California extended its cap-and-trade program through 2030, but the the extension will make it harder for forest owners – especially those outside California – to earn carbon offsets after 2021. That’s bad for landowners and could raise the cost of compliance for industrial emitters, writes Mik McKee of The Climate Trust.
Tropical deforestation accelerates climate change, and 40 percent of it happens in two countries: Brazil and Indonesia. Governments, NGOs, and businesses, meanwhile, have launched dozens of efforts to correct this – but those efforts will only succeed if they work together. Here’s how to make that happen.
Forest carbon projects tap carbon markets to save and restore forests, and they work because carbon dioxide emissions are easy to quantify. But what about all those other good things forests do – like fortifying soil, replenishing groundwater, and boosting farmer incomes? That’s where the UN Sustainable Development Goals come in.
Payments for Ecosystem Services have always seemed like a good idea, and evidence is growing that they work. The latest comes from a Northwestern University study involving forest owners in 120 villages in western Uganda. Half were given cash rewards if they kept their forest intact, and half weren’t. Guess which group took better care of their forest?
The European Commission has set some of the most ambitions environmental targets on the planet, but states have struggled to achieve them. Fortunately, the Commission and member states have also created an impressive set of mechanisms for getting users and polluters to pay for restoration. Now they just have to teach people to use them.
Andrew Mitchell’s Global Canopy Programme has helped people around the world understand the role that rainforests play in regulating the environment and promoting rainfall well beyond their boundaries. Now, as a senior adviser to impact investment group Ecosphere Plus, he’s helping to funnel investment dollars into conservation projects around the world.
Ecosystem Marketplace participated in last month’s Innovate4Climate Summit as a media partner, and it proved to be a worthwhile endeavor. Here are some of the stories we generated from that event – and a look at those to come.
Only by leveraging private finance can we approach the scale of capital needed to address climate and conservation challenges. California, through its work to mitigate dairy methane emissions, is poised to demonstrate how to generate that leverage, says Peter Weisberg, Senior Portfolio Manager for The Climate Trust.
In a full-page ad targeted to businesses through the Wall Street Journal, leaders from physicist Stephen Hawking to industrialist Ratan Tata have endorsed a US carbon tax. It’s a new blast of support for an idea that first emerged in February of this year.
When Elon Musk started Tesla Motors in 2003, he didn’t aim to end our car culture – just to make it cleaner. Likewise, pescatarian businessman Michael Mathres doesn’t aim to end our global love of beef and milk – but with a new product called “Mootral” he does want to reduce their impact on climate change by cleaning up cow burps.
US President Donald Trump is expected to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement today – ostensibly to save jobs. Unfortunately, he’ll be killing more jobs than he saves, and mostly in parts of the country that can least afford to lose them – namely, those parts that propelled him into the White House.
Ecosystem Marketplace tracked its 1 billionth voluntary carbon offset, while members of the International Emissions Trading Association vowed to counter the rising tide of populism with words and actions at last week’s Innovate4Climate in Barcelona. Here are highlights from two key reports released last week.
Activity in the voluntary markets in 2016 pushed us over the 1 billion tonnes transacted mark, according to Ecosystem Marketplace’s newly released State of Voluntary Carbon Markets 2017. Expect more market-based data next month as partners introduce a Europe-focused initiative. Meanwhile, the BioCarbon Fund announces new finance for Ethiopia’s REDD+ project and Australian tour buses go carbon neutral.
Nearly 60 percent of all countries either include or plan to include carbon pricing in their national climate action plans, and a new platform launched by the World Bank and Ecofys aims to track carbon prices in government-run pricing initiatives.
The Trump Show has once again mopped up media attention that should be going to issues more important but less entertaining – like the flurry of mid-year talks designed to turbocharge national commitments to end climate change. They began in Bonn on the 8th of May, continue next week in Barcelona, and culminate next Friday with Trump’s arrival in the Sicilian town of Taormina.
Countries that vowed to slash their greenhouse-gas emissions under the Paris Agreement are now supposed to be looking for ways to slash them even deeper, and the Dutch government says it will “Bring Paris Home” by actively supporting home-grown voluntary carbon projects. It’s a program with precedent – and promise.
The Paris Climate Agreement lets countries set their own emission-reduction targets and then encourages a “race to the top” as countries learn from each other and incrementally improve their self-set targets. China and India – two coal-rich countries that long kept climate scientists up at night – are beating their initial targets and have room to improve.
One hundred and forty-four countries have ratified the Paris Climate Agreement, and 143 of them say they’ll stay in it – even if Donald Trump pulls the United States out. But staying in and delivering what you stayed in to do are two different things. One way to track progress is to track laws, and a newly-updated database makes it surprisingly easy – and fun – to do.
UN Negotiators are gathering this week and next in Bonn, Germany to move the Paris Agreement forward. After that, the World Bank is hosting a one-week meeting in Barcelona called “Innovate4Climate”, which is designed to get money flowing towards the goals laid out in the Paris Agreement. World Bank boss James Close says the aims and objectives are nothing short of massive.
The United States has always been a leader in green technologies, despite the best efforts of the Bush and now Trump administrations to undermine them. During the French Presidential election, eventual winner Emmanuel Macron made a direct and audacious appeal to US climate workers. Will he keep it?
Climate negotiators are meeting in Bonn, Germany, the next two weeks to move the Paris Climate Agreement forward – even as Republicans in the United States seem intent on moving it backward. Most countries say they want the US to stay in the agreement, but there’s reason to believe it will be better off without us.
Innovate4Climate is two short weeks away, and Ecosystem Marketplace will be on-the-ground not only to cover key climate finance developments but to launch this year’s State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets report. Details are featured in the latest Carbon Chronicle, which also covers corporate efforts to achieve carbon neutrality and a big court ruling for California’s carbon market.
The Carbon Disclosure Project has arguably reduced greenhouse gas emissions by creating an incentive for companies to examine and disclose their carbon footprints – an act that often leads them to realize how easy and economical reductions can be. Can the Forest Footprint Disclosure Project do the same for deforestation?
The inland marshes that provide half of California’s drinking water and support its massive agriculture sector are sinking into the ground and drowning in fertilizer running off from farms. They’re also emitting massive amounts of carbon dioxide, contributing to climate change. Here’s how that could be the key to their salvation.
The Yawanawa, an indigenous people living in the Brazilian Amazon, are on a journey toward sustainability and a way of life that economically supports them while maintaining their traditions and keeping the forest intact. Here, Tashka, chief of the Yawanawa, describes efforts to develop a Life Plan to carve out this sustainable existence – and why such efforts are critical not just for indigenous folks but the entire world.
Donald Trump may have neutered the federal government’s ability to fight climate change, the world is still engaged in the fight, and you as an individual have plenty of options beyond switching to renewable energy and getting politically engaged. For one, you can support activities that reduce emissions elsewhere, which offsets those emissions you can’t eliminate. Here’s how.
A California appeals court has dissipated a cloud of uncertainty that has been hanging over the state’s cap-and-trade program, which has funneled millions of dollars from greenhouse-gas emitters to forests, farmers, and indigenous groups across the state and around the country.
This month’s edition of the Carbon Chronicle features new research from Supply Change, which reveals that a growing number of companies are sharing their progress on their no deforestation commitments. Meanwhile, a British insurance company launched a new carbon offsetting program, and beef producers of Manitoba explore a carbon pricing policy.
As the world celebrates the UN’s International Day of Forests, let’s pause for a moment to look just at national forests – namely, those of this nation we call the United States.
US President Donald Trump’s proposed 2018 budget deals the environment death by a thousand cuts scattered across at least seven and probably more agencies. Here is a list of the cuts we’ve identified so far, and an open invitation to let us know if we’ve missed anything or gotten anything wrong.
The Forest Trends Supply Change initiative has identified more than 100 companies that plan to include smallholder farmers in their sustainability efforts, but such inclusion is easier to conceive than to achieve. Here’s how Danone, Mars, and a handful of other companies are teaming up with regional NGOs to deliver on that promise.
Two key committees of the US House of Representatives held a hearing on the “social cost of carbon” this week, but they ended up focusing more on the cost of fixing the mess than on the cost of letting it run rampant. Rachel Cleetus of the Union of Concerned Scientists explains why that’s a big mistake that could cost us all dearly.
From 2010 through 2015, environmental NGO VI Agroforestry leveraged carbon finance to help 30,000 Kenyan farmers develop more sustainable practices. With millions of others still in poverty, however, the organization needed to scale up further, yet it was leery of taking on market risk to do so. Could a for-profit impact investment fund be the solution?
Makanda Khisa needed to recruit 60,000 farmers for the new Kenya Agricultural Carbon Project, and he knew that the early movers would set the tone for those to follow. Here’s how two of those early movers, Ignatius Sifuna Nabutola and Prisca Mayende, helped him get the project off the ground.
Aggressive farming devours topsoil and depletes the naturally-occurring carbon and nitrogen, while agroforestry infuses those nutrients into the ground. In 2010, the environmental NGO VI Agroforestry embarked on a groundbreaking experiment to see if it could tap carbon markets to promote sustainable agriculture.
A group of leading Republicans, including former secretaries of State and Treasury, have called for a carbon tax on fossil fuels, and they even had a meeting last week with President Trump, whose own Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, also advocated a carbon tax while running Exxon. The president himself hasn’t weighed in on the issue, and Congressional Republicans don’t seem enthused, but it’s a proposal we should all be reading.
This month’s Carbon Chronicle showcases Ecosystem Marketplace’s latest report, which reveals steep growth in private investments for conservation. Meanwhile, South Pole Group acquired an Australian carbon offset business growing its global sustainability presence, and an Alaska Native group gets active in California’s carbon market.
President Donald Trump plans to revive the rural economy by rolling back environmental regulations, but his policies could cost farmers and forest owners dearly. Here’s a look at some of the farmer-friendly environmental initiatives that could end up on the endangered list – if they aren’t there already.
US President Donald Trump on Friday announced a massive rollback of federal environmental regulations, ostensibly in the name of prosperity. Carbon markets, however, have progressed despite lack of federal action, helping California reduce emissions in a booming economy. Here is why that’s good news for owners of private forests.
Ecosystem Marketplace published more than 200 stories last year, and most of those focused on forests or forest carbon finance. Today we wind down the year-end retrospectives with a look at the pivotal stories in forests and forest carbon.
Consumer-facing companies like Danone and Mars have pledged to slash their greenhouse-gas emissions, in part by purging deforestation from their supply chains – a process that requires helping hundreds of thousands of farmers change the way they grow their crops. In this series, we’ll take a deep dive into the Kenyan milk market, and see how the revival of agroforestry is restoring soils – and may slow climate change.
When Donald Trump won the US presidential election, climate optimists said US cities and states would fill any leadership gaps that opened at the federal level. Now six US states have agreed to track and disclose greenhouse gas emissions under the Global Compact of States and Regions, and to meet the Paris Agreement targets.
During UN climate talks on Wednesday, business leaders stressed the importance of aligning business and policy goals in order to deliver the best results for both sectors. The business community also reaffirmed their pledge to reduce emissions and meet the goals laid out in the Paris Agreement, and called on global political leaders to do the same.
What does the election of Donald Trump mean for climate policy? For now hope is shifting to individual US states and the corporate sector within the US. Internationally, the Obama administration has proven adept at “leading from behind”, and some see Canada or the European Union filling that gap.
The Paris Climate Agreement created a framework for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, in part by funneling money into programs that promote better management of forests, farms and fields. Negotiators will refine that agreement in Marrakesh this week and next, but it won’t mean a thing if businesses are welcomed – or cajoled – into the process, and in a big way.
While it isn’t without policy uncertainty, the relative stability of California’s carbon cap and trade scheme has strengthened both compliance and voluntary carbon markets, says The Climate Trust’s Dick Kempka. Here, he explains the program’s positive effect, and pushes for more states and regions in the US to adopt cap and trade in order to meet national climate change goals.
Year-end climate talks begin on November 7, and the latest State of Forest Carbon Finance Report, to be released Wednesday, documents a massive uptick in forest-carbon finance – an uptick that still falls far short of the amount needed to end deforestation, which pumps 3 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere yearly. Join us to learn how the Paris Agreement might change this equation.
On Thursday, 65 countries representing 83% of international aviation agreed to cap their greenhouse-gas emissions from international flights at 2020 levels from 2021 onward – in part by forcing airlines to offset emissions above that threshold, perhaps by funding programs that save forests and support sustainable agriculture around the world. A final decision on offset types, however, isn’t expected until 2018
Carbon pricing and the social cost of carbon have traditionally been isolated from each other but recent developments on SCC at both the federal and state level stand to significantly impact market-based carbon prices. Here, longtime environmental economist Mark Trexler explains the situation and how the two appear to be on something of a collision course.