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It’s Official: Climate Talks Will Take Place in Madrid, From 2-13 December

1 November 2019 | Madrid will host the 25th Conference of the Parties (COP 25) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) from December 2 through 13, the UNFCCC announced today. The talks, originally planned to take place in Brazil, were switched to Chile late last year, after the election of Jair […]

IMF: $75 Per Ton Carbon Price Needed by 2030 to Meet Climate Challenge

Economists have long agreed that the most effective way to meet the climate challenge is to put a price on greenhouse gas emissions, and a new study from the International Monetary Fund says that price should be $75 per ton by 2030. The detailed analysis, published Thursday, acknowledges that such a price will drive up energy costs associated with fossil fuels, but it concludes that the money could be used to generate billions of new jobs if properly deployed.

Want to Save Endangered Species and Clean Up Our Water? Hop in a Sandbox!

Environmental markets have delivered stunning success, but at nowhere near the scale needed to meet the climate, water, and biodiversity challenges. One challenge is Sluggish regulatory responses are partly to blame, and that a new approach called “regulatory sandboxes” might be the answer.

Carbon Offsetting: the Frequently Asked Questions

Climate change is finally getting the media attention it deserves, and so is carbon offsetting. But what is carbon offsetting? How does it work? Can you trust it? These are just some of the most frequently-asked questions we encounter on carbon offsetting, and here are some simple, concise answers.

Debunked: Eight Myths About Carbon Offsetting

Climate change is finally getting the attention it deserves, and with the attention comes renewed skepticism about carbon offsetting. Our research into voluntary markets, however, reveals companies are engaging in carbon markets as one part of larger emissions reduction strategies that include energy efficiency measures among other improvements. Here we explore eight common misconceptions associated with carbon offsets.

Shades of REDD+: Can Oil and Aviation Fuel a Marshall Plan for Forests?

Deforestation is increasing around the world, and we need a Marshall Plan for Forests. But who will fund it? In this installment of the series “Shades of REDD+”, we look at two sectors that may soon comprise the largest source of demand for forest carbon credits. Both can be part of the solution, but only if key criteria are met.

Shades of REDD+: New Series to Explore History and Future of Forest Finance

Deforestation is a classic “wicked problem” with no easy solutions. REDD+ has been conceived to be the master of this problem. In this new series, we’ll look whether REDD+ has delivered on the early hopes, how it is implemented in countries, what works, what doesn’t – and of course, how it could still become a story of success.

Forests, Farms, and the Global Carbon Sink: The Genesis

Agriculture, deforestation, and forest fires generate up to 40 percent of all man-made greenhouse gasses, but farmers are only now beginning to play a role in global talks through a process known as the “Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture”. In this series, we explore the evolution of land use within the global climate apparatus.

Commenting Opens Soon on New REDD+ Jurisdictional Accounting Initiative

Natural climate solutions are key to meeting the climate challenge, but scaling them up requires rigorous accounting for the way our management of forests, farms, and fields impacts greenhouse gas emissions. That will be a key focus of year-end climate talks in Santiago, Chile – and of a new global architecture to be unveiled on Monday.

A Brief History of Planting Trees to Save the Environment

Major media are finally waking up to the role that trees can play in slowing and even reversing climate change, and that’s great. Unfortunately, most still seem oblivious to mechanisms emerging to not only plant trees but saving forests and support farmers.

Americans Deserve Better Coverage of Carbon Finance

The climate challenge is complex, and so are the solutions emerging for meeting it. Unfortunately, the same sloppy reporting that got us into this mess is now threatening to keep us here, says Ecosystem Marketplace editor Steve Zwick and COTAP founder Tim Whitley.

Bonn Climate Talks Open With Focus on Food and Markets

Two weeks of UN climate talks opened today in the former German capital of Bonn, with the 50th meetings of both the Subsidiary Body for Implementation and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice, as well as a two-day workshop on agriculture within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the inaugural meeting of the Facilitative Working Group of the local communities and indigenous peoples platform.

Can Natural Climate Solutions Defuse the Arctic Methane Bomb?

Twenty years ago, the IPCC warned that global warming would melt arctic ice, releasing methane that drives up temperatures faster and faster. It’s a nightmare scenario that mainstream media dismissed as something akin to apocalyptic fiction, but now it’s here. Nature-based solutions may still be able to help us avert the worst effects, but are we willing to pay for them?

A $50 Price on Carbon Will Boost Forest Carbon Sink 15 Percent: Study

The generally-accepted social cost of carbon is roughly $100 per ton of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but voluntary carbon prices rarely top $10 per ton. New research shows that a price of just $20 per ton can dramatically slow deforestation, especially in Africa, and mop up nearly 6 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide.

What ProPublica Gets Wrong – And Right – On Forest Carbon Finance

Everyone agrees that we must save the world’s forests if we’re to end climate change, but how to get there? One cluster of tools involves using carbon finance to keep forests alive, and a ProPublica piece critical of such efforts sparked a swirl of reactions, including one in these pages. EDF’s Steve Schwartzman argues that the critique failed to adequately distinguish between isolated projects and jurisdiction-wide programs.

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

Remembering The Day Milton Friedman “Endorsed” A Price On Carbon

Climate change is finally beginning to get the media attention it deserves, reviving in the process dormant debates over how to deal with it. Most economists argue that the most effective way to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions is to make emitters pay for the damage they cause. Today we look back to what happened when the University of Chicago resurrected its most famous economist to see how he proposed dealing with environmental catastrophes.

How Carbon Markets Can Boost Biodiversity And Slow Climate Change

Research shows we can get 37 percent of the way to meeting the Paris Climate Agreement’s 2-degree target by improving the way we manage forests, farms, and fields, and carbon markets offer a way of funneling money into these activities. Here’s where markets stand now, and how we move them forward quickly.

EM Boss Kelley Hamrick Honored With CARROT Award For Work On Carbon Markets

California’s Climate Action Reserve has recognized Ecosystem Marketplace Program Manager Kelley Hamrick with its “Climate Action Reserve Recognizing Our Team” (CARROT) Award. She has authored or co-authored over 15 reports, including our flagship annual reports on the State of Private Investment in Conservation and the State of Voluntary Carbon Markets.

Green Old Deal: Why Carbon Offsets Matter More Than Ever

The Green New Deal Resolution may have failed in the Senate, but it’s spawned a flurry of new proposals and revived talk of a national price on carbon. Tim Whitley of Carbon Offsets to Alleviate Poverty (COTAP) explains why that really is a very big deal.

Carbon Markets Back in Limelight as US Finally Joins the Global Climate Effort

The Green New Deal may have failed in the Senate, but Democrats and even some Republicans are introducing legislation to address climate change, and the emerging targets can’t be achieved without some form of carbon pricing. That means the revival of an old debate, and possibly the resurrection of some old myths. Here are the old myths, together with findings showing why they belong on the scrapheap of alternative facts.

Defending the Amazon, and the Earth, from “Trump of the Tropics”

California’s Air Resources Board looks set to adopt the Tropical Forest Standard in the next few months, a move that would embed social values into carbon offsets that are used to reduce emissions in the state, no matter where those offsets come from. The move could raise the bar for forest carbon projects around the world, and provide a bulwark against unsustainable agriculture practices in the Amazon.

The New Green Dealers Want us to “Sky Farm”. That’s a Good Thing!

The forests, farms, and fields of the United States mop up a staggering 15 percent of the country’s industrial greenhouse-gas emissions, but this capacity will plunge as the climate changes. That’s why every credible climate solution incorporates nature-based solutions and climate-smart agriculture, but major media still aren’t covering it. Would that change if we called them “sky farming”?

The US is Finally Having the Only Climate Debate That Matters: How to Fix the Mess

The emerging “Green New Deal” seems to offer something for everyone – except climate-science deniers. Criticized by some for being short on details, the proposal actually seems designed to propel solutions that have been languishing for decades – including natural climate solutions, climate-smart agriculture, and support for green infrastructure.

Oregon Poised to Cap Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The Oregon state legislature is considering a “cap and invest” bill that promises to place a firm limit on the state’s greenhouse gasses while ensuring continued investments in resilient communities, green jobs and clean energy. Legislators are expected to release bill language by January 31.

So What Just Happened at the Climate Talks?

Based on our team’s reports from Katowice, our take at Forest Trends is that negotiators have signed off on a promising, but incomplete, set of rules for implementing the Paris Agreement, which is best understood as a global framework for capturing and accelerating ambition.

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.

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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.

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.

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”.

Lawmakers From Nine States Now Cooperating On Carbon Price Legislation

While the Trump administration purges all mention of climate change at the federal level, state legislators from eight US states have introduced bills calling for a price on carbon, and a ninth state has bills in the drafting stage while three states have bills in the works.

Chilean Concert Promoter Cuts Emissions By Turning Turbines

When Latin Americans offset their greenhouse-gas emissions, they usually do so by purchasing offsets generated by saving or restoring forests. But the producers of Lollapalooza Chile and other major events are bucking the trend by partnering with a hydropower plant – albeit one that doesn’t create reservoirs and does support indigenous people.

Shots Fired At Indigenous Leader Who Documented Illegal Logging In Brazilian Amazon

Brazilian authorities are investigating an apparent assassination attempt against indigenous leader Narayni Surui and his wife, award-winning teacher Elisângela Dell-Armelina Surui. The couple were fired on while entering the indigenous territory after members of the Paiter-Surui ejected illegal loggers from the territory.

Seeing REDD: Why The European Union Needs To Embrace Forest Carbon Finance

We can’t beat climate change without saving the world’s forests, and tropical forest countries are ready to do their part, but they can’t fix the mess without help from the countries whose imports are driving the deforestation. The Paris Agreement offers several mechanisms for using carbon finance to save forests, and the European Union has a moral obligation to use them, argue two former climate negotiators.

The Grand Experiment To Save Appalachia’s Forests

The Southeastern United States produces 12 percent of the world’s wood, pulp, and paper – fueling an economic engine that’s pulverizing forests faster than it’s restoring them. Here’s how environmental NGOs like the Dogwood Alliance are teaming up with retail giants like Staples to try and prevent that engine from overheating.

In Bonn, Progress On Markets Hampered By Gridlock On Everything Else

Climate negotiators spent the last two weeks in Bonn sketching out the roadmap for achieving the ambitions laid out in Paris. It’s the kind of tedious work that doesn’t generate headlines, but it’s what can be the difference from reaching your destination and ending up in a ditch.