launch of the plan at COP26, the United States has worked to help drive progress forward in each of the plan’s four key objectives with key initiatives and successes shared in the report.
- Forest Partnerships. The European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, on behalf of the EU, signed five Memoranda of Understanding for Forest Partnerships with Guyana, Mongolia, the Republic of Congo, Uganda and Zambia. Forest Partnerships encompass the EU’s holistic cooperation framework for joint work on forests, aimed at reversing deforestation in supported countries and consequently enhancing climate and biodiversity protection.
- Positive Conservation Partnerships. France announced a new initiative to protect areas high in “carbon and biodiversity”, such as “ancient forests, peat bogs or mangroves”. Backed by the US and China, France said it would like to work with countries to form “positive conservation partnerships” with rainforest nations. Costa Rica, Colombia, Gabon and the Philippines affirmed their interest in being partners.
- US Poll. A new poll commissioned by US Nature4Climate shows strong support for tapping into the potential of natural/working lands to address climate change. By a 86% to 14% margin, voters support laws & public funding to expand the implementation of natural climate solutions.
- The Nature Conservancy Recaps US Midterm Elections That Boosted NBS. In 2022, voters in 14 US states considered ballot measures that secured public funding and forward-looking policies to protect people and nature. As of the latest vote counts, 17 measures passed or are leading, totalling more than $7 billion for conservation.
TOP-LINE FINANCIAL COMMITMENTS
Public money commitments. $12 billion of public money committed in Glasgow over 5 years; $2.67 billion spent in 2021 (22%); 1 billion EUR additional public money committed at COP27.
- This includes $717 million in Africa; $452 million in Latin America and the Caribbean; and, $239 million in Asia
- Germany doubled its finance for forests from €1 billion to €2 billion through 2025.
- The UK committed £30 million of seed finance into the Big Nature Impact Fund – a new public-private fund for nature in the UK which will unlock significant private investment into nature projects, such as new tree planting or restoring peatlands. It also pledged an additional £12 million to the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance to protect and restore vulnerable coastal communities and habitats.
- The UK Prime Minister also announced the delivery of a £90M programme in the Congo Basin and £65M for the nature pillar of the Nature, People and Climate Investment Fund, which supports indigenous and local forest communities.
- At COP26, donors committed $1.5bn to the Congo Basin over 5 years through the Congo Basin Joint Donor Statement. At COP27, those donors reported that they had provided $508 million in support for forests and people in the Congo Basin. The scale of this investment reflects the importance of the second-largest tropical rainforest in the world for sustainable development, for climate mitigation and for adaptation.
- At COP26, donors committed $1.7bn through the Indigenous People and Local Communities Forest Tenure Pledge. At COP27, those donors reported that $321 million of finance has been disbursed from the pledge. The pledge responds to long-standing demands from Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities and civil society for increased climate finance to support IPs’ and LCs’ critical role as guardians of forests and nature.
- President Macron announced that the coalition of donors behind the Great Green Wall Accelerator initiative have spent $2.5 billion since The One Planet Summit in 2021. The GGW initiative is driving investment to restore 393 million hectares of degraded land that has the restoration potential, if conserved, managed, and restored to lead to net carbon sequestration of between 1.5 and 3.5 GtCO2 equivalent.
Private funds and capital commitment. In addition to $7.2 billion of private funds committed in Glasgow; an additional $3.6 billion of private capital will be committed at COP27.
- IFACC. One year after launch, IFACC commitments have risen from $3 billion to $4.2 billion [increase of $1.2 billion] and the initiative now comprises 13 financial institutions and agribusiness companies.
- LEAF Coalition. The Lowering Emissions by Accelerating Forest Finance (LEAF) Coalition has increased the total amount of finance mobilised for the purchase of high-integrity emissions reductions credits to over USD $1.5 billion [$500 million new]. This represents a 100% increase in financial commitments from the private sector since COP26. Volkswagen Group and H&M Group have become the latest global corporations make a financial commitment to the LEAF Coalition. The Republic of Korea has been unveiled as the first Asian government to provide financial support to LEAF. The Republic of Korea joins the governments of the UK, US and Norway in backing the Coalition. In addition, Ecuador has become the first forest nation to sign a LEAF memorandum of agreement. This set out next steps and a clear roadmap for the signing of binding Emissions Reduction Purchase Agreements by April 2023.
- Forests, People, Climate. The establishment of a new collaborative of philanthropic donors, Forests, People, Climate (FPC), was announced. Its aim is to mobilize and deploy significantly increased philanthropic funding in support of the Glasgow Leaders Declaration’s goal. $400 million over five years in new philanthropic funding was committed to the FPC with a goal of raising another $1.2 billion over the next five years. These new commitments go beyond the $380 million over five years that the thirteen donors currently involved in the collaboration have already planned to spend toward the FPC goal.
- FMO. The Dutch entrepreneurial development bank (FMO) committed to investing at least EUR 500 million by 2030 in sustainable forestry.
- &Green. &Green committed up to $88 million of additional resources to build a portfolio of investible projects in the Congo basin.
- Restoration Fund. Southbridge Investments has developed a major new partnership, The African Restoration Fund, with the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), blending $500 million of concessional finance with $1.5 private investment to support local restoration efforts across the continent, starting with mangrove restoration.
- Bezos Earth Fund. The Bezos Earth Fund announced a contribution of $50 million to efforts to increase restoration in Africa.
- CIFF. The Climate Investment Funds (CIF), one of the world’s largest multilateral funds for climate action in developing countries, announced that it will finance nature-based solutions to the climate crisis in Egypt, the Dominican Republic, Fiji, Kenya, and Africa’s Zambezi River Basin Region, which cuts across Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, and Tanzania. This is the first set of countries and regions to benefit from CIF’s Nature, People, and Climate (CIF NPC) investment platform, launched in June 2022. To start, several sovereign donors including Italy, the United Kingdom, and Sweden have pledged more than $350 million to capitalize CIF NPC, which pilots and scales transformative nature-based climate solutions in developing countries.
- IKEA Climate Funding. The IKEA Foundation, a strategic philanthropy funded by IKEA owner INGKA Foundation, announced yesterday plans to deploy €600 million in climate funding by 2025. Key areas of deployment identified by the foundation include stimulating a shift to alternative and plant-based proteins, and reducing methane emissions in agriculture.
LINKING CLIMATE AND BIODIVERSITY
- 30×30. On the first day of COP27, presidents and ministers from Palau, Nigeria, Costa Rica, the United Kingdom, France, and the United States affirmed their support for the 30×30 target which commits countries to a global effort to achieve the protection of at least thirty per cent of the planet’s land and ocean by 2030 to help curb biodiversity loss and climate change.
- Call for a Paris-Like Agreement at COP15. A high-level set of climate champions released a new letter urging leaders to step up action to address the accelerating loss of nature by delivering an ambitious and transformative global biodiversity agreement at COP15. The signatories include: Laurent Fabius, President of COP21, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, President of COP20 and CBD COP15 Action Agenda for Nature and People Champion Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC (2010-2016) Laurence Tubiana, France’s Climate Change Ambassador and Special Representative for COP21, and Nigel Topping, COP26 High-level Climate Champion.
- Call from civil society. More than 340 civil society leaders called on governments to prioritise the critical UN Biodiversity conference in Montreal and deliver an ambitious agreement that reverses nature loss by 2030.
- How Scaling Nature Tech Could Help Solve the Climate and Nature Crises. Nature4Climate, along with climate investment platform Capital for Climate, launched a new report to bring attention and finance to the burgeoning NatureTech sector. The report highlighted the potential for the sector to grow to USD $6 billion or more by 2030. Our panellists provided insights on the potential for NatureTech to accelerate NBS, the necessary safeguards to protect people and biodiversity as new tech is introduced, and how to catalyze exponential growth for the sector this decade. View the recording here.
- Forest Data Partnership. WRI, FAO, USAID, the U.S. Department of State, Google, NASA and Unilever announced a call to action from the Forest Data Partnership for companies, public institutions and NGOs to join forces in catalysing and operationalising better data on the world’s land and forests. The Forest Data Partnership invites participation from leading companies that buy, produce or finance forest-risk commodities along with national and sub-national governments, NGOs, and technical partners and communities to meet a set of three goals.
- Finance Sector Deforestation Action (FSDA) initiative. Leading financial institutions from Japan to Norway to Brazil, all signatories to the Financial Sector Commitment on Eliminating Commodity-driven Deforestation have been moving forward with implementation through the Finance Sector Deforestation Action (FSDA) initiative. FSDA members have published shared investor expectations for companies, are stepping up engagement activity and are working with policymakers and data providers. New members joining in 2022 include SouthBridge Group, the first African financial institution to join the initiative, Banco Estado de Chile, London CIV and GAM Investments.
- Bridgetown Agenda. Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley has a proposal to reform the international financial system to better serve crisis-affected lower-income countries. Mottley’s Bridgetown Agenda has been backed by French President Macron, who called for an expert group to drive rapid, new climate finance for vulnerable countries. France, Colombia and Barbados are all now calling for the IMF, World Bank and OECD to review their debt repayment rules for countries hit by impacts.
- Central banks. Central Bank Governors from Chile, Zambia and Malaysia highlighted the vital steps they are taking to better understand nature-related climate risks, ensuring that the protection and restoration of critical ecosystems are properly accounted for in ensuring financial stability and contributing to economic prosperity.
- N4C Commitment Tracker. Nature4Climate has developed an “NBS commitment tracker” – an evaluation of progress on joint action commitments that have been made on nature-based solutions from 2019 to 2022. The tracker shows some good progress across a number of different initiatives and commitments, but also that there is much more to do. Overall it tracks 80 commitments so far and finds that 55% demonstrate substantial signs of progress or completion, while 45% show only small signs of progress, or no progress at all.
- N4C Policy Tracker. Nature4Climate and our partners Metabolic have updated and expanded the database for the NbS Policy Tracker, launched in 2021 at COP26. The NbS Policy Tracker is the world’s largest global database of public policies that facilitate the delivery of crucial NbS solutions. This includes legislation (laws or constitutions), subsidies, and strategies and plans with budgets. In addition to these policies, the database now also includes NbS in international commitments, such as the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) and National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs). The nature-based policies identified—both last year and this year—will be available on the new N4C website and further integrated into N4C’s upcoming naturebase platform.
- Naturebase. Nature4Climate is developing a new online platform to help decision-makers put Natural Climate Solutions into action: naturebase. The tool will deliver information grounded in science, lighting up pathways to protect, manage, and restore nature for measurable climate benefits. Users will be able to explore and compare target areas across forests, wetlands, grasslands, and agricultural lands, while considering issues such as land tenure, opportunity cost, financing opportunities, and enabling conditions at global, regional, national and local levels, as well as discover new case studies.
- Case study Map. N4C is compiling case studies that highlight action on the ground, and we’re proud to present our NBS Case Study map. This is a product of a collaborative effort to enhance knowledge and to bring to the surface the development of nature-based solutions in countries around the world. The projects showcased in this index are not exhaustive, and we understand that there are many more excellent examples that were not included in this list. Really, this is just the start; the result of the first step in the journey to crowdsource case studies from around the world. The map and underlying index will continue to be updated and improved continuously throughout the coming days, weeks and months. It currently does not comprehensively assess levels of implementation and impacts on the ground, instead, it provides a first overview of what and where climate action linked to NbS is taking place.
- Africa Carbon Markets Initiative. Led by a thirteen-member steering committee of African leaders, CEOs, and carbon credit experts, the Africa Carbon Markets Initiative (ACMI) was launched with the aim of dramatically expanding Africa’s participation in voluntary carbon markets. ACMI announced the goal for the continent to reach 300 million credits annually by 2030. This level of production would unlock 6 billion in income and support 30 million jobs. By 2050, ACMI is targeting over 1.5 billion credits produced annually in Africa, leveraging over $120 billion and supporting over 110 million jobs.
- LEAF Inks Agreements. A total of six new agreements with forest nations and states were announced by the LEAF Coalition. Amapá, Amazonas, Mato Grosso and Pará have become the first Brazilian states to sign Letters of Intent (LOI) with Emergent, the coordinator of The LEAF Coalition. These LOIs demonstrate the commitment of all parties to progress negotiations towards binding agreements to supply emissions reductions to LEAF Coalition participants and signal significant progress for LEAF in Brazil. LEAF also announced that Costa Rica and Nepal have signed memorandums of agreement (MOAs) with Emergent. These agreements, for countries who have already signed LOIs, outline the next steps and put in place a clear roadmap and timetable for the signing of binding Emissions Reduction Purchase Agreements (ERPAs) by the end of April 2023. Costa Rica and Nepal join Ecuador, which was announced earlier at COP27 as the first country to sign an MOA.
- NCS Alliance Lighthouses. The Natural Climate Solutions Alliance (NCSA) unveiled eight new Natural Climate Solutions (NCS) Lighthouses to demonstrate how nature, climate and social benefits are so closely intertwined. The Lighthouses are NCS projects that have generated verified carbon credits as well as positive environmental and socio-economic benefits for local communities and Indigenous People, thus addressing two other major crises – the loss of biodiversity and social injustice.
- VCMI and We Mean Business Join Forces. Through a new partnership, VCMI and the We Mean Business Coalition will deepen engagement and feedback from companies in the VCMI process. WMB will support companies to follow VCMI’s Claims Code, helping to ensure carbon market investments strengthen – rather than undermine – global action towards achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement.
- Pilots Digital Measuring Of Forest Carbon. Verra and Pachama announced a new digital measurement, reporting, and verification pilot for nature-based solutions, increasing the transparency, integrity, and efficiency of carbon credit issuance.
- Restore Africa. The Global EverGreening Alliance and Climate Impact Partners announced a partnership to deliver up to US$ 330 Million in community-led carbon removal programs across Africa: in Kenya, Ethiopia, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. This effort is part of Restore Africa, building more resilient livelihoods, restoring productivity to degraded landscapes, and drawing down significant volumes of carbon from the atmosphere.
- Trillion Trees + Restor. Trillion Trees, a joint venture between BirdLife International, Wildlife Conservation Society and WWF focused on the protection and restoration of forests, has joined forces with the science-based open data platform Restor, to contribute valuable data from its restoration sites.
- US Restoration. The U.S. Chapter of 1t.org — a broad-based coalition of companies, subnational governments, and nonprofits — has announced a goal to conserve, restore and grow over 55 billion trees in support of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration and as part of a global effort to conserve, restore and grow one trillion trees by 2030.
- USAID Joins 1t.org. As part of USAID’s Climate Strategy and in alignment with the 1t.org global goal to conserve, restore, and grow one trillion trees by 2030, the Agency announced that it is joining the 1t.org US chapter and pledged to support the conservation, restoration, or management of 100 million hectares of forests with a climate change mitigation benefit this decade.
- 1t.org in India. 1t.org announced the first four Indian companies pledging to conserve, restore and grow trees and forests: Vedanta, ReNew Power, CSC Group and Mahindra. Following the launch of the 1t.org India Platform last March, companies are committing to action on forests within this decade to support livelihoods and ecosystem restoration. This was part of 12 additional corporate pledges made at COP27, which take the commitments to a total of 6.9 billion trees from a total of 80 companies. At least 5 of those companies have included mangroves in their pledges.
- Brazilian Restoration. A group formed by Itaú, Marfrig, Rabobank, Santander, Suzano and Vale announced the creation of a company exclusively dedicated to the activities of restoration of degraded areas and conservation of forests in Brazil. Called Biomas, the company will have an initial contribution of R$ 120 million — R$ 20 million from each of the six partners. The idea is that it will be maintained in the following years through the sale of carbon credits, and to protect and restore 4 million hectares.
- Forestry Roadmap. WBCSD released a new roadmap that shows how leading forest companies are paving the way toward a nature-positive future. 15 companies have rallied behind a shared definition of nature positive and committed to collaborative action to accelerate the transformation of the forest sector and the broader economic system in which they operate through the WBCSD’s Forest Solutions Group project that developed the roadmap.
- Agriculture Sector Roadmap. The Agriculture Sector Roadmap to 1.5°C was launched at COP27. It was developed by 14 of the world’s largest agricultural commodity trading and processing companies to reduce emissions from land use change by halting deforestation linked to supply chains. The roadmap represents a shared, sector-wide plan for addressing deforestation in supply chains, and also for accelerating collaboration with others to achieve that goal. It is the outcome of a year’s joint work between the signatories, who manage large global trade volumes in key agricultural commodities – including more than half of both Brazilian soy exports and global palm oil trade. The process was facilitated by the Tropical Forest Alliance, with support from WBCSD.
- Africa Sustainable Commodities Initiative. Ministers of the 10 West and Central African countries signed the expanded Africa Sustainable Commodities Declaration – moving from the original focus on palm oil to a set of principles that encompass all relevant commodities in the production landscape. The Africa Sustainable Commodities Initiative (ASCI) puts producer countries in Africa at the forefront of defining the principles for the sustainable development of cocoa, rubber, palm oil, coffee and other commodities, in a way that protects livelihoods and protects natural resources, including forests.
- $1.4 Billion for Smallholder Farmers. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged $1.4 billion to help smallholder farmers cope with the impacts of climate change, part of efforts at global climate talks in Egypt to scale up supply of so-called adaptation finance. This comes as organisations representing more than 350 million family farmers and producers published an open letter to world leaders today, warning that global food security is at risk unless governments boost adaptation finance for small-scale production and promote a shift to more diverse, low-input agriculture.
- Cocoa in Côte d’Ivoire. Trase released new data released revealing that cocoa farming swallowed 2.4 million ha of forest in Côte d’Ivoire between 2000 and 2019, an area almost the size of Rwanda. Trase also released new data on CO2 emissions from deforestation linked with soy in Brazil.
- Indoor Wheat. Infarm successfully demonstrates the tremendous potential of indoor-grown wheat. Leading vertical farming company Infarm and co-host of the Food Systems Pavilion at COP 27 has successfully produced wheat in an indoor farm, using no soil, no chemical pesticides and much less water compared to open field farming.
- True Value of Food Initiative. True Value of Food Initiative announced a Call to Action to governments across the globe to make healthy, sustainable, affordable food the new normal by committing to increasing the True Value of Food.
- Farmers First Cluster. The Soft Commodities Forum (SCF), composed of six major agribusinesses – ADM, Bunge, Cargill, COFCO International, Louis Dreyfus Company and Viterra – is at the forefront of mobilizing partnerships that identify, invest in and scale solutions to eliminate deforestation and land conversion from soy production, and incentivize sustainable land use in Brazil and beyond. To administer and direct funds in the most strategic way, the SCF has created the Farmer First Clusters Initiative to provide a combination of solutions to address soy-driven deforestation and conversion in four key Cerrado landscapes: Western Mato Grosso, Southern Maranhão, Western Bahia, and Tocantins. Through this endeavor, SCF members will collectively invest USD $7.2 million to establish a financial model providing soy producers with adequate incentives to halt deforestation and conversion in municipalities where the risk of conversion is high.
- Seagrass mapping. The Pew Charitable Trusts launched a broad, multilateral effort to map seagrass in the Indian Ocean with field verification in specific countries. Mapping seagrass is a fundamental step in recognizing the benefits that can be included within climate strategies such as nationally determined contributions to the Paris Agreement. Seagrasses are one of the most important, yet undervalued, ecosystems on the planet. Among a range of other benefits they provide, seagrass meadows are highly efficient at storing carbon, which makes them one of only three “blue carbon” ecosystems (along with mangroves and salt marshes) recognised by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for the measurable contribution they can make to countries’ emission reduction goals.
- Red Sea Initiative. The US Government launched the Red Sea initiative — a new initiative aiming to conserve the Red Sea’s coastal ecosystem while promoting high-value, low-environmental impact ecotourism. Through an initial US government contribution of $15 million, the initiative plans to protect the Red Sea’s coral reefs and surrounding coastal ecosystem against the impacts of climate change and human activity.
- Blue Ambition Loop. The Ocean & Climate Platform, alongside the World Resources Institute (WRI), the High-level Climate Champions (HLC), the Global Ocean Trust and the UN Global Compact, undertook a mapping exercise to track, aggregate and visualise progress made by non-state actors towards ocean-based climate actions. Released yesterday, the ‘Blue Ambition Loop: Achieving Ambitious 2030 Ocean-Climate Action’ report is a short visual summary of findings. It addresses five key sectors: marine conservation, ocean-based transport, marine renewable energy, aquatic food production and coastal tourism.
- Blue Carbon. Three new reports based on work supported by the Bezos Earth Fund were released by Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), highlighting the potential of different blue carbon interventions to help in the fight against climate change and act as natural climate solutions (NCS), some of which may be marketable with further research and economic and policy action. The three blue carbon reports highlight the state of the science on nearshore blue carbon pathways, which have historically received the most attention, as well as emerging NCS that have been proposed for the open ocean and those involving seaweed aquaculture.
- Blue Carbon Principles. On a related note, The World Economic Forum’s Friends of Ocean Action, Salesforce and others have produced the High-Quality Blue Carbon Principles & Guidance to ensure that blue carbon stakeholders are engaging the market effectively and with integrity.
- Advancing the Ocean Conservation Pledge. The Ocean Conservation Pledge is mobilizing national commitments to enhance marine conservation, a critical ocean-based solution to address the climate and biodiversity crises. During COP27, 16 countries announced their endorsement of the pledge, signalling their commitment to conserve or protect at least 30 percent of ocean waters under their jurisdictions by 2030. This is the first tranche of participants in the pledge, which includes Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Fiji, France, Greece, Japan, Kenya, Malta, Panama, Portugal, Romania, Seychelles, and Sri Lanka.
- Deep sea mining. French President Emmanuel Macron became the first head of state to call for a complete ban on deep-sea mining, an activity that would extract industrial quantities of minerals from the seabed in international waters in the near future.
- Blue Mediterranean Partnership. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) announced the creation of the Blue Mediterranean Partnership, which aims to support the development of a sustainable blue economy in the European Union’s Southern Neighbourhood countries in the Mediterranean region.
- Mangrove Breakthrough. The Global Mangrove Alliance in collaboration with the UN Climate Change High-level Champions have identified the need for a unified global approach towards mangrove conservation and are calling for signatories to the Mangrove Breakthrough launched at COP27. The Mangrove Breakthrough is a science-based, measurable, and achievable target for non-state actors and governments to collectively restore and protect mangroves at the scale needed to secure the future of these vital coastal forests. The Mangrove Breakthrough aims to secure the future of 15 million hectares of mangroves globally by 2030, seeing investments of 4 billion USD by 2030 to conserve and revitalize these coastal ecosystems.
- Mangrove Alliance for Climate (MAC). MAC was launched at COP27. It is an intergovernmental alliance that seeks to expand and hasten the progress towards the conservation and restoration of mangrove ecosystems. Its members include the UAE, Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Australia, Japan, and Spain. The alliance will raise global awareness about the role of mangroves as a nature-based climate change solution. It will ensure the rehabilitation of mangrove forests at the global level.
- Expanding the Blue Carbon Inventory Project. Through its Blue Carbon Inventory Project, the U.S. NOAA has launched two new project partnerships. 1) NOAA and the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center will work together to develop data tools for assessing and tracking the quantity and quality of soil and biomass blue carbon data and a user-friendly interface to enable national greenhouse gas inventory compilers’ and other stakeholders’ access to stratify and interrogate data based upon country-specific needs. 2) In September, NOAA held its first project workshop with Costa Rica to provide technical information to support its NDC and foster within-country collaboration on blue carbon.
- ADB Water and Sanitation Resilience. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and partners announced the ambition to mobilise more than $200 million from 2021 to 2025 to support building water and sanitation resilience and security in Asia and the Pacific. The Government of the Netherlands is supporting the initiative with a $20 million contribution to the newly established Water Resilience Trust Fund and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is providing $10 million to the Sanitation Financing Partnership Trust Fund under the initiative.
- Water security in Bangladesh. The Netherlands has provided funding for an SNV project that will enhance water security in Bangladesh. Working with the government of Bangladesh, SNV will contribute to improving sanitation, solid waste, and drainage water management to protect the health and well-being of city populations. The project will be conducted over the course of five years in twelve locations, with a budget of € 6.4 million.
- Water for Women. The Water for Women Fund, a five-year inclusive water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) program on track to reach three million people across Asia Pacific by the end of 2022, will be extended for two years. The Australian government will invest a further $36 million to support climate-resilient, inclusive and sustainable WASH services and systems, and safeguard water security in our region.
- AWARe Initiative. Egyptian Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Hani Sewilam, with support from the World Meteorological Organization, announced the launch of the Action on Water, Adaptation, and Resilience (AWARe) international initiative. The initiative will champion inclusive cooperation to address water-related challenges and solutions across climate change adaptation. AWARe aims at contributing to a successful outcome at the 2023 UN Conference on Water and it brings together the Water and Climate Coalition, the Adaptation Action Coalition as well as the Marrakesh Partnership Climate Action Pathway Water towards scaling up adaptation action.
- African Cities Water Adaptation Fund. The World Resources Institute and partners launched the African Cities Water Adaptation Fund (ACWA Fund) with the aim of channelling $5 billion toward urban water resilience solutions in 100 African cities by 2032. The fund will enable city leaders to directly access funding and technical support to implement innovative solutions targeting a range of water issues, including integrated governance, watershed management, increasing sanitation services, improved stormwater management and wastewater management.
- Save Cleantech Utilities. Egyptian Engazaat S.A.E, Swedish Azelio AB, and French Mascara NT announced an alliance to provide innovative utility solutions addressing the challenges of the Water-Energy-Food nexus. The alliance, SAVE Cleantech Utilities, will offer “Water-and Energy-as-A-Service-Model” for the first time in the industry enabling farmers in off-grid desert locations to focus their resources on farming activities.
- Sharm-El-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda. The Egyptian Presidency launched a global plan to unite governments and non-state actors behind a set of goals to improve the resiliency of four billion people living in the most climate-vulnerable communities around the world.
- ACRF. A group of more than 85 insurers in Africa created the African Climate Risk Facility (ACRF), and pledged to provide $14 billion of cover to help the continent deal with climate disaster risks like floods and droughts.
- Green Gigaton Report. The world is not on track to achieve forest goals of ending and reversing deforestation by 2030, critical for a credible pathway to the 1.5°C Paris Agreement goal, according to a new report by the UN-REDD Programme, UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) and the Green Gigaton Challenge (GGC). It finds that for the 2030 goals to remain within reach, a one gigaton milestone of emissions reductions from forests must be achieved not later than 2025, and yearly after that. The report, Making good on the Glasgow Climate Pact: a call to action to achieve one gigaton of emissions reductions from forests by 2025, finds that current public and private commitments to pay for emissions reductions are only at 24% of the gigaton milestone goal. Only around half of these commitments have been realized through signed emissions reduction purchase agreements and none of the funding for these commitments has yet been disbursed.
- Forest, Agriculture, and Commodities Dialogue Progress Report. The 28 Governments participating in the Forest, Agriculture and Commodities (FACT) Dialogue, representing over 75% of global trade in key commodities presented the FACT Dialogue Progress Report that renews the commitments of the largest producer and consumer countries to working together to achieve shared goals and promote sustainable development and trader, while protecting forests and other critical ecosystems.
- Net-Zero Report. The High-level Expert Group on the Net Zero Emissions Commitments of Non-State Entities, led by Catherine McKenna, released its report on the net-zero commitments of businesses, financial institutions, cities and regions. Dubbed by many as the “greenwashing” report, it sets out five principles that should guide the setting and achievement of net zero targets. The report focuses on the urgent, deep and wide-ranging emissions reductions that must be taken by any company before using carbon credits to support beyond value chain mitigation (BVCM). But it is also recognizes that high-integrity BVCM, including investments in nature, used in a high-integrity way can deliver material progress towards global climate, nature and sustainable development goals. The attention on the people and sectors most in need of support is vital, and by following this guidance and ensuring investment into high-quality nature-based solutions, it is possible to unlock real action on deforestation and nature loss, and real benefits going to real people.
- Two for One: Are the climate impacts of trade a good proxy for biodiversity impacts? Paper by UKRI GCRF and Chatham House discusses how we can link together local and national level measures on sustainable trade for agricultural commodities, such as soy, with international policy and private sector initiatives working towards the same goal.
- Deforestation in the Amazon is accelerating the point of no return. WWF’s Living Amazon Report argues that threats to the integrity of the Amazon must be stopped through urgent measures to protect 80% of the rainforest by 2025 (80×25). Drawing on the latest available research, the report shows that without urgent action, the rainforest could reach a point of no return, directly affecting the livelihoods of the 47 million people living in the Amazon, 511 indigenous peoples groups, 10% of the planet’s biodiversity, and aggravating the global climate and biodiversity crises.
- An Introduction to REDD+ Standards. The Nature Conservancy, Conservation International, and the U.S. Government have released an introduction to REDD+ standards to simplify the understanding of various standards, funding sources, and markets for REDD+, and to provide a centralized site for accessing International REDD+ Standards.
- New insights on Nature-based Solutions: Scaling up strategies for Net Zero, Nature Positive and addressing Inequality. WBCSD published a new report presenting findings and recommendations for NbS strategies for Net Zero, Nature Positive and addressing Inequality, based on the role that NCS can play for the climate.
- $1 trillion a year needed for climate action. A UN-backed report commissioned by Egypt and the UK finds that developing countries will need $1 trillion a year in external finance for climate action and will need to match that amount with their own funds.
- WBCSD NBS Report. On Monday, WBCSD launched a new report on Nature-based Solutions (NbS) — alongside supporting technical papers on related topics — that present findings and recommendations for NbS strategies for Net Zero, Nature Positive and addressing Inequality, based on the role that NCS can play for the climate.
- Brazilian Beef & Soy Report. New report by Chain Reaction Research finds that full traceability of Brazilian soy supply chains is possible and is already part of existing sector agreements; and full traceability of Brazilian cattle supply chains is challenging, but possible. Additionally, its financial analysis finds if the costs of supply chain due diligence are spread across the full supply chain, including the downstream segment, the impact on gross profit and operating profit would be in the ranges of 0.6-3.4% and 1.1-0.9%, respectively.
- Freshwater Report. New research shows that water is much more important in mitigating climate change than previously believed. Better management of water is critical to tackling today’s food and energy crises, both of which are exacerbated by climate change. The report titled: “The essential drop to reach Net-Zero: Unpacking Freshwater’s Role in Climate Change Mitigation,” released today, is the first-ever summary of current research on the role of water in climate mitigation. A key message is the need to better understand global water shortages and scarcity in order to plan climate targets that do not backfire in future.
- Scaling and Accelerating Adaptation In Food Systems in Africa. WWF published a new report highlighting the US$60 billion shortfall in climate finance for adaptation in Africa is preventing action in food systems at speed and scale necessary to address climate change. The report details why agri-food subsidies must be redirected to support nature-positive food production practices and African national climate action and adaptation plans shouldn’t overlook diets and food loss and waste solutions.
- Climate Science Report. Climate Science. Future Earth, the Earth League, and the World Climate Research Programme published their 10 New Insights in Climate Science 2022 report, an annual synthesis of the latest climate change-related research for the international science-policy community.
- Stolen Amazon: the roots of environmental crime in five countries. This report from InSight Crime and the Igarapé Institute uncovers the motivators of environmental crime in the Amazon rainforest within the borders of Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia, Guyana, and Suriname, home to 20 per cent of the Amazon Basin. They have collectively lost 10 million hectares of forest over the last two decades – an area equivalent to that of Portugal.
- Environmental Defense Fund Highlights the Role of Indigenous Communities In Achieving Success for NBS. Environmental Defense Fund kicks off a new video series “For the Forest, For the Future” that highlights why Indigenous Peoples must be included in the international climate table. The first two videos are now live and can be viewed here and here. They also share a blog recapping the major forest-related announcements during week one of COP27.
- Climate’s Secret Ally. WWF shared a new report highlighting the power of natural ecosystems to both reduce emissions and help communities adapt and build resilience in a warming world. The report draws upon the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s work to highlight the interlinked emergencies of human-induced climate change and biodiversity loss, and makes the case for better integrating nature into the global response to the climate crisis.
- New Survey on Nature Agenda. From analysis of over 400 experts from 90 countries, a new survey reveals that despite national governments being considered the most important actors to lead the ‘Nature Agenda’, a lack of political support, policies, and incentives are causing significant barriers to progress on nature. 88% believe the state of the world’s nature to be ‘alarming’ or ‘catastrophic and potentially irreversible’. This concern is echoed by civil society; 64% of individuals surveyed across 11 countries warn the state of nature and biodiversity across the world is ‘alarming’ or ‘catastrophic’. Very few experts believe governments (7%) or the private sector (8%) are performing well in protecting nature.
- Nature In The Streets. Cities in developing countries are invited to participate in the Beat the Heat: Nature for Cool Cities Challenge by pledging to increase nature-based solutions in their urban areas by 2030 and demonstrate tangible progress by 2025. Participants will be supported via funding, technical assistance, partnership opportunities, and communications support.
- Tree Equity. Yesterday, American Forests announced a $10 million Tree Equity Catalyst Fund to help make cities more inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable, in line with the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goal 11. The Fund will complement the Inflation Reduction Act’s $1.5 billion investment in urban and community forestry—the largest such investment by enhancing the capacity of cities and frontline organizations to advance Tree Equity in urban communities across the United States.
- International Tree Equity. At COP27 today, American Forests announced plans to expand its Tree Equity Score tool to the United Kingdom in 2023, in partnership with the Woodland Trust and the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare (CSH). In 2023, American Forests will also expand Tree Equity Score to cover all urban areas across the United States, as well Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.