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Opinion: ProPublica’s Inexcusable REDD+ Belly Flop

Mainstream media outlets have been congratulating themselves of late for becoming just 20 years too late on climate change, and now the same institutions that have consistently failed to cover the enormity of the challenge are failing to cover the myriad interlocking solutions. This week, ProPublica became the latest outlet to blow it

Katowice Climate Deal Leaves Carbon Markets Intact But Incomplete

Climate negotiators have signed off on an incomplete rulebook for implementing the Paris Climate Agreement, with guidance for Article 6 pushed off until next year in Chile. That won’t prevent states from developing markets among themselves, but does leave a proposed centralized market operating under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in limbo.

Will Double-Counting Dust-Up Crush Katowice Climate Conference?

For three years, Brazil has insisted that developing countries should be allowed to double-count some emission reductions in the early years of the Paris Agreement, as long as they make it up later. Most countries oppose the idea, but Brazil and a narrow contingent of supporters are standing firm. Now there’s hope of a compromise that would allow weaker accounting rules until 2023, with a firm mechanism for making up the shortfall thereafter.

Development Banks Provided $196 Billion Of Climate Finance In 2017

Since their inception in 1992, global climate talks have floundered on the issue of finance, with developed countries balking at the prospect of sending billions of dollars to poorer countries that will suffer the worst effects of global warming. But a coalition of development banks have quietly funneled $200 billion per year to climate investments since the Paris Agreement.

Can Indigenous Leader Nara Baré Derail Brazil’s “Tropical Trump”?

Brazilian president-elect Jair Bolsonaro wants to ratchet up development in the Brazilian Amazon, which would lead to a surge in greenhouse gas emissions. Indigenous people, the “guardians of the forest”, have vowed to stop him, but they can’t do it on their own. Indigenous leader Nara Baré hopes to build global support for Amazon protection.

Tropical Countries Far Short Of Meeting Deforestation Targets

Countries and companies around the world have endorsed the New York Declaration on Forests, which is a pledge to end deforestation by 2030. An analysis of climate action plans from six key tropical countries – including four NYDF endorsers – finds that none of them are on track to meet that target.

IPCC Findings Drive Support For Natural Climate Solutions In Katowice

It’s not all doom and gloom as year-end climate talks enter their final days in Katowice, Poland, with many observers seeing increased support for natural climate solutions such as better management of forests, farms, and fields. Such solutions can provide one-third of the action needed to meet the Paris Agreement targets, but historically draw just 3 percent of dedicated climate finance.

In Katowice, Indigenous Leaders Call For Wider Uptake Of REDD+

For over 20 years, indigenous people of the Amazon have been using “Life Plans” to manage their forests sustainably, but most of them struggled to find the money needed to get the plans off the ground. Forest-carbon finance seemed to offer an answer, but REDD+ as initially structured in the voluntary markets didn’t always match indigenous values. Now, it does.

Climate Talks Open In Katowice, Poland

Representatives from nearly 200 nations gathered in Katowice, Poland on Sunday for year-end climate talks designed to create a rulebook for implementing the Paris Climate Agreement. To date, just seven nations, most of them tiny, are on track to reduce emissions to meet the 2 degree Celsius goal, while the U.S. is on track to withdraw from the accord by 2020.

Can Sustainable Logging Help Save An Indigenous Way Of Life?

When the indigenous people of Bélgica, in the Peruvian Amazon, turned to sustainable logging, they did so to earn income, out of necessity. They found, however, that the process of getting certified helped them create a long-term strategy for sustainable management of their land.

It’s Now Easier Than Ever To Measure Natural Capital Risks

Climate risks endanger 13 of the 18 FTSE 100 sectors, and a new tool makes it possible for investors, insurers, and anyone with an interest to explore the specific risks faced by sectors, sub-sectors, and specific processes supporting the global economy.

Oil Palm, The Prodigal Plant, Is Coming Home To Africa. What Does That Mean For Forests?

Oil palm evolved in Western Africa, but it took root in Southeast Asia, where it’s driving a $60 billion-per-year industry but leading to the destruction of forests across the country. Now West African countries like Ghana are scaling up their production, and Samuel Avaala says they can do so while reviving, rather than destroying, their forests.

Major Soy Traders Get Low Grades For Cerrado Sourcing

The Brazilian Soy Moratorium is credited with reducing deforestation from soybean production within the Amazon forest by as much as 80 percent in some states, and it worked by getting soybean traders like Bunge, Cargill, ADM, Amaggi, and Louis Dreyfus to stop buying from farmers who clear forested land to grow soybeans. Unfortunately, the same […]

Climate Economist Nordhaus Wins Nobel As Scientific Body Calls For Price On Carbon

The Royal Bank of Sweden today announced it was awarding the Nobel Prize for Economics to two American economists: Paul Romer, who made us think about the economics of education and sustainable development, and William Nordhaus, who pioneered the use of economic modeling to quantify the economic impact of climate change. The announcement comes just […]

Scientists Say 1.5-Degree Climate Quest Gives Short Shrift To Forests

As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) puts the finishing touches on a new report detailing pathways to keeping global temperatures from rising 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels, more and more scientists are calling for greater emphasis on natural climate solutions. Research published last year in the Proceedings of the National […]

Indonesia’s Sustainable Districts Bet On Corporate Deforestation Pledges

Forestry and farming generate more than 30 percent of all the world’s greenhouse-gas emissions, mostly because land managers are pinching pennies to meet our own appetites for soy, beef, and palm oil. These rural Indonesian farming districts say they can manage the land more sustainably, but agribusinesses will have to share the risk. Will they?

Companies Acting On Deforestation Have A Legality Issue

26 October 2018 | The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s recent Special Report showing that we may have little more than a decade before global warming exceeds 1.5°C is rattling. A finding that’s received less attention but is equally critical is that there is no pathway that keeps us under 1.5 degrees without active […]

The Challenge Of Feeding 83 Million People In A Climate-Friendly Way

This story first appeared on Clean Energy Wire 24 October 2018 | No matter how you look at it, people need sustenance to survive – and growing crops or raising livestock creates emissions. But Germany must find a way to reduce its agricultural emissions, which make up seven percent of total greenhouse gas emissions to […]

How (And Where) Market Mechanisms Can Accelerate Waterway Recovery

17 October 2018 | Twenty years ago, Oregon’s Willamette River was an unswimmable cocktail of 64 deadly chemicals, while the Chesapeake Bay was suffocating under a blanket of algae fed by fertilizer running off of farms spread across six US states. Governments in both regions – and, indeed, across the United States – vowed to […]

When Your Day Job Is Restoring Streams And Saving Species

15 October 2018 | Rick Wilson loves the thousand acres of land he bought to expand his ranch in Denton County, Texas, but it didn’t come cheap, and he was nervous about making ends meet – until he got a letter from a man named Adam Riggsbee, offering to pay Wilson good money to let […]

Want To Invest In Cricket Crackers And Honeybees? Here’s How!

On one hand, bugs are high in protein and easy on the environment: a compelling solution for reducing global meat consumption and its contribution to climate change. On the other hand, try pitching that business idea to an investor. An entrepreneur who sees major potential for both the planet and their bottom line through producing […]

Offsetting And Aviation: Ready For Takeoff?

4 October 2018 | International aviation is one of only two sectors not covered in the Paris Climate Agreement (the other is international shipping). Many airlines already use carbon offsets to limit their net carbon emissions, either on a voluntary basis or to comply with national or regional regulations. To date, there has been no […]

How Blockchain Can Make Carbon Markets More Accessible

2 October 2018 | As more companies and individuals are looking for tools to mitigate their impact on climate change, the idea of utilizing blockchain technology has been on the forefront of many conversations. It is one of the building blocks behind cryptocurrency and companies are looking to utilize blockchain technology as a means to […]

The Economics Of Activating Dirt To Absorb Greenhouse Gasses And Restore Soil

2 October 2018 | Centuries of unsustainable agriculture have squeezed massive amounts of nitrogen and carbon out of soils, and Ohio State’s Rattan Lal, a professor of soil science who has presciently spoken out about restoring forests and soils for carbon mitigation and sequestration, says we can pull about 10 percent of our greenhouse gasses […]

When It Comes To Envirotech Adoption, NGOs Can Lead Us Out Of The Woods

This story is cross-posted on the World Economic Forum web site 1 October 2018 | Facebook seemed so frivolous when it first emerged 15 years ago, but look at it now: this glorified chatroom has completely upended the very sector it seemed destined to complement, becoming in the process the epitome of a “disruptive technology”. […]

Why The UN Sustainable Development Goals Really Are A Very Big Deal

25 September 2018 | When US President Donald Trump addresses the United Nations General Assembly today, try to look beyond the dog and pony show to see what’s happening at Global Goals Week, which started over the weekend and runs through Friday at events across New York. Global Goals Week is designed to forge support […]

40 US Mayors Endorse Forest Protection To Slow Climate Change

24 Sept 2018 | In the wake of Hurricane Florence and wildfires that have swept the country, over 200 organizations, scientists and elected officials – including 40 mayors from across the country – have endorsed a new effort to slow climate change by protecting US forests. The initiative, called the Stand4Forests platform, comes as a […]

REDD Dawn: The 60-Year Evolution Of Forest Carbon

This story is excerpted from the upcoming book “Carbon Cowboys and REDD Indigenes”.  21 September 2018 | The Paris Climate Agreement aims to keep global temperatures from rising another 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Farenheit), and one way it aims to achieve that is by funneling money into forest conservation and sustainable farming through a […]

$5.6 Trillion Investor Coalition Throws Weight Behind Cerrado Conservation

18 September 2018 | Over the past 30 years, environmental NGOs and the Brazilian government have slashed deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon, mostly by positioning the Amazon as the “lungs of the planet” and getting companies to sign and implement the high-profile Soy Moratorium and Cattle Agreements. But what about the Cerrado? The Amazon Forest’s […]

When It Comes to Natural Climate Solutions, We Have an Unexpected Ally: The Water Sector

17 Sept 2018 | The Global Climate Action Summit wrapped up in San Francisco last week, and what a week it was. A coalition of nine foundations announced commitments totaling $459 million to conserve forests around the world and recognize the land rights of the indigenous and traditional communities who manage them. California released the groundwork […]

Investing In A Forgotten Solution To Climate Change: Nature

6 September 2018 | Here are some things we know: that the climate is changing, that this is largely a result of too much carbon and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and that we continue to emit more carbon into the atmosphere every day. We also know that, globally, forests and terrestrial soils combined store more than two and […]

EcoOla: Blending Business Sense And Environmental Sensibility In The Peruvian Amazon

During a trip through the Peruvian Amazon, Will Park was introduced to exotic fruits when he was rescued by local indigenous people. Since that moment, he couldn’t stop thinking of them and now runs a company called \with his wife Carla Noain – who he also met while on his quest. EcoOla has found both communities interested in working sustainably and a market that seeks their products.

Voluntary Carbon Gets Lift From Paris, Planes, And Propriety

16 August 2018 | Voluntary carbon markets are heating up as companies and consumers are taking action on climate change, according to  Voluntary Carbon Market Insights: 2018 Outlook and First-Quarter Trends, published yesterday by  Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace. The report finds that both supply and demand for voluntary carbon markets hit record-highs in 2017, at 62.7 million and […]

Conservation Entrepreneurs Are Ready to Get Down to Business. Watch Their Pitches Here

This is the second in a two-part series. View part one here. 15 August 2018 | Business is booming in the arena of “nature-based” companies, which includes ventures ranging from ecological restoration companies to ecotourism to sustainable commodity production. One study estimates that ecological restoration in the United States is a $25 billion-a-year industry that directly employs […]

Analysis: Is The Bureau Of Land Management’s Bar On Compensatory Mitigation For Optics Only?

This story originally appeared on the Energy & Environmental Law Blog 9 August 2018 | On Monday, July 24, 2018, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued a memorandum prohibiting BLM from requiring “compensatory mitigation” projects, except where specifically mandated by the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA). BLM will consider “voluntary proposals for compensatory mitigation,” […]

Struggling To Meet Climate Targets, Ireland Contemplates Higher Carbon Tax

7 August 2018 | Two months ago, the Climate Action Network ranked Ireland as the second-worst climate performer in the European Union, behind only Poland (which, ironically, is hosting year-end climate talks for the third time in December). Since then, lawmnakers have introduced a bill to divest all fossil-fuel holdings, which amount to EUR 318 […]

Connecting Indigenous Growers With Buyers Helps Save Forests And Lift Up Communities

This story originally appeared on the EDF Blog Economic development while also conserving forests is not easy. Building infrastructure and increasing production often entails forest degradation or destruction. But at Environmental Defense Fund, our mantra “Finding the ways that work” challenges us to solve even the most intractable problems. And so over the last five […]

Environmental NGOs Gear Up to Defend Compensatory Mitigation

27 July 2018 | For decades, the US government has, under some circumstances, let mining companies and other land developers use compensatory mitigation to “offset” their damage to the habitat of endangered species by restoring an area of equal or greater environmental value. It’s a practice that balanced economy with ecology and supported a restoration […]

Accountability Framework Initiative Releases Draft Of Core Principles, Invites Feedback

26 July 2018 | Nearly 500 leading companies have pledged to eliminate deforestation from their supply chains, and the Tropical Forest Alliance (TFA 2020) recently found that these pledges are, in fact, changing the ways the world produces, procures, and distributes products like soybeans, oil palm, beef & leather, and pulp & paper. It also, however, […]

World’s First Nature-Based Accelerator Graduates Initial Cohort Of Start-Ups

19 July 2018 | The ECOSTAR Nature-Accelerator graduated its first cohort of nature-based startups today, concluding with a Demo Day at which the startups will pitch their business ideas to private and public investors. The event will be held at the world’s oldest botanical garden, in Padua, Italy–a fitting location for the world’s first startup […]