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Verified Carbon Standard Changes Name To Verra

As carbon standards like the Verified Carbon Standard and the Gold Standard expand their coverage to compliance with the Sustainable Development Goals, old names often no longer apply. To reflect that, the Verified Carbon Standard, which began as the Voluntary Carbon Standard, has now changed its name to “Verra”.


Now Is ABSOLUTELY The Right Time To Talk About Climate Change

As Florida recovers from Hurricane Irma and wildfires ravage the Pacific Northwest, the number of extreme weather events has topped 400 per year. That’s quadruple the rate of 1970, and scientists overwhelmingly attribute the rise to climate change. US Environmental Protection Administrator Scott Pruitt, however, says now is not the time to discuss such matters. Here’s why he’s wrong, and what we can do to set things right.


Ten Things You Need To Know About The Restoration Economy

Science warns us that, with the advent of climate change, we need to prepare more and more for hurricanes like Harvey and Irma. That means building up the systems that protect our coasts, manage our water, and regulate our climate. Some of those systems will be made of steel and concrete, but others will be made of trees and sand.


To Save Peru’s Forests, Support Its Small Farmers

Peru is losing more than 80,000 hectares of Amazon forest every year, mostly because small farmers are chopping it to meet our own ravenous appetites for beef, soy, and timber. In the process, they’re generating about half the country’s greenhouse-gas emissions. The country has vowed to change that, and here’s one way they can do so by helping small farmers improve the way they manage their land.


Remembering The Day Milton Friedman “Endorsed” A Price On Carbon

Higher temperatures and moister air lead to wetter and more intense hurricanes like Harvey and Irma, which will cost us hundreds of billions of dollars to recover from. While these tragedies are still front-and-center, let’s look back what happened when the University of Chicago resurrected its most famous economist to see how he proposed dealing with environmental catastrophes.


Brazilian Indigenous Leaders Turn Up Heat On Catholic Organization

Prominent leaders from nine indigenous peoples of the Amazon say the Acre State branch of Brazil’s powerful Indigenous Missionary Council (CIMI) is intentionally sabotaging a program that has enabled them to save their forests. In an open letter dated July 31, 2017, they called on prominent Catholic organizations to investigate CIMI Acre. Here is the full text of that letter.


States, Localities Say EPA Boss Pruitt Broke His Word On Clean Power Plan

The US Environmental Protection Agency is legally obligated to protect the country from climate change, and a coalition of Democratic attorneys general says EPA boss Scott Pruitt not only violated his promise to recuse himself from matters involving the Clean Power Plan, but provided “legally incorrect” advice to governors when he told them to ignore its deadlines.


How The Restoration Economy Can Help Us Withstand The Next Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey reminded us just how vulnerable low-lying cities like Houston are in a climate-changed world – especially when we degrade the living ecosystems that regulate floods and absorb greenhouse gasses. Fortunately, we have plenty of tools we can use to develop the “green infrastructure” needed to help us navigate the new reality of life in the Anthropocene.

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Chankuap Foundation: A Cosmetics Factory In The Amazon Forest

Father Silvio Brosegihini knew nothing of marketing or logistics when he founded the Chankuap Foundation in 1996, but that didn’t stop him from helping the indigenous Achuar and Shuar people develop a sustainable cosmetics industry built on the oils of rare plants.

President Donald Trump signs an executive order to withdraw the U.S. from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact agreed to under the Obama administration, Monday, Jan. 23, 2017, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Leading Scientists, Lawyers Challenge Trump On Social Cost Of Carbon

Earlier this year, President Trump’s executive order on energy independence instructed federal agencies to individually monetize climate damages rather than use the existing central estimate of $50 per ton of carbon dioxide. Now a new publication by prominent economists and lawyers argues that the current value is the “best estimate” of climate change’s costs.


A Missed Opportunity in California’s Climate ‘Victory’

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.


6 Charts Show How 20 Percent Of US States Generate 50 Percent Of Emissions

As major global greenhouse gas emitters, U.S. states have the economic heft and legislative authority to move the United States toward much lower emissions and cleaner energy, despite the Trump administration’s impotence and obstructionism at the federal level. While many have done so in the last decade, some remain stuck in the high-emitting past, as this analysis from the World Resources Institute shows.


How Brazil And Indonesia Can Meet The Climate Challenge

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.


How Impact Investors Help Small Fishermen Stay Afloat

Impact investors have poured more than $8 billion into projects that support sustainable land management, and now more money is also finding its way into sustainable fishing. This month, a new partnership providing equity to sustainable small-scale fishing-related enterprises in Philippines and Indonesia, has made its first investment in a Filipino fishing processing and exporting group.


Where Will JPMorgan Chase Put Its 200 Billion Green Dollars?

JP Morgan Chase aims to funnel a staggering $200 billion into sustainability efforts by 2025, primarily by supporting wind and solar projects around the world; but a sustainable economy needs more than just renewable energy. It needs healthy forests, farms, and fields; and the bank has a history of supporting the restoration economy that supports these.


Democratic Senators Introduce Carbon Pricing Bill

Earlier this year, a group of prominent senior Republican leaders, including former Secretary of State James A. Baker and former Secretary of State George P. Schultz, proposed a national carbon tax as a “conservative climate solution.” Now two prominent Democrats have presented their proposal. Will a price on carbon emerge as a pivotal issue in the mid-term elections?

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How The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals Can Quietly Change Global Business

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 Work: Study

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?

Illegal logging in the lowland rainforest. Loggers with illegally cut, highly quoted cedro tree (Cedrela odorata). Lowland rainforest along the Rio Las Piedras, near the Alto Purus Reserved Zone, department Madre de Dios, Peru.

Europeans Importing More Timber From Conflict Zones

War-torn countries need money, but illegal timber purchases often end up fueling warlords and accelerating conflict. A new analysis shows that European countries are importing more and more timber from 35 countries listed as fragile and conflict-related, and that much of that timber could be illegally-harvested.

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Can Europe Tap The Private Sector To Protect Its Environment?

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.


Consuming Deforestation: Where Are Your Standards?

These days, everything from coffee to cornflakes has somebody’s stamp of approval, letting you know its ingredients have been sustainably harvested or that its producers have been treated fairly. But what do these standards mean? Here’s a quick look at four (soon to be three) of the most popular.


Andrew Mitchell: Forest Utility Meter Man

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.


How Peru’s Pepper District Became An Organic Hotspot

Peruvian cuisine is the ultimate fusion of the indigenous and the exogenous, and it’s sparked a demand for exotic and diverse fruits and vegetables. Here’s how the region of Caserio Pimental – Peru’s pepper district – is meeting part of that demand with agroforestry and sustainable farming.


It’s Time To Start Prosecuting Climate Criminals

Countries around the world are implementing new laws and developing new mechanisms to achieve the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, while while several organizations have filed civil suits to force government action. But one mechanism has been sorely under-utilized: namely, prosecuting climate scofflaws as criminals under laws that already exist, argues Reinhold Gallmetzer of the International Criminal Court.


One Month On, Innovate4Climate Continues To Yield Stories

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.


Bertrand Piccard Wants You (And Your Climate Solutions)

Ten years ago, Swiss psychologist Bertrand Piccard vowed to fly around the world in a solar-powered airplane – not just to do it, but to show that it could be done, and to inspire others to seek new solutions to the climate challenge. Last year he succeeded, and now he plans to find and help fund 1000 climate-change solutions.


Climate Tops Agenda For US Mayors Meeting In Miami Beach

With the Trump administration leaving the federal government essentially neutered on climate change as hurricane season gets underway, this annual meeting of mayors is set to assume an unusually high profile. Mayors from more than 250 cities will meet to discuss climate, crime, and other issues.


How Marks & Spencer Is Helping To Build A Global ‘Sustainability Tribe’

Marks & Spencer has been recognized as one of the most sustainable retailers on the planet, second only to Finland’s much smaller Kesko OYJ, but the company – and other sustainable enterprises like Unilever and Tesco – are tiny drops in the ocean of our modern and still unsustainable economy. Can their joint efforts improve the global ecosystem in which they operate?


Can This Swiss Feed Supplement Do For Cows What Tesla Is Doing For Cars?

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 Farms And Rural Communities Lose Big If Trump Pulls Out Of Paris Agreement

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.


Is The World Better Off If Trump Bails On Climate?

US President Donald Trump has officially begun the process of withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement – even as business leaders outside the Koch/DeVos/Coors vortex call for steep emission-reductions. Here’s why that might not be such a bad thing.


As Costs Rise, Green Infrastructure Looks Better And Better

Addressing stormwater runoff and other water-related challenges is getting insanely expensive, which is why cost-effective green interventions are on the rise. This month’s Water Log features several efforts aiming to showcase innovative and nature-based water financing ideas. It also highlights a new project aiding nature-based businesses and a potential nutrient market in California’s East Bay.


Unlocking Carbon Market Potential In a Post-Paris World

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.


New Initiative Lends A Helping Hand To Europe’s Green Entrepreneurs

Organic farmers and other environmental entrepreneurs are a romantic lot, but they don’t have the opportunities for training and finance that providers of solar and wind technologies do. That’s set to change with the launch of ECOSTAR, a university-business hub that links the world of markets to that of ecosystem services science. The project launches on June 15th with a call for nature-based start-ups interested in learning the ropes.


Climate Hangs Over Trump Like Sword Of Damocles Ahead of G-7

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.


The Dutch Government Is Piloting A Voluntary Carbon Program, And It’s Not Alone

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.


With “Plan A”, Marks & Spencer Redefined Corporate Social Responsibility

Ten years ago, UK retailer Marks & Spencer launched “Plan A” – a massive effort to completely restructure its operations and become the world’s most sustainable retailer. It’s close to succeeding, if it hasn’t already, but one man can’t stop a tidal wave, and the hard part is getting others on board.


Indigenous Leaders Find Voice In Global Climate Talks

Seven years ago, indigenous people were seldom seen and even more seldom heard at global climate talks. Today, they’re actively involved in talks, with organizations like AIDESEP and COICA ensuring that indigenous practices are a part of forest-related solutions implemented under the Paris Climate Agreement.


China, India To Beat Climate Pledges As Trump Drags US Backwards

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.


Leveraging Carbon Finance For Wetland Restoration In California

Ecosystem Marketplace is wrapping up data collection for its State of Biodiversity Markets report with a final flash poll offering anyone who’s interested a chance to weigh in on the future of biodiversity offsets. In other news, carbon market practitioners eye wetland restoration and rewilding initiatives in Europe get a loan.