News & Articles

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 […]

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 […]

Will Incoming EPA Boss Andrew Wheeler Destroy The Restoration Economy?

11 July 2018 | US Environmental Protection Agency boss Scott Pruitt may be gone, but his replacement, Andrew Wheeler is just as friendly to the coal sector as Pruitt was – and just as unfriendly to the $25 billion “restoration economy” that directly employs 126,000 people and supports 95,000 other jobs. That’s more jobs than logging, more […]

With Pruitt And Kennedy Gone, What Happens To The Clean Water Rule?

This is the fifth installment in a five-part series. You can find the first installment here. 5 July 2018 | US Environmental Protection Agency boss Scott Pruitt is gone – not because of his environmental malfeasance, but because his $43,000 phone booth, his $100,000 trip to Disneyland, and his attempts to get his wife a lucrative job […]

IKEA Is Latest Company To Gain Approval For Science-Based Climate Targets

22 June 2018 | Global furniture giant IKEA Group has promised to reduce the climate footprint of its products 70 percent by 2030, and now it can back that claim up after becoming the 113th company to see its emission-reduction strategy approved by the Science-Based Targets initiative. The initiative is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations […]

Europeans Agree On 32 Percent Renewables Target And Phaseout Of Palm Oil For Transport By 2030

14 June 2-18 | The European Parliament sparked protests across Indonesia and Malaysia last year when it proposed banning the use of palm oil for biofuel from 2021 onward under amendments to the European Renewable Energy Directive (REDII). Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and Indonesian President Joko Widodo each lambasted the proposal as “discriminatory” because […]

Supreme Court Says Tribal Treaty Rights Require Salmon Passage to Sea

14 June 2018 | This week, the Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision that said the Washington state government must remove barriers to salmon migration in rivers to uphold the treaty rights of Washington tribes to fish. In Washington, and other parts of the Northwest, tribes retained treaty rights to hunt, fish, and access […]

Renewable Energy Boom Not So Kind To Southern US Forests

Stretching across the southeastern U.S., wetland forests provide ecosystem services totaling $500 billion, according to a 2018 report by environmental watchdog group Dogwood Alliance. Today, America’s natural wetland forests exist in pockets, covering just a fraction of their former range. However, even in their depleted state, they provide crucial services. These highly biodiverse ecosystems are […]

A First Look at ECOSTAR’s Nature-Based Startup Portfolio

23 May 2018 | When Alessandro Leonardi began his graduate degree in forestry a decade ago at the University of Padova in Italy, forestry students rarely came near a business school classroom – courses in business administration, finance, or marketing weren’t part of the curriculum. In 2011, after completing his degree, Leonardi and some fellow […]

Mid-Year Climate Talks Wrap Up With Agreement On Agriculture, Eyes On Bangkok

Mid-year climate talks have wrapped up in the former German capitol of Bonn with no negotiating text for year-end talks in Poland (COP 24), but continued agreement to fast-track the activities on agriculture. Negotiators added an extra week of talks for September in Bangkok, Thailand to develop a negotiating text for COP 24. On the bright side, […]

Have Chinese Companies Finally Joined The Sustainability Bandwagon?

21 April 2018 |  Forty years ago, China’s once-vast forests were on the brink of extinction, but then the country stopped chopping trees and started planting them – a staggering 66 billion of them since 1978. This year alone, it will plant enough trees to cover all of Ireland. Critics, however, say companies have merely “exported” […]

How To Stop Your Khakis From Killing Forests

Most shoes are made of leather, while more and more shirts are made of cellulosic fibers derived from wood. Companies around the world are chopping down forests to make these products, accelerating climate change in the process. Here’s what some companies are doing to slow the process, and how you can support them.

In Chiapas, Farmers Plant Trees To Boost Yields

Mexico aims to slash its greenhouse gas emissions in part by improving the health of its forests, farms, and fields. The Scolel’te project has been doing that for decades, and provides a template for national strategies.

Waters Of The United States
Part Four: Writing The New Rule

The Trump administration wants to “repeal and replace” a rule for defining which waterways are and are not protected by the Clean Water Act, and environmentalists say Trump’s proposal would leave 80 percent of all US waters unprotected. In this fourth installment of a five-part series, we see how the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers forged the current rule over four arduous years.

Can New Principles Drive Money Into Sustainable Fishing?

Seafood is a hot commodity, but current fishing practices are depleting ocean stocks faster than they can regenerate. Much of the investment flows driving those practices come from government agencies whose interests should be longer term, and new guidelines aim to direct them, as well as private flows, into more sustainable practices.

Can The World Bank Model Show Us How to De-Risk U.S. Environmental Markets?

Most environmental markets exist to help regulated entities like electric companies and mining groups meet requirements established by law. If those laws are changed or challenged, prices can swing violently. Here’s how the World Bank has mitigated risk around the world, sparking similar endeavors in the United States.

The Dirt On Soil Carbon

Healthy topsoil teems with life, and on this planet, that means carbon. But as we churn through topsoil, we release carbon into the air, where it becomes carbon dioxide, the most common greenhouse gas. and lots of it: nearly 300 billion tons of carbon dioxide over the last 200 years, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Here’s how carbon finance is helping to reverse that trend.

Finance To Protect Tropical Forests: Not Just One Silver Bullet

Carbon finance is measured in billions of dollars, while global supply chains are measured in trillions, but the former can still be used to leverage the latter. Looking at the case of Brazil, a new report lays out how an integrated financing strategy for the protection of tropical forests can make the money work harder and go further.

Waters Of The United States
Part Three: The Rapanos Decision

In 2006, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia jettisoned two centuries of legal precedent to redefine “Waters of the United States” as only being rivers, streams, and lakes. It’s a definition that left 98 percent of the country’s waters unprotected by federal federal agencies, but was largely ignored – until Donald Trump ordered the EPA to make it the law of the land.

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”.

Waters Of The United States
Part Two: Wetlands In The Clean Water Act

Congress passed the Clean Water Act in 1972, but it was slowly amended and refined. By 2000, the Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency had settled on clear definitions of what constitutes “waters of the United States”. Not everyone, however, agreed with them.

Why Are 11 US States Suing The EPA And Army Corps Over Water Quality?

Last week, New York Attorney General Eric Scheiderman filed suit against the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers to block the Trump administration’s suspension of guidance on clean water. In this three-part series, we examine the convoluted history of water regulation in the United States

Twenty Percent Of US Climate Emissions Come From Fossil Fuel Exploration On Public Land

Shareholders are gradually demanding more corporate disclosure on climate risk, and which Mike Bloomberg’s Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures says is the greatest threat to financial stability. Now the Wilderness Society is demanding that same transparency from the US Department of Interior, which overseas federal public lands, and where, the Society says, oil and gas companies are generating 20 percent of US emissions.

Europeans Move To Isolate US On Trade If Trump Pulls Out Of Paris Agreement

From the moment Donald Trump won the election as President of the United States, analysts warned that any effort to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement would isolate him and his country in global trade talks. Now, as the president sticks to his 2020 pull-out date, trade isolation is becoming a very real – and even probable – possibility.

How Do You Measure Compliance With Sustainable Development Goals?
Answer By March 4

Billions of dollars in finance are now tied to the UN’s Stainable Development Goals, but how do you measure compliance? The Verified Carbon Standard is asking for public comments on project requirements it’s developing for a framework of sustainability criteria called the Sustainable Development Verified Impact Standard (SD VISta).