News & Articles: Geographic Europe

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Forest Footprint aims to Reward Companies that Save Trees

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?

Norway Supports The Governors’ Task Force To The Tune Of $25 Million

Norway broke new ground in supporting the Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force this week when the country announced $25 million in financing to the initiative over a 4-year period. While the funds have potential to plug significant funding gaps, they could also encourage other countries to follow Norway’s example.

On The Road To Paris. Next Stop: Bonn, June 2015

Mid-year climate talks begin this week in Bonn, Germany – a critical but largely overlooked pit-stop on the way to year-end talks in Paris. Gustavo Silva-Chavez of Forest Trends points out that land-use issues still account for 24% of all greenhouse gas emissions, and will play a central role in whatever solution emerges in Paris.

Marks & Spencer: Cooking Its Way To A Cleaner Future

Motivated by an ambitious sustainability plan, British retailer Marks and Spencer has become one of the biggest voluntary buyers of carbon offsets, according to a new Ecosystem Marketplace report. But the company is going beyond greening its own operations, making a commitment to the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves to raise awareness of clean cooking, including within its supply chain.

How Fine Italian Leather Drives Illegal Deforestation

The European Union is a global leader in combating climate change, but those fine Italian leather jackets often come from cows raised on land that had been rainforest just a few years ago. Indeed, new research shows that European consumers are driving illegal deforestation around the world.

EU Leaves Land-Use Off Its New INDC

9 March 2015 | The European Union (EU) on Friday submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and land use was not part of it. “The INDC was altered from a draft version that included land use in the 2030 goal – a move criticised by green […]

Examples, Dialogue And Clearer Policy Needed In Biodiversity Offsetting

Highlights including video footage from last month’s conference on ‘no net loss’ of biodiversity, which brought together a multitude of sectors to discuss avoiding, minimizing, restoring and offsetting biodiversity loss, are now available. The event, held at the London Zoo and hosted by BBOP, was the first of its kind.

This Week In Biodiversity: Global Summit On No Net Loss In London

Natural capital accounting is generating a lot of attention lately with a new report warning companies of the perils of ignoring natural capital risk while the World Bank-led WAVES initiative is noting some advancements in the space. And BBOP is back from the London Zoo with feedback on the no net loss of biodiversity summit.

Carbon Market Participants: We Must Raise Awareness, Spark Private-Sector Demand

Companies selling carbon offsets to corporate buyers welcome governments’ growing role as a source of offset demand itself, as seen in the “State of Voluntary Carbon Markets” report launched last week – but say that effective public climate policies, not demand, are what’s needed to jump-start markets, and that the voluntary carbon sector itself must be more creative on the messaging front.

The BioCarbon Group: Playing Both Sides

The BioCarbon Group is a major investor in cookstove and forestry emissions reduction projects for both the voluntary and regulated carbon markets in Europe and North America. Jason Patrick, Investment Director for the BioCarbon Group, talked with Gloria Gonzalez about a recent evolution in the corporate social responsibility world and its impact on the voluntary carbon markets.

UK’s Woodland Carbon Code Hangs “For Sale” Sign For Future Offsets

Ecosystem Marketplace’s State of the Forest Carbon Markets 2013 report tracked a miniscule number of forestry offsets transacted under the UK’s Woodland Carbon Code (WCC) program in 2012. That could change now that the WCC has started listing future offsets available for sale on the Markit Registry.

This Week In Water: Landscapes Thinking In Action

Ecosystem Marketplace is taking an up-close look at the landscapes approach to nature and conservation starting with two Katoomba Meetings this spring, which will help prompt  cross-sector collaboration. Meanwhile, EM monitors landscapes thinking activities in Yorkshire, England and the US. 

Conservation Banking Becomes A Reality In Spain

Spain’s new Environmental Assessment Act, passed late last year, has big implications for conservation banking.  David Alvarez Garcia of the Spanish organization, Mercados de Medio Ambiente, which focuses on market based biodiversity conservation solutions, briefly explains his take on the new rule. 

Deutsche Post DHL: Neutral If You Choose

Deutsche Post DHL is a major player in the logistics industry which means it’s also a big contributor to global carbon emissions. To account for its environmental impact, the business has initiated an emissions reductions program based on carbon offsets and efficiency that will cover the company’s large indirect sources of emissions.    

Spain’s New Environment Policy Opens The Door To Conservation Banking

Late last month, the Spanish government ratified a new Environmental Assessment Act. Among the changes is the inclusion of conservation banking as a compensatory tool to ensure the country can achieve a no-net loss of species from development projects and other land-use impacts.

Dutch Platform Turns Landscapes Talk Into REDD Reality

The REDD theme in Warsaw this week was “landscapes” – paying not only to save forests, but to do so by protecting biodiversity and supporting communities. That’s where private conservation finance has been heading for years, and now a coalition of Netherlands-based corporates and the Dutch government has launched an initiative that makes it explicit.

REDD Reference Levels Share Stage With Broader Land-Use Issues In Warsaw

Negotiators meeting in Warsaw this week will focus on the critical issue of establishing reference levels for projects that reduce emissions by protecting endangered rainforest. That will clear the path for more REDD funding, even as side events and informal meetings begin to look at broader agricultural issues that are expected to play a larger role in talks to come.

In Warsaw As In California, Forest Carbon Carrot Needs Compliance Stick

Today’s voluntary forest projects have the capacity to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions by 1.4 billion tons over the next five years, but voluntary markets alone aren’t likely to generate that kind of demand. If compliance markets don’t start driving demand soon, we could lose many of the environmental benefits achieved to-date.

Registration Closes For London Launch Of State Of Forest Carbon Market Report

After weeks of frantic typing Ecosystem Marketplace’s State of the Forest Carbon Markets report officially launches today in London. The number of registrants is now above capacity, but anyone who confirmed before the close of business yesterday is guranteed entry. We will still try to accomodate anyone who still wants to sign up today, but it may be tight.

A Changing Climate: Implications For Business

A collaboration between the University of Cambridge and an European initiative working to curb climate change has produced a summary of the IPCC’s report that came out last week and confirmed man’s influence on the changing climate. Directed at the business community, the summary is perhaps more easily readable than the report while remaining scientifically accurate.

This Week In Biodiversity:
Firsts For US Wetland Banking; UK Ponders A National Offsets Program

The UK’s Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has released a green paper on nationwide biodiversity offsets, although the paper has met with criticism from environmental groups arguing offsets should only be used as a last resort after other options have been exhausted. In the US, a land swap in Minnesota between the government and an environmental investment firm could create the country’s largest wetland mitigation bank.

REDD+ Finance: Lessons From The US

Every government agency, it seems, has a different way of accounting for REDD+ financing. That’s true for countries, and it’s even true for agencies within the same country. Here a quick look at how the United States does it, with a glance at Norway and the UK.

Habitat Banking In Spain:
Moving Towards The Future

Spain has a shortage of public funds for nature and an overabundance of environmentally valuable land in private hands. It could, therefore, benefit greatly from conservation banking if the legal landscape can be adapted to recognize it. Here’s a look at the landscape and its pitfalls.

Althelia Raises $80 Million For REDD And Ecosystem Services

Two years in the making, the Althelia Climate Fund has raised €60 million ($80 million) to be invested in REDD+ and other ecosystem-service projects. It expects to raise another €90 million ($120 million) in the next 18 months, and hopes to generate both financial and social returns – for its investors and the world at large.

Should Israel Embrace Biodiversity Financing Programs?

Israel’s biodiversity is under threat from a list of sources that include urbanization, water scarcity and habitat loss. To beat this threat, a group of scientists, government officials, market experts and others are examining biodiversity financing programs from around the world to implement in Israel that will improve conservation.

What Australia’s Link and Scrap
Could Mean for Domestic Carbon Farming

 A group of land industry organizations are claiming the new ecosystem service based forest planning rule is in violation of several pieces of land management legislation. Because of what they believe to be a governmental overreach, they have filed a lawsuit against the US Forest Service. 29 August 2012 When the US Forest Service updated […]

On the Blog:
ACR Goes to Europe

As offset quality alphabet soup goes, you can add ACR to ICROA, with a dash of IETA. Don’t toss out the QAS and keep the Best Practice competition at room temperature. This blog covers the latest in carbon offset quality assurance, with one EU-based organization heating up its ties with North American project developers.

UK to Pilot Biodiversity Banking in 2012

In an effort to promote more efficient and effective conservation, the UK will start piloting mitigation banks in 2012.  The idea is to start small and voluntary, letting people learn the system and letting the system learn from them before kicking into a compliance regime in 2014. This comes after several attempts to quantify the economic value of UK biodiversity.

Proposed EU Biodiversity Strategy Supports Species Banking

The European Commission on Tuesday approved a new strategy for reversing biodiversity loss by 2020, in part by recognizing the economic value of nature’s services.  The new strategy lays the groundwork for species banking across the European Union, but must first be approved by the European Council.

Carbon Crooks Arrested in Romania?

Law enforcement agencies have prevented cyberthieves who hacked into European carbon registries from making off with more than $30 million they extracted from the market, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing unnamed officials.  The paper says the hackers were based in Romania, and that arrests will be announced within days.  No word yet on when registries will reopen.

European Commission Halts Emissions Trading After Registry Breach

The European Commission suspended trading on the European Union Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS) at the close of trading today, and will not re-open until next Wednesday at the earliest after cybercriminals were able to hack into several registries and steal credits worth millions of dollars.

Dutch Government Invests in African Carbon Fund

Dutch minister for Agriculture and Foreign Trade Henk Bleker has signed a financial commitment with the investment fund Food 4 All.  This fund specializes in smaller companies and cooperation’s in East and West Africa. It is the second deal that has been signed at the Investment Fair at It’s Down 2 Earth, the International Conference on Agriculture, Food safety and Climate Change.

On the Blog: Share Your Thoughts on the European Carbon Debacle

BlueNext and NordPool halted trading in Certified Emission Reduction certificates (CERs) after “recycled” CERs found their way into the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme.  It’s a bit off the EM path of voluntary and forest carbon, but it does impact the whole sector.  We’d like to find out what you think this means for the carbon markets, and have an active discussion going on the Eko-Eco Blog.

Green Resources Is First to Achieve Validation for Tree-Planting under VCS

Norwegian forestry and carbon offset group Green Resources last week became the first carbon offset project developer to register a reforestation project under the Voluntary Carbon Standard’s guidelines for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, forestry, and land use. This week, a second project was also verified – and plenty of others are sure to follow.

Methodologies Tame Forest Carbon Jungle

As forests convert carbon dioxide in the air to carbon stored in woods, leaves and roots, a range of organizations are, in turn, working to convert forests into carbon offsets. The ‘exchange rate’ of this conversion — or the amount of value brought by intervention — is determined by specific standards’ methodologies, which are technical, but critical, tools shaping the rules of the game.

UN Aims to Streamline Cost of Developing Forestry Offset Projects

It’s expensive to develop carbon offset projects that reduce emissions by capturing carbon in trees, and one reason is that every project has to develop its own methodologies for measuring results. The UNFCCC is asking for help in streamlining that process.

EM Cheat Sheet: The Additionality Debate

If you want to sell carbon offsets in exchange for action that reduces greenhouse gas emissions, you first have to prove that the money you’re earning is what makes the action you’re taking possible. That, in a nutshell, is "additionality" – a simple concept, but one that’s proving difficult to put into practice.

EKO-ECO: the Ecosystem Services Blog

When Ecosystem Marketplace launched in 2005, the idea of preserving nature by incorporating its value into our economic system was mostly an academic exercise. Today, it’s the cornerstone of a fast-moving and innovative branch of finance. To keep our readers up-to-speed on the latest developments, EM and EKO Asset Management Partners have launched the EKO-ECO blog.

Bonn Talks Open with REDD Agenda

Deforestation accounts for 20% of all greenhouse gas emissions, and the UN bodies charged with mapping out the role of forestry offsets in a post-Kyoto climate-change regime are meeting in Bonn, Germany, this week and next to continue the process of hammering out their differences. The groups will meet at least three more times before gathering in Copenhagen at the end of the year.

REDD Turns Amber in Bonn and Brazil

UN negotiators meeting in Bonn, Germany, made progress on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD), while delegates to the Katoomba Meeting in Cuiabá, Brazil, broadly endorsed the use of REDD financing to save the Amazon Rainforest. Ecosystem Marketplace examines the best coverage of both proceedings.

EU Call to Action Leaves Trees in Limbo

The European Commission has called for an OECD-wide carbon market by 2015 and ratcheted up calls for developing countries to keep their own emissions in check, but the question of whether offsets can be used to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation won’t be answered until the rest of the world makes up its mind. Ecosystem Marketplace summarizes the debate.

EU: Elbow to Offsets, Nod to Trees?

The European Parliament’s Environment Committee on Tuesday called for tighter post-Kyoto emission caps than previously proposed and the recognition of forestry offsets for the first time under an EU-sanctioned cap-and-trade regime. But it also said companies that take full advantage of offsets today might lose their right to use them for future compliance – something that has project developers crying foul.

The Matrix: Mapping Ecosystem Service Markets

The once-radical concept of saving the environment by documenting the economic value of environmental services and then getting industry to pay is finally catching on – but how is one to keep track of all the new methodologies and concepts? The Ecosystem Marketplace presents The Matrix, a new tool for surveying the ecosystem services landscape.