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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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”. […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
11 September 2018 | This week, San Francisco hosts the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS), a gathering timed midway between climate talks in Paris in 2015 and 2020. GCAS unofficially began on Saturday with the Rise for Climate demonstration and will continue until the weekend, with a number of high-level commitments by governments, business, and […]
8 September 2018 | Next week, the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) will take place in the US state of California, where legislators have passed a bill mandating a carbon-free energy grid by 2045. If Governor Jerry Brown signs that bill, California will become the second US state after Hawaii to set that goal. More […]
7 September 2018 | Four years ago, companies, countries, and indigenous organizations endorsed the New York Declaration on Forests (NYDF), which is a set of ten goals designed to cut natural forest loss in half by 2020 and end it by 2030 – pledges that have sparked a complete realignment of global supply chains, according to […]
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 […]
1 September 2018 | Rodrigo Ponce first came to the Peruvian district of San Roque de Cumbaza (SRC), at the western edge of the Amazon Rainforest, as a master’s student studying ecotourism. He came full of “romantic notions of living in ecovillages,” and he was woefully disappointed. “When I first came to this town, I […]
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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,” […]
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 […]
31 July 2018 | Scientists now know more about the interplay between man and nature than they ever have before, and what they know can be alarming. New data, for example, shows that mankind is depleting the ecosystems on which we depend at a rate roughly 1.7-times the planet’s capacity to regenerate, placing this year’s […]
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 […]
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, […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 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, […]
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” […]
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.
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.
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.
Last month, the Philippine Department of Justice asked a court to declare 600 people terrorists, and the list included dozens of human rights leaders, including Vicky Corpuz, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, as well as several people who critics say simply don’t exist. Here’s what we know so far.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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
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.
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.
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).