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Opinion: The Pope Is Right On Climate, Wrong On Offsets

Pope Francis fears that companies may use carbon offsets to buy their way out of their environmental responsibilities, but the evidence tells a different story. While some bad actors surely abuse the mechanism, most companies that use offsets do so to reduce emissions far beyond their own base of operations. Here are the numbers.

Should Governments Buy Carbon Offsets To Bail Out Conservation Projects?

REDD+ projects are progressing even as uncertainty surrounds how this transition to later phases will be financed. ForestsClimateChange, an information hub on global climate issues, asks a group of individuals working within the forestry realm who should step up. Here is an introduction to the debate.

Let’s Take Impact
Investing To The Masses

Impact investing is already driving social change in small ways, but it has the potential to completely change the way we address societal challenges. Here’s how we can tap existing financial products and services to scale up in a meaningful way.

Let’s Take Impact Investing To The Masses

Impact investing is already driving social change in small ways, but it has the potential to completely change the way we address societal challenges. Here’s how we can tap existing financial products and services to scale up in a meaningful way.

What Stories Will Impact
People And The Planet In 2014?

The coming year could be a good one for the environment, with China cleaning its air, palm olil moving towards sustainability, and the world at large finally starting to get a handle on climate change. These are some of the more optimistic projections from the World Resources Institute (WRI) as it identifies what it believes will be the top stories of 2014.

What Stories Will Impact People And The Planet In 2014?

The coming year could be a good one for the environment, with China cleaning its air, palm olil moving towards sustainability, and the world at large finally starting to get a handle on climate change. These are some of the more optimistic projections from the World Resources Institute (WRI) as it identifies what it believes will be the top stories of 2014.

Opinion: The Value of Ecosystem Services Valuations

It’s a fact that human life relies on the natural world but figuring out how to measure this dependency is difficult. Tundi Agardy, a marine conservation expert and the director of Forest Trends’ Marine Ecosystem Services Program, discusses her views on the benefits and dangers of ecosystem services valuations. 

Conservation Banking Becomes A Reality In Spain

Spain’s new Environmental Assessment Act, passed late last year, has big implications for conservation banking.  David Alvarez Garcia of the Spanish organization, Mercados de Medio Ambiente, which focuses on market based biodiversity conservation solutions, briefly explains his take on the new rule. 

The Most Important Climate Change Question: How Will Investors React?

While the ideas of green infrastructure and sustainability are becoming more prominent, there is little talk of how the hedge fund space will affect efforts to transition to a clean environment. Here, Thomas H. Stoner Jr. and Peter Backlund of the Butterfly Project, a collaborative organization aimed at decarbonizing economies, discuss the possible impacts of hedge fund trading activities.   

Carbon Markets Protect Area Greater Than The Congo’s Forests Combined

Combining the numbers from Ecosystem Marketplace’s latest Forest Carbon Markets report, which identifies 168 conservation projects under carbon management that protects over 25 million hectares of forest, with the business sector’s rising interest in REDD and other forest carbon initiatives indicate incentives-based schemes for conservation are working.

Why Do Mainstream Media Always Seem To Get REDD Wrong?

28 October 2013 | The American Tea Party hates Obamacare. They hate it with a visceral passion because it’s a government program that may – just may – succeed where the private sector failed. Such a success would invalidate basic Tea Party tenets, so they fight it with everything they have: a few rational points […]

REDD+ Fact Sheet

NOTE: We cobbled this together from old "State of Forest Carbon Markets" reports. It is not a definitive primer, and we will update it over the coming weeks.

How Carbon Markets Save Lives And Slash Pollution

Carbon markets are supporting the transition to clean cookstove societies by helping to finance their distribution in parts of the world where traditional stoves infect the local people with health conditions and premature deaths. Clean cookstoves prevent millions of tons of carbon dioxide from being dispersed into the air while providing an efficient and clean cooking method for the locals.

George Shultz Calls for GOP “Climate Insurance Policy”

Former US Secretary of State George Shultz has long been a lonely (but not lone) proponent of climate action within the Republican Party. Bill Shireman of Future 500 says that Shultz’s proposal could win support among young Republicans, leading to a climate solution that the right and left can both agree on.

Restoration vs. Renewable Energy: Amateurism Doesn’t Pay

Good land stewardship and energy efficiency both support our economy, but governments don’t pay nearly as much attention to the economic benefits of investment in environmental restoration as they do to investments in energy efficiency. Damon Hess of Sitka Technology argues that they should.

Can NAMAs Overcome The CDM

The Clean Development Mechanism has failed to live up to its potential, and many now look to Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions to succeed where the CDM failed. Carbon Market Watch says that NAMA proponents can learn plenty from the CDM’s successes and its failures.

REDD+ Finance: Where Next?

Over the past six weeks, Forest Trends’ REDDX and ODI’s Climate Funds Update have been exploring the state of REDD+ finance with input from Transparency International, the Tropical Forest Group, Ecosystem Marketplace and UNEP Finance Initiative. Here’s how these organizations can work together in the future to shine more light on this critical process.

REDD+ Finance:Private Lessons For The Public Sphere

Governments have pledged billions of dollars to programs designed to slow climate change by saving endangered rainforests, but the real results to date have come from the private sector and civil society. Here’s a brief look at what policymakers designing tomorrow’s public-sector programs can learn from today’s private-sector projects.

REDD+ Finance:
Private Lessons For The Public Sphere

Governments have pledged billions of dollars to programs designed to slow climate change by saving endangered rainforests, but the real results to date have come from the private sector and civil society. Here’s a brief look at what policymakers designing tomorrow’s public-sector programs can learn from today’s private-sector projects.

Why Disney, BP And Rio Tinto Are Exploring Ecosystem Services

Sissel Waage of BSR (Business of Social Responsibility) discusses reasons why ecosystem services thinking is on the rise as the number of governments investing in ecosystem services initiatives and companies incorporating their environmental impacts into existing business models continue to grow.

Why Disney, BP And Rio Tinto
Are Exploring Ecosystem Services

Sissel Waage of BSR (Business of Social Responsibility) discusses reasons why ecosystem services thinking is on the rise as the number of governments investing in ecosystem services initiatives and companies incorporating their environmental impacts into existing business models continue to grow.

Habitat Banking In Spain:
Moving Towards The Future

Spain has a shortage of public funds for nature and an overabundance of environmentally valuable land in private hands. It could, therefore, benefit greatly from conservation banking if the legal landscape can be adapted to recognize it. Here’s a look at the landscape and its pitfalls.

Habitat Banking In Spain: Moving Towards The Future

Spain has a shortage of public funds for nature and an overabundance of environmentally valuable land in private hands. It could, therefore, benefit greatly from conservation banking if the legal landscape can be adapted to recognize it. Here’s a look at the landscape and its pitfalls.

A Critical Moment To Harness Green Infrastructure To Secure Clean Water

The 18th Katoomba Meeting begins Thursday in Beijing, and will focus on the interaction between forests and water. Todd Gartner of WRI says it couldn’t come at a better time. Here he explains the benefits of investing in natural ecosystems rather than gray infrastructure to treat our water.

 

A Critical Moment To Harness Green
Infrastructure To Secure Clean Water

The 18th Katoomba Meeting begins Thursday in Beijing, and will focus on the interaction between forests and water. Todd Gartner of WRI says it couldn’t come at a better time. Here he explains the benefits of investing in natural ecosystems rather than gray infrastructure to treat our water.

 

Game Changer: The Mitigation Analyst Tool

The National Mitigation Banking Association (NMBA) has a new tool in the works that swiftly turns mounds of data into high quality information that bankers can use when assessing the mitigation industry. The tool will be available on smartphones, tablets and computers and is available only to NMBA members.  

Dear President Obama: For Clean Air,
Do We Dial 111, Boxer, Or Waxman?

The EPA is slated to pass regulations on power plants this year under the Clean Air Act, while Senators Boxer and Waxman work to inject a carbon price back on to the federal agenda. Here are a few reflections on the undercurrent of discussion on how tradable mechanisms for climate mitigation might figure into federal GHG regulations down the line.

Dear President Obama: For Clean Air, Do We Dial 111, Boxer, Or Waxman?

The EPA is slated to pass regulations on power plants this year under the Clean Air Act, while Senators Boxer and Waxman work to inject a carbon price back on to the federal agenda. Here are a few reflections on the undercurrent of discussion on how tradable mechanisms for climate mitigation might figure into federal GHG regulations down the line.

Banking on Change: Rethinking Wetland Mitigation in the State of New York

Wetland Mitigation Banking has proven to be one of the most environmentally effective and economically efficient ways of  compensating for wetland and stream loss. T.J. Mascia and Charlotte Brett say the water-rich state of New York should be a hotbed of mitigation banking activity – but isn’t. Here’s their diagnosis and prescription.

Stacking And Unstacking:
The Conservation And The Conversation

To build ecosystem markets, we’ve tended to break holistic nature into incomplete but measurable chunks of nature – and then we wonder why it’s difficult to bundle those chunks into something holistic. Maybe instead of stacking existing credits, we should be creating more holistic instruments.

Stacking And Unstacking:The Conservation And The Conversation

To build ecosystem markets, we’ve tended to break holistic nature into incomplete but measurable chunks of nature – and then we wonder why it’s difficult to bundle those chunks into something holistic. Maybe instead of stacking existing credits, we should be creating more holistic instruments.

Engaging With Indigenous Peoples On REDD+

Over 30 representatives of Indigenous Peoples worldwide have gathered at a Forest Carbon Partnership Facility’s (FCPF) workshop on REDD+ which, Benoit Bosquet of the FCPF says was less focused on the possible worrying impacts and more on how Indigenous communities can benefit and become active participants in the REDD+ process.

Engaging With Indigenous
Peoples On REDD+

Over 30 representatives of Indigenous Peoples worldwide have gathered at a Forest Carbon Partnership Facility’s (FCPF) workshop on REDD+ which, Benoit Bosquet of the FCPF says was less focused on the possible worrying impacts and more on how Indigenous communities can benefit and become active participants in the REDD+ process.

Five Early Lessons In Mobilizing The Private Sector For Climate Finance

Although there is currently little information available on how public finance has mobilized private support for climate finance, the Overseas Development Institute (ODI)  aims to change that starting with an online database that reviews the private climate finance investments of four developed nations. Here, Shelagh Whitley, a research fellow at ODI, provides an overview of the resource’s early findings. 

Five Early Lessons In Mobilizing
The Private Sector For Climate Finance

Although there is currently little information available on how public finance has mobilized private support for climate finance, the Overseas Development Institute (ODI)  aims to change that starting with an online database that reviews the private climate finance investments of four developed nations. Here, Shelagh Whitley, a research fellow at ODI, provides an overview of the resource’s early findings. 

Through Almir’s Eyes: A Day In The Life Of A REDD Pioneer

In an effort to support their groundbreaking REDD project, the Amazonian Paiter-Surui People have been patrolling their forest in search of illegal loggers.  Last week, Chief Almir Surui and a small band of his fellow tribesmen received a tip about illegal logging on the territory.  Rachael Petersen accompanied them on the expedition and filed this report.

Through Almir’s Eyes:
A Day In The Life Of A REDD Pioneer

In an effort to support their groundbreaking REDD project, the Amazonian Paiter-Surui People have been patrolling their forest in search of illegal loggers.  Last week, Chief Almir Surui and a small band of his fellow tribesmen received a tip about illegal logging on the territory.  Rachael Petersen accompanied them on the expedition and filed this report.

Will Biodiversity Proponents Embrace Business in 2013?

Last year’s Biodiversity COP once again failed to engage the private sector on any meaningful level, let alone embrace market-based financing mechanisms for addressing habitat loss – largely because the private sector, as the leading destroyer of habitat, is largely seen as the enemy in all this. Failure to engage, however, is not a solution, says Joost Bakker of the Global Nature Fund.

Will Biodiversity Proponents
Embrace Business in 2013?

Last year’s Biodiversity COP once again failed to engage the private sector on any meaningful level, let alone embrace market-based financing mechanisms for addressing habitat loss – largely because the private sector, as the leading destroyer of habitat, is largely seen as the enemy in all this. Failure to engage, however, is not a solution, says Joost Bakker of the Global Nature Fund.

Legitimate REDD Players Should Welcome Brazilian Action Against Carbon Cowboys

Legitimate carbon projects have long been wrongfully tarnished by the actions of bad players acting outside the recognized carbon community. Now Reuters reports that the Brazilian government is taking action against one alleged “cowboy” – a move that should be embraced by everyone trying to do REDD right.

Legitimate REDD Players Should Welcome
Brazilian Action Against Carbon Cowboys

Legitimate carbon projects have long been wrongfully tarnished by the actions of bad players acting outside the recognized carbon community. Now Reuters reports that the Brazilian government is taking action against one alleged “cowboy” – a move that should be embraced by everyone trying to do REDD right.

From REDD To Landscape Thinking:
How To Proceed

COP 18 may have laid the groundwork for further discussions about an integrated approach to landscapes that would connect the different sectors, like forests and agriculture, for the well-being of both people and the planet, but the way forward is hardly clear.

From REDD To Landscape Thinking: How To Proceed

COP 18 may have laid the groundwork for further discussions about an integrated approach to landscapes that would connect the different sectors, like forests and agriculture, for the well-being of both people and the planet, but the way forward is hardly clear.

600-Strong Coalition Says No REDD Campaign Is Way Off-Target

The Amazon Working Group, which, represents roughly 600 social movement organizations across the Amazon Basin, has made a rare public denunciation of a recent anti-REDD campaign underway in California. The small group of NGOs who launched that campaign, the coalition says, simply haven’t done their homework

We Have To Fight For Truth, Even If
It Is Against Our Own Desires And Vanities

Jose Carmelio Niinawa heads the Hunikui Federation in Acre, Brazil, and says California’s new REDD regime has stalled the process of demarcating indigenous lands there. Tashka Yawanawa, Chief of the Yawanawa People, says that if anyone is slowing the demarcation process, it’s the state’s ravenous agriculture and mining interests.

We Have To Fight For Truth, Even If It Is Against Our Own Desires And Vanities

Jose Carmelio Niinawa heads the Hunikui Federation in Acre, Brazil, and says California’s new REDD regime has stalled the process of demarcating indigenous lands there. Tashka Yawanawa, Chief of the Yawanawa People, says that if anyone is slowing the demarcation process, it’s the state’s ravenous agriculture and mining interests.

Depletion, Disease and Drought:
An Ecologist’s Take On This Year’s Election

Leading ecologist Steven Apfelbaum observes the upcoming presidential election noting three critical issues, soil nutrient depletion, prolonged severe weather and drought, and epidemic diseases, which have disastrous potential if not properly addressed. Apfelbaum examines the cause and solution for these fundamental issues.