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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.

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How To Keep An Eye On Commodity Companies At The Marrakesh Climate Talks

The Paris Climate Agreement created a framework for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, in part by funneling money into programs that promote better management of forests, farms and fields. Negotiators will refine that agreement in Marrakesh this week and next, but it won’t mean a thing if businesses are welcomed – or cajoled – into the process, and in a big way.


The Ripple Effect Of California Cap And Trade

While it isn’t without policy uncertainty, the relative stability of California’s carbon cap and trade scheme has strengthened both compliance and voluntary carbon markets, says The Climate Trust’s Dick Kempka. Here, he explains the program’s positive effect, and pushes for more states and regions in the US to adopt cap and trade in order to meet national climate change goals.


Wednesday In Washington: Explore Latest Developments In Forest-Carbon Finance

Year-end climate talks begin on November 7, and the latest State of Forest Carbon Finance Report, to be released Wednesday, documents a massive uptick in forest-carbon finance – an uptick that still falls far short of the amount needed to end deforestation, which pumps 3 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere yearly. Join us to learn how the Paris Agreement might change this equation.


Will New Aviation Deal Save Forests?

On Thursday, 65 countries representing 83% of international aviation agreed to cap their greenhouse-gas emissions from international flights at 2020 levels from 2021 onward – in part by forcing airlines to offset emissions above that threshold, perhaps by funding programs that save forests and support sustainable agriculture around the world. A final decision on offset types, however, isn’t expected until 2018

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Houston, We Have A Problem With Carbon Pricing And It’s Not The One You Think!

Carbon pricing and the social cost of carbon have traditionally been isolated from each other but recent developments on SCC at both the federal and state level stand to significantly impact market-based carbon prices. Here, longtime environmental economist Mark Trexler explains the situation and how the two appear to be on something of a collision course.

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Why Do Carbon Prices Vary By Project Type?

Ecosystem Marketplace research consistently shows wide price variance across projects and project types, and for reasons that often seem elusive. Claire Willers of the Gold Standard attributes the differences to a variety of factors, from degree of rigor to project location to economies of scale and overall quality.


Carbon Markets See Positive Signal In New US Climate Guidance, But No Game Change

Earlier this week, the US Executive Office issued final guidance instructing all federal agencies to fully consider global warming and its impacts when making decisions and implementing activities. The guidance’s clear mention of land-based mitigation measures leads some practitioners to see market opportunity.


Peru’s New President Gets Arsenal Of New Environmental Tools

Peru has long been among the more innovative countries in dealing with the consequences of climate change, and last week policymakers there approved critical tools that can open the door for public and private investment in forests, water and biodiversity conservation.


Australia Pushes Toward Emissions Trading

The Australian states and territories are collectively pushing a national greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme despite active resistance from the Commonwealth government. The Ecosystem Marketplace considers the potential implications of implementing the world's first state-based National Emissions Trading Scheme.


New Report Finds Companies Are Pricing Carbon And Offsetting Emissions In Creative Ways

A growing number of leading businesses are thinking long-term about climate change and adopting comprehensive strategies for reducing their carbon footprints, says a new report from Ecosystem Marketplace, out this week. The report, which surveyed companies purchasing carbon offsets, finds that several companies are offsetting to address their unavoidable emissions.


Debunked: Eight Myths About Carbon Offsetting

A new report from Ecosystem Marketplace, published today, reveals companies are engaging in carbon markets as one part of larger emissions reduction strategies that include energy efficiency measures among other improvements. Here, Forest Trends’ Will Tucker explores eight common misconceptions associated with carbon offsets.


Understanding Greenhouse Gas Emissions From International Flights

From a carbon accounting perspective, most greenhouse gas emissions from international passenger flights don’t exist, because outside the European Economic Area they aren’t charged to any nation. In October, the United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization will announce a plan to change that, and Arjun Patney of the American Carbon Registry offers this primer.

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Colorado’s Home-Grown Voluntary Carbon Offset Program Now Gets Home-Grown Management

Eight years after the state of Colorado launched a private/public voluntary carbon offset program that encourages low-emission driving, the Colorado-based Natural Capitalism Solutions is taking the wheel and intends to steer the Colorado Carbon Fund toward projects that mitigate climate while delivering social and economic benefits.


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

Carbon project developers have high hopes for the Sustainable Development Goals, which they hope will provide a clear benchmark for the non-carbon “co-benefits” that so many have worked so hard to create. But for the SDGs to catch on, we will need buy-in across all sectors: private, public, and non-governmental. Here is why it should happen.


Mark Your Calendar: Wednesday Voluntary Carbon Markets Webinar

2015 was a paradoxical year for voluntary carbon offsets, with average prices reaching an all-time low of $3.30 per ton even as volume rose 10% and prices for new offsets more than doubled to $7.20. Meanwhile, companies began exploring new ways of using offsets to reduce emissions internally. Confused? Join our Wednesday webinar for a deep dive into the findings of the “State of Voluntary Carbon Markets” report.

Rainforest Alliance certified cocoa farmers for Magnum Icecream in Assin Akonfudi, Ghana.

To Avert A Chocolate Shortage, Ghana Bets On Jurisdictional REDD+

Cocoa is Ghana’s largest cash crop, but it faces an uncertain future as farmers burn through land and devour forests. The government hopes to fix that by using REDD+ finance to promote sustainable agriculture, provide insurance, and help those who embrace sustainable farming to sell their products.

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Opinion: Cutting Carbon And Costs

The vast majority of economists advocate putting a price on carbon, and most people generally argue that a higher price will drive down emissions the fastest. But focusing on price first, instead of efficient emission reductions, could do more harm than good, argues Sheldon Zakreski, Director of Carbon Compliance for The Climate Trust.


Voluntary Carbon Markets Show Steady Growth As Paris Reframes Climate Action

Ecosystem Marketplace’s State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2016 report tracked a 10% increase over 2014. The report launched May 26 at Carbon Expo in Cologne, Germany and the findings demonstrate how individuals, corporations and state and national governments are using voluntary carbon markets to ramp up their own climate action as the world forged an international agreement on climate change.

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In Cuyamaca, Carbon Finance Gives A Forest Life After Catastrophe

When the smoke cleared in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park after the 2003 Cedar Fire, almost every tree across 25,000 acres had been killed. Park managers waited a few years but saw no regrowth, so they did something somewhat unprecedented under California State Parks operations: they took matters into their own hands. With an influx of carbon finance from private sector partners, the Cuyamaca forest carbon project is now poised to issue its first offsets – but it’s been quite a waiting game.


When Putting A Price On Carbon, What We Don’t Know Could Kill Us

Nearly every economist agrees that we can best slash greenhouse-gas emissions by charging emitters for the damage they create – but how do we know what to charge? Scientists currently estimate damages based only on what they know for sure, but the scary stuff is in what they don’t know, says Gernot Wagner, co-author of the book “Climate Shock: The Economic Consequences of a Hotter Planet”.


European Biomass Satellite To Support REDD+

The European Space Agency (ESA) has awarded a contract to develop what it says is the most advanced satellite ever deployed for measuring the carbon content of tropical rainforests. Named, appropriately enough, “Biomass”, the satellite will launch in 2021 and is explicitly designed to support REDD+. The ESA says it will provide more accurate measurements of carbon content than even ground-truthing now provides.


13 Trillion Reasons This Earth Day Is Different From All Others

Representatives from roughly 130 governments are converging on New York city today to sign the Paris Agreement that was reached in December, and the We Mean Business Coalition says that implementing that agreement will unleash more than $13 trillion in new investment – or $100 billion for everyone who signs. That’s just one reason this year’s Earth Day is completely different from all those that came before.


How A Carbon Price Can Ease The Climate Shock

More than 120 heads of government are expected to converge on New York City to formally sign the Paris Agreement today, bringing it into effect as soon as 55 of them put their names on the list. A core component of that agreement is the ability to put a price on carbon dioxide emissions – an argument that’s taken for granted in some circles but dismissed in others. Here’s why we dismiss that argument at our own risk.


With New Forest Strategy, World Bank Aims For Action Over Experimentation

The World Bank’s new five-year forest plan is a clear continuation of its evolving strategy to save forests by both commercializing activities that depend on them and supporting activities that take pressure off of them, but it makes that double-pronged approach explicit and promises to deliver by shifting its focus away from isolated projects and towards programs more carefully incorporated into national strategies.


Why Workers In Coal Country Should Embrace Carbon Markets

The Great Transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy has begun, and this week it forced the world’s largest publicly-traded coal producer into bankruptcy – a win for the climate, but one that comes at the expense of some groups more than others. Here’s how a national price on carbon can both speed the transition and ensure it doesn’t leave coal country behind.


How Airlines Can Slash Emissions By Saving Forests

Aviation emissions aren’t currently covered under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and developing countries have vehemently opposed efforts to impose a price on carbon emitted by flights. Now, however, a coalition of environmental NGOs, including Ecosystem Marketplace publisher Forest Trends, says airlines can slash their emissions by using the UNFCCC framework to save forests.


Is California Getting Serious About REDD?

Two years after the REDD Offsets Working Group, California’s Air Resources Board seems to be getting serious about incorporating international avoided deforestation offsets into its cap-and-trade program. There’s been a flurry of activity on the subject, ranging from presentations and workshops to technical papers, leaving some to think REDD will be added in time for the program’s third compliance period in 2018.

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21 Countries Are Reducing Carbon Emissions While Growing GDP

The International Energy Agency recently reported that energy-related emissions have “decoupled” from economic growth over the last two years, and it turns out that nearly two dozen countries have done the same, according to Nate Aden of the World Resources Institute. The countries ranged from Austria to Uzbekistan and include Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom.


How Kenya Can Use Its Forests To Slash Carbon Emissions And Boost Income

Kenya can earn nearly $200 million per year and slash its greenhouse-gas emissions by using carbon finance to improve its forest management, modernize its charcoal production, and disseminate clean-burning cookstoves, according to a new report issued jointly by the Kenyan government and the United Nations Environment Program.


At South By Southwest, Carbon Offset Sellers Aim For New (And Offbeat) Buyers

Carbon offset project developers have traditionally targeted high-volume corporate buyers looking to reduce massive carbon footprints, but the universe of enlightened corporations has proven limited. A small but growing number of marketers are now selling to individuals and small businesses, where volumes are lower but margins are high – and so is appreciation.


On World Wetlands Day: The Allure And Elusiveness Of Mangroves As Carbon Sinks

Wetlands, and especially mangrove forests, sequester far more carbon per square mile than do tropical forests, and they also provide shelter for fish, protect the coast from storm surges, and keep coral reefs alive. On World Wetlands day, we examine the unappreciated value of these critical ecosystems.

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Your 2016 Carbon Market Predictions

Each January we ask carbon market participants to make predictions about the coming year, and we publish them in our free biweekly newsletter, The Carbon Chronicle. This year, we received such a flood of responses that we could only publish a few excerpts in the newsletter. But not to fear – the full list is here:


Vote Now: The Top Carbon Stories Of 2015

Both markets and forests found their place in the Paris Climate Accord, capping a tumultuous year that saw a new “bottom-up” approach to the climate crisis deliver something that no one hates and many even seem to love. In all this tumult, what were the top carbon market stories of 2015? Here’s your chance to let us know what you think.

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Fairtrade Climate Standard Hopes Minimum Offset Prices Will Boost Carbon Markets

The Fairtrade Climate Standard officially launched at the Paris climate talks, with two of seven pilot projects represented and a handful of private sector buyers in the room. What sets it apart are a few unique requirements: set minimum prices, established per-tonne payments to producers, and an obligation for Fairtrade offset buyers to reduce their own emissions.

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New Zealand Seeks To Reform A Floundering Emissions Trading Program

As a nation that depends on its natural carbon sinks to meet its greenhouse gas reduction goals, New Zealand was the only developed country to make its international climate pledge conditional on the inclusion of carbon markets in the Paris agreement. But at home, forest carbon has struggled to sell in New Zealand’s Emissions Trading Scheme, facing crushingly low prices and oversupply. A new discussion paper offers opportunity for reform.


Opinion How COP21 Can Guide Countries Toward Safe Carbon Trading

Carbon trading has the potential to massively cut emissions in a cost-effective manner but in order for it to be truly effective, nations must do so in a transparent way and avoid certain pitfalls. Here, Jonah Busch of the Center for Global Development explains how the Paris climate talks can help make that happen.


Can Farmers Earn Carbon Offsets By Cutting Back On Nitrogen Fertilizer?

Low-till farming keeps carbon locked in soil, but the amounts rarely justify the cost of trying to earn carbon offsets. A new report from The Climate Trust, however, identifies overuse of nitrogen fertilizer as an under-recognized climate contributor, and sees carbon finance as a way of reducing it.


Forests Look Set To Play Big Role In Paris Patchwork Climate Accord

Contrary to popular belief, developing countries do contribute to climate change – but more by chopping trees than burning coal. That’s why almost 30 of them explicitly aim to use carbon finance to save forests. Here’s how that’s shaping up in the climate talks and around the world.

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Linking Community Forest Monitoring Up With Jurisdictional REDD+

Mexico’s forest people have a unique connection to the land and are proving to be effective forest monitors. For them to play a central role in the country’s new National forest monitoring system, however, their role needs to be better defined. Here’s how this could happen, by a network of community brigades working together with local research institutions and state government agencies.