Why voluntary carbon markets for nature are needed right now

Please note this article was originally published by the World Economic Forum: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2023/08/voluntary-carbon-markets-nature-based-solutions-climate/

24 August 2023 | The best available science makes clear the devastating impacts if global average temperatures surpass pre-industrial levels by more than 1.5°C. However, it is widely agreed that avoiding this scenario is not achievable without sustained and rapid industrial decarbonization.

It is also widely agreed that we need nature-based solutions (NbS), which can provide up to 30% of the mitigation required by 2030 in order to keep the 1.5°C target in reach. NbS are a collection of nature-based approaches that both reduce and remove emissions, such as avoiding emissions through protected landscapes to limit deforestation or restoring ecosystems for carbon removal from the atmosphere.

Some good news is that we have a powerful tool at our disposal that can mobilize private sector finance and channel it toward NbS in the Global South, which is where it is most needed. That tool is the voluntary carbon market – where companies or individuals can buy carbon credits as part of their own plan to meet their climate goals.

The solution isn’t perfect. In fact, the market has come under increasing scrutiny. As we wrote earlier in the year, when we outlined five reasons why forest carbon credits are critical to climate action, the fact is that we won’t achieve our global climate targets without nature, and we won’t protect and restore nature at the scale required without carbon markets.

Here’s the simple truth. As companies work toward net zero, they will continue to put greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.

Voluntary carbon market to help address emissions

The voluntary carbon market is currently the most effective way for them to address these emissions by mobilizing billions of dollars in private sector finance every year – and also helps make up the $4.1 trillion financing gap in nature by 2050. Such finance is additional to that pledged by national governments.

The value of the global voluntary carbon market topped $1 billion for the first time in 2021 and could be worth between $5-30 billion per year by 2030, with perhaps two thirds of this channelled into nature-based solutions, filling existing gaps in climate finance for nature.

However, in the last three years, only 1.2% of the annual cost effective potential of NbS has been unlocked by the voluntary carbon market.

One of the barriers is that far too often the use of carbon credits – and NbS carbon credits in particular – have been framed as an ‘either/or’ proposition. This implies companies think they can either invest in them or fund the decarbonization of their operations.

But the truth is it’s now too late to choose one or the other. Adopting a single approach is not enough to solve the twin crises of nature loss and climate change. This is why climate science is now demanding a ‘both/and’ approach – that is, simultaneously investing in internal reductions and NbS credits.

What is encouraging is that leading companies understand this “both/and” approach, and are publicly committed to it. In addition, recent research has further shown that companies that purchase a material amount of carbon credits on average reduced their emissions faster than those who have not.

High-quality carbon credits are essential for integrity

It is also key to recognize that high-quality carbon credits are essential to creating a high-integrity voluntary carbon market. The good news is that initiatives like the Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market which are aiming to forge a clear path forward towards higher integrity, greater transparency and overall more consistency in the marketplace.

While it’s clear that there is still much work to do on this front, the good news is that recent recommendations issued by civil society, such as the Tropical Forest Credit Integrity guide and the NCS Alliance’s Buyer’s Guide, offer clear guidance that companies can turn to in the interim.

What does all this counsel have in common? Purchasing carbon credits through the voluntary carbon market is not an alternative to rapid decarbonization within value chains.

Rather, high-quality carbon credits are a way for companies to support a range of critical mitigation efforts outside of their value chains, including the potential to channel billions of dollars into NbS that would not receive funding otherwise.

In the future, NbS carbon credits must improve in line with this new science and guidance, updated methodologies and evolving technology.

Voluntary carbon market to accelerate climate action

When investments are made with due diligence, high-quality NbS credits will ensure that emissions reductions or removals happen, that nature is being protected or restored, and that communities are not only receiving benefits, but are also active participants.

There’s the potential for the voluntary market to do so much more, if we let it. Failure of the market now would slow humanity’s path to net-zero emissions and derail financial innovation in other ecosystem services.

Climate change and nature loss are crises and inaction is not an option. The voluntary carbon market is critical for climate action and major progress has been made to improve outcomes – with many more improvements already under way.

Now is exactly the time to invest in nature-based solutions through the voluntary carbon market, alongside other immediately deployable climate solutions, so we can ensure a better future for the planet.


How to best halt and reverse deforestation? Largest study of its kind finds answers.
Press release

ARLINGTON, Va. (August 16, 2023) – New research from Conservation International offers the most robust understanding yet of which socio-economic, cultural, regulatory and environmental factors have the greatest impact on forests – for better and worse. The study, published today in Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, is the most comprehensive and quantitative of its kind to date that identifies dozens of factors driving deforestation and reforestation.

The study – authored by Jonah Busch of Conservation International and Kalifi Ferretti-Gallon of the University of British Columbia – distills the findings of 320 peer-reviewed studies published up to 2019. That’s more than twice the evidence included in the last comprehensive overview of this kind, published in 2017 by the same authors.

The findings are timely given the increased focus on the need to reduce deforestation and stabilize global temperatures. The new peer-reviewed study – alongside existing Conservation International research that finds the world must reach zero emissions from the land sector by 2030 – can help guide conservation strategies and investments toward policies that are proven to work.

As international efforts to protect and conserve nature continue to gain ground on the world stage – as through the Global Biodiversity Framework’s 30×30 initiative and the Glasgow Leaders Declaration on Forests and Land Use, among others – researchers believe these findings can serve as a guide for leaders across the public, private and nonprofit sectors.

“World leaders have committed to fight climate change by halting and reversing deforestation by 2030. This new study can help guide policies and investment toward actions that support those goals and away from those that do not,” said Busch, lead author and the climate economics fellow at Conservation International’s Moore Center for Science.

What slows deforestation:

Protected areas of many types across many places consistently have lower deforestation. Additionally, when forested area is in Indigenous territory or managed by Indigenous peoples, rates of deforestation are consistently lower. The same is true when payments are made to forest communities or landowners who keep their trees standing, making the forest worth more intact than as timber or farmland. These payments place value on the services that intact forests provide – livelihood opportunities, clean water, rainfall for agriculture and their ability to store climate-warming carbon.

The study also found that rates of deforestation are generally lower in forests with commodity certification programs in place, such as shade-grown coffee and sustainably produced palm oil initiatives. Supply chain programs, in which companies commit to reducing deforestation from their operations, consistently help keep forests intact.

Finally, the study found that enforcement of laws that help protect forests, for example field inspections, fines and monitoring of protected areas, consistently reduce deforestation.

“Left standing, forests are one of our best allies in reducing emissions and cooling a rapidly warming planet,” said Busch. “We provide the strongest evidence yet that land rights for Indigenous communities are reducing deforestation.”

What accelerates deforestation:

The study identifies agriculture and livestock – with their high economic returns – as major drivers of deforestation.

As with the 2017 study, greater accessibility, including lower elevation and proximity to roads and cities, accelerates deforestation, as do greater population and greater wealth. A country’s openness to trade is associated with higher deforestation as well.

The study also analyzed a new variable for the first time in any review study – hotter temperature. It revealed that hotter temperatures are associated with higher deforestation. As this summer has seen global temperature records repeatedly shattered, this novel finding reveals that increased deforestation may be yet another unwelcome effect of global warming.

Several factors were found to have no measurable effect on the rate of deforestation. These included good governance, democracy, peace, land tenure rights and gender balance of the local populations, in addition to the area’s access to nearby water or rainfall.

“Some of these findings surprised us – either because they’d never been found in a peer-reviewed paper until now, or because they went against conventional wisdom,” said Busch. “For example, many people suppose that poorer people are driven to deforestation to meet subsistence needs, but over and over, evidence shows there’s more deforestation in places where people are richer. And when you think about it, it makes sense: the richer you are, the more you’re able to buy machines or hire workers to clear trees.”

“In the face of climate change which renders our forests both more critical and vulnerable, a comprehensive study is our roadmap to effective conservation strategies. It is incumbent upon policy makers, corporations and conservation organizations to prioritize these and invest in sustainable practices as the planet’s future health relies on translating this knowledge into action,” said Ferretti-Gallon, a forestry researcher at the University of British Columbia’s Asia Forest Research Center.

EM Insights Webinar (Recording): Article 6 of the Paris Agreement and the Voluntary Carbon Markets

The webinar slides and recordings are available in the links below in both English and Spanish.

This virtual Ecosystem Marketplace Insights Briefing will feature speakers from The Nature Conservancy, Gold Standard, the Voluntary Carbon Markets Integrity Initiative (VCMI) to discuss how governments are engaging with carbon markets, in response to increasing interest around both Article 6 and voluntary carbon markets. The webinar will explore the role project developers and host countries can play, as well as identify insights from current pilots and legislation from around the world. Speakers will discuss the key findings and trends from guidance, reports and programmes they have implemented on these topics, followed by a Q&A session with the audience.


  • Kelley Hamrick, Senior Policy Advisory, The Nature Conservancy
  • Lydia Sheldrake, Director of Policy & Partnerships, VCMI
  • Kavya Bajaj, Government Relations Manager, Gold Standard
  • Stephen Donofrio, Managing Director, Ecosystem Marketplace (moderator)

Webinar recording (English version):

Webinar recording (Spanish version):

Webinar slides (English version):

The answers to audience questions from the session are provided in the text below:


Just wondering, are VCMs a real solution to climate change? looking at how climate change impacts tourism, there’s need for more effective efforts to that than just counting on business consciousness.

Absolutely there needs to be more than just the VCM, which is why approaches like SBTi are critical in ensuring that companies are doing real reductions within their own business. The VCM should only be used to complement real, ambitious and significant internal corporate emissions reductions.

Is there space for simplification of the A6 system? it seems incredibly complex and invites for further caution to trade…

Unfortunately… probably not. Article 6 represents an agreement by all countries in the world; it’s always going to be complex and difficult to interpret, solely from the fact that it stems from a negotiation text first and foremost.

I would be interested to hear from speakers how transparency of financial flows can be ensured in Article 6 + VCM implementation. There is legitimate concern that revenue generated from natural resources that are publicly owned are disappearing into private pockets or misappropriated corruption. Part of the concern is also due to the lack of obligation on part of project developers to conclude benefit sharing agreements.

I agree that we need more transparent financial flows. Additionally, we need better guidance and rulesets around benefits-sharing best practices (which is why we wrote a report about that!). I would also agree that we need to reduce any potential risk of corruption – unfortunately I have tried to conduct some research around corruption but it’s hard to find lessons learned or best practices, because corruption is the opposite of transparent. But agree that we need to figure out ways to minimize this risk.

Considering that countries are going to set the rules, how we Should Manage future volumes, we need to wait till new rules? Or we can set agreements on future volumes. Also if I have vintages 2021 and 2022 should they be considered on this new rules? Or only the vintages from the New rules and so on?

No easy answer here, unfortunately. I think most investors and developers have not decided to wait because there is no clear timeline for when some of these rules will be made. But there remains a risk, so it is up to each organization to figure out how much to wait or try and create contingencies to address these potential risks.

India is developing its own carbon market how it it going to affect the other international carbon market?

If it’s a domestic market, it won’t affect the Article 6. The only thing that might be impacted is overall supply and demand across different markets; at the moment, India is a large supplier for CDM and the VCM markets, but if more companies are purchasing credits domestically, that might mean VCM supply from India decreases. But maybe not – it all depends on a lot of market factors (for example, if the VCM pays more than the domestic Indian market, then maybe Indian project developers will still prefer to sell internationally)


Where do you expect to see data on trades once these are finally executed?

All Article 6 trades must be reported in the Article 6 database, found here: https://unfccc.int/process-and-meetings/the-paris-agreement/the-paris-agreement/cooperative-implementation/centralized-accounting-and-reporting-platform#Submitted-initial-reports-and-updated-initial-reports. At the moment, there is only one submission, but that will change as more countries begin to trade.

Where do Switzerland’s transactions fit in this picture?

Sorry, I’m not sure which slide this comment is referring to. But we do include a summary of Switzerland’s approach to Article 6 on page 31 of this report: https://www.nature.org/content/dam/tnc/nature/en/documents/TNC_To_Trade_or_Not_to_Trade_150523.pdf

How would you distinguish Article 6 vs VCM credits?

Article 6 credits are those approved by governments under Article 6.2 bilateral agreements or by the Article 6.4 Supervisory Body. VCM credits are those approved by VCM standards, like ART, ACR, CAR, Plan Vivo, Verra, Gold Standard, etc. At some point, we may see countries using VCM standards as part of the Article 6.2 trades OR we may see the Article 6.4 Supervisory Body recognize some VCM methodologies as eligible for 6.4. But at the moment, there is not much overlap.

How do you see the role of exchanges like Xpansiv helping/hurting the VCM?

Sorry, I don’t have a lot of views on this – my primary focus right now is on tracking Article 6.

Kelley, in your view who pays for the 20% buffer in the case of Indonesia? If on the VCM buy side, is it conceivable that we may see an adjusted (higher) price floor?

I’m not sure – the Indonesian legislation is only written in Bahasa, and so I was using Google translate when reading it. My impression is that the project developer would submit the credits to the buffer, but I would not be surprised if that then drives up the price of credits that project developers are willing to sell at.

Can you please help to understand, does the additional regulation in Indonesia set a cap on all carbon credits internationally, or only those that will decrease the Indonesian NDC?

All credits being sold from Indonesia will have to contribute to the buffer. Credits from activities covered by the NDC must contribute 10-20% to the buffer; credits from activities outside the NDC must contribute at least 20%.

When we say REDD+ included in Article 6, does it mean VCM or UNFCCC REDD+?

This is a great question, and I was being intentionally vague. I’m not sure, to be honest. In my opinion (and I could be wrong) I think both could be eligible. Article 6.2 is really up to countries to decide: so if a buyer country is okay with purchasing VCM REDD+, then I think that would be eligible. Ditto if a buyer country wanted to purchase UNFCCC REDD+. But this is my personal read on the negotiation text as it is currently written (which is quite open).

What considerations are there for say multinationals in ensuring there is not double counting of voluntary carbon credits?

Due diligence when purchasing a credit. But I think most of the onus will be on the VCM standards to ensure this, not multinationals.

How can project participants get CORSIA authorization for ITMOs issued by Article 6.2 mitigation projects?

Host countries give authorization for ITMOs, either under Article 6.2 or Article 6.4. Under CORSIA, host countries will also need to give authorization to any CORSIA-eligible credits wishing to get a corresponding adjustment (which wasn’t required for the initial phase of CORSIA but is required now, I believe). Project participants will need to contact their host country about authorization and this will change per country (see the case studies on page 25-28 for information on who gives authorization in various countries: https://www.nature.org/content/dam/tnc/nature/en/documents/TNC_To_Trade_or_Not_to_Trade_150523.pdf).

Which mechanism accept Article 6 REDD+ methodologies? GS or VCS or?

At the moment, there are not Article 6 methodologies. Under Article 6.2, seller countries essentially can create their own methodologies or could approve pre-existing methodologies under the UNFCCC or VCM standards. Under Article 6.4, the UN Supervisory Body will determine what methodologies are eligible and right now they haven’t approved any methodologies yet (so it’s too soon to say which, if any, REDD+ methodologies will be approved).

How did you evaluate the aditionality of the measures that coudl goes to A6?

Under Article 6.2 both the seller and buyer countries must conduct their own evaluation; under Article 6.4, the Supervisory Body will determine what tests are needed to prove additionality for all of their approved methodologies.

Can you elaborate a bit more why Indonesia decided to place a freeze on VCM exports?

My understanding (not living in Indonesia) is that the government was concerned about VCM exports limiting their ability to make claims around their NDC achievement. So they placed a freeze on exports while they worked on legislation to finalize the rules around carbon credit sales within and outside of Indonesia.

For countries that have issued “rules, guidance, etc.” what is range of treatment for existing VVM projects already operating in a given country?

o Option 1, Authorization required for VCM credits: Some countries may mandate that all carbon credits exported to international buyers – be it for voluntary or compliance purposes – must have a corresponding adjustment. The Bahamas’ Climate Change and Carbon Market Initiatives Act, 2022 requires this.

o Option 2, Authorization not required for VCM credits: Some countries may not mandate the use of corresponding adjustments for voluntary purposes. Ghana, for example, states that VCM projects do not need a corresponding adjustment but may request one, if the buyer wishes to have a CA.

o Option 3, Authorization not required, depending on the type of claim: Some countries may wish to require authorization for credits used by voluntary buyers for offsetting claims, while credits used towards “mitigation contribution” or “beyond value chain mitigation” (a similar concept defined by SBTi) claims would not require a corresponding adjustment.

o Option 4 – most countries have given any indication about which option they intend to use yet. J

What are the implications for project developers if CAs are to be required for a given country?

This could mean that project developers must get permission from the host country, if a CA is required for their project. Some countries may have easier authorization processes than others, and there could be a risk of corruption (which some project proponents experienced under the Clean Development Mechanism, which also required projects to get host country authorization).

India has announced project types under Article 6. What happens next? What can private sector do to move things forward from here?

Probably wait for more guidance unfortunately. I know India announced the eligible project types, but I’m not sure if the government has announced how they will authorize specific projects yet. Additionally, India will need to wait for the 6.4 Supervisory Body to determine which methodologies are eligible under 6.4. See page 22 for more details about the 6.4 process: https://www.nature.org/content/dam/tnc/nature/en/documents/TNC_To_Trade_or_Not_to_Trade_150523.pdf

Can a project that started before 2021 get correspoding adjustment and become an ITMO for credits issued after 2021?

ITMOs, by definition in the Article 6 text, can only occur after 2021. So credits before 2021 will not be able to become an ITMO. That said, some pre-2021 credits can be used by host countries (but not as ITMOs). CERs from CDM projects registered (not issued) after 2013 can be used for the first NDC compliance without a corresponding adjustment by the host country. However, these transfers will only occur until a date limit, which will be negotiated in the future. It is important to consider that CERs used toward 1st NDC are not considered ITMOs (Article 6.2 units). ITMOs by definition are generated in 2021 or later, whereas eligible CERs are from 2013-2020.

Gold Standard

What is Gold Standard’s view on Mitigation contribution claims , should ITMOs be prefered ? What happens retrospectively if a country does not allow export of carbon credits ?

Mitigation contributions are not necessarily correspondingly adjusted, while ITMOs traded would be. There are different uses for each, and there may be more demand for correspondingly adjusted units. If a country decides not to sell ITMOs it has generated, it may use it for other purposes, with consideration to any bilateral agreement it has entered into and the terms of it. Read more on our take on mitigation contributions here.

How can I know if my country is already a host country?

If it has announced its projects/sectors/activities will be participating in Article 6.

How and when can we access Investment Fund provided by Gold Standard?

Please see the details for the impact fund here.

Just to clarify, according to Gold Standard’s interpretation then any financing of a country’s NDC via the VCM would require authorization under article 6?

If a mitigation outcome generated is used for any purposes under Article 6.2, then it would need to be authorized to do so and become an ITMO. This ITMO can then be used for different purposes, including the VCM. However, this does not mean any financing for NDCs via the VCM require authorization.

What is the current status for GS credits issued from Zimbabwe, and what is the path forward for allowing the trade of Zimbabwe-based credits on the GS registry?

After the new regulations were released by the government on Friday, we are internally consulting on our next steps. The status has not changed since July.

Does GS plan to introduce IFM methodology for AFOLU projects?

Yes, IFM is an eligible category and we welcome submission of new methodologies by developers. There has not been a methodology proposal under consideration yet.

Does Gold Standard issue biodiversity and water credit other than carbon credits?

You can find information on our registries and credits here.

How is the carbon price set in bilateral cooperation projects?

It depends on the bilateral agreement and dictating clauses, if any. However, prices are set depending on the project. The host country decides to authorize the project/activity for the bilateral agreement trade considering all information they have (collected) on the project.

Is the early mover programme available on online to the public?

Yes, please find it here. The Programme was concluded in June 2023, and paves the way to our future work.

Can I assume that there are two types of GS credits; credits with corresponding adjustments and credits without corresponding adjustments? If a developer requests corresponding adjustment, who makes the request to the host country, the GS or the developer?

Yes. The developer makes the request to the host country.

Can you explain a bit more the term Domestic infrastructure?

To participate in Article 6, Governments may choose to develop/have in place their own domestic national infrastructure (e.g. registries), or use external third-party infrastructure, such as from the UNFCCC or standards such as Gold Standard. You can read this more in detail here.

Will the Gold Standard impose more stringent standards for issues such as historical baselines for REDD+ than are required by the UNFCCC rules?

Gold Standard does not issue standards for REDD+, and has not planned to issue such standards.

I think it is important to involve the private sector in the host country. Profit sharing will also be important. Will credits be shared with the host country? If so, does GS have rules in place? Also, what are your thoughts on SOPs?

This really depends on host country regulations, e.g. through share of proceeds of credits for administrative fees or national funds. Through our Registries Terms of Use, we are required to comply with national rules and regulations. Share of proceeds are necessary, but need to strike the right balance to ensure it does not disincentivize market activities.

North America capacity building:

Is there focus on capacity building for carbon markets in North America?

There hasn’t been as much focus on capacity building for Article 6 for Canada or the United States. However, that’s because most capacity building is focused on supplier countries and I haven’t heard Canada or the US mention any interest in selling carbon credits yet.

Article 6.4

When do we expect trades under Article 6.4 to start given how slow the enabling under UN has taken.

For the Article 6.4 mechanism to be up and running, a separate body called the Article 6.4 Supervisory Body needs to develop rules on methodologies, baselines, safeguards, guidance on removals, etc. Even if the Supervisory Body develops such guidance quickly, the countries need to “approve” them at COP28 in 2023, so the best-case scenario is that these trades begin to take place in 2024. Likely, the first methodologies developed will be adaptations from the CDM.

How exactly is Article 6.2 different from 6.4?

Article 6.2 is based on bilateral agreements, which provide countries with more flexibility to design their preferred rules and establish quality controls and safeguards, as long as they comply with the Article 6.2 guidance. Moreover, countries that aim to move quickly may prefer to use Article 6.2, as the Article 6.4 mechanism may take longer to be up and running. Also, Article 6.2 has no mandatory fees, while Article 6.4 has mandatory monetary contributions and automatic cancellations. On the other hand, establishing bilateral agreements under Article 6.2 comes with a transactional and political cost, which requires additional time and capacity compared to a more standardized mechanism. All units generated under Article 6.4 go through a centralized body with pre-approved methodologies, making the process and eligibility of these units more predictable. Lastly, the Article 6.4 framework is an update from the Kyoto Protocol’s CDM, so some countries could use an updated version of already existing infrastructure to engage.

Will there be a global registry for AR6.2 and 6.4?

There will be multiple registries. Article 6.2 will set up an Article 6 database where countries will report their trades. However, countries can use their own registry, another country’s registry or the Article 6.2 international registry (which still needs to be developed), so there will not be a single registry that countries must use. Instead the Article 6 database will provide a yearly snapshot of all trades across all registries (for 6.2). In contrast, Article 6.4 will have a centralized registry. The negotiators are still discussing whether the Article 6.2 database (with reports from the to-be-developed “international registry” or country registries) and the Article 6.4 registry will be able to transfer credits or if you can look at both dataset at the same time (the technical language here is around the “inter-operability” of the registries in the latest negotiation text.) Please read pages 20-22 for more detail here:

VCM guidance

What is the mandate for VCM guidance to set standards for demand-side? Will investor acceptance and uptake be the deciding factor as to whether any guidance sticks.

This is an open question. Standards could start to regulate demand-side activities, but I think most of the supply-side standards (Verra, CAR, ACR, Gold Standard, etc) don’t intend to. Instead I think demand-side standards like the Science-based targets initiative and VCMi are more likelyto provide regulation here. Then, as you mention in the comment, there may investor or buyer norms – these are different than requirements by standards, but are still powerful in shaping the VCM.

Re: Article 6 and Corresponding Adjustments in the VCM. Currently, most governments don’t even have a process in place for authorizations. VCM projects are selling credits and these are being retired by corporates for their ESG commitments (both within the country of the project’s origin and outside of it). Is the country where the projects originate ultimately responsible to account for VCM action that cannot be legitimately claimed in the country’s NDC? Should the default assumption not be that all VCM credits are ‘authorized’ – should the onnus not be on the government to make adjustments?

The default should not be that all credits are authorized. Authorization, by definition, requires a government approval. That said, there is a debate about whether authorization is needed for the VCM; for example, some people and organizations would say that a non-authorized credit is better for the VCM than an authorized one.

Corporates / SBTi / investment / buy side

What can the speakers tell us about the implications for corporate investment in nature-based solutions should the latest versions of the Science Based Target’s Initiative’s Beyond Value Chain Mitigation and Criteria & Recommendations for Near Term Targets be finalized as currently drafted?

I haven’t been following SBTi decisions recently, so I don’t have any comments at this time.

What is the incentive for corporates to invest in carbon offsets if they cannot obtain a corresponding adjustment and claim an offset?

I think there is currently a difference between a corporate claiming an offset and a corporate purchasing an offset with a corresponding adjustment. At the moment, corporates can make offsetting claims without a CA. If standards decide to change the claim and/or require a CA, then I do think more market research is needed to better understand why corporates would want to make a non-offsetting, non-CA claim.

If a company has several investments made to source carbon credits for reaching their Net Zero target (e.g. developed an afforestation project in sub-sahara Africa), and the host country its projects are located in is expanding their NDC to cover the activity of the project, would the company not lose the right to claim Net Zero through these credits?

Not at the moment, because currently VCM standards do not require these credits to have a corresponding adjustment. However, in the future, if a company wishes to buy credits with a CA and the host country is not on target to meet its NDC (or expands its NDC), then the corporate may not have the ability to purchase those credits with that claim. There is a separate interesting discussion here: what if a country agrees to make a CA for those credits, but then changes its mind because it is not on track to meet its NDC? The negotiators are discussing whether or not authorizations for a CA can be revoked or amended; these negotiations are not yet final, but will be important to watch in the future.

How can future-proofed strategies in this case be built that help companies hedge against future price increases and supply shortages under such a risk of force-majoure?

I think the first step is making sure companies realize there will be price increases and likely supple shortages. The VCM at the moment isn’t really working as intended – if the world was truly on the path to 1.5C, all of the cheapest abatement options should already have been done by now. We live in an imperfect world, so we still have a lot of “low hanging fruit” in terms of emissions reductions and removals, which is why companies are able to still buy offsets at <$10/t for the last few years. But that is not where the world is going. Companies should be using things like the social cost of carbon and other metrics to better predict where the market will head over the next decade.

How is Article 6 aligned with programs like the SBTi considering the ‘restrictions’ placed on carbon credit offsetting?

Article 6 is an agreement by all of the world’s countries – SBTi is a non-profit initiative that is trying to provide guidance to companies about what “ambitious” climate targets look like. They don’t overlap at all. The Article 6 negotiators are not looking to align anything with SBTi; if anything, it should and will be the other way around.



Re. authorized vs. non-authorised transfer under Article 6 – my understanding is that the rules will be finalised at COP28 – is this the case and what will the negotiations cover if so? Will non- authorized transfer to private sector buyers be allowed, and will this lead to double counting?

Most of the rules have already been finalized. Additional rules around reporting and tracking of Article 6 trades still needs to be finalized. These might be finalized at COP28 but will *all* of the Article 6 rules be finalized at COP28? Probably not. Negotiators will always find something new to discuss. J As far as I know, the Article 6 negotiations will only regulate authorized or non-authorized Article 6 credits (ITMOs). They are not going to opine on VCM credits that have authorization for a CA (or not).

I’d like to know more about “No Authorization”.

Article 6 establishes countries’ right to authorize any credits for international trades under Article 6.2 or 6.4, or for “other international mitigation purposes” (OIMP). These other purposes include an umbrella of objectives, including use in the CORSIA, domestic markets, and the VCM. The decision of whether to require authorization, and thus a corresponding adjustment, for these other purposes is left up to individual countries and will likely lead to a variety of approaches dependent on specific country circumstances. Here are how countries are currently considering whether to regulate – or not – the VCM:

o Option 1, Authorization required for VCM credits: Some countries may mandate that all carbon credits exported to international buyers – be it for voluntary or compliance purposes – must have a corresponding adjustment. The Bahamas’ Climate Change and Carbon Market Initiatives Act, 2022 requires this.

o Option 2, Authorization not required for VCM credits: Some countries may not mandate the use of corresponding adjustments for voluntary purposes. Ghana, for example, states that VCM projects do not need a corresponding adjustment but may request one, if the buyer wishes to have a CA.

o Option 3, Authorization not required, depending on the type of claim: Some countries may wish to require authorization for credits used by voluntary buyers for offsetting claims, while credits used towards “mitigation contribution” or “beyond value chain mitigation” (a similar concept defined by SBTi) claims would not require a corresponding adjustment.

Providing authorizations and approvals for correspoding adjustments will require significant institutional/ procedureal and policy investments from host country governments. Some countries are also asking if this will be worth it. Thoughts?

Agreed, this will require a lot of thought. Any country that wishes to participate in Article 6 trading will need to figure this out, otherwise they cannot make an A6 trade. However, countries may wish to wait or see how others’ experiences are first – or countries may not wish to participate in Article 6 at all. These are all options.

Can the panelists give insight into how interested investors/buyers are in ‘mitigation contributions’ instead of an actual emission reduction unit? Is there a risk that by tightening accounting rules, we too tightly restrict credit transfers back to the private sector and kill growth?

I’m not sure. At the moment, I haven’t seen too many investors or buyers mention interest in this claim, but I also have seen many credits marketed with these claims either. I do think that is starting to change – I believe Myclimate and South Pole have both started to provide more restrictions around buyer claims of their credits, so it would be interesting to ask them about their experiences.


Will article 6 mean that some of the VCM projects will become equivalents of compliance credits like EU ETS for example?

No. Think of Article 6 as a new market, not a replacement for the VCM. Some VCM credits are eligible for compliance markets (like the Colombia and South African markets, for example) while others are not (VCM credits are not allowed in the EU ETS). In a similar way, some VCM methodologies may be accepted in Article 6.4 but many might not. These are all separate markets with separate rules.

Would article 6 credits be accepted in EUETS?

That is up to the EU to decide. They may allow all Article 6 credits (from 6.2 and 6.4) or they may reject or limit Article 6 credits. The EU ETS used to allow all types of credits under the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism, for example, but then started to limit credits to specific project types and locations as time went on.

Is it possible to transition credits from the VCM to the compliance market ? For example Voluntary credits from a non EU LDC to the be sold in the EU ETS ? If so, under which standards, and how ?

It could be possible but that is up to each compliance market to decide if and how any transfers can happen. At the moment, the EU ETS does not allow for any transfers from the VCM. Colombia, South Africa, South Korea and and Singapore do allow for some VCM credits into their compliance markets though.


Benefit sharing:

Some countries such as Zimbabwe and others are setting costs and benefits-sharing rules for VCM activities in-country without sufficient details on the mechanisms of benefits sharing or how costs will be levvied. This threatens to scare off VCM activities. Do the panelists have experience with such costs and benefits sharing rules and can provide insight on how they see it unfolding, and how investors will react?

This is a huge issue. I think it’s unsurprising more countries are trying to understand this space, but more work could be done to come up with solutions that don’t scare off VCM investment while ensuring more benefits remain on the ground. It’s a priority for TNC to work on but we don’t have any answers yet! If you have thoughts, please reach out to us – we are hoping to conduct some research on this topic in the fall.



Re. the case of Ghana and selling ER units for conditional targets, does this mean that Ghana cannot fulfill its NDC, as they will make a corresponding adjustment for tranferred units generated under the conditional sector? Or how will they meet their NDC targets through the VCM?

This is a great question and one without a good answer. Ghana will meet its unconditional NDC target without selling credits. However, if Ghana makes a corresponding adjustments for credits from activities under their “conditional” target, then that might mean they don’t actually meet their conditional target because they are transferring those claims outside of the country. The reason this is so confusing is because “conditional” targets aren’t actually part of the Paris Agreement – countries came up with this idea but its not something ever envisioned by the Paris Agreement. The PA only wants targets (it doesn’t care if they are conditional or unconditional). I would guess Ghana is treated the unconditional target as the actual target, and thus isn’t worried about not meeting its conditional target because they already said that additional mitigation requires additional finance.

In reference to Latin American countries, at this point is it feasible for them to comply with the NDC?

In the current scenario it would be better to attract private investment to guarantee the sustainability of forests or improve production. Each country has made its own unique NDC, so I don’t know how feasible it is for each country in Latin America to meet their NDC. Theoretically, every country should meet their NDC and their NDC announcement usually has a lot of political and scientific considerations behind it – they aren’t made lightly.

What if the credits from a RE Project are not pledged towards the NDC?

You mean, if a VCM project is not part of a country’s NDC (and in this case, is an RE project)? At the moment VCM projects do not need a CA, so nothing would change until/unless VCM standards start to require something different.

How should countries make these decisions, where the NDC does not stipulate conditional/ unconditional targets/ activities?

That’s the big question. They will likely need to consider the risk of selling a credit now if they aren’t sure about meeting their NDC, and they will want to consider whether to restrict sales to specific sectors, prices, etc. There’s no easy answer here.

As regards countries waiting to see whether they are on track with their NDCs (and then deciding to trade), let’s not forget that BTRs, starting from 2024 will mean biennial NDC reporting, so they should know whether they are on track quite soon.

Yes, they should so we might see some more trades under Article 6, especially for those countries with a five-year (2025) target.

Will we see a convergence of voluntary and compliance markets moving forward?

Given that article 6 is likely to increasingly be impacted by Article 6 and NDC’s. I think so, but it likely won’t be a clean overlap. Some compliance markets may allow more overlap than others. It’s going to be a patchwork of various eligible rather than a single blanket approach unfortunately.

To what extent do you think the government’s involvement with VCM is successful currently?

Honestly I think most governments have not paid attention to the VCM until recently. I’m not sure I’ve seen any approaches that are super successful here but we are still in early stages of government involvement with the VCM in most countries.

How would you recomment Countries incorporate Short Lived Climate Pollutants into their Article 6 NDCs?

It depends on the country. A country could try to sell SLCP mitigation under an Article 6.2 trade, if they could find a buyer interested in purchasing it.

Corresponding Adjustment

What is the incentive for countries to require Corresponding Adjustments for both VCM and A6 credits?

I’m not sure yet. Some countries see this as an environmental integrity requirement – they would agreement with the argument that all credits (VCM or A6) need an adjustment. I believe the Bahamas falls under that category. But many countries haven’t taken a position on this yet.

How should voluntary market project developers account for the corresponding adjustments in the future? Enhance buffer account withholdings in the interim? Difficult implications for longer term financial feasibility …. more like guesstimations at this point. How can we overcome these risks and barriers to investment?

I’m not sure, but a few ideas could include better protections for yourselves and communities in any long-term contracts signed with buyers; making sure to engage with the host government whenever possible (though many governments don’t have clear opportunities for engagement here); and yes, maybe consider things like insurance or additional buffers. It’s a real problem and a real risk without great solutions at the moment.

Is a CA a adjustment on the amount of carbon credits that is counted/split towards the host country and buyer country like the Japanese system. or is the adjustment on the host country’s NDC itself?

Theoretically it will be an adjustment towards the NDC (through the biennial transparency reports) but I’m not sure how this will actually look in practice. Since we haven’t seen this actually happen yet, it’s difficult to say exactly how the adjustment will look.

If A6.4 will be replacing CDM, more like compliance market, will there be need for CA?

Yes, a corresponding adjustment is legally required for all Article 6.2 and 6.4 transactions (with some minor exceptions in 6.4 – read more here on page 17: https://www.nature.org/content/dam/tnc/nature/en/documents/TNC_To_Trade_or_Not_to_Trade_150523.pdf)


New EM Insights Webinar on Article 6 of the Paris Agreement and the Voluntary Carbon Markets

Register here/Inscríbase aquí:

When/Fecha y hora: Wednesday, August 16th at 10:00 AM Eastern Time (GMT-4:00) / Miércoles 16 de agosto a las 10:00 a.m. Hora del este (GMT-4: 00)

La traducción en español se proporciona a continuación

This virtual Ecosystem Marketplace Insights Briefing will feature speakers from The Nature Conservancy, Gold Standard, the Voluntary Carbon Markets Integrity Initiative (VCMI) to discuss how governments are engaging with carbon markets, in response to increasing interest around both Article 6 and voluntary carbon markets. The webinar will explore the role project developers and host countries can play, as well as identify insights from current pilots and legislation from around the world. Speakers will discuss the key findings and trends from guidance, reports and programmes they have implemented on these topics, followed by a Q&A session with the audience.


  • Kelley Hamrick, Senior Policy Advisory, The Nature Conservancy  
  • Lydia Sheldrake, Director of Policy & Partnerships, VCMI 
  • Kavya Bajaj, Government Relations Manager, Gold Standard
  • Stephen Donofrio, Managing Director, Ecosystem Marketplace (moderator)


El próximo seminario web de Ecosystem Marketplace, como parte de la serie “EM Insights Briefings” de 2023, a desarrollarse este miércoles 16 de agosto junto a The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Gold Standard y la Iniciativa Voluntaria de Integridad de los Mercados de Carbono (VCMI).

Fecha y hora: Miércoles 16 de agosto a las 10:00 a.m. Hora del este (GMT-4: 00)

El seminario web contará con traducción en vivo en español para nuestros colegas de habla hispana que asistan al evento. La inscripción es gratuita y puede hacerlo dando clic en el enlace que está al final.

Los panelistas de las organizaciones mencionadas conversarán acerca de cómo los gobiernos se involucran con los mercados de carbono, en respuesta al creciente interés en torno al Artículo 6 y los mercados voluntarios de carbono. La sesión explorará hallazgos clave, ideas y tendencias de guías, informes y programas implementados por TNC, VCMI y Gold Standard sobre estos temas, seguida de una sesión de preguntas y respuestas con la audiencia. Podrá seleccionar el idioma de su preferencia (español o inglés) cuando se una al seminario web.

Contaremos con los siguientes panelistas:

  • Lydia Sheldrake, Directora de Políticas y Asociaciones en VCMI
  • Kavya Bajaj, Gerente de Relaciones Gubernamentales en Gold Standard
  • Kelley Hamrick, asesora sénior de políticas de The Nature Conservancy
  • Moderado por el director general de Ecosystem Marketplace, Stephen Donofrio


The Nature Conservancy: 

Article 6 Explainer (2023)
Article 6 of the Paris Agreement started a new era of carbon trading. Now, countries can invest and trade in carbon mitigation projects outside their borders to meet their nationally determined contributions (NDCs). In this report, the authors offer straightforward guidance on what Article 6 is, what was decided in 2022 at COP27, and what the future holds for Article 6. Questions addressed in the report include: Why have countries not yet started trading under Article 6? How do nature and REDD+ fit in Article 6? and How does Article 6 impact the Voluntary Carbon Market (VCM)? 

To Trade or Not to Trade (2023)
Article 6 of the Paris Agreement invites countries to collaborate through investments and trades in meeting their Nationally Determined Contributions and in raising global action towards limiting temperature rise to 1.5C by 2050. At the heart of international carbon trade accounting lies the concept of “corresponding adjustments,” which requires seller countries to subtract emission reductions and removals from their NDC before the buyer country adds the credits to their NDC target. In this report, the authors discuss key decisions around Article 6 trading, including how countries can evaluate the risks and opportunities of trading. The report also includes case studies of Article 6 implementation and details the debate around whether and how the voluntary carbon market intersects with Article 6 trading. 

Voluntary Carbon Markets Integrity Initiative (VCMI): 

The Voluntary Carbon Markets Integrity Initiative (VCMI) is an international non-profit organization with a mission to enable high-integrity voluntary carbon markets (VCMs) that deliver real and additional benefits to the atmosphere, help protect nature, and accelerate the transition to ambitious, economy-wide climate policies and regulation.  

It works to foster a shared vision for high-integrity VCMs to make a meaningful contribution to climate action while also supporting the achievement of the UN SDGs. VCMI connects, aligns with, and amplifies, initiatives that share this vision. 

On the demand-side, the VCMI Claims Code is a rulebook on how companies can make voluntary use of carbon credits as part of credible, science-aligned net-zero decarbonization pathways. It builds trust and confidence in how companies engage with VCMs, assisting them in making credible climate claims. On the supply-side, the VCM Access Strategy Toolkit provides guidance for countries to engage in high-integrity VCMs in support of national climate and economic prosperity. 

VCM Access Strategy Toolkit

The VCM Access Strategy Toolkit provides guidance for countries to engage in high-integrity voluntary carbon markets (VCMs) in support of national climate and economic prosperity. 

Developed in partnership with Climate Focus and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the Toolkit sets out key considerations for host countries to aid decisions on whether, why, how, and when to engage with VCMs. 

Corporate commitments to climate targets are rising steeply, and with that, demand for high-quality carbon credits from credible projects. This Toolkit aims to help governments create an enabling environment to unlock this growing demand while maximizing the benefits of thriving, high-integrity VCMs for their country. 

The Toolkit is available to download from the VCMI Website: https://vcmintegrity.org/vcm-access-strategy-toolkit/


Gold Standard: 

Gold Standard was established in 2003 to manage robust standards to enable activities to deliver positive impact for climate change and sustainable development. With over 2700 projects applying our standard in over 100 countries across the world, we have to date been able to mobilise at least USD $36bn of shared value towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

Following the adoption of the Article 6 rulebook, governments can use Gold Standard for the Global Goals to certify mitigation outcomes generated and transferred internationally under the Paris Agreement. New requirements and registry features allow for the management of authorised credits in line with international rules, while Gold Standard is building new procedures to share information across registries and with national focal points. 

Gold Standard’s thought leadership has shaped discussions on Article 6 by pioneering support mechanisms for the market, including the development of a helpdesk, guides and papers, and creating opportunities for peer-to-peer exchange through knowledge sharing platforms. As newer requirements to operationalise Article 6 emerge, Gold Standard is applying its expertise to support governments to prepare for its use while aligning our services to support impact in an evolving market.

Early Mover Programme (2022-2023) 

The adoption of the Article 6 rulebook at COP26 launched the groundwork for Article 6 implementation, initiating the journey towards high-integrity use of market mechanisms under Article 6 at scale. This called for governments and the private sector to build capacity, tools, and best practice approaches to translate the guidance into real-world action. In this context, Gold Standard, with support from the German government, implemented the recently concluded ‘Early Mover Programme’ to support and enable high integrity initial applications of Article 6 for host countries, project developers, and other stakeholders. The programme has been implemented with support from partners, through piloting, knowledge-sharing among project developers, and mapping the state of Article 6 preparations in major markets across the world. As we look to the future, steps taken by national governments could enable investment through carbon market activities that contributes to a growing, high-integrity carbon market with locally-shaped activities and benefits retained locally, if implemented effectively. 

Artigos sobre “cowboys do carbono” recebem cliques, mas correm o risco de ignorar o que as comunidades indígenas estão realmente dizendo

O ambiente de financiamento climático está em risco. Confrontados com uma investida de cobertura da mídia orientada por uma agenda que visa desacreditar uma das maiores fontes de financiamento disponíveis para a proteção florestal, mecanismos como REDD+ e mercados voluntários de carbono podem ser injustamente desacreditados a ponto de perderem impulso e apoio em um momento crítico para a ação climática. Os créditos de REDD+, especificamente os projetos financiados por meio do Mercado Voluntário de Carbono (VCM, na sigla em inglês), enfrentam críticas crescentes por parte da mídia. No entanto, o que esses artigos excessivamente generalizados geralmente ignoram são as experiências e perspectivas dos povos indígenas e das comunidades tradicionais (PICT). Essas comunidades são as que estão no território, gerenciando ativamente a terra. Elas testemunham e vivenciam os efeitos positivos do REDD+ e de outros créditos de carbono bem executados, e muitas estão expressando seu apoio em alto e bom som. Deveríamos estar dando mais ouvidos às pessoas que vivenciam os projetos de REDD+ do que os críticos externos do Norte Global.

O desmatamento e a degradação florestal são generalizados, sendo responsáveis por 11% das emissões de carbono em todo o mundo por ano.[1] No entanto, por meio do desmatamento evitado, cerca do total de um ano das emissões globais de combustíveis fósseis são atualmente armazenadas em terras protegidas,[2] specialmente em terras protegidas que se sobrepõem a terras indígenas,[3] sendo a Amazônia brasileira responsável por 36% desse carbono. Esse é um grande incentivo para aumentar as salvaguardas da Floresta Amazônica, aumentar o financiamento climático direto para os povos indígenas que a protegem e reforçar o apoio mais amplo a esse financiamento.

Os PICT são fundamentais para a proteção da Amazônia. Eles defendem suas florestas contra a grilagem de terras, atividades e exploração ilegais e conflitos fundiários, mas, segundo algumas estimativas, recebem menos de 1% do financiamento para a mitigação do clima.[4] Os créditos de REDD+, tanto por meio de programas jurisdicionais quanto do VCM, são uma das melhores ferramentas disponíveis para impulsionar o financiamento direto para apoiar os direitos e os meios de subsistência dos PICT. Isso permite que estes povos e comunidades continuem protegendo seus territórios, inclusive a biodiversidade e os estoques de carbono em suas fronteiras.

No início deste ano, um grupo de organizações lideradas por indígenas e baseadas no Sul Global que trabalham em mais de 40 países divulgou uma carta aberta em apoio ao REDD+. Elas enfatizaram que o REDD+ é atualmente uma das únicas maneiras de acessar diretamente o financiamento climático. O REDD+ permite que os PICT continuem protegendo e monitorando seus territórios usando métodos tradicionais; que busquem economias sustentáveis e baseadas na natureza, alinhadas com seus valores culturais; e que garantam os direitos legais sobre suas terras. Quando a mídia opta por focar nos aspectos negativos do REDD+ para provar um ponto de vista, isso prejudica diretamente as comunidades e perpetua sua exclusão das conversas e decisões das quais têm o direito de participar. Os PICT estão na linha de frente da defesa das florestas, e é fundamental que suas necessidades sejam ouvidas e seus apelos à ação, apoiados.

Isso não quer dizer que o REDD+ não tenha falhas. Para que os créditos de REDD+ sejam eficazes, eles devem ser da mais alta integridade. Isso significa que os projetos e os programas jurisdicionais devem proporcionar tanto o sequestro de carbono quanto benefícios diretos à comunidade. Isso é feito por meio do envolvimento dos PICT como parceiros equitativos desde o primeiro dia para garantir que seus direitos e interesses sejam respeitados. Os projetos de carbono de alta integridade seguem as diretrizes do Consentimento Livre, Prévio e Informado (CLPI), permitem o acesso direto dos PICT aos mercados de carbono e reconhecem seus direitos a quaisquer créditos de carbono desenvolvidos em suas terras. Os projetos e programas jurisdicionais também devem garantir o compartilhamento equitativo e transparente dos benefícios em consulta com as comunidades. Embora seja importante que a mídia promova o REDD+ de alta integridade e responsabilize os atores do mercado, as histórias contadas também devem ser equilibradas. Desacredite os créditos ruins, sim, mas aproveite esse momento como uma oportunidade para destacar o REDD+ bem feito. Elogiá-los publicamente é um meio poderoso de apoiar projetos de alta integridade e programas jurisdicionais de que o mundo precisa para realizar ações climáticas na escala necessária para atingir as metas climáticas globais.

Muitos desses componentes de integridade decorrem de precedentes estabelecidos pelo Projeto de Carbono Florestal Suruí, o primeiro projeto REDD+ liderado por indígenas, lançado em 2009 pela Forest Trends com o povo Suruí e outros parceiros locais, incluindo o Instituto de Conservação e Desenvolvimento Sustentável da Amazônia (Idesam), a Equipe de Conservação da Amazônia (ECAM), o Fundo Brasileiro para a Biodiversidade (Funbio) e a Kanindé. Naquela época, o desmatamento evitado não era um termo oficialmente reconhecido, o que significa que muitas das metodologias desse projeto foram criadas e testadas pela primeira vez. Apesar de vários desafios e de sua descontinuação final em 2018, o projeto reduziu drasticamente o desmatamento em seus primeiros cinco anos e estabeleceu alguns precedentes importantes para projetos desse tipo no futuro.

As histórias que discutem esse projeto geralmente ignoram os marcos importantes que este alcançou. O mais importante é que o projeto reconheceu todos os povos indígenas do Brasil como proprietários de quaisquer créditos de carbono resultantes de projetos desenvolvidos em suas terras. Também financiou seis iniciativas econômicas autossuficientes, como a produção de castanha-do-pará e de artesanato, que continuam a gerar renda para essas comunidades até hoje. O Projeto de Carbono Florestal Suruí também foi um dos primeiros usos totalmente documentados do processo CLPI.

Para dar continuidade a esses esforços, a Iniciativa de Governança Territorial e Comunidades do Forest Trends está trabalhando com organizações parceiras do PICT, doadores, empresas e outras instituições para monitorar e promover projetos de carbono de alta integridade e financiamento em nível jurisdicional que proporcionem benefícios ambientais e socioeconômicos diretos para estes povos e comunidades. Acreditamos que é importante promover práticas recomendadas e salvaguardas, ao mesmo tempo em que colocamos a liderança e o conhecimento dos PICT no centro do espaço de financiamento do clima e da conservação.

Com esse objetivo, também cofundamos a Peoples Forests Partnership, lançada na COP26 em Glasgow para promover as melhores práticas para projetos de alta integridade no Mercado Voluntário de Carbono entre os PICT e os desenvolvedores de carbono. Em 2022, também lançamos o Mecanismo de Governança Territorial com três importantes organizações regionais indígenas e comunitárias locais na Amazônia e na Mesoamérica (AMPB, CONFENIAE e AIDESEP) para ajudar as comunidades a desenvolver a capacidade de que precisam para proteger seus territórios e defender seus interesses em mercados e contextos políticos em rápida mudança. Quando têm apoio direto para a governança de suas comunidades, elas podem proteger com mais eficiência seus territórios, modos de vida e a biodiversidade e os estoques de carbono em suas terras – tudo isso resulta em créditos de carbono de alta integridade e a projetos bem-sucedidos.

No mês passado, lideramos um curso de treinamento com o Ministério dos Povos Indígenas do Brasil sobre os desafios e as oportunidades que os povos indígenas no Brasil enfrentam com os mecanismos de financiamento climático, como os mercados de carbono e os programas jurisdicionais de REDD+. Essa colaboração ocorre em um momento crítico para o governo brasileiro; eles estão preparando um novo projeto de lei que determinará a estrutura do mercado de carbono brasileiro, e é essencial que as perspectivas indígenas façam parte dessa discussão e que seus direitos sejam protegidos na política nacional.

Enquanto trabalhamos para atingir as metas climáticas globais, os instrumentos de mercado desempenharão um papel importante para levar o financiamento climático às comunidades locais. O financiamento público e filantrópico, por si só, não é suficiente para mudar o paradigma da exploração histórica e do desmatamento em territórios indígenas. Quando bem feitas, as compensações podem ser uma ótima solução à medida que mudamos para uma bioeconomia baseada na natureza em longo prazo.

Quando os “cowboys do carbono” e os artigos de sucesso do mercado de carbono generalizam demais os mecanismos de financiamento climático como o REDD+, decidindo que todos os projetos devem ser mal-intencionados, isso tem o potencial de acabar com o financiamento. Talvez essa seja a intenção. As empresas já estão sinalizando hesitação em continuar com o financiamento de carbono após um período de cobertura negativa da mídia sobre aquelas que o fizeram. O financiamento climático já é um espaço incrivelmente complexo e técnico, e acrescentar mais incertezas é um desserviço às PICT que precisam desse financiamento agora para garantir seus direitos e manter suas florestas em pé.

Espero que, daqui para frente, o REDD+ de alta integridade continue com força total e que os projetos e programas jurisdicionais se preparem para atender às necessidades dos administradores de florestas indígenas. O financiamento orientado pelo respeito aos direitos, conhecimentos e meios de subsistência indígenas e de comunidades tradicionais é fundamental para enfrentar as mudanças climáticas, conservar as florestas e apoiar as comunidades.

Sobre o autor: Beto Borges é Diretor da Iniciativa de Comunidades e Governança Territorial da Forest Trends

[1] Dunne, Daisy. “Deforestation Has Driven up Hottest Day Temperatures, Study Says.” Carbon Brief, April 23, 2018. https://www.carbonbrief.org/deforestation-has-driven-up-hottest-day-temperatures/.

[2] Duncanson, L., et al. “The Effectiveness of Global Protected Areas for Climate Change Mitigation.” Nature News, June 1, 2023. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-023-38073-9.

[3] Sze, Jocelyne S., et al. “Indigenous Lands in Protected Areas Have High Forest Integrity across the Tropic.” Current Biology, October 26, 2022. https://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(22)01540-8.

[4] Osorio, Karen. “A Renewed Focus on Direct Financing at International Climate Summits.” Rainforest Foundation US, November 22, 2022. https://rainforestfoundation.org/a-renewed-focus-on-direct-financing-at-international-climate-summits/#:~:text=According%20to%20a%202021%20RFN,the%20IPLC%20organizations%20and%20communities.

Los artículos sobre “cowboys del carbono” obtienen clics pero corren el riesgo de ignorar lo que las comunidades indígenas realmente están diciendo

El espacio de las finanzas climáticas está en riesgo. Frente a una avalancha de cobertura mediática impulsada por una agenda que busca desacreditar una de las mayores fuentes de financiamiento disponibles para la protección de los bosques, los mecanismos como REDD+ y los mercados voluntarios de carbono pueden verse injustamente desacreditados hasta el punto de perder impulso y apoyo en un momento crítico para la acción climática. Los créditos REDD+, específicamente los proyectos financiados a través del Mercado Voluntario de Carbono (VCM, en el acrónimo en inglés), han enfrentado crecientes críticas por parte de los medios de comunicación durante el último año. Sin embargo, lo que estos artículos demasiado generalizados a menudo ignoran son las experiencias y perspectivas de los Pueblos Indígenas y Comunidades Locales (PICL). Estas comunidades son las que están en el territorio, gestionando activamente la tierra. Ellos son los que están presenciando y experimentando los efectos positivos de REDD+ y otros créditos de carbono bien ejecutados, y muchos están expresando su apoyo alto y claro. Deberíamos escuchar más a las personas que tienen la experiencia de proyectos REDD+, que a los críticos externos del Norte Global.

La deforestación y la degradación de los bosques están muy difundidas y representan 11 % de las emisiones de carbono en todo el mundo cada año.[1] Sin embargo, a través de la deforestación evitada, aproximadamente el total de un año de emisiones globales de combustibles fósiles se almacenan actualmente en tierras protegidas,[2] especialmente en tierras protegidas que se superponen con tierras indígenas,[3] siendo la Amazonía brasileña responsable del 36% de este carbono. Este es un gran impulso para aumentar las salvaguardias para la selva amazónica, aumentar la financiación climática directa para los pueblos indígenas que la protegen y reforzar un apoyo más amplio para esa financiación.

Los PICL son fundamentales para la protección de la Amazonía. Defienden sus bosques contra el acaparamiento de tierras, las actividades y la explotación ilegales y los conflictos por la tierra, pero según algunas estimaciones reciben menos del 1 % de los fondos para la mitigación climática.[4] Los créditos REDD+, tanto a través de programas jurisdiccionales como de VCM, son una de las mejores herramientas disponibles para aprovechar el financiamiento directo para apoyar los derechos y medios de subsistencia de los PICL. Esto permite que estos pueblos y comunidades continúen protegiendo sus territorios, incluyendo la biodiversidad y las reservas de carbono en sus fronteras.

A principios de este año, un grupo de organizaciones lideradas por indígenas con base en el Sur Global que trabajan en más de 40 países publicaron una carta abierta en apoyo al REDD+. Enfatizaron que el REDD+ es actualmente una de las únicas formas de acceder directamente al financiamiento climático, y el cual permite a los PICL continuar protegiendo y monitoreando sus territorios utilizando métodos tradicionales; que buscan economías sostenibles y basadas en la naturaleza en consonancia con sus valores culturales; y que garanticen los derechos legales sobre sus tierras. Cuando los medios eligen enfocarse en los aspectos negativos de REDD+ para probar un punto, dañan directamente a las comunidades y perpetúan su exclusión de las conversaciones y decisiones en las que tienen derecho a participar. Los PICL están a la vanguardia de la defensa de los bosques, y es fundamental que se escuchen sus necesidades y se apoyen sus llamados a la acción.

Esto no quiere decir que REDD+ no tenga fallas. Para que los créditos REDD+ sean efectivos, estos deben ser de la más alta integridad. Esto significa que los proyectos y programas jurisdiccionales deben proporcionar tanto el secuestro del carbono como beneficios comunitarios directos. Esto se hace involucrando a los PICL como socios iguales desde el primer día para garantizar que se respeten sus derechos e intereses. Los proyectos de carbono de alta integridad siguen las pautas del Consentimiento Libre, Previo e Informado (FPIC, en el acrónimo en inglés), permiten el acceso directo de los PICL a los mercados de carbono y reconocen sus derechos a cualquier crédito de carbono desarrollado en su tierra. Los proyectos y programas jurisdiccionales también deben garantizar una distribución equitativa y transparente de los beneficios en consulta con las comunidades. Si bien es importante que los medios de comunicación promuevan REDD+ de alta integridad y hagan que los actores del mercado rindan cuentas, las historias que se cuenten también deben ser equilibradas. Desacreditar los malos créditos, sí, pero aprovechar este momento como una oportunidad para resaltar el REDD+ bien hecho. Elogiarlo públicamente es un medio poderoso para apoyar los proyectos de alta integridad y los programas jurisdiccionales que el mundo necesita para tomar medidas climáticas a la escala necesaria para lograr los objetivos climáticos globales.

Muchos de estos componentes de integridad provienen de precedentes establecidos por el Proyecto de Carbono Forestal Suruí, el primer proyecto REDD+ liderado por indígenas, lanzado en 2009 por Forest Trends con el pueblo Suruí y otros socios locales, incluido el Instituto para la Conservación y el Desarrollo Sostenible de la Amazonía (Idesam), el Equipo de Conservación de la Amazonía (ECAM), el Fondo Brasileño para la Biodiversidad (Funbio) y Kanindé. En ese momento, la deforestación evitada no era un término reconocido oficialmente, lo que significa que muchas de las metodologías de este proyecto se crearon y probaron por primera vez. A pesar de varios desafíos y su interrupción final en 2018, el proyecto ha reducido drásticamente la deforestación en sus primeros cinco años y ha definido algunos precedentes importantes para proyectos de este tipo en el futuro.

Las historias que hablan de este proyecto a menudo ignoran los logros importantes que alcanzó. Lo que es más importante, el proyecto reconoció a todos los pueblos indígenas de Brasil como propietarios de los créditos de carbono resultantes de los proyectos desarrollados en sus tierras. También financió seis iniciativas económicas autosuficientes, como la producción de castaña y artesanías, que continúan generando ingresos para estas comunidades hasta el día de hoy. El Proyecto de Carbono Forestal Suruí también fue uno de los primeros usos completamente documentados del proceso de FPIC.

Para continuar con estos esfuerzos, la Iniciativa de Comunidades y Gobernanza Territorial de Forest Trends está trabajando con organizaciones socias de los PICL, donantes, empresas y otras instituciones para monitorear y promover proyectos de carbono de alta integridad y financiados por jurisdicciones que brinden beneficios ambientales y socioeconómicos directos a estos pueblos y comunidades. Creemos que es importante promover las mejores prácticas y salvaguardas, al mismo tiempo que se coloca el liderazgo y la experiencia de los PICL en el centro del espacio de conservación y financiamiento climático.

Con ese fin, también co-fundamos Peoples Forests Partnership, lanzado en la COP26 en Glasgow para promover las mejores prácticas para proyectos de alta integridad en el Mercado Voluntario de Carbono entre los PICL y los desarrolladores de carbono. En 2022 también lanzamos el Mecanismo de Gobernanza Territorial con tres importantes organizaciones regionales indígenas y comunitarias locales en Amazonia y Mesoamérica (AMPB, CONFENIA y AIDESEP) para ayudar a las comunidades a desarrollar la capacidad que necesitan para proteger sus territorios y defender sus intereses en mercados y contextos políticos que cambian rápidamente. Cuando cuentan con apoyo directo para la gobernanza de sus comunidades, pueden proteger de manera más efectiva sus territorios, medios de vida y la biodiversidad y las reservas de carbono en sus tierras, todo lo cual se suma a créditos de carbono de alta integridad y proyectos exitosos.

El mes pasado, dirigimos un curso de capacitación con el Ministerio de Pueblos Indígenas de Brasil sobre los desafíos y oportunidades que enfrentan los pueblos indígenas en Brasil con los mecanismos de financiamiento climático, como los mercados de carbono y los programas jurisdiccionales de REDD+. Esta colaboración llega en un momento crítico para el gobierno brasileño; están preparando un nuevo proyecto de ley que determinará la estructura del mercado de carbono brasileño, y es fundamental que las perspectivas indígenas formen parte de esta discusión y que sus derechos sean protegidos en la política nacional.

A medida que trabajamos para alcanzar los objetivos climáticos globales, los instrumentos basados ​​en el mercado desempeñarán un papel importante para llevar el financiamiento climático a las comunidades locales. El financiamiento público y filantrópico por sí solo no es suficiente para cambiar el paradigma histórico de explotación y deforestación en los territorios indígenas. Cuando se hace bien, las compensaciones pueden ser una gran solución a medida que avanzamos hacia una bioeconomía a largo plazo basada en la naturaleza.

Cuando los “cowboys del carbono” y los artículos sobre el mercado del carbono generalizan en exceso los mecanismos de financiamiento climático como REDD+, y deciden que todos los proyectos deben ser maliciosos, existe el potencial de acabar con la financiación. Quizás esa sea la intención. Las empresas ya están dando señales de vacilación para continuar con el financiamiento del carbono después de un período de cobertura mediática negativa de las que lo hicieron. El financiamiento climático ya es un espacio increíblemente complejo y técnico, y agregar más incertidumbre perjudica a los PICL que necesitan este financiamiento ahora para asegurar sus derechos y mantener sus bosques en pie.

Espero que, en el futuro, REDD+ de alta integridad continúe con plena vigencia y que los proyectos y programas jurisdiccionales se intensifiquen para satisfacer las necesidades de los administradores de bosques indígenas. La financiación guiada por el respeto de los derechos, conocimientos y medios de vida de las comunidades indígenas y tradicionales es fundamental para hacer frente al cambio climático, conservar los bosques y apoyar a las comunidades.

Sobre el autor: Beto Borges es Director de la Iniciativa de Comunidades y Gobernanza Territorial de Forest Trends

[1] Dunne, Daisy. “Deforestation Has Driven up Hottest Day Temperatures, Study Says.” Carbon Brief, April 23, 2018. https://www.carbonbrief.org/deforestation-has-driven-up-hottest-day-temperatures/.

[2] Duncanson, L., et al. “The Effectiveness of Global Protected Areas for Climate Change Mitigation.” Nature News, June 1, 2023. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-023-38073-9.

[3] Sze, Jocelyne S., et al. “Indigenous Lands in Protected Areas Have High Forest Integrity across the Tropic.” Current Biology, October 26, 2022. https://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(22)01540-8.

[4] Osorio, Karen. “A Renewed Focus on Direct Financing at International Climate Summits.” Rainforest Foundation US, November 22, 2022.https://rainforestfoundation.org/a-renewed-focus-on-direct-financing-at-international-climate-summits/#:~:text=According%20to%20a%202021%20RFN,the%20IPLC%20organizations%20and%20communities.

Official Launch of Football for Forests
Press Release

18 July 2023 | Football for Forests, a joint initiative created by think tank Climate Focus and Planet League, is committed to the restoration of tropical forests through the unity and passion of the global
football community.

To achieve this goal, the Football for Forests app was created. It was  officially launched during an evening event at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei in Berlin, jointly hosted by Football for Forests represented by Dr Charlotte Streck, Director of Climate Focus, and the global initiative We Play Green, represented by Morten Thorsby, the Norwegian international and 1. FC Union Berlin Player.

Morten Thorsby expresses his commitment to the initiative and its underlying principles, stating, “Rainforests hold immense significance for humanity. I firmly believe that We Play Green and Football for Forests can harness the power of the global football family to protect these ecosystems. We all have a role to play!”

Dr Charlotte Streck emphasizes the urgency to take action, stating, “The statistics speak for themselves: 17 football pitches worth of forest are destroyed every minute, totalling more than 1,500 football pitches during a single football match. This is a drastic and cruel reality that underscores the fact that this is no longer a game. It is vital that we all step up and actively fight against the destruction of our forests, preserving our habitat.”

Do good, have fun!
The Football for Forests app brings together the concepts of doing good and having fun. In the Forest Restoration League, both individuals and companies can pledge a monetary amount for every goal scored by their favourite team throughout the football season under the banner of Join the Team and Save the Tropical Forests! They can then track in realtime which team becomes the champion of tropical forest restoration. The Forest Restoration League allows football fans, clubs, and corporate sponsors to compete against each other and support their team through forest restoration.

The founders rely on the passion and dedication of the worldwide football community, as Dr Charlotte Streck explains,

“Football for Forests provides a unique opportunity for everyone to actively participate in forest restoration. Every goal, every fan, every company and every sponsor helps restore forests. Not only that, Football for Forests makes reforestation enjoyable! I am confident that together we can achieve great things. If the global fan community doesn’t have the power to counter deforestation, then who does?”

To further mobilise the fan base in anticipation of the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup, Football for Forests has released a special edition of the app. As Australia and New Zealand jointly host the tournament, the Forest Restoration League will expand to include national teams participating in the event.

Transparency and Traceability as Top Priorities
Donations received through the app directly fund forest rehabilitation projects in the Amazon region, currently focused on Colombia with plans for future expansion into Brazil. Ensuring transparency and traceability of funds for the fans and sponsors is of utmost importance to the founders. Therefore, Julio Rozo Grisales, Project Leader at Amazonia Emprende, a partner organization of Football for Forests, will be present at the launch event to share insights into their on-site work in Colombia.

“Through tree planting, we have already restored 30 pitches in Caquetá, in the Colombian Amazon region. Everyone can contribute, we involve local communities in reforestation efforts and collaborate with youth groups through a forest school, known as Escuela de Bosques. We aim to create awareness and sensitize all population groups to this issue, harnessing the power of the local community to protect our forests,” emphasizes Julio Rozo Grisales.

Prominent Support from Politics, Business and the Wider Society
Even before the official launch, Football for Forests has garnered broad support from politics, business and society. The Federal Foreign Office, represented by Jennifer Morgan, State Secretary and Special Envoy for International Climate Policy, has assumed patronage for today’s launch.

Jennifer Morgan underscores the importance of teamwork and collective effort in both football and climate diplomacy, stating, “As the Federal Foreign Office, we support the Football for Forests initiative, merging the enthusiasm for football with efforts for climate protection and tropical forest restoration.”

Several prominent individuals are also endorsing the initiative. Philipp Köster, journalist, football expert and founder of the magazine “11FREUNDE,” will host the evening’s event and moderate conversations between renowned personalities such as Elin Linnéa Landström, Swedish professional footballer and player of AS Roma; Rachel Corboz, French-American professional footballer and player of Stade de Reims; and Almuth Schult, former professional footballer and TV expert. Almuth Schult supports Football for Forests as an ambassador along with many other notable figures, including Tabea Kemme, former professional footballer and Women’s World Cup pundit for the upcoming tournament in Australia and New Zealand.

Philipp Köster expresses his enthusiasm for the project, stating, “I know how much football moves people. I am thrilled that this passion, usually seen on the pitch and in the stands, is now directly contributing to the vital protection of tropical forests!”

Almuth Schult shares her excitement, highlighting the collective impact beyond the pitch: “When players come together, they can have a significant influence on issues beyond the game. By working together, we can make a tangible contribution to the preservation and reforestation of rainforests. I am delighted to be part of the We Play Green team and support the Football for Forests initiative.”

Tabea Kemme reinforces the importance of individual responsibility as an ambassador for the initiative, stating, “We all need to take a stand and take action, and Football for Forests provides a platform to do just that. Download the app and get involved. Every goal counts, and everyone can contribute to making a difference.”

For more information about Football for Forests, please visit:

“Carbon cowboy” pieces get clicks, but at the risk of ignoring what indigenous communities are actually saying

The climate finance space is at risk. Confronted with an onslaught of agenda-driven media coverage aiming to discredit one of the largest sources of funding available for forest protection, mechanisms like REDD+ and voluntary carbon markets could be unfairly discredited to the point of losing momentum and support at a critical time for climate action. REDD+ credits, specifically projects financed through the Voluntary Carbon Market (VCM), have faced increasing criticism in the media over the past year. What these over-generalized pieces often gloss over, however, are the experiences and perspectives of indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs). These communities are the ones on the ground, actively managing the land. They witness and experience the positive effects of REDD+ and other carbon credits done well, and many are voicing their support loud and clear. We should be listening more to the people experiencing REDD+ projects than we do outside critics from the Global North.

Deforestation and forest degradation are widespread, accounting for 11 percent of carbon emissions worldwide per year.[1] However, through avoided deforestation, about a year’s worth of global fossil fuel emissions are currently stored on protected lands,[2] particularly protected lands overlapping with indigenous lands,[3] with the Brazilian Amazon accounting for 36 percent of this carbon. This is a great incentive to ramp up safeguards for the Amazon Forest, increase direct climate funding for the indigenous stewards protecting it, and bolster more widespread support for this funding.

IPLCs are central to protecting the Amazon. They defend their forests from land grabbing, illegal activities and exploitation, and land conflicts, yet by some estimates, receive less than 1 percent of climate mitigation finance.[4] REDD+ credits, both through jurisdictional programs and the VCM, are one of the best available tools for driving direct finance to support the rights and livelihoods of IPLCs. Doing so allows them to continue protecting their territories, including the biodiversity and carbon stores in their borders.

Earlier this year, a group of indigenous-led and Global South-based organizations working in over 40 countries released an open letter in support of REDD+. They emphasized that REDD+ is currently one of the only ways for them to directly access climate finance. REDD+ enables them to keep protecting and monitoring their territories using traditional methods; to pursue sustainable, nature-based economies in alignment with their cultural values; and to secure legal rights to their lands. When media choose to focus on the negative aspects of REDD+ for the sake of proving a point, it directly harms communities and perpetuates their exclusion from conversations and decisions they have a right to participate in. IPLCs are on the frontlines of forest defense, and it is critical that we listen to their needs and support their calls to action.

This is not to say that REDD+ is without any flaws. For REDD+ credits to be effective, they must be of the highest integrity. That means projects and jurisdictional programs must deliver on both carbon sequestration and direct community benefits. This is done by engaging IPLCs as equitable partners from day one to ensure their rights and interests are respected. High-integrity carbon projects follow Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) guidelines, enable direct access to carbon markets for IPLCs, and acknowledge their rights to any carbon credits developed on their land. Projects and jurisdictional programs must also ensure equitable and transparent benefit-sharing in consultation with communities. While it is important for media to promote high-integrity REDD+ and hold market actors accountable, the stories told must also be balanced. Discredit the bad credits, yes, but then take that moment as an opportunity to highlight REDD+ done well. Publicly praising them is a powerful means of supporting high-integrity projects and jurisdictional programs that the world needs to achieve climate action at the scale necessary to meet global climate goals.

Many of these components for integrity stem from precedents set by the Suruí Forest Carbon Project, the first indigenous-led REDD+ project, launched in 2009 by Forest Trends with the Suruí people and other local partners, including the Institute of Conservation and Sustainable Development of the Amazon (IDESAM), Equipe de Conservação da Amazônia (ECAM), Brazilian Biodiversity Fund (FUMBIO), and Kanindé. At that time, avoided deforestation was not an officially recognized term, meaning many of the methodologies in this project were created and tested for the first time. Despite several challenges and its ultimate discontinuation in 2018, the project dramatically reduced deforestation in its first five years and set some important precedents for projects of its kind going forward.

Stories that discuss this project often ignore the important milestones it achieved. Most importantly, it recognized all indigenous peoples in Brazil as owners of any carbon credits resulting from projects developed on their lands. It also funded six self-sufficient economic initiatives, such as Brazil nut and handicraft production, which continue to provide income for those communities today. The Suruí Forest Carbon Project was also one of the first fully documented uses of the FPIC process.

To continue these efforts, Forest Trends’ Communities and Territorial Governance Initiative is working with IPLC partner organizations, donors, companies, and other institutions to monitor and promote high-integrity carbon projects and jurisdictional-level funding that provides direct environmental and socioeconomic benefits for IPLCs. We believe it is important to promote best practices and safeguards, all while putting IPLC leadership and knowledge center stage in the climate and conservation finance space.

Toward this end, we also co-founded the Peoples Forests Partnership, launched at COP26 in Glasgow to promote best practices for high-integrity projects in the Voluntary Carbon Market between IPLCs and carbon developers. In 2022, we also launched the Territorial Governance Facility with three important regional indigenous and local community organizations in Amazonia and Mesoamerica (AMPB, CONFENIAE, and AIDESEP) to assist communities in building the capacity they need to protect their territories and advocate for themselves in rapidly changing markets and political contexts. When they have direct support for governance of their communities, they can more effectively protect their territories, ways of life, and the biodiversity and carbon stores on their land – all things that lead to high integrity carbon credits and successful projects.

Just last month, we led a training course with the Brazilian Ministry of Indigenous Peoples on the challenges and opportunities indigenous peoples in Brazil face with climate finance mechanisms, such as carbon markets and jurisdictional REDD+ programs. This collaboration comes at a critical moment for the Brazilian Government; they are preparing a new bill that will determine the structure of the Brazilian carbon market, and it is essential that indigenous perspectives are a part of this discussion and that their rights are protected in national policy.

As we work to meet global climate goals, market instruments will play an important role in getting climate finance to communities on the ground. Public and philanthropic funding is not enough on its own to shift the paradigm of historical exploitation and deforestation in indigenous territories. When done right, offsets can be a great solution as we shift towards a nature-based bioeconomy in the long term.

When “carbon cowboy” and carbon market hit pieces overgeneralize climate finance mechanisms like REDD+, deciding that all projects must be ill-intentioned, this has the potential to stop funding all together. Perhaps this is the intention. Companies are already signaling hesitancy to continue their carbon funding after a period of rough media coverage of those who have. Climate finance is already an incredibly complex and technical space, and adding more uncertainty is a disservice to IPLCs who need this funding now to secure their rights and keep their forests standing.

I hope that going forward, high-integrity REDD+ will continue in full force, and that projects and jurisdictional programs will step up to meet the needs of indigenous forest stewards. Finance driven by respect for indigenous rights, knowledge, and livelihoods is critical to address climate change, conserve forests, and support communities.


About the author: Beto Borges is Director of Forest Trends’ Communities and Territorial Governance Initiative


[1] Dunne, Daisy. “Deforestation Has Driven up Hottest Day Temperatures, Study Says.” Carbon Brief, April 23, 2018. https://www.carbonbrief.org/deforestation-has-driven-up-hottest-day-temperatures/.

[2] Duncanson, L., et al. “The Effectiveness of Global Protected Areas for Climate Change Mitigation.” Nature News, June 1, 2023. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-023-38073-9.

[3] Sze, Jocelyne S., et al. “Indigenous Lands in Protected Areas Have High Forest Integrity across the Tropic.” Current Biology, October 26, 2022. https://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(22)01540-8.

[4] Osorio, Karen. “A Renewed Focus on Direct Financing at International Climate Summits.” Rainforest Foundation US, November 22, 2022. https://rainforestfoundation.org/a-renewed-focus-on-direct-financing-at-international-climate-summits/#:~:text=According%20to%20a%202021%20RFN,the%20IPLC%20organizations%20and%20communities.

New Corporate Guidance on Carbon Credit Claims for Net Zero Launched by VCMI
Press Release

28th June 2023 — The Voluntary Carbon Market Integrity Initiative has published its Claims Code of Practice, which will give companies a rulebook to follow for making credible climate claims, helping to build market confidence in how they engage with VCMs. The VCMI is supported by a broad range of international organizations, governments, companies, NGOs and civil society, and the rulebook has been broadly welcomed by climate experts around the world.

The Claims Code fills a critical gap, bringing integrity to the demand side of VCMs. It clarifies the complex landscape of voluntary carbon markets by providing companies with a rulebook for high-integrity voluntary use of carbon credits and associated claims on the pathway to net zero.

Razan Al Mubarak, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28 comments: “This is a decisive decade and a decisive year for tackling climate change. We are woefully off-track from where we need to be and we need to use all the tools in the box, working at full pace. The voluntary carbon market is one tool that can mobilize the much-needed finance to low and middle-income countries towards climate solutions that will accelerate the net-zero transition. It’s not too late to drive progress, and the VCMI Claims Code released today is a welcome step forward.”

The Claims Code has three tiers of claims that companies can make – Platinum, Gold and Silver, each of which recognizes investment in GHG emission reductions and removals above and beyond corporate action to meet their science-aligned targets. This work will be supported by additional guidance in November 2023, specifically on the VCMI Measurement, Reporting and Assurance (MRA) framework, additional claim tiers and claim names.

The Claims Code consists of four steps that a company must undertake to make a VCMI Claim:

  1. It must first meet VCMI’s Foundational Criteria, which serve as the backbone of an ambitious and robust climate strategy;
  2. It must then select which VCMI Claim to make (Platinum, Gold or Silver);
  3. To make the claim, the company must select carbon credits which meet stringent quality thresholds in line with the Integrity Council for Voluntary Carbon Markets (IC-VCM) Core Carbon Principles (CCPs);
  4. Finally, the company must disclose information to support its claim and conduct independent validation and assurance in line with the VCMI MRV and Assurance Framework (to be published in November 2023.)

Claims Code developed through an open, inclusive and consultative multi-stakeholder process

The Claims Code is the culmination of over 12 months of road testing by companies, public consultations and multi-stakeholder collaboration, following the publication of the provisional Claims Code in June 2022. The process has been informed by input from leading non-profits, VCMI’s Steering Committee, its high-level decision-making body, as well as guidance from VCMI’s Executive Advisory Group (EAG). These bodies include experienced VCM voices, such as indigenous and civil society leaders, independent net-zero experts, corporate sustainability leads, governments, regulators and academics.

Rachel Kyte, Co-Chair of VCMI’s Steering Committee said: “Voluntary carbon markets bring considerable benefits as part of companies’ net-zero transition and as a means of financing climate transition worldwide. Against a backdrop of recent criticism, we are now at a juncture where only consistent, well-considered global guidance can underpin a high-quality market and stimulate the rapid scaling of corporate use we need. The Claims Code will give greater confidence and develop trust in those who use it. If you build integrity, trust will follow, and trust is the foundation of a high value, high impact market.”

VCMI has worked closely on the Claims Code with other major initiatives driving corporate climate action to ensure there is a robust, clear and integrated framework for companies to follow as they transition to net zero, including: the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHGP); Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi); the Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Markets (ICVCM); and Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). Its work has also benefitted from the efforts of the We Mean Business Coalition, and emerging government and civil society efforts to accelerate the adoption of climate transition plans.

Maria Mendiluce, CEO at We Mean Business Coalition comments: “VCMI’s Claims Code has created a set of guidance that is ambitious and bold in its vision and will help companies mobilize credible climate finance to reach our global net-zero goals. We are delighted to partner with the Initiative and look forward to supporting companies on their journey to make a VCMI claim.”

Annette Nazareth, Chair of the IC-VCM comments: “VCMI’s guidance on credible claims complements the Integrity Council’s work to establish a global benchmark for high-integrity carbon credits that will give buyers confidence they are funding projects making a genuine impact on emissions. By creating end-to-end high integrity throughout the voluntary carbon market, from the supply of credits, to the markets they trade in, and ultimately how they are used, we can unlock investment at speed and scale for climate solutions that would not otherwise be viable.”

VCMI is also today constituting its Stakeholder Forum with a broad range of participants. The Stakeholder Forum will provide a sounding board for VCMI, helping improve its guidance and shaping the additional modules that will be delivered later in 2023.

A high-integrity VCM can meaningfully contribute to the Paris Agreement goals and the UN SDGs

Much more needs to be done to generate the finance needed to unlock GHG mitigation potential across the world and support the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). VCMs have a key role to play in this, especially in the short-term while robust economy-wide policies and financing mechanisms at the scale needed are put in place. Companies investing in tackling beyond value-chain emissions through high-quality carbon credits is a critical tool to deploy.

Ali Mohamed, Climate Change Envoy in Kenya comments: “Kenya welcomes VCMI’s Claims Code of Practice and its clear guidance to organizations on credible use of high-quality carbon credits, towards net-zero commitments. As we aim to lead in the supply of these quality units, high demand-side integrity will accelerate the flow of carbon finance to all our local communities and foster green economic growth. Our upcoming carbon market regulations will inspire significant investments into impactful voluntary carbon market activities, whilst ensuring strong governance and transparency. We believe the Claims Code will build trust and contribute to international cooperation towards the 1.5 degree goal.”

Now is the time for action: VCMI calls on all companies to implement the Claims Code and help unleash the full potential of high-integrity VCMs.

The Claims Code enables companies around the world to understand how they can use carbon credits in their climate strategies in a way that is accepted by consumers, investors, civil society, government regulators, and policymakers. By following the Claims Code, companies will be able to demonstrate their climate leadership, mitigate potential risks to their reputation, and position themselves to succeed in a world transitioning to a prosperous low-carbon future.

Tariye Gbadegesin, Co-Chair of VCMI’s Steering Committee said: “Integrity is what will make the VCM a powerful tool that gets us to a net-zero world and mobilizes much-needed finance to low- and middle income-countries, faster. Clear and transparent guidance about the voluntary use of carbon credits has been missing. Now that the VCMI Claims Code is available to guide corporate claims made with the use of VCMs and eventually when paired with ICVCM’s Core Carbon Principles guiding supply, market participants have the key ingredients of what we call “end to end” integrity which will enable this crucial market development.”

The Claims Code was unveiled at a virtual event today, where representatives of governments and the official sector, business and civil society discussed the details and contents of the Claims Code of Practice. A recording of the event can be found here [https://vcmintegrity.org/claims-code-launch-event/].

Voices from the Forest: In Kenya, a Carbon Project’s “Co-benefits” Take Center Stage

29 June 2023 | KASIGAU CORRIDOR | Kenya| Catherine Simba administers 32 schools across southern Kenya, an arid farming region that’s also the home and a migratory route for elephants, giraffes, zebras, and other animals that coexist with people.

We saw these stunning animals from the windows of the train that we took from Nairobi and from the safari van as we traveled around on the maze of unmarked dirt roads that we took to meet Ms. Simba at one of her schools.

This natural spectacle was not lost on me. Having grown up near New York City, until visiting Kenya, I had only seen such animals in zoos, films, and children’s stories.

Known as the Kasigau Corridor, this region connects the Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks, and twenty years ago it faced both rampant deforestation and poaching, which led to the decimation of the Rhino population in the region.

Make no mistake, those threats are really symptoms of social stresses such as poverty and hunger. So when the for-profit company Wildlife Works began its conservation work here two decades ago, it aimed to protect nature by empowering people. This ultimately led to the creation of the Kasigau Corridor REDD+ Project.

The REDD+ project finances its operations by generating carbon credits from protecting threatened forests. But for Simba, the project’s value comes in the way it impacts the thousands of squealing children she calls her “babies.”

“Before carbon, the babies weren’t coming to school,” she says, as dozens of those babies swarm to greet her outside the Marungu Primary School.

The government, she says, pays for early education, but it doesn’t cover school lunches, and it doesn’t cover high school or college.

“Carbon gave me a feeding program, so retention in school has increased,” she says. “This is often the only meal they get, and they used to pass out in school.” After the babies graduate, the carbon project will subsidize their secondary and university educations.

Hear from Catherine Simba

To buyers of carbon credits, education is a “co-benefit” or a “beyond carbon” benefit. But market actors tell Ecosystem Marketplace they’re seeing buyers increasingly willing to pay extra for projects that demonstrate verified support for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) other than SDG 13, the goal to reduce climate change.

At the same time, intermediaries say they’re still struggling to explain the value of co-benefits to end buyers – largely because most people don’t really understand how carbon projects work, and there has been little effort to overcome that education gap.

Ecosystem Marketplace visited the Kasigau Corridor REDD+ Project for a series of interviews with Wildlife Works staff and people from the local communities to get a feel for how these beyond carbon benefits work on the ground.

Returns from sales of carbon credits have also been used to update bathrooms that offer sanitary conditions and privacy for the children and teachers. They’ve also been used to create reusable sanitary napkins, which the school administration we spoke to say has led to greater attendance rates among the girls.

Hear from Students Riziki Paul & Salma Ibrahim

The benefits themselves are often clear, but the link to emission reductions can be elusive. From the beginning of the Kasigau Corridor REDD+ Project, for example, Wildlife Works has centered communities’ self-governance. Communities choose the development of activities focusing on an array of social, health, and economic development issues. Today the project activities positively impact the project area’s population of over 116,000 people, including the creation of 400 local jobs. It’s also ensured the protection of 20 species of bats, over 50 species of large mammals, over 300 species of birds and critical populations of IUCN Red List species such as the Grevy’s Zebra, African Elephant, lion, and African Wild Dog.

But how do these efforts protect forests – or are they just philanthropic add-ons?

To Simba, the connection is clear. She says education will reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) in the area by helping her babies grow into adults who can earn a living without poaching wildlife or burning trees to make charcoal. It is, in other words, a means to an end and not a philanthropic add-on.

Geoff Mwangi says that’s usually the case, and he argues the terminology is misleading.

“We recognize what you are calling ‘co-benefits’ as ‘core benefits,’” he says.

Mwangi is the lead scientist for biodiversity and social monitoring at Wildlife Works,’ Kasigau Corridor project and he echoes Simba’s contention that the project is reducing deforestation by reducing poverty; the two outcomes cannot be separated.

He adds, however, that it’s also harder to reduce deforestation by reducing poverty than it is to, say, encourage IFM in developing countries, and he emphasizes that SDGs don’t always lead directly to reduced emissions. Some sustainable development outcomes are byproducts, and some come at a cost to the project. For these reasons, it’s critical to ensure that SDG benefits are properly certified and supported.

Hear from Geoffrey Mwangi

EM’s carbon markets data suggests that many REDD+ projects appear to be excelling particularly when it comes to SDG 5: gender equality.

Constance Mwandaa is a case in point. She grew up in the Kasigau Corridor and became the first female Wildlife Works ranger to patrol the plains. Today, she oversees all training for the force of over 100.

For her, the REDD+ project is about female empowerment. “I have a few girls at home who see what I’m doing, and they say, ‘We can do this!” she says.

And she’s hardly alone. All across the project area, I met women whose lives the project had improved, often in ways that reduce deforestation and dependency on bushmeat.

Constance Mademu, for example, who used to engage in slash-and-burn charcoaling is now employed by Wildlife Works as a part of their sustainable charcoaling micro business built around selective, regulated harvesting and efficient burning.

I also met dozens of women who’ve enrolled in a training program to implement climate-smart agriculture that blends no-till farming with agroforestry. When speaking with them, I asked why mostly women were being trained and are the ones responsible for managing the land. Bluntly, I was told it was because the men were either dead, gone, or inebriated – a response I wasn’t expecting but it did put into focus the social dimension in a new way.

In other areas, people had shifted from charcoaling to beekeeping and honey production. Many were making textiles, t-shirts, and handicrafts – activities made viable because of the carbon finance.

“The income I make here far surpasses what I would earn charcoaling, and it’s also less physically demanding,” said Nora Matunda, who works in a boutique soap factory that Wildlife Works finances through a blend of sales and carbon finance.

“The ultimate goal is to create a sustainable economy built on non-destructive practices such as these, and one that can outlast the carbon project itself,” says Laurian Lenjo, who oversees community outreach along with Joseph Mwakima.

“For now, we need carbon finance to support these activities,” he adds.

The two men spend the bulk of their time bouncing among six administrative districts in the project area, which is home to more than 116,000 people.

I accompanied them to several meetings where villagers were voting on how to spend their carbon payments.

Hear from Joseph Mwakima and Laurian Lenjo

“Different communities identify different needs, but the key point is they get to choose for themselves how to spend it,” says Lenjo. “The initial votes tended towards school facilities, but now we are seeing more diversity. Several villages recently voted to create a health center, because the existing facilities are so far away, while another voted to create a community meeting center.”

Suleiman Mwamanga is a village elder who guided us to a new water tank.

“We elected to build this tank as the drought intensified,” he says. “The water comes from the Chyulu Hills, which provide water across this region.”

Ten years ago, that source had run dry due to degradation in the Chyulu Hills cloud forest — degradation that was reversed by the Chyulu Hills REDD+ project, which saved the forest and revived the springs that flow from it.

In SDG parlance, that project contributed to Goal 6, clean water and sanitation.

As standards develop more and better means of quantifying and certifying SDG impacts, we can hope to see more support for these once-intangible benefits – but only if the sector learns to tell its story more effectively.

Forest Protection Successfully Leads to Reduced Emissions at Global Scale

A study recently published in Nature Communications by researchers at the University of Maryland (UMD), Northern Arizona University, University of Arizona, Conservation International and more has found that worldwide protected forests have an additional 9.65 billion metric tons of carbon stored in their aboveground biomass compared to ecologically similar unprotected areas—a finding that quantifies just how important protected areas are in our continued climate mitigation efforts.

This study, which was jointly funded by the National Science Foundation (PI Brian Enquist, University of Arizona) and NASA (PI Laura Duncanson, UMD), used the highly accurate forest height, structure and surface elevation data produced by NASA’s Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI, PI Ralph Dubayah, UMD).The team of researchers compared protected areas’ efficacy in avoiding emissions to the atmosphere with unprotected areas’ ability to do the same and tested the assumption that protected areas provide disproportionately more ecosystem services—including carbon storage and sequestration—than non-protected areas.

The biggest, most climate-positive impact the researchers observed came from the protected, moist broadleaf forest biome in the Brazilian Amazon, with Brazil contributing 36% to the global signal.

Another key finding was that the amount of aboveground biomass—the dry mass of woody matter in vegetation that stands above the ground—gained from protected areas is roughly equivalent to one year of annual global emissions from fossil fuels.

Previous attempts to quantify protected areas biomass content had high uncertainties and/or biases, as past satellite biomass products are known to saturate in high biomass forests, such as old-growth protected areas. GEDI data helped the researchers overcome these limitations.

The researchers specifically used height, cover, PAI (Plant Area Index), and AGBD (Above Ground Biomass Density) products from the first 18 months of GEDI mission data, which was collected between April 2019 and September 2020. In total, the researchers—which also include UMD’s Mengyu (Amber) Liang, Veronika Leitold and John Armston—analyzed more than 400 million 3D structure samples and matched each protected area to ecologically similar unprotected areas based on climate, human pressure, land type, country and other factors.

The researchers’ study highlights the urgency of protection and restoration for biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation, as emphasized by the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC found that nature-based solutions such as reducing the destruction of forests and other ecosystems, restoring them and improving the management of working lands, such as farms, are among the top five most effective strategies for mitigating carbon emissions by 2030.

“Protected areas are an essential part of the conservation toolkit. They confer enormous benefits in the form of living carbon, essential to mitigate climate change’s worst effects,” said Patrick Roehrdanz, director of Climate Change and Biodiversity at Conservation International. “This research reflects the importance of the Convention on Biological Diversity target—of achieving 30 percent protection of all ecosystems—as an effective strategy to address more than one of the biggest environmental crises we face: biodiversity loss and climate change.”

World Bank: Carbon Markets Resilient in a High-Pressure 2022, with Seismic Changes Afoot

Emissions trading systems and carbon taxes showed themselves to be resilient in the last year. Despite a global energy crisis, high inflation, and fiscal pressures, emissions trading systems (ETSs) and carbon taxes posted record high revenues, according to the World Bank’s just-released State and Trends in Carbon Pricing 2023 

Through our partnership with the World Bank, Ecosystem Marketplace (EM) provided an early cut of our 2022 voluntary carbon market (VCM) trade data, representing a subset of all EM Respondents who had disclosed their carbon credit sales data through our new EM Global Carbon Markets Hub in time for this report’s data lock.  

Among the key findings of the report:  

  • The price differential between OTC and exchanges is widening. We continue to see a divergence between over-the-counter (OTC) and exchange-traded markets. In 2022, exchange-traded credit prices fell. But OTC market participants tracked in this report saw their credit prices increase by a massive 70%, averaging $6.83/ton in 2022. It’s important to note that this is a preliminary figure based on a subset of the overall market; EM’s forthcoming State of the Voluntary Carbon Market will include our complete and final 2022 data.  
  • The number of implemented ETSs and carbon taxes now stands at 77, with the share of global GHG emissions covered around 23%. In 2022, a number of jurisdictions either delivered on existing plans for new ETSs or taxes, increased their ambition, or announced further proposals for developing new initiatives in the coming years. While the uptake of ETSs and carbon taxes is on the rise in emerging economies, high-income countries still dominate. 
  • Record high revenues from ETSs and carbon taxes approached USD 100 billion. Almost 40% of the revenue is earmarked for green spending, and 10% is used to compensate households or businesses – both are seen as a way to increase support for these policies.  
  • Still, carbon markets remain overwhelmingly driven by voluntary demand. The vast majority of retirements continue to come from voluntary, not compliance, buyers. 
  • After two years of rapid growth, carbon credit markets slowed in 2022. EM data showed a 1.3% decline in overall retirements from 2021, with 196 million credits retired in 2022. 
  • Nature-based solutions show signs of overtaking renewable energy for market share. Renewable energy has historically dominated market supply, and it still does: the share of carbon credits issued from renewable energy activities has been trending upward since 2018, accounting for 55% of issuances in 2022. However, we’ve seen the cost of renewable energy fall dramatically over the last decade – which means that carbon revenues are increasingly less necessary to make investments in renewable energy economically attractive, presaging a dwindling down of RE credits in the carbon markets.  Meanwhile EM data shows that 54% of new project registrations in 2022 were for forestry and land use projects. Caveat: forestry and land use credits issuances have risen and fallen in recent years. EM saw a substantial drop in both absolute and relative terms in 2022. But the registration data suggests another expansion is on the horizon. Still, don’t count RE out just yet: in 2022, 52% of credit retirements were from renewable energy projects, up from 44% in 2021. RE credits are still widely available, and among the least expensive credit type.  
  • The carbon credit market continues to grow in diversity and sophistication, as new investors, financial products, technological platforms, and service providers lay the foundations for what some expect will be a decade of significant growth. Article 6 implementation also continues to advance as more countries sign bilateral cooperation agreements and the first activities to generate authorized emissions reductions are developed.  And new integrity initiatives are promising to promote standardization and improve transparency in carbon credit market. 

 Learn more and download the State and Trends of Carbon Pricing 2023 from the World Bank here. 

World Bank Publishes Annual Report “State and Trends of Carbon Pricing 2023” at Innovate4Climate in Spain

23 May 2023 | Carbon markets and mechanisms have steadily evolved since the first State and Trends report was published 10 years ago. The share of global emissions covered by carbon taxes and emissions trading systems (ETSs) has grown from 7% to around 23%.  Jurisdictions continue to introduce new carbon pricing instruments, such as Indonesia’s ETS this year, and cover new emission sources, such as aviation. Government revenues from carbon taxes and ETSs have grown nearly five-fold as policies have evolved and diversified to reflect increased ambition.  And voluntary action around carbon markets has proliferated as corporations have become the biggest source of demand for carbon credits.

“Over the decade, State and Trends and the Carbon Pricing Dashboard have provided objective and up-to-date information on direct carbon pricing.”

Over the decade, State and Trends and the Carbon Pricing Dashboard have provided objective and up-to-date information on direct carbon pricing. They have guided policymakers, supported academic and analytical work, and informed the private sector and nongovernmental organizations alike.

This year’s report shows that governments are prioritizing direct carbon pricing policies to reduce emissions, even in difficult economic times. The economic turmoil and geopolitical instability of this past year threatened to divert attention from the pressing need to act on climate. Despite these pressures, ETSs and carbon taxes have proven resilient; several jurisdictions either delivered on existing plans for new ETSs or taxes, increased their ambition, or announced further proposals for developing new initiatives in the coming years. Recent developments on Article 6 suggest a pathway for international carbon markets, though more work is needed to build the administrative capacity for countries to engage further.

“This year’s report shows that governments are prioritizing direct carbon pricing policies to reduce emissions, even in difficult economic times.”

Governments, the private sector, and others are thinking about carbon markets and pricing in increasingly sophisticated ways.  Direct carbon pricing is being viewed through a broader lens, not only as a key mitigation policy, but also as a tool to raise revenue, drive innovation, and help deliver on broader sustainability and development goals. The World Bank’s pioneering new diagnostic, the Country Change and Development Report (CCDR), has emphasized the potential for direct carbon pricing policies to support countries on their development journeys. 

There is still a long path ahead even as the need for more progress intensifies. Climate-related natural disasters in 2022 cost lives, caused billions of dollars of damage, and displaced millions, particularly in the developing world. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Sixth Assessment Report laid bare the increasingly dangerous and irreversible risks of failing to act. But the report also offered hope that we can still prevent the worst effects if we act now to transition to a low-carbon future.

“Carbon pricing must continue to grow, both in terms of coverage and price, to drive the transformational change needed to meet the Paris temperature goals.”

Introducing a price signal for climate mitigation is critical to driving investment and behavior change to lower emissions. Carbon pricing must continue to grow, both in terms of coverage and price, to drive the transformational change needed to meet the Paris temperature goals.  However, governments need to consider trade-offs when deciding which carbon pricing approach to use: ETSs, carbon taxes and carbon crediting, and international carbon markets each have their place. The World Bank is supporting many countries to engage with the full range of carbon pricing policies — including through the Partnership for Market Implementation (PMI) program providing technical assistance for domestic carbon pricing and operationalizing Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.

State and Trends takes stock of progress and reiterates the World Bank’s commitment to work with governments and stakeholders to put a price on carbon to accelerate climate action.  

Download the report: State and Trends of Carbon Pricing 2023

This blog first appeared on World Bank Blogs.

Photo by David Vives.

6 New Indigenous Territories Officially Recognized in Brazil

Please note this article originally appeared in Forest Trends: https://www.forest-trends.org/blog/6-new-indigenous-territories-officially-recognized-in-brazil/

1 May 2023 | Friday was a historic day in Brazil for indigenous peoples and the planet. President Lula demarcated 6 new indigenous territories totaling just over 2,300 square miles (612,000 hectares), with 90 percent of that area in the most remote parts of the Amazon. To give you a picture, this area is equivalent to about half the size of Jamaica or a little larger than the US state of Delaware. The peoples of Arara do Rio Amônia, Kariri-Xocó, Rio dos Índios, Tremembé da Barra do Mundaú, Uneiuxi, and Avá-Canoeiro territories can now begin the process of legal recognition and protection for their lands.

These lands are the foundations of indigenous cultural identities and traditional ways of life, and without the protection provided by land demarcation, these communities are at risk of losing their homes, cultures, and livelihoods. Indigenous peoples have long been the first line of defense against illegal activities, such as logging, mining, and ranching. Lula’s decree grants indigenous peoples exclusive rights to the natural resources in these areas, bans all mining, and increases regulations on commercial farming and logging.

We hope this sends a strong signal to illegal actors that indigenous rights are respected at the highest levels of Brazilian government and will be protected. We also reiterate our commitment to support indigenous peoples in Brazil and beyond in securing their rights and supporting strong governance of their forest homelands.

Legal demarcation doesn’t just help protect indigenous rights; it can help increase the stability territories need to focus on developing their own economies. Indigenous peoples are already poised to become leaders in scaling Brazil’s bioeconomy, where a network of sustainable forest-based enterprises for products like açaí, Brazil nuts, and cacao feed into national and international markets, helping squeeze out economic models that drive deforestation, such as large-scale soy and cattle production.

Official government recognition can also help communities attract and secure direct funding from global climate and conservation finance programs. When guided by Free, Prior, and Informed Consent and other safeguards, such programs can help communities support their own long-term visions for strong, resilient livelihoods and cultural preservation.

This is a unique window of opportunity to keep recognizing the rights of indigenous peoples as Brazilians and develop policies and incentives that center on and acknowledge their role as front-line forest protectors. This is so far reflected in leadership Lula has appointed across agencies: the first ever Ministry of Indigenous Peoples is being led by Sônia Guajajara; Marina Silva as Minister of Environment for the second time (her first term was from 2003-2008); and Garo Batmanian as head of the Brazilian Forest Service. We feel hopeful that these are real signals that the Lula administration will make good on its commitments to indigenous rights and environmental conservation and are already using this momentum to ramp up support to our indigenous partners across Brazil.

For more information:

What Brazil’s new government means for indigenous and local forest-based economies

BBC: Brazil’s Lula recognises six new indigenous reserves

g1 globo: Lula demarca terras indígenas em seis estados; veja detalhes das áreas

7 Lessons for Scaling up Nature-based Solutions for Water Security: Takeaways from the First UN Water Conference in 46 Years

Please note this article originally appeared in Forest Trends: https://www.forest-trends.org/blog/7-ways-to-scale-up-nature-based-solutions-for-water-security-takeaways-from-the-first-un-water-conference-in-46-years/

1 May 2023 | Last week we were honored to gather experts and practitioners at the Nature Hub in New York City during the UN Water Conference – the first in 46 years – to share lessons learned on scaling up nature-based solutions (NBS) for water. The main aim of the conference this year was to accelerate action to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6: Ensure access to clean water and sanitation for all by 2030. The Nature Hub, located a short walk from UN Headquarters, aimed to ensure that nature was considered as part of the UN’s agenda and to gather practitioners of NBS to share their experiences (co-hosted by Forest Trends, The Nature Conservancy, WWF, IUCN, World Water Council, International Water Management Institute, International Network of Basin Organizers). As co-hosts and organizers of two events, we were proud to help elevate NBS on a global stage.

While there are many successful cases of NBS, experience is limited when it comes to bringing these solutions to scale, which we will need to meet global climate goals. Matching the scale of NBS’ potential to support water security with action on the ground will require a new set of strategies on policy, finance, and implementation. Fortunately, early adopters are starting to generate valuable lessons for scaling up NBS for water security. Peru has made particularly remarkable progress, with a 12x increase in NBS investments implemented over the last decade.

From left to right: Boris Ochoa-Tocachi (moderator, CEO of ATUK Consoltoría Estratégica & Hydrology Advisor to Forest Trends), Patricia Abreu Fernández (Executive Director of the Santo Domingo Water Fund in the Dominican Republic), Rebecca Davidson (Senior Director of Conservation Programs at the National Forest Foundation), Seth Schultz (CEO of Resilience Rising), Cyrille Barnérias (Director of International Relations, France’s Biodiversity Agency (OFB)), Vincent Lee (Associate Principal and Technical Director of Water, ARUP)

Our experience supporting watershed investments includes work in Bolivia, Brazil, Peru, Mexico, Ghana, China, and the US. Our work to mainstream and scale NBS since 2017 has primarily been focused on Peru through the Natural Infrastructure for Water Security (NIWS) project, supported by USAID and the Government of Canada. Together with our partners, we have been working to scale-up gender-sensitive investments in natural infrastructure in Peru as a strategy to regulate water supply and increase resilience to climate change. There is now more than a quarter billion dollars committed to new investment in NBS for water in Peru, secured with our support. (Sign up here to receive updates on our upcoming report series: Lessons Learned in Scaling Natural Infrastructure in Peru).

Likewise, experiences bringing NBS to a national scale in France, addressing systemic wildfire risk to watersheds in the western US, cross-sector efforts to conserve the watersheds of large cities, like Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and installing urban green infrastructure in New York City, have begun to yield important lessons on the key elements and challenges for building the scaffolding needed for scale.

Our speakers last week shared their most important takeaways from those experiences, which we have combined here with our own from Peru:

1) We need to leverage rising global ambition on NBS to keep driving the funding and systemic change that will enable adoption across sectors.

Tri Linggoatmodjo, Senior Project Management Specialist at USAID Indonesia, emphasized the importance of the opportunity presented by rising global ambition on NBS for water security. She said that they have discovered the value of NBS to improving WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) efforts in Indonesia and sustainable land management upstream for safer, cleaner water downstream. At the same time, she has observed the evolution of the US Government’s strategies to directly support NBS as critical to water security and climate resilience (e.g., US Government Global Water Strategy and USAID’s Climate Change Strategy). And this is only one country –  142 countries include NBS in their nationally determined contributions (NDCs), and 124 of them specifically mention increased water security as a key outcome. At least four more additional countries announced new action items related to NBS during the UN Water Conference.

These examples all show that NBS are poised to scale. However, reaching the scale needed to support water security will require us to work differently than we have in the past – we need to look to new strategies on policy, planning, finance, capacity-building, and implementation.

Tri Linggoatmodjo, Senior Project Management Specialist at USAID Indonesia giving her opening remarks on March 23rd at the Nature Hub, New York City

2) We need to clarify how we are defining NBS before we make commitments and execute projects.

As we work to scale NBS, many institutions that have historically focused on gray infrastructure, such as utilities, governments, and landowners, are just getting to know the concept.

As Cyrille Bárnerias, Director of International Relations for France’s Biodiversity Agency (OFB), pointed out, it can be surprising how different our definitions of NBS are across sectors and institutions. It’s worth taking time to clearly define terms and hear each other’s understandings. More of their reflections here.

3) Our systems are not incentivized to report on or learn from failure, leaving much to individual champions of NBS to navigate systems that were not designed with adaptation in mind.

Doing anything for the first time requires intention and humility to navigate the unknown and learn from what inevitably doesn’t go as planned. As Seth Schultz of Resilience Rising pointed out, some key actors in scaling NBS, such as engineers and city planners, have little incentive to change the way they have been operating for decades – it’s hard to be the first one to stick your neck out, make a change, and incur the potential risk of doing so.

That said, Gena Gammie, Director of Forest Trends’ Water Initiative, reinforced that NBS are not necessarily more risky than grey infrastructure, but incorporating NBS does require our practitioners and institutions to learn to think differently about risk. And to confront the risk of not changing how we design infrastructure for water – our engineered solutions of the 20th century are aging and already consistently failing to meet the needs of people and landscapes, and this does not even account for the continued uncertainties in weather and water supply widely expected by climate change. She further notes that in Peru, they came to embrace an unavoidable element of “learning by doing” that has ultimately served them well on their journey to mainstreaming NBS.

Vincent Lee, Associate Principal and Technical Director of Water from engineering firm ARUP, recounted his experience implementing NBS in New York City; they were directed to four different city departments as they tried to acquire proper permits and permissions – no one felt they were responsible for or “owned” NBS or didn’t want to. While they ultimately succeeded in installing roadside bioswales across over 1,300 acres in the city, the process opened his eyes to the need to use their experience to help create a more streamlined process for future practitioners and decision makers. And a sense of ownership and excitement about the potential of NBS.

4) The systems change we need to mainstream NBS requires peer-to-peer learning experiences and exposure to what success can look like.

Mónica Altamirano, Director of Climate Impact at WaterEquity, noted that NBS are starting to face challenges similar to those experienced by the broader water sector, and that we can and should learn from each other.

Some of the discomfort of “learning by doing” can be relieved by peer-to-peer exchanges. Talking to someone who has been through an unfamiliar process helps newcomers feel that they can navigate it, too. Officials in Lima, Peru learned about NBS implementation from counterparts in Quito, Ecuador and visited project sites. Practitioners in New York City learned from case studies in Portland and Seattle in Washington state.

Gena Gammie, Director of Forest Trends’ Water Initiative, setting the stage for panel discussion with lessons learned from the Natural Infrastructure for Water Security Project in Peru

5) Institutions need to develop processes for NBS with clear guidelines and technical specifications and build capacity for using them across sectors.

Gena, Seth, and Vincent all emphasized that we will also need standards and codes to guide practitioners and decision makers as they shepherd NBS through design, procurement, and implementation. Doing so ensures institutions are capturing what they are learning and laying the foundation for quality control and effective implementation over the long term.

One powerful example from the NIWS project in Peru was a manual for water utilities to formulate and evaluate public investments in natural infrastructure that, when used, reduced the time from idea to agreement by 80%. Other guidelines and tools compiled the best available science accessibly to ensure it was actionable for practitioners and decision makers.

The NIWS project also applied management and technical trainings with NBS funders and contractors to connect professionals across disciplines, building the market and a learning community. Graduates of the programs increased project design skills and learned how to incorporate natural infrastructure into public planning, budgeting, and prioritization processes.

6) Funders and standards need to remain flexible enough to allow NBS to be responsive to local needs.

Rebecca Davidson, Senior Director of Conservation Programs at the National Forest Foundation, highlighted how critical it is in their work in the western US to have the flexibility to treat each NBS as completely unique: “No square foot of a watershed is the same, just as no community is the same, so our projects need to reflect that.”

Patricia Abreu Fernández, Executive Director of the Santo Domingo Water Fund in the Dominican Republic, echoed that message in her stories of working with landowners on the island and needing to turn on a dime to not only educate them on NBS, but design custom solutions, all while keeping the big picture of national water security in mind. What’s more, landowners who became NBS advocates helped spread interest across their community through word of mouth and demonstrated improvements to their livelihoods.

7) We must adapt our systems to reduce barriers to participation and increase benefits to local communities.

As primary stewards of our landscapes, local communities are key partners to any NBS. They hold traditional knowledge that is critical to successful design, implementation, monitoring, and long-term maintenance of NBS investments. They need to be engaged as equal partners from day one. However, many NBS planning and implementation processes are not accessible to local communities.

Gena pointed out that in some cases in Peru, NBS takes the form of restoring traditional water management practices, like amunas (pre-Incan infiltration canals), which not only help store and release water during times of shortage at regional levels but increase local benefits and revalues local knowledge. However, current public investment structures in Peru are not set up to work directly with local communities on NBS. Public procurement policy required communities to enter a lengthy competitive bid process and provide project insurance – a massive barrier for most small communities, even if they wanted to participate. Addressing this will require a transformation in sectors that are designed to build dams, for example, not consider communities as equal partners or restore their traditional infrastructure.

Preparing to make big changes

A key lesson from Peru was to recognize the limitations of existing implementation mechanisms. Doing so helped set expectations about those limitations and move forward with clearer alignment and understanding of goals and what NBS could and could not achieve in a given context. It also opened the door to creativity – where appropriate, they explored and developed alternatives that could be more agile, equitable, and sustainable than public investment systems.

In her closing remarks, Mónica reminded the audience that all these shifts we need to make in our existing systems to enable NBS may not always be possible, and we may need to design new ones: “if that feels like trying to ‘fit a square peg in a round hole,’ we may need to rethink how to fundamentally shift our model of development toward more empowered participation.” We’ll need these kinds of fundamental shifts to scale-up and sustain not only NBS, but the range of solutions and partnerships needed to hit our SDG 6 targets and build resilience in the face of a changing climate.

Mónica Altamirano, Director of Climate Impact at WaterEquity giving closing remarks. March 23rd, Nature Hub, New York City

EM Insights Briefings: Pricing Co-benefits & SDGs in the VCM + Voices from the Ground

Join Ecosystem Marketplace on Thursday, May 4th at 10:00 AM Eastern Time (GMT-4:00) for the third webinar in our new 2023 “EM Insights Briefings” series. Register below for free.

In this month’s session, EM will launch a new report on the key market trends we’re seeing with carbon prices, voluntary carbon credit project values with co-benefits (also referred to as “beyond carbon” or “core” benefits), and Sustainable Development Goals.

The session will feature voices from the field, highlighting EM’s visit to Wildlife Works’ Kasigau Corridor REDD+ project in Kenya. It will be followed by a lively discussion with market experts, including lead report author Ciro Calderon, Research Analyst of Ecosystem Marketplace; Pina Gervassi, Climate Director at the Forest Stewardship Council; Nathan Truitt, Senior Vice President, Business Development at American Forest Foundation; and Zack Parisa, CEO and Co-Founder at Natural Capital Exchange, and moderated by Stephen Donofrio, Managing Director of Ecosystem Marketplace.

Thank you to our report sponsor FSC International – and to all of our EM supporters and collaborators:







Why the World Needs Millions of Trees — and How to Plant Them Right

8 April 2023 | It’s not hard to find headlines about planting millions, billions, trillions of trees for the greater good. Our own organization plans to plant 500 million trees in forests and neighborhoods of greatest need by 2027.

This blog first appeared on Arbor Day Stories.

It’s widely accepted that planting a huge number of trees is one of the best solutions to climate change available today. There’s even enough land available to increase the world’s forest cover by 30% without affecting cities or farms. The UN is highly confident that restoring forests is “one of the most effective and robust options for climate change mitigation.”

But questions remain: Where are the trees being planted? How will they survive? Where does the funding come from? Why do we even need all these trees?

And the Arbor Day Foundation is glad people are asking.

This scrutiny is critical. It’s a testament to how much this work matters and how important it is to proceed responsibly. It reminds nature-based organizations, including ours, that accountability matters.

The New York Times said it best:

“These efforts can be a triple win, providing livelihoods, absorbing and locking away planet-warming carbon dioxide, and improving the health of ecosystems. But when done poorly, the projects can worsen the very problems they were meant to solve.”

As more organizations set out to plant trees at scale, the potential for cutting corners and inexperienced decision-making grows. But future generations are relying on us to get this right. Planting the right trees, in the right place, for the right reasons is a must.

The Arbor Day Foundation has spent 50 years
listening, learning, and adapting.

To maximize the long-term impacts of trees, planting organizations need a set of guiding principles. The Arbor Day Foundation has spent 50 years listening, learning, and adapting to develop our processes and grow a network of local partners. Today, these principles act as our organizational compass:

  • Act with character and integrity, always asking questions to ensure our work and the work of our partners supports our mission, vision, and core values.
  • Plant the right tree, at the right time, in the right place, for the right reason. Then, grow a diverse and native forest with proven forest conservation and forest management plans.
  • Provide support in a way that includes, empowers, and benefits local people and communities for the long-term. Promote equity and collaboration to secure the lasting success of the project, and the locals near it.
  • Align to science-based frameworks and goals. Forests need protection, better management, and restoration. In addition to high-quality and high-integrity forestry investments, humanity must avoid and reduce greenhouse gas emissions rapidly to stabilize the climate.


In the Arbor Day Foundation world, there are two kinds of partners. The first is a tree planting organization, who will put trees in the ground. The second is a funder, who pays for the resources to make it happen.

Tree planting organizations are the difference-makers for both large-scale reforestation projects and more personal neighborhood efforts. Our partners include tree planting nonprofits, conservation geneticists, on-the-ground foresters with the USDA Forest Service, state forest services, and the Bureau of Land Management. They have a strong understanding of their local ecosystem and its unique challenges. We believe following their lead is essential for successful tree plantings that help the planet and people.

A strong tree planting partner is also ingrained in the local community. It ensures that planting projects are executed properly — with the right trees for the need — and have buy-in from the people who live there. No one should feel like tree planting is happening to them.

Funders are usually large-scale corporate partners, often investing to meet their sustainability goals. Their monetary support, spurred on by consumer demand for sustainability, is a huge driver behind the tree planting boom.

These efforts should be applauded. At the same time, organizations like the Foundation are responsible for pushing for choosing corporate partners who are planting trees for the right reasons.

These two partners — those funding the work and those
planting trees — are how we affect change for the planet
and every being living on it.

These two partners — those funding the work and those planting trees — are how we affect change for the planet and every being living on it. They must be chosen carefully. Each Arbor Day Foundation partner and project goes through a rigorous vetting process to confirm plans for site prep, planting, and care after trees are in the ground.


Responsible tree planting at scale always involves asking questions — of ourselves and our partners.

For reforestation projects, especially after a natural disaster, questions revolve around the natural ecosystem. Is replanting necessary? Or will the area restore itself naturally, which is sometimes better? Decisions about what trees to plant should start with native and endemic species, the historical forest makeup, and expected changes in climate. In collaboration with our planting partners, we take a 360-degree view of the situation to act when the time is right.

The needs of unique plants and animals living in the forest come into play, too. What are the habitat needs of animal life in the area, especially threatened and endangered species? How will this project answer those needs?

Also critical when planning a reforestation project is how tree plantings will support watershed health. In other words, will this project support a healthy forest that cleans drinking water supplies and stabilizes soils?

Last but not least, how will the project impact people? There are a number of complex conversations involved about how a project will affect nearby communities, and how the planting partner can develop the details (tree species, maintenance training) around the community’s needs.

For community tree planting, the first question is always about the level of need. Some neighborhoods lost trees in a natural disaster, like hurricanes. Some have faced decades of unequal investment in green infrastructure.

The success of a tree planting project should be
defined by the community’s own goals.

Community ownership of a tree project is a must. Often, this involves finding local leaders who can act as tree champions, alongside our local planting partner. Following the tenets of environmental justice, the success of a tree planting project should be defined by the community’s own goals. Working with a known member of the community to start the conversation is always a good first step.

We also partnered with NatureQuant for a clear picture of the challenges different communities face, down to the city block. Is this area historically deprived of nature? Do its residents have other socioeconomic disadvantages in income, education, or housing? From there, we can work with a planting partner and local leaders to assess how trees factor into that community’s unique vision for the future.

Finally, it’s important to consider the mix of existing trees in the area. A diverse tree canopy is less likely to be devasted by a single disease or pest, like the Emerald Ash Borer. Planting a variety of trees supports the biodiversity of wildlife in urban areas — providing habitats and food for birds, butterflies, insects, and more.


Tree planting skeptics raise a valid question about trees’ ability to make an impact on a global scale. Yes, trees are the most cost-effective, available, and efficient nature-based solution to climate change today. But they’re not a silver-bullet solution. A well-rounded plan of action to stop and reverse the effects of climate change will require a drastic reduction in our reliance on fossil fuels. The Foundation, and other planting organizations, understand the reality of this uphill battle.

In the meantime, the planet and people need trees and forests more than ever. With our partners, we’ll continue onward in growing a cleaner, greener, equitable future for all using trees.

10 Big Findings from the 2023 IPCC Report on Climate Change

20 March 2023 | Today marks the release of the final installment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), an eight-year long undertaking from the world’s most authoritative scientific body on climate change. Drawing on the findings of 234 scientists on the physical science of climate change, 270 scientists on impacts, adaptation and vulnerability to climate change, and 278 scientists on climate change mitigation, this IPCC synthesis report provides the most comprehensive, best available scientific assessment of climate change.

This article first appeared on the World Resources Institute (WRI) Insights Blog

It also makes for grim reading. Across nearly 8,000 pages, the AR6 details the devastating consequences of rising greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions around the world — the destruction of homes, the loss of livelihoods and the fragmentation of communities, for example — as well as the increasingly dangerous and irreversible risks should we fail to change course.

But the IPCC also offers hope, highlighting pathways to avoid these intensifying risks. It identifies readily available, and in some cases, highly cost-effective, actions that can be undertaken now to reduce GHG emissions, scale up carbon removal and build resilience. While the window to address the climate crisis is rapidly closing, the IPCC affirms that we can still secure a safe, livable future.

Here are 10 key findings you need to know:

1. Human-induced global warming of 1.1 degrees C has spurred changes to the Earth’s climate that are unprecedented in recent human history.

Already, with 1.1 degrees C (2 degrees F) of global temperature rise, changes to the climate system that are unparalleled over centuries to millennia are now occurring in every region of the world, from rising sea levels to more extreme weather events to rapidly disappearing sea ice.

Additional warming will increase the magnitude of these changes. Every 0.5 degree C (0.9 degrees F) of global temperature rise, for example, will cause clearly discernible increases in the frequency and severity of heat extremes, heavy rainfall events and regional droughts. Similarly, heatwaves that, on average, arose once every 10 years in a climate with little human influence will likely occur 4.1 times more frequently with 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F) of warming, 5.6 times with 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F), and 9.4 times with 4 degrees C (7.2 degrees F) — and the intensity of these heatwaves will also increase by 1.9 degrees C (3.4 degrees F), 2.6 degrees C (4.7 degrees F), and 5.1 degrees C (9.2 degrees F) respectively.

Rising global temperatures also heighten the probability of reaching dangerous tipping points in the climate system that, once crossed, can trigger self-amplifying feedbacks that further increase global warming, such as thawing permafrost or massive forest dieback. Setting such reinforcing feedbacks in motion can also lead to other substantial, abrupt and irreversible changes to the climate system. Should warming reach between 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F) and 3 degrees C (5.4 degrees F), for example, the West Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets could melt almost completely and irreversibly over many thousands of years, causing sea levels to rise by several meters.

2. Climate impacts on people and ecosystems are more widespread and severe than expected, and future risks will escalate rapidly with every fraction of a degree of warming.

Described as an “an atlas of human suffering and a damning indictment of failed climate leadership” by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, one of AR6’s most alarming conclusions is that adverse climate impacts are already more far-reaching and extreme than anticipated. About half of the global population currently contends with severe water scarcity for at least one month per year, while higher temperatures are enabling the spread of vector-borne diseases, such as malaria, West Nile virus, and Lyme disease. Climate change has also slowed improvements in agricultural productivity in middle and low latitudes, with crop productivity growth shrinking by a third in Africa since 1961. And since 2008, extreme floods and storms have forced over 20 million people from their homes every year.

Every fraction of a degree of warming will intensify these threats, and even limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degree C is not safe for all. At this level of warming, for example, 950 million people across the world’s drylands will experience water stress, heat stress and desertification, while the share of the global population exposed to flooding will rise by 24%.

Similarly, overshooting 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F), even temporarily, will lead to much more severe, oftentimes irreversible impacts, from local species extinctions to the complete drowning of salt marshes to loss of human lives from increased heat stress. Limiting the magnitude and duration of overshooting 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F), then, will prove critical in ensuring a safe, livable future, as will holding warming to as close to 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F) or below as possible. Even if this temperature limit is exceeded by the end of the century, the imperative to rapidly curb GHG emissions to avoid higher levels of warming and associated impacts remains unchanged.

3. Adaptation measures can effectively build resilience, but more finance is needed to scale solutions.

Climate policies in at least 170 countries now consider adaptation, but in many nations, these efforts have yet to progress from planning to implementation. Measures to build resilience are still largely small-scale, reactive and incremental, with most focusing on immediate impacts or near-term risks. This disparity between today’s levels of adaptation and those required persists in large part due to limited finance. According to the IPCC, developing countries alone will need $127 billion per year by 2030 and $295 billion per year by 2050 to adapt to climate change. But funds for adaptation reached just $23 billion to $46 billion from 2017 to 2018, accounting for only 4% to 8% of tracked climate finance.

The good news is that the IPCC finds that, with sufficient support, proven and readily available adaptation solutions can build resilience to climate risks and, in many cases, simultaneously deliver broader sustainable development benefits.

Ecosystem-based adaptation, for example, can help communities adapt to impacts that are already devastating their lives and livelihoods, while also safeguarding biodiversity, improving health outcomes, bolstering food security, delivering economic benefits and enhancing carbon sequestration. Many ecosystem-based adaptation measures — including the protection, restoration and sustainable management of ecosystems, as well as more sustainable agricultural practices like integrating trees into farmlands and increasing crop diversity — can be implemented at relatively low costs today. Meaningful collaboration with Indigenous Peoples and local communities is critical to the success of this approach, as is ensuring that ecosystem-based adaptation strategies are designed to account for how future global temperature rise will impact ecosystems.

4. Some climate impacts are already so severe they cannot be adapted to, leading to losses and damage.

Around the world, highly vulnerable people and ecosystems are already struggling to adapt to climate change impacts. For some, these limits are “soft” — effective adaptation measures exist, but economic, political and social obstacles constrain implementation, such as lack of technical support or inadequate funding that does not reach the communities where it’s needed most. But in other regions, people and ecosystems already face or are fast approaching “hard” limits to adaptation, where climate impacts from 1.1 degrees C (2 degrees F) of global warming are becoming so frequent and severe that no existing adaptation strategies can fully avoid losses and damages. Coastal communities in the tropics, for example, have seen entire coral reef systems that once supported their livelihoods and food security experience widespread mortality, while rising sea levels have forced other low-lying neighborhoods to move to higher ground and abandon cultural sites.

Whether grappling with soft or hard limits to adaptation, the result for vulnerable communities is oftentimes irreversible and devastating. Such losses and damages will only escalate as the world warms. Beyond 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F) of global temperature rise, for example, regions reliant on snow and glacial melt will likely experience water shortages to which they cannot adapt. At 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F), the risk of concurrent maize production failures across important growing regions will rise dramatically. And above 3 degrees C (5.4 degrees F), dangerously high summertime heat will threaten the health of communities in parts of southern Europe.

Urgent action is needed to avert, minimize and address these losses and damages. At COP27, countries took a critical step forward by agreeing to establish funding arrangements for loss and damage, including a dedicated fund. While this represents a historic breakthrough in the climate negotiations, countries must now figure out the details of what these funding arrangements, as well as the new fund, will look like in practice — and it’s these details that will ultimately determine the adequacy, accessibility, additionality and predictability of these financial flows to those experiencing loss and damage.

5. Global GHG emissions peak before 2025 in 1.5 degrees C-aligned pathways.

The IPCC finds that there is a more than 50% chance that global temperature rise will reach or surpass 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F) between 2021 and 2040 across studied scenarios, and under a high-emissions pathway, specifically, the world may hit this threshold even sooner — between 2018 and 2037. Global temperature rise in such a carbon-intensive scenario could also increase to 3.3 degrees C to 5.7 degrees C (5.9 degrees F to 10.3 degrees F) by 2100. To put this projected amount of warming into perspective, the last time global temperatures exceeded 2.5 degrees C (4.5 degrees F) above pre-industrial levels was more than 3 million years ago.

Changing course to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F) — with no or limited overshoot — will instead require deep GHG emissions reductions in the near-term. In modelled pathways that limit global warming to this goal, GHG emissions peak immediately and before 2025 at the latest. They then drop rapidly, declining 43% by 2030 and 60% by 2035, relative to 2019 levels.

While there are some bright spots — the annual growth rate of GHG emissions slowed from an average of 2.1% per year between 2000 and 2009 to 1.3% per year between 2010 and 2019, for example — global progress in mitigating climate change remains woefully off track. GHG emissions have climbed steadily over the past decade, reaching 59 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (GtCO2e) in 2019 — approximately 12% higher than in 2010 and 54% greater than in 1990.

Even if countries achieved their climate pledges (also known as nationally determined contributions or NDCs), WRI research finds that they would reduce GHG emissions by just 7% from 2019 levels by 2030, in contrast to the 43% associated with limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F). And while handful of countries have submitted new or enhanced NDCs since the IPCC’s cut-off date, more recent analysis that takes these submissions into account finds that these commitments collectively still fall short of closing this emissions gap.

6. The world must rapidly shift away from burning fossil fuels — the number one cause of the climate crisis.

In pathways limiting warming to 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F)with no or limited overshoot just a net 510 GtCO2 can be emitted before carbon dioxide emissions reach net zero in the early 2050s. Yet future carbon dioxide emissions from existing and planned fossil fuel infrastructure alone could surpass that limit by 340 GtCO2, reaching 850 GtCO2.

A mix of strategies can help avoid locking in these emissions, including retiring existing fossil fuel infrastructure, canceling new projects, retrofitting fossil-fueled power plants with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies and scaling up renewable energy sources like solar and wind (which are now cheaper than fossil fuels in many regions).

In pathways that limit warming to 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F) — with no or limited overshoot — for example, global use of coal falls by 95% by 2050, oil declines by about 60% and gas by about 45%. These figures assume significant use of abatement technologies like CCS, and without them, these same pathways show much steeper declines by mid-century. Global use of coal without CCS, for example, is virtually phased out by 2050.

Although coal-fired power plants are starting to be retired across Europe and the United States, some multilateral development banks continue to invest in new coal capacity. Failure to change course risks stranding assets worth trillions of dollars.

7. We also need urgent, systemwide transformations to secure a net-zero, climate-resilient future.

While rapidly reducing GHG emissions from fossil fuels will prove critical in combatting the climate crisis, these cuts must be accompanied by efforts to accelerate transformational changes across power generation, buildings, industry, transport, and agriculture, forestry and other land uses.

The use of coal without CCS in modelled pathways that limit warming to 1.5°C (with no or limited overshoot) is projected to be reduced by a median value of about 100%, with the full range being 95% to 100%.

Take the transport system, for instance. Drastically cutting emissions will require urban planning that minimizes the need for travel, as well as the build-out of shared, public, and nonmotorized transport, such as rapid transit and bicycling in cities. Such a transformation will also entail increasing the supply of electric passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles, and buses, coupled with wide-scale installation of rapid-charging infrastructure, investments in zero-carbon fuels for shipping and aviation, and more.

Policy measures that make these changes less disruptive can help accelerate needed transitions, such as subsidizing zero-carbon technologies and taxing high-emissions technologies like fossil-fueled cars. Infrastructure design — like reallocating street space for sidewalks or bike lanes — can help people transition to lower-emissions lifestyles. It is important to note there are many co-benefits that accompany these transformations, too. Minimizing the number of passenger vehicles on the road, in this example, reduces harmful local air pollution and cuts traffic-related crashes and deaths.

Transformative adaptation measures, too, are critical for securing a more prosperous future. The IPCC emphasizes the importance of ensuring that adaptation measures drive systemic change, cut across sectors, and are distributed equitably across at-risk regions. The good news is that there are oftentimes strong synergies between transformational mitigation and adaptation. For example, in the global food system, climate-smart agriculture practices like shifting to agroforestry can improve resilience to climate impacts, while simultaneously advancing mitigation.

8. Carbon removal is now essential to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees C.

Deep decarbonization across all systems while building resilience won’t be enough to achieve global climate goals, though. The IPCC finds that all pathways that limit warming to 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F) — with no or limited overshoot — depend on some quantity of carbon removal. These approaches encompass both natural solutions, such as sequestering and storing carbon in trees and soil, as well as more nascent technologies that pull carbon dioxide directly from the air.

The amount of carbon removal required depends on how quickly we reduce GHG emissions across other systems, and the extent to which climate targets are overshot, with estimates ranging from between 5 GtCO2 to 16 GtCO2 per year needed by mid-century.

All carbon removal approaches have merits and drawbacks. Reforestation, for instance, represents a readily available, relatively low-cost strategy that, when implemented appropriately, can deliver a wide range of benefits to communities. Yet the carbon stored within these ecosystems is also vulnerable to disturbances like wildfires, which may increase in frequency and severity with additional warming. And, while technologies like bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) may offer a more permanent solution, such approaches also risk displacing croplands, and in doing so, threatening food security. Responsibly researching, developing and deploying emerging carbon removal technologies, alongside existing natural approaches, will therefore require careful understanding of each solution’s unique benefits, costs and risks.

9. Climate finance for both mitigation and adaptation must increase dramatically this decade.

The IPCC finds that public and private finance flows for fossil fuels today far surpass those directed toward climate mitigation and adaptation. Thus, while annual public and private climate finance has risen by upwards of 60% since the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report, much more is still required to achieve global climate change goals. For instance, climate finance will need to increase between 3 and 6 times by 2030 to achieve mitigation goals, alone.

This gap is widest in developing countries, particularly those already struggling with debt, poor credit ratings and economic burdens from the COVID-19 pandemic. Recent mitigation investments, for example, need to increase by at least sixfold in Southeast Asia and developing countries in the Pacific, fivefold in Africa and fourteenfold in the Middle East by 2030 to hold warming below 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F). And across sectors, this shortfall is most pronounced for agriculture, forestry and other land use, where recent financial flows are 10 to 31 times below what is required to achieve the Paris Agreement’s goals.

Finance for adaptation, as well as loss and damage, will also need to rise dramatically. Developing countries, for example, will need $127 billion per year by 2030 and $295 billion per year by 2050. While AR6 does not assess countries’ needs for finance to avert, minimize and address losses and damages, recent estimates suggest that they will be substantial in the coming decades. Current funds for both fall well below estimated needs, with the highest estimates of adaptation finance totaling under $50 billion per year.

10. Climate change — as well as our collective efforts to adapt to and mitigate it — will exacerbate inequity should we fail to ensure a just transition.  

Households with incomes in the top 10%, including a relatively large share in developed countries, emit upwards of 45% of the world’s GHGs, while those families earning in the bottom 50% account for 15% at most. Yet the effects of climate change already — and will continue to — hit poorer, historically marginalized communities the hardest.

Today, between 3.3 billion and 3.6 billion people live in countries that are highly vulnerable to climate impacts, with global hotspots concentrated in the Arctic, Central and South America, Small Island Developing states, South Asia, and much of sub-Saharan Africa. Across many countries in these regions, conflict, existing inequalities and development challenges (e.g., poverty and limited access to basic services like clean water) not only heighten sensitivity to climate hazards, but also limit communities’ capacity to adapt.  Mortality from storms, floods and droughts, for instance, was 15 times higher in countries with high vulnerability to climate change than in those with very low vulnerability from 2010 to 2020.

At the same time, efforts to mitigate climate change also risk disruptive changes and exacerbating inequity. Retiring coal-fired power plants, for instance, may displace workers, harm local economies and reconfigure the social fabric of communities, while inappropriately implemented efforts to halt deforestation could heighten poverty and intensify food insecurity. And certain climate policies, such as carbon taxes that raise the cost of emissions-intensive goods like gasoline, can also prove to be regressive, absent of efforts to recycle the revenues raised from these taxes back into programs that benefit low-income communities.

Fortunately, the IPCC identifies a range of measures that can support a just transition and help ensure that no one is left behind as the world moves toward a net-zero-emissions, climate-resilient future. Reconfiguring social protection programs (e.g., cash transfers, public works programs and social safety nets) to include adaptation, for example, can reduce communities’ vulnerability to a wide range of future climate impacts, while strengthening justice and equity. Such programs are particularly effective when paired with efforts to expand access to infrastructure and basic services.

Similarly, policymakers can design mitigation strategies to better distribute the costs and benefits of reducing GHG emissions. Governments can pair efforts to phase out coal-fired electricity generation, for instance, with subsidized job retraining programs that support workers in developing the skills needed to secure new, high-quality jobs. Or, in another example, officials can couple policy interventions dedicated to expanding access to public transit with interventions to improve access to nearby, affordable housing.

Across both mitigation and adaptation measures, inclusive, transparent and participatory decision-making processes will play a central role in ensuring a just transition. More specifically, these forums can help cultivate public trust, deepen public support for transformative climate action and avoid unintended consequences.

Looking Ahead

The IPCC’s AR6 makes clear that risks of inaction on climate are immense and the way ahead requires change at a scale not seen before. However, this report also serves as a reminder that we have never had more information about the gravity of the climate emergency and its cascading impacts — or about what needs to be done to reduce intensifying risks.

Limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F) is still possible, but only if we act immediately. As the IPCC makes clear, the world needs to peak GHG emissions before 2025 at the very latest, nearly halve GHG emissions by 2030, and reach net-zero CO2 emissions around mid-century, while also ensuring a just and equitable transition. We’ll also need an all-hands-on-deck approach to guarantee that communities experiencing increasingly harmful impacts of the climate crisis have the resources they need to adapt to this new world. Governments, the private sector, civil society and individuals must all step up to keep the future we desire in sight. A narrow window of opportunity is still open, but there’s not one second to waste.

Evolving climate science, carbon accounting, and the need to support urgent action

Please note this article originally appeared in Carbon Pulse: https://carbon-pulse.com/193444/

15 March 2023 | We’ve come a long way since 1979, when leading scientists from around the world first formally warned that deforestation was a significant contributor to global climate change.

The interactions between human activities, terrestrial ecosystems, and the atmosphere are complex and dynamic, and it took a while before frameworks were in place to account the benefits of climate actions in the agriculture, forestry and other land use (AFOLU) sector. Some of the original guidance on project-based AFOLU activities was published by the IPCC in 2000.[1]

By 2010, the science had advanced enough to create financing mechanisms for “REDD,” which stands for “Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation.” Voluntary carbon market finance supporting REDD activities depends on effective forest conservation, and on appropriate and reliable tools for measuring and accounting the benefits of climate actions– called “carbon methodologies.”

Just as our understanding of climate science continues to advance, carbon methodologies likewise must not be static constructs, but rather must continue to evolve and improve in step with advancements in knowledge and technology. The development and refinement of carbon methodologies is a deliberate and ongoing process involving research, testing and critical evaluation, and draws on the contributions of researchers, practitioners, auditors and the standards that administer them. This process doesn’t involve replacing or invalidating established approaches, but instead building on and improving them over time.

Prior to the establishment of formal REDD methodologies, Sandra Brown, a leading pioneer in forest carbon science and mentor to many, led a team of researchers testing approaches to set REDD baselines in a wide range of landscapes. Their findings were published in 2007 in Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change[2], and were later incorporated into some of the first REDD methodologies approved by the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) in 2010.

While those first REDD methodologies reflected the best available science at the time, they did not represent an end point. Since then, the methodologies have been progressively refined as new science became available. As an example, an integral part of REDD baselines involves predicting deforestation risk at small scales (“risk mapping”). As predictive models continued to be improved, together with advancements in satellite sensors and classification techniques of land cover change, researchers at Clark University, led by Gil Pontius, published new findings and recommendations regarding how model goodness-of-fit should be evaluated[3]. These recommendations, and new metrics to evaluate model reliability, were subsequently incorporated into the methodologies as revisions, improving confidence in this aspect of baseline setting. The soon-to-be released consolidated REDD methodology developed under Verra’s VCS Program represents the latest step in this process to draw on the latest science to build on and strengthen methodologies.

This active interface with the latest science has led to important innovations making possible carbon accounting of new AFOLU activities. With The Nature Conservancy, TerraCarbon developed the first standardized method for baseline setting in the AFOLU sector in the VCS Reduced Impact Logging (VM0035[4]) methodology. The methodology, approved in 2015, was based on extensive research in East Kalimantan, Indonesia, led by Bronson Griscom and Peter Ellis, published in Global Change Biology in 2014[5]. Informed by new research initiatives, the geographic scope of the methodology has been expanded incrementally to include new forest landscapes, including the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico, Republic of Congo and Suriname (the last two in development).

More recently, TerraCarbon has led the introduction of new impact evaluation approaches to carbon methodologies, involving direct observations in matched controls to produce dynamic baselines. This work was preceded and informed by a research effort undertaken by TerraCarbon and colleagues from North Carolina State University, IMAZON and Duke University, piloting the application of the Synthetic Control Methodology (SCM) in Brazil, to evaluate the avoided deforestation impact of the Green Municipalities Program administered by the state of Para, and published by Erin Sills and her team in PloS ONE in 2015[6]. Dynamic approaches like SCM and nearest neighbor matching offer important improvements over baselines that rely on fixed historic assumptions. Because controls representing the baseline are observed ex post using dynamic approaches, and are subject to the same externalities like policy, markets and climate as the project, dynamic approaches have the potential to better resolve and attribute impacts back to the actions that produced them, the central aim of any carbon methodology. We have incorporated dynamic approaches in the American Carbon Registry’s Restoration of Pocosin Wetlands methodology[7] approved in 2017, in the VCS Methodology for Improved Forest Management (IFM) Using Dynamic Matched Baselines from National Forest Inventories (VM0045[8]), approved in 2022, and in the upcoming VCS Methodology for Afforestation, Reforestation and Revegetation (ARR) Projects.

Dynamic approaches like these deserve serious consideration more broadly in the AFOLU sector, and have the potential to make valuable contributions in accounting for REDD, that can build on or complement existing approaches. TerraCarbon maintains our commitment to support the work of Verra and other voluntary carbon standards in their continual effort to critically evaluate and improve carbon methodologies. New approaches, however, require testing to determine their appropriateness across varying circumstances, and to this end, TerraCarbon will be working with partners over the next year to pilot applications of dynamic baseline approaches in the context of REDD across a range of forest landscapes, evaluating the benefits they can offer. We plan to share the results publicly, and where they show promise we will solicit broader engagement on how they can be integrated into, and strengthen the integrity of, existing accounting frameworks, including emerging jurisdictional baselines.

Non-market approaches that rely on public and philanthropic funding have been insufficient to stem global deforestation and its contribution to climate change.  Market-based approaches, that are results-based and supported by sound accounting methods, are crucial to expanding and scaling finance from public and private sources to protect the world’s remaining forests. The ongoing need to evaluate and refine accounting methods, incorporating new data and new understanding, is not a fatal flaw in the market. Rather it is a natural and essential process that we will support so that market-based finance can be delivered more efficiently and urgently to fight climate change and conserve forests around the world.


Photo by Devon Ericksen


[1] Brown, S., Masera, O., & Sathaye, J. 2000. Project based activities. In R. T. Watson, I. R. Noble, B. Bolin, N. H. Ravin-dranath, D. J. Verardo, and D. J. Dokken (Eds.), Land use, land-use change and forestry: A Special report of the IPCC(pp. 283 – 338). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

[2] Brown, S. et al. 2007. Baselines for land-use change in the tropics: application to avoided deforestation projects. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, 12, pp.1001-1026.

[3] Pontius Jr, R. G. (2018). Criteria to Confirm Models that Simulate Deforestation and Carbon Disturbance. Land, 7(3), 14.

R G Pontius Jr, et al. 2008. Comparing input, output, and validation maps for several models of land change. Annals of Regional Science, 42(1): 11-47.

R G Pontius Jr et al. 2007. Accuracy assessment for a simulation model of Amazonian deforestation. Annals of Association of American Geographers, 97(4): 677-695.)

[4] https://verra.org/methodologies/vm0035-methodology-for-improved-forest-management-through-reduced-impact-logging-v1-0/

[5] Griscom, B., Ellis, P. and Putz, F.E., 2014. Carbon emissions performance of commercial logging in East Kalimantan, Indonesia. Global Change Biology, 20(3), pp.923-937.

[6] Sills, E.O., Herrera, D., Kirkpatrick, A.J., Brandão Jr, A., Dickson, R., Hall, S., Pattanayak, S., Shoch, D., Vedoveto, M., Young, L. and Pfaff, A., 2015. Estimating the impacts of local policy innovation: the synthetic control method applied to tropical deforestation. PloS one, 10(7), p.e0132590.

[7] https://americancarbonregistry.org/carbon-accounting/standards-methodologies/greenhouse-gas-benefits-of-pocosin-restoration

[8] https://verra.org/methodologies/methodology-for-improved-forest-management/

Ecosystem Marketplace and US Department of State to Assist Governments in Formulating Article 6 Carbon Markets Strategies

Ecosystem Marketplace, an initiative of the non-profit Forest Trends, has launched a new effort with support from the United States Department of State Office of Global Change to support developing country governments in considering how international carbon markets could enhance their national climate strategies.

Ecosystem Marketplace (EM) will provide information and capacity building to a pilot group of Paris Agreement Parties and participants in the International Civil Aviation Organization’s global market-based measure, CORSIA (short for “Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation”). The project’s goal is to ensure national governments are well positioned to engage in carbon markets in the course of implementing their climate strategies, while enhancing investor confidence and the supply of carbon credits that meet key multilateral standards, including Paris Agreement and CORSIA rules.

The passage of guidance on Article 6 of the Paris Agreement at the 26th Conference of Parties (COP26) in Glasgow in late 2021 provided countries with the clarity needed to authorize domestic carbon credits for international use, for example under the CORSIA or toward Paris Agreement emissions reduction targets. National governments now face a new set of complex decisions around the option to authorize domestic emissions reductions under Article 6, because any emissions reductions that are transferred and used as authorized cannot count toward achieving the host country’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement.

“Article 6 creates new flexibility for countries, but also new complexity,” said Stephen Donofrio, Managing Director of Ecosystem Marketplace. “As an independent and objective global system of carbon market information, we want to support rational, transparent, data-driven decision-making processes that fit the needs and priorities of host countries, enabling them and buyers to benefit while continually encouraging higher NDC ambition.”

“This represents an exciting new evolution for EM – from a leading source of publications on voluntary carbon markets into a leading data, analytics, reporting, services, and thought leadership provider for expanding global carbon credit markets,” said Donofrio.

“National decisions to authorize carbon credits for international use can unlock investments and resources that developing countries critically need in order to implement their national climate strategies,” said Molly Peters-Stanley, US State Department’s Lead Negotiator on International Carbon Markets.

“We are excited to work with this new EM initiative to equip those countries with robust recent data and training that can help them amplify the benefits of carbon markets while maintaining progress in their Paris Agreement implementation.”

The new EM initiative, with financial support from the Department of State’s climate change office, will provide developing country governments worldwide with access to a console of carbon pricing data and intelligence oriented to national decision-makers, as well as decision-support tools for Article 6 authorizations piloted by another Department of State assistance program, Offsetting National Emissions through Sustainable Landscapes (ONE-SL).

The new EM International Carbon Credits Console will capture data on carbon markets and results-based payments, including, e.g., their sustainable development benefits, monetary value, and trends in carbon credit demand for national and net-zero emissions targets and CORSIA. This will be a tailored platform to directly support governments, backed by broader upgrades to EM data platforms and trading reporting processes.

The three-year project  will also provide up to eight eligible developing countries with targeted technical assistance and training for government officials as they prepare their authorizations strategies and track authorizations.

“National governments will need access to best-in-class information and tools to evaluate the implications of decisions about which emissions reductions to authorize for international use, how to track those authorizations, and standardized approaches to communicating those decisions,” says Patrick Maguire, Senior Manager of Ecosystem Marketplace.

“We want to assist countries to make strategic, data-driven decisions, while ratcheting up NDC ambition. Well-functioning carbon markets are essential to achieving the Paris Agreement temperature goal and ensuring successful implementation of CORSIA,” says Maguire.


This announcement was funded by a grant from the United States Department of State. The opinions, findings and conclusions stated herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the United States Department of State.


Ecosystem Marketplace is an initiative of the non-profit organization Forest Trends, and a leading global source of information on environmental finance, markets, and payments for ecosystem services. As a web-based service, Ecosystem Marketplace publishes newsletters, breaking news, original feature articles, and annual reports about market-based approaches to valuing and financing ecosystem services. We believe that transparency is a hallmark of robust markets and that by providing accessible and trustworthy information on prices, regulation, science, and other market-relevant issues, we can contribute to market growth, catalyze new thinking, and spur the development of new markets and the policies and infrastructure needed to support them. Ecosystem Marketplace is financially supported by a diverse set of organizations including multilateral and bilateral government agencies, private foundations, and corporations involved in banking, investment, and various ecosystem services.

EM Strategic Supporter Feature
Navigating the carbon removals market: A guide for buyers


Lasting mitigation of carbon is critical for keeping emissions in line with the goals established in the Paris Agreement. Backed by the IPCC, Science Based Target Initiative, and the United Nations’ Race to Zero Campaign, carbon removals pose a huge opportunity to help meet the crucial 1.5 degree or less global warming trajectory. These initiatives mandate corporations’ use of carbon removal to address remaining emissions in their net zero target year and to contribute to global decarbonization on their path to net zero.

For the voluntary carbon markets to meet the growing demand for carbon removals, rapid progress must be made to expand the supply. The carbon removal market is nascent, however, and many unanswered questions exist around project-level criteria, methodologies, and scalability. New innovative pathways for removing and storing carbon are ever-emerging and standards bodies are still shaping methodologies for these types of projects.

With so little concrete guidance, how can organizations help support a thriving carbon removals market that will meet the demands of a net zero economy? A new white paper from EM Strategic Supporter 3Degrees, “Understanding the carbon removals landscape: Creating clarity in an opaque market”, starts to answer that question.

Download this resource to learn more about:

  • the current carbon removals market
  • possible carbon removal procurement pathways
  • key considerations and screening criteria for corporate carbon removal buyers
  • actions that scale up supply for carbon removals

Download the white paper here.

Companies Increase Ambition to Protect Biodiversity from Deforestation

30 January 2023 |Corporate interest in protecting biodiversity has accelerated considerably in the last five years, according to the latest Supply Change data.

Biodiversity is under serious threat from human activities like agriculture, pollution, and overexploitation. Because biodiversity underpins well-functioning ecosystems and provides essential services (“ecosystem services”) that human society relies on, such as crop pollination, rainfall patterns, soil fertility, and flood prevention, the loss of biodiversity is a serious threat to the global economy. Nonetheless, biodiversity has historically been a “silent crisis,” frequently overshadowed in political and corporate activities by comparatively serious threats like climate change.

However, the silent biodiversity crisis is starting to make some noise.

The United Nations’ Convention on Biological Diversity’s Fifteenth Conference of Parties’ (COP15) concluded on December 19 with governments striking a historic deal to protect thirty percent of Earth’s terrestrial and marine areas, restore thirty percent of degraded ecosystems, and reform environmentally harmful subsidies.

Companies, too, are increasingly acknowledging the role they play in driving biodiversity loss, and they are embarking on efforts to avoid, mitigate, minimize, and compensate for their negative impacts on biodiversity. Biodiversity loss and deforestation are closely linked issues; habitat loss is the most significant cause of species extinctions, and the conversion of tropical forests to produce forest-risk commodities, like cattle, palm oil, and soy, is the leading cause of terrestrial biodiversity loss globally. Addressing deforestation will be a crucial component of any larger biodiversity protection policy for companies that source and produce forest-risk commodities.

Over the past five years, Supply Change has observed an explosion in the number of companies aiming to protect biodiversity as part of their commitment to reduce or eliminate deforestation in their forest-risk commodity supply chains.[1] Data gathered in late 2021, featured in part one of Supply Change’s two-part report series published in 2022, show that over three-quarters (76 percent) of companies researched included a biodiversity protection statement in at least one commitment. 

This is a considerable jump from just five years ago. Supply Change data show that in 2018, only about half of these companies had biodiversity statements, and Supply Change’s 2017 annual report stated that only 37 percent of companies researched had a biodiversity statement.

Companies’ statements on protecting biodiversity are often general, but they occasionally provide specifics about the aspects of biodiversity they are most concerned with protecting and how they are implementing (or planning to implement) these protections, beyond preventing habitat destruction by tackling commodity-driven deforestation.

For example, out of 94 companies aspiring to protect biodiversity, about a third pledged to protect endangered species, and 18 percent pledged to avoid sourcing from or producing in protected or biodiversity priority areas. A handful of companies included language on protecting native ecosystems, providing funding or other support to conservation organizations, protecting ecosystem services, protecting intact landscapes, achieving net gain or no net loss of biodiversity, and reducing forest fragmentation.

The growing awareness of the seriousness and urgency of the risks from biodiversity loss to companies’ operations and profits may be the reason for this increase.

Biodiversity underpins natural systems, which provide ecosystem services that human society relies on. These services are often taken for granted, but are enormously valuable. They are worth roughly $130 trillion annually, which is more than 1.5 times the annual global GDP. Accordingly, the World Economic Forum has consistently ranked biodiversity loss among the top three biggest threats facing humanity in the next ten years, in terms of likelihood and severity of impact. Because they source agricultural and forestry products, the companies tracked by Supply Change are especially vulnerable to business impacts from biodiversity loss.

Lower yields in agricultural and forestry industries from degraded ecosystem services cause supply shortages, price fluctuations, and increased costs, both for companies directly producing agricultural and forestry commodities and companies that source these commodities to create products for end consumers. Companies may also have to contend with increasing costs from damaged transportation and other infrastructure from worsening natural disasters.

Consumer-facing (downstream) companies are especially vulnerable to reputational damage, often in the form of negative publicity from media and advocacy groups. Biodiversity loss is a powerful invoker of strong public sentiment; negative impacts to the cute and fuzzy faces of iconic species, like tigers or orangutans, tug on our collective heartstrings and can influence consumer and corporate customer buying practices. The human impact of companies’ activities on biodiversity may also undermine their efforts to protect human rights and wellbeing and invoke negative public sentiment; biodiversity loss is also detrimental for indigenous peoples and local communities, an issue that has received growing attention in recent years.

The growing threat of regulatory risk (e.g., increased costs of complying with government regulations related to biodiversity protection) and jeopardized access to investment capital may also be a motivating factor for companies to act on biodiversity. This enables them to identify and implement the most cost-effective strategy on their own timeline, before they are legally required to. The global agreement finalized at COP15 last month, for example, includes targets for companies to assess, monitor, and disclose the impacts of their operations and supply chains on biodiversity. Pressure to act may also come from other private sector actors, such as corporate customers and financial institutions with stricter biodiversity-related procurement or investment standards. For example, last month, a group of eleven investors launched a campaign called Nature Action 100, which will engage the 100 companies with the highest impact on nature to help them minimize their impacts and address biodiversity loss.

As companies increasingly broadcast their biodiversity protection intentions, various organizations have released tools and guidance documents to help companies measure and mitigate their impact on biodiversity. For example, in 2020, the Natural Capital Impact Group (a collaboration between the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Sustainability Leadership and several major corporations, including Kering, Mars, and Asda) released the Biodiversity Impact Metric guidance document, which provides guidance for companies on measuring biodiversity impacts and setting appropriate targets to reduce these impacts.

More guidance on measuring and managing biodiversity impacts is forthcoming. The Science-Based Targets Network (SBTN), which has been a major force in supporting the establishment of targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in companies’ operations and supply chains, is currently developing guidance for companies to set appropriate targets to reduce, eliminate, and even reverse biodiversity loss in their operations and supply chains. The SBTN’s guidance for measuring biodiversity impacts will likely be based on a combination of existing methodologies, such as the Species Threat Abatement and Restoration (STAR) metric and the land occupancy methodologies, designed to calculate baseline measurements and establish appropriate improvement targets that adhere to the mitigation hierarchy principles (i.e., avoiding and minimizing impacts on biodiversity are preferrable to restoring and offsetting biodiversity loss). Indicators will cover the connectivity and integrity of ecosystems, the percentage of species threatened with extinction, and the abundance of species.

But companies don’t have to wait for additional guidance on measuring and mitigating biodiversity impacts to make progress towards their biodiversity protection objectives. For many companies, especially those producing or sourcing forest-risk commodities, avoiding and minimizing habitat destruction in their operations and supply chains is guaranteed to be a major feature of any biodiversity protection strategy, and something that current and forthcoming guidance will undoubtedly flag as a high priority. Existing guidance, such as the Accountability Framework, which outlines best practices for establishing targets for deforestation and conversion-free supply chains, supply chain management, land management, and other deforestation-related policies and practices, can help companies get started on reducing biodiversity loss in their operations and supply chains.

Given the growing number and urgency of internal and external factors pushing companies to act to reduce their impacts on biodiversity, Supply Change expects that its ongoing and future research will continue to reveal even more companies taking steps to protect biodiversity, integrate biodiversity-specific targets with existing deforestation-focused strategies, and report additional implementation and impact information on their efforts to address biodiversity loss in their operations and supply chains.

For more information on our latest reporting, please see supplychange.org.



[1] Supply Change tracks corporate commitments that target reducing/eliminating deforestation from the production and sourcing of five commodities: cattle, cocoa, palm oil, soy, and timber and pulp.


Why Verra Supports REDD

Please note this article originally appeared in Verra: https://verra.org/why-verra-supports-redd/

24 January 2023 | Conserving threatened forests is critical to keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees celsius, and yet efforts by governments, multilateral organizations, philanthropic institutions, and NGOs have been insufficient to slow, let alone reverse, the relentless loss of forests and biodiversity. That’s because our economic system has evolved to value timber, minerals, and agricultural commodities that come from dead forests, but not the carbon sequestration, water regulation, and other ecosystem services that living forests provide – and on which our entire civilization depends.

Fortunately, the world is awakening to the desperate need to protect forests in light of the climate crisis, and Verra has been working since its inception in 2005 with leading scientists, conservationists, financiers and practitioners to establish a robust voluntary framework that enables society to value environmental benefits derived from project activities, including the protection of forests under threat through REDD – Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation. Due to Verra’s work, today projects implementing activities that protect forests under threat can be certified and issued carbon credits that equate to tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) avoided. The sale of those carbon credits channels previously unavailable finance for forest conservation.

In short, Verra’s REDD standards enable society to measure the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that are avoided by ensuring that forests at risk of being cut down or burned are kept standing. By valuing standing forests, REDD gives trees a fighting chance in the face of the numerous economic drivers that would otherwise do away with them.


Certifying REDD activities is not easy, in part because one has to quantify the risk of forest loss that would occur without the carbon project (i.e., the baseline). In other words, this requires counterfactual analysis, which is a fancy term for looking at a situation and asking what would happen if things were different. This approach isn’t unique to REDD and is a cornerstone of the impact analyses that government agencies, academics and others around the world use to determine what works, what doesn’t, and how to allocate resources. Counterfactual analysis is, by its nature, impossible to confirm with 100 percent certainty, but is critical if we are to channel more resources to protecting forests as a critical means of fighting climate change.

Awarding carbon credits to REDD projects requires extreme diligence, and we take that challenge seriously. For example, we ensure wide consultation on the most up-to-date science and best practices, as well as a thorough understanding of the available tools to measure forest loss and gain. This has been Verra’s guiding approach since we embarked on this journey, and continues to this day.

Unfortunately, in the last week The Guardian and Die Zeit, working in tandem with the privately-funded “investigative non-profit” SourceMaterial, published sensationalist articles using outlandish claims about the value of the REDD credits we have issued based on simplistic extrapolations of research that uses old, outlier statistical models. These are academically interesting exercises, but they would never pass muster as bona fide carbon crediting methodologies.

The approach underpinning these studies is problematic on several fronts. For one, the studies apply an overly simplistic tool to create their own counterfactuals, essentially ignoring the unique circumstances affecting each one of the projects – and which are critical to understanding the various drivers of deforestation and how they vary across landscapes. Another major limitation is that the data sets used are not appropriate for the task at hand. The studies rely on Global Forest Watch (GFW) data, which is a fantastic tool to identify the occurrence of deforestation across the world and identify hotspots, but has multiple limitations that have been recognized by GFW itself and others. For this reason, several studies have concluded and explicitly stated that this data should not be used off-the-shelf to estimate deforestation or for REDD purposes, although they may be used if suitable adjustments are made first. We are preparing our own analysis of the studies and will post that shortly.

Not all scientists agree, of course, but we do strongly believe that one-sided reporting, with an exclusive focus on a few cherry-picked studies, does not do justice to the realities on the ground and the wide range of opinions on this topic – including those of scientists who recognize that these projects are collectively protecting forests under threat and therefore keeping massive amounts of carbon emissions out of the atmosphere. Experts from many other organizations, including Everland and Sylvera have also chimed in to point out inadequacies in the scientific research supposedly supporting the journalist’s claims.


Verra pioneered the crediting of REDD projects, but we didn’t develop our program alone. We built it by relying on decades of research and experimentation by hundreds of scientists, economists, policy makers, and conservationists, and then convening multiple rounds of focused review and public consultation to develop program requirements and accounting methodologies for calculating the emissions that were avoided or reduced by keeping forests standing. We are very proud of that work and stand behind the emission reductions that have been achieved to date – each and every one of them followed the best-available science of the day and met the requirements we set out.

At the same time, we recognize that science advances, practices improve, and systems change, which is why all of our program requirements and methodologies are periodically reviewed to ensure they remain valid in the face of change. It’s also why we require all projects using older versions of the standard and methodologies to transition to the new and updated requirements. This mandatory aspect of our program requirements is essential as it embeds the underlying concept of continuous improvement.

While we have continuously updated our program requirements (e.g., we are currently on version 4.4 of the VCS Standard), we began the effort to update our REDD+ methodologies several years ago. We are in the final stages of that work, and there are four major components to it.

  1. Shorter baseline periods. As part of an update to the VCS Standard last year, we shortened the time frame for when baselines need to be recalibrated, from 10 to six years so that, in the case of REDD, estimates of future deforestation are more closely linked to the more recent past. While initially the science indicated that a 10-year period provided sufficient data for estimating deforestation, recent evidence indicates that 10 years is too long. All projects must now meet this new requirement.
  2. Allocating robust jurisdictional baselines. We are transitioning from a system of baselines proposed by the project proponents and vetted by third-party auditors and Verra, to a centralized system of robust jurisdictional baselines and allocating these to individual projects based on their local risk profiles. This will ensure that all the emission reductions achieved by projects “add up” properly to the jurisdictional whole. It will also enable REDD projects to contribute to jurisdictional REDD programs led by governments. While a system based on jurisdictional baselines has always been the long-term goal, until recently data gaps and methodological challenges prevented such an approach from being widely adopted. Fortunately, in many regions suitable data now exists, which combined with new methodologies (often relying on artificial intelligence and large-scale computing power) is enabling Verra to switch to this new approach.
  3. Consolidating methodologies. In the early days of REDD, we made a strategic decision to enable a lot of pioneering work on methodologies, as REDD had never been used before to issue carbon credits. That approach resulted in various methodologies that sometimes used different accounting methods, which were appropriate at the time. Now that the space has matured, we are confident we can apply the learnings from these various experiences and create a unified best-practice methodology that enhances consistency. That methodology has already undergone a public consultation (5 October – 6 November 2022), and we are now working to finalize and release it for use in the second quarter of this year.
  4. Digitalilizing Monitoring Reporting and Verification (DMRV). We are undertaking a major commitment to deploying the latest technology to support monitoring and verification across all VCS projects, including REDD projects. This will automate and standardize how data is collected, analyzed, and validated, enhancing both transparency and integrity. Last October we announced the creation of a Digitalizing Monitoring, Reporting, and Verification (DMRV) Working Group to inform how we can best incorporate new technologies, and in November we announced a pilot effort that will harness remote-sensing data to measure forest carbon.


REDD projects are not some abstract concept on a piece of paper; they represent real projects on the ground that deliver life-affirming benefits to communities and individuals in the form of agricultural training, education, and health care – while at the same time protecting forest carbon stocks and preserving critical biodiversity and water resources, to name a few additional benefits. In addition, REDD projects are, for the most part, located in the global south, which means that these benefits accrue to communities who tend to have few real development options. For them, REDD is a lifeline.

The stark reality is that huge swaths of the world’s forests are at risk, primarily because there are no real ways of assigning an economic value to them. If we are going to protect the world’s forests, we need an alternative to “business as usual”, where they get chopped down or burned for short-term economic gain. An effective and appropriately funded REDD+ mechanism means that day-to-day decisions about forests have another dimension to them – and it means they stand a far better chance of being conserved.

Furthermore, let’s not forget about the positive leakage that most REDD projects generate. For example, many projects work with governments to reduce illegal logging and mining across the landscape, secure land tenure for local communities to foster sustainable land use, introduce new agricultural production practices that reduce the need for slash-and-burn farming, and/or develop new markets for non-timber forest products. All these activities and many others result in positive spillover effects beyond the project boundary and generate meaningful, often very significant, additional carbon benefits, none of which is ever credited.


The voluntary carbon market is at an inflection point, and it can be a crucial element in the fight against climate change provided it can help companies meet aggressive Net Zero targets while also enabling investment in both emission reduction and removal projects. Specifically, it needs to make sure companies follow the mitigation hierarchy on their way to Net Zero, and that claims around the use of carbon credits are accurate (e.g., Voluntary Carbon Market Integrity Initiative, VCMI). In addition, it needs to make sure that the carbon credits sold in the market are achieving real emission reductions (or removals), which represents the important work of the Integrity Council for Voluntary Carbon Markets (ICVCM).

Today, we at Verra have issued over one billion carbon credits, which have channeled billions of dollars into climate action and helped forest communities thrive. For some, awarding credits based on a counterfactual scenario is too imprecise. However, there is simply no other approach if we are going to channel much-needed finance to protect forests under threat. Instead of waiting for imagined states of perfection, we have chosen to move forward with supporting forest protection projects around the world using these methods, which are constantly under review and continuous improvement. The urgency of the climate and biodiversity crises is too great to ignore this vital tool.

Shades of REDD+
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of carbon markets

13 January 2023 | Voluntary carbon markets are vulnerable and could shrink rather than grow in 2023. Not linked to a stable driver of compliance demand, voluntary markets depend on the financial or reputational benefits they bestow on investors and carbon credit buyers. If the costs of engagement outweigh the benefits, carbon markets can quickly lose steam. There are two main reasons that contribute to an erosion of trust in the benefits of carbon market engagement: a proliferation of oversight initiatives that seek to improve the supply and demand of carbon credits; and the unclear relationship between Article 6 of the Paris Agreement and voluntary carbon markets, including the role of ‘corresponding adjustments’. Efforts to limit the space of legitimate use of carbon credits by companies, shrinking transactional volumes in 2022 and larger buyers exiting the market may be a first indication that the market is cooling.

A cacophony of codes, principles, and protocols

Over the last year, a multitude of regulators and standard setters have deliberated over proposals on how to control, steer and improve carbon markets. These markets continue to operate largely unregulated by governments, encouraging private initiatives to formulate their own rules for market oversight—both on the supply and demand side.

Initiatives that engage with corporate climate efforts discourage offsetting. The Science-based Target Initiative (SBTi) provides companies that adopt SBTi-approved targets with a path to reduce emissions in line with the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement. These pathways do not foresee offsetting as a viable strategy therefore companies cannot use offsets to meet their SBTi targets. Overall, concerns about carbon markets facilitating corporate ‘greenwashing’ are mounting. Restrictions on offsetting resonate well with traditionally skeptical NGOs when it comes to carbon markets. They often reject any form of carbon markets as a scam and claim that carbon markets worsen the climate and nature crises.

Risk of greenwashing can be avoided through clear and transparent corporate claims.  Over the last year, several public and multi-stakeholder initiatives have sought to provide guidance on corporate climate claims. Most notably, the VCM Integrity initiative (VCMI) has set out to provide guidance on the “high integrity voluntary use of carbon credits” by companies and the associated claims. In July 2022, the VCMI published a draft VCMI Claims Code of Practice for consultation; a final version of the Code is expected to be released in the first quarter of 2023. Governments also become increasingly concerned about the use of carbon credits in corporate climate strategies. Both the U.S. and the E.U. are in the process of drafting climate-related and sustainability disclosure regulation that seeks to address climate-related risks, including information on the use of offsets.

Another set of efforts seek to ensure that finance is channeled to high-quality carbon credits. Initiatives that seek to ensure a high-quality supply of carbon credits propose ways to harmonize and tighten the rules that lead to the generation of tradable emission reductions and removals. While established carbon standards claim that they are well prepared to continue ensuring a quality supply of carbon credits, the Integrity Council for Voluntary Carbon Market (ICVCM)’s Core Carbon Principles suggest otherwise. Enhancing transparency and high-quality of credit supply is also the stated objective of carbon credit rating initiatives, such as Calyx, Sylvera or BeZero, and tools that facilitate the assessment carbon credit quality.

Pursuing legitimate goals in themselves, the sheer number of initiatives that publish quality criteria for credits and claims create a perplexing investment environment. Even for the expert observer it is hard to understand how the various efforts will eventually complement each other. Some rules seem redundant to existing standards and others hardly practical. It does not help that almost all codes, principles, and guidance rally under the same elusive concept of “integrity.” The term’s inflationary use[1] seems to be fueled by its convenient vagueness. What is meant with integrity in the different contexts remains often unclear. It may mean to engage or not engage in carbon markets, to acquire or not acquire carbon credits, to use or not to use them against corporate climate goals. While integrity describes an outcome that implies trustworthiness, the various initiatives so far have done little to ensure market confidence.

Unclear relation to Article 6 Paris Agreement

A cross-cutting issue for these initiatives is the question of how voluntary carbon markets relate to Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. For some, voluntary carbon markets are true to their name—voluntary efforts that complement public climate policies; for others, voluntary carbon markets are a transitionary stage and should slowly converge towards a fully regulated landscape of carbon market transactions governed by Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.

In this context, a highly contested question is whether voluntary carbon credits can be used for offsetting purposes while contributing to the host country nationally determined contribution (NDC). The problem centers on the role and need of ‘corresponding adjustments’ for voluntary carbon market transactions. Such adjustments would ensure emission reductions for which carbon credits are issued cannot be accounted towards the host country NDC. Some worry that carbon credits without corresponding adjustments would lead to double claiming of emission reductions and removals, specifically the absence of clear guidance and full transparency around the use of compensatory carbon credits by corporates. Others fear that allowing the transfer of carbon credits to other countries will hinder the host countries’ ability to meet their NDCs, jeopardizing the global climate effort. Securing government commitments to corresponding adjustments will be cumbersome, lengthy and costly. Looming insecurity and the complex and costly processes that come with making corresponding adjustments put an enormous brake on carbon market transactions. 

It is uncertain whether corresponding adjustments indeed contribute to the integrity of a carbon credit. Hailed as essential features of ‘integrity,’ it is often forgotten that vague and forgiving NDCs undermine the value of corresponding adjustments and as a result corporate climate claims.[2] The value that corresponding adjustments carry critically depends on the nature and engrained ambition of the host country’s NDC. A carbon credit backed by corresponding adjustment from a country without strong and quantified climate targets may gild ‘hot air’ and hold significantly less climate value than a real and additional carbon credit without a corresponding adjustment from a country with ambitious climate policies and a strong NDC.

The unclear relation between the Paris Agreement and voluntary carbon markets motivates government regulation. The outgoing year also saw an increase in government interest in regulating carbon markets. For developing countries, regulatory attempts are driven by a mix of concern and opportunity; concern that the corporate use of carbon credits could result in host country liabilities and opportunity to benefit from the proceeds of carbon credit sales. Two recent examples of developing country regulatory efforts are the rules adopted by Indonesia that link offset sales to the adoption of sectoral mitigation strategies and Ghana formulating rules for corresponding adjustments.

Carbon markets between integrity and desperation

While regulators and standard setters come up with a continuous stream of ideas on how to enhance its integrity, market participants add to the confusion. Responding to a mounting frustration that comes with uncoordinated and unpractical rules, an increasing number of initiatives tries to circumvent traditional carbon market rules like methodology development, consultations, and strict verification protocols. The engagement of blockchains in ‘laundering’ old Zombie projects or proposals to generate carbon credits from stratospheric geoengineering does not help the market to build confidence. Concerns have also been expressed with respect to large sovereign REDD programs that issue carbon credits that do not meet the standards of carbon market rules, or use crediting programs that issue credits for non-additional emission reductions and removals (such as the ART/TREES high-forest low-deforestation credits.)

While such efforts do not help carbon markets’ reputation, at this moment voluntary carbon markets remain the most effective cooperative tool to channel finance into mitigation projects and programs in developing countries. As public finance for climate finance remains shockingly scarce, it may be worth thinking twice before demonizing carbon markets. Rather than suppressing demand, constructively thinking on how to grow demand and channel finance at scale into mitigation efforts in developing countries could prove valuable. Safeguarding carbon markets means considering the drivers of demand that depend on carbon market integrity, defined as fair and transparent, confidence-inspiring rules.

Finding a way through the maze

Confidence in carbon markets depends on clear and transparent rules of engagement. Ideally, government bodies or, in the interim, multi-stakeholder initiatives coordinate to issue one coherent set of rules how carbon credits can be generated and used. Market-compatible rules include definitions and disclosure rules with respect to corporate climate goals and the use of carbon credits, ideally backed by intuitively understandable and transparent corporate climate claims. Such claims should include offsetting and non-offsetting claims. Government regulators can further ensure high-quality supply by accrediting and approving standard-setters that meet and ensure that these principles are upheld. Carbon credit rating and quality assurance initiatives can help to describe the main features of a real and additional carbon credit.

Governments, in particular in developing countries, may also contemplate measures to attract carbon market investments. Governments could approach carbon pricing holistically and consider the carbon markets as part of their climate policy toolbox. They could clarify how carbon markets complement government climate measures and identify priority project activities for carbon markets that are linked to technology transfer, higher costs, or sectors where public action is politically challenging. This also involves adopting rules that govern Article 6 investments and clarify when a country may contemplate authorizing corresponding adjustments. 

For now, it remains to be seen whether carbon markets survive the stress test of confusion. If the rules remain unfinished, and their interactions remain unclear, they add insecurity to markets as investors do not know whether and when they are able to comply with the emerging rules. If corporates increasingly lose the social license to engage in carbon markets as a recognized mitigation strategy, markets may crumble.

There’s value to remember that carbon markets remain vulnerable, needing support in addition to constraint.

[1] Ecosystem Market Place even called its August 2022 market update “The Art of Integrity.”

[2] Corresponding adjustments may limit host country’s willingness to adopt ambitious NDCs. If NDCs do not foresee strong targets, corresponding adjustments come at little costs (and may indeed involve hot air,) while countries with strict economy-wide targets will be reluctant to agree to corresponding adjustments.

COP27: Key Takeaways and What’s Next
WRI Blog

Originally published on WRI Insights Blog.

8 December 2022 | The COP27 climate summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt concluded with a historic breakthrough to help vulnerable countries deal with losses and damages from the impacts of climate change. But the talks also disappointed many stakeholders by not taking any significant new steps to curb emissions, which are critical to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F) and avoid a far more dangerous world. And despite some bright spots, progress on adaptation was also less than hoped for.

The climate summit witnessed some noteworthy moments, such as a visit from Brazilian President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, greater attention to Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley’s Bridgetown Agenda which calls for reforms to the global financial system and the resumption of climate discussions between China and the United States. While there was major geopolitical fracturing this year, this gathering showed that international cooperation on climate change still can yield dividends, as the agreement on loss and damage finance demonstrates. This coming year will be an opportunity for that essential cooperative action to go much further.

Here are key takeaways from the COP27 climate summit, and where the world needs to go next:

1) Fund Established to Aid Countries Facing Severe Damage from Climate Change

For nearly three decades, vulnerable countries have called for financial support to help them cope with the most severe impacts of climate change, only to be stonewalled by rich nations time and time again. Creating a funding stream to address “loss and damage” became the litmus test for success at COP27.

Intense flooding in Bangladesh.
Intense flooding in Sylhet, Bangladesh in June of 2022 left many scrambling for refuge. For three decades, vulnerable countries have pushed for funding for climate change losses and damages, and COP27 presented a dedicated funding stream for this issue. Photo by SM AKBAR ALI PJ/Shutterstock

After two weeks of hard-fought negotiations that teetered on the verge of collapse, countries finally reached consensus to establish funding arrangements, including a dedicated fund for loss and damage. This was nothing short of a breakthrough on a topic long neglected by UN climate talks. If properly resourced and mobilized, the loss and damage fund can complement a wider mosaic of solutions to provide lifelines for poor families whose houses are destroyed, farmers whose fields are ruined, and islanders forced from their ancestral homes.

COP27 saw other important progress addressing losses and damages as well. Governments made progress on the governance structure and host selection process for the Santiago Network on Loss and Damage, which will provide technical assistance to developing countries and become fully operational by COP28. The UN also unveiled a $3.1 billion plan to ensure everyone on the planet is covered by early-warning systems in the next five years to bolster countries’ ability to prepare for hazardous weather.

The V20 and G7 jointly launched the Global Shield against Climate Risks to provide vulnerable countries more means to protect themselves from increasingly extreme weather, with Germany providing €170 million ($179 million) in grants. Denmark, Belgium, Scotland, Austria, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, the U.S., the U.K., Spain, the E.U. and France made financial commitments related to addressing loss and damage, with the U.K. also announcing it will suspend vulnerable nations’ debt repayments for up to two years following a climate disaster. However, not all of these commitments were new and additional. They are largely part of broader funding arrangements outside the UNFCCC, that comprise the mosaic of solutions to address loss and damage.

What’s next? Now that countries have established a fund, the hard work of designing and ultimately filling it begins. Negotiators formed a Transitional Committee to develop recommendations, which should be operationalized by the UN climate summit in Dubai in 2023 (COP28), along with the broader framework for funding arrangements, including funds and initiatives inside and outside the UNFCCC. Furthermore, over the next year countries will work on selecting the host organization, electing members of the Advisory Board, and hiring the secretariat for the Santiago Network.

2) Progress on Adaptation, but not at the Scale or Speed Necessary

Unlike the breakthrough on loss and damage, the progress on adaptation fell far short of what’s needed to address accelerating and severe impacts.

For one, developed countries did not make significant headway towards honoring the commitment made as part of the COP26 Glasgow Climate Pact to double adaptation finance from 2019 levels by 2025.  A roadmap for implementation of this goal was not agreed to as planned, leaving parties with less confidence that this goal will be met by 2025.

Countries were also expected to make progress on defining the Global Goal on Adaptation, the Paris Agreement’s equivalent to the 1.5-degree-C (2.7 degrees F) target for mitigation. COP27 saw intense but welcome discussions on potential components of the goal, including a more structured approach that systematically considers themes like gender responsiveness, capacity building, as well as local and indigenous knowledge. But in the end, parties fell short of defining the goal and instead established a framework to guide its formulation, which will be considered and adopted at COP28 next year.

In other positive news, the Adaptation Fund received $230 million in pledges and contributions to be channeled to countries most vulnerable to climate impacts, some of which is fulfilling earlier commitments made at COP26.

And the COP27 Egyptian Presidency, with the High-Level Climate Champions and Marrakech Partnership, launched the Sharm El-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda, a joint action plan to accelerate transformative solutions through systems interventions and a set of adaptation outcome targets, rallying both state and non-state actors work towards achieving them by 2030. The finer details of how this agenda will be implemented and progress monitored are yet to be worked out.

What’s next? Over 2023, all eyes will be on whether parties adopt a strong framework for the Global Goal on Adaptation, whether financial pledges — to the Adaptation Fund, Least Developed Countries Fund and others — are fulfilled; if progress is made towards doubling adaptation finance and the extent to which MDBs scale their adaptation efforts. There will also be attention on whether these funds are accessible and reach local levels.

3) Climate Finance Reforms Gained Traction

Climate finance took center stage in negotiations this year. The COP27 decision reflects developing countries’ serious concern that developed countries’ commitment to provide $100 billion annually has still not been met, even as the need for finance grows ever-more obvious.

Many developing countries also expressed dissatisfaction with the way finance is being provided, including the large percentage coming as loans, increasing the debt burden in already debt-stressed countries, and the lack of accountability and transparency.

The need to reform the broader public financial system, including multilateral development banks, received increased attention, including in the cover decision. This serves as acknowledgment of the need for more climate finance and to address the way debt might hamstring developing countries’ climate action, as laid out in the Bridgetown Initiative, a call to reform the international financial system announced earlier in the year by Prime Minister Mottley of Barbados. At COP27, leaders from both developing and developed countries expressed support for the initiative, including President Emmanuel Macron of France.

Ultimately, new climate finance pledges were more limited than what was hoped for; indeed, countries are still waiting for fulfillment of previous pledges. Meanwhile, negotiations on important agenda items — most notably the new finance goal for 2025 — did not make significant headway. Instead, Parties focused on procedural issues and pushed to the future important decisions around the amount, timeframe, sources and accountability mechanisms that may be relevant to a new finance goal. Negotiators also postponed in-depth discussions on a shared definition of climate finance and on operationalizing Article 2.1(c) of the Paris Agreement, which calls for consistency of global financial flows with the Paris Agreement.

What’s next? In 2023, we will see whether developed countries finally come through on their commitment to provide $100 billion annually to developing countries, and if they show signs of accelerating pledges to make up for the shortfall in prior years. We will also see how far Parties manage to come in negotiating the details (quality of funding, timelines, instruments, sources, access, etc.) of the new climate finance goal and provide some stepping stones for its establishment in 2024. More will emerge on the MDB reform agenda by the IMF/World Bank spring meetings in April 2023, a date by which U.S. climate envoy John Kerry said he wants to see actionable proposals. COP28 will also need to enhance the understanding of the scope of Article 2.1(c) and on ways to achieve it by building on the two workshops on the topic to be held in 2023.

4) Emission Cuts Didn’t Add Up

Countries at COP27 agreed to outcomes that reflected only modest, incremental progress on reducing emissions, despite a clear emissions gap between current national climate plans and what’s needed to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F).

The Glasgow Climate Pact adopted at COP26 requested parties to “revisit and strengthen their 2030 targets” to align with the Paris Agreement temperature goal. Yet since then, only 34 of 194 parties have submitted new or updated NDCs though this did include major economies such as Australia, Mexico, and Indonesia. The COP27 decision reiterated the request to Parties that have not yet done so to revisit and strengthen their targets to align with the Paris temperature goal. Encouragingly, the E.U., which had already strengthened its target in 2020, announced that it would further boost its target from a 55% to a 57% reduction by 2030

The Glasgow Climate Pact also urged countries to develop long-term strategies “towards just transitions to net-zero emissions” no later than COP27 and invited countries to update those strategies regularly. Yet the last year saw only 11 new strategies, bringing the total to only 54. The COP27 decision urges remaining parties to communicate their long-term strategies by COP28.

COP27 also saw progress on the Mitigation Work Programme, adopted at COP26 to focus on scaling up ambition and implementation this decade (i.e. leading up to 2030). Negotiators determined that the Programme will run through at least 2026, focus on all sectors, and provide recommendations for annual COP decisions, though it stopped short of allowing the process to establish new goals to reduce emissions. Each year under the Programme, at least two dialogues and a subsequent summary report will be produced and considered by countries at the political level to catalyze stronger national mitigation ambition and action.

Outside the formal negotiations, more countries committed to reducing emissions of short-lived climate pollutants. Twenty additional countries signed on to the Global Methane Pledge, launched at COP26 to reduce methane emissions by 30% from 2020 levels by 2030, bringing the total to 150 (including 12 of the top 20 methane emitters). China, which has not joined the pledge, announced that formal approval was pending for its completed plan to address methane emissions.

What’s next? As gaps in emissions reductions persist, countries, especially major emitters, must urgently put forward robust and ambitious climate plans and pursue stronger policies to cut emissions, including through action in sectors and methane, to drive the transformations needed to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F). Nex year, the first steps in the Mitigation Work Programme and the outcomes of the first Global Stocktake at COP28 will serve as a key opportunity for countries to collectively agree to paths forward for cutting emissions in key sectors.

5) Debate Lingered on Accelerating the Energy Transition

The transition away from fossil fuels became an unexpectedly hot topic during COP27.

Last year, COP26 ended with a debate over language on phasing out unabated coal power, which ended in a compromise calling for a “phase down.” This year, as it had done in 2021, India proposed extending the phase down to all fossil fuels, a proposal that gained support in Sharm el-Sheikh from 80 countries, including those in the E.U.

Some countries resisted that proposal, and it was ultimately excluded from the final COP27 outcome, but the issue will likely resurface as a key issue at COP28.

Also, given the decision at last year’s COP on coal power, questions remain about how much headway countries have made on honoring their commitments to phase down coal.

Meanwhile, for the first time ever, the COP cover decision included a call to accelerate renewable energy deployment. But that progress was blunted in the waning moments of the COP when language on deploying low-emissions energy was also added without many delegations knowing about it. While many have interpreted the reference to “low emissions” as referring to natural gas, natural gas is not actually a low emissions power source, particularly given the continued high level of methane leakage.

People installing solar panels on a roof in Spain.
The installation of solar panels in the Balearic Islands, in Spain. For the first time ever, the COP cover decision included a call to accelerate renewable energy deployment. Photo by tolobalaguer/Shutterstock

Outside the negotiations, just energy transition partnerships (JETP) — a concept first announced at COP26 as a support package for South Africa — received increased attention. The South African government recently released a detailed investment plan of its own for a just energy transition; it indicates a total amount of $98.7 billion in needed investment, while donor governments have pledged $8.5 billion, only 2.7% of which will be in the form of grants. South Africa has now signed loan agreements with France and Germany for the two European nations to each extend €300 million in concessional financing to South Africa to support the country’s just energy transition.

At the G20 Summit in Bali, which took place simultaneously with COP27, a JETP framework for Indonesia was announced, with $10 billion in finance from the U.S., Japan and multiple E.U. countries, plus $10 billion from the private sector. The details, including what the private investment component will look like, will be worked out later. Meanwhile, a JETP for Vietnam may be launched at the EU-ASEAN summit in mid-December and could total as much as $14 billion. Reports suggest that between $5 billion and $7 billion will come from public loans and grants, with the rest from private sources.

What’s next? Next year is likely to see a continued debate on the question of whether all fossil fuels, not only coal, should be phased down or out, potentially a central issue for COP28. And as the JETP approach gains attention, important questions will need to be answered, including what types of finance they involve (such as how much in highly concessional finance and grants) and support for workers and communities will be reflected in the financing and investment plans — including for Indonesia and Vietnam, as well as for South Africa.

6) The Global Stocktake Shifts from the Technical to the Political

The Paris Agreement’s “Global Stocktake” is a process where countries assess collective progress toward the Paris Agreement’s goals every five years, with the intention of ratcheting up ambition and action over time. COP27 saw the mid-way point of the first Global Stocktake process. Countries agreed on the need to prepare for the final political phase of the process, which will conclude at COP28 in the UAE. That phase will include a COP decision or declaration with recommendations and political messages on key issues for climate action and support.

At Sharm El-Sheikh, technical discussions under the Global Stocktake focused on how countries and non-state actors can address current gaps in climate action across mitigation, adaptation and support. The third and final technical dialogue is expected to be held at the intersessional meeting in Bonn, Germany in June 2023, with the political phase concluding at COP28 in 2023.

What’s next? To prepare for the final political phase of the Stocktake over the coming year, countries agreed to communicate and discuss their views on its approach and desired political outcome. This marks a shift of focus from the technical to the potential political outcomes of the process, which will be critical to ensuring impact. The Global Stocktake can play a critical role in driving further sectoral action, cooperation, and support in this decade and beyond, and nations should push for a politically relevant outcome rather than an information-sharing exercise with vague recommendations. Moreover, countries reiterated the invitation to hold events at national, regional and international levels to support the process and welcomed the UN Secretary-General’s efforts to convene a climate ambition summit in 2023 ahead of the conclusion of the first Global Stocktake.

7) Important New African Initiatives Launched

COP27 was dubbed the “African COP” due to its location in Egypt, and under this theme, several African-led initiatives earned the spotlight.

For example, three financing partners of AFR100, an initiative where 32 African governments committed to restore more than 120 million hectares of degraded land by 2030, announced a $2 billion blended finance mechanism to support and accelerate locally led restoration. The massive financial commitment sends a clear signal that restoration enterprises are sound investments.

The African Cities Water Adaptation Fund (ACWA), and its supporting coalition, was launched at COP27 as well. The new effort will enable African city leaders to directly access funding and technical support to implement innovative solutions targeting a range of water issues, including integrated governance, watershed management, increasing sanitation services, improved stormwater management and wastewater management. The Fund will deliver $222 million in grants, $288 million in direct investments, and indirectly leverage $5 billion in additional investments to help implement resilient water solutions in 100 African cities by 2032.

Muddy river with boats and people with fruits on shore.
The muddy waters of the Niamey River are used for transporting goods in Niger. A new fund launched at COP27 will support innovative solutions for targeting water issues in Africa. Photo by Katja Tsvetkova/Shutterstock

These initiatives are indicative of growing interests in using blended-finance — combining public and private funds — to further mobilize much-needed capital for resilience investments in Africa. Scaling such vehicles and investing in local capacities to design, implement and leverage further investments remains crucial to meet the scale of the challenge.

8) Carbon Market Rules Raise Concerns

Most rules for carbon markets were finalized  at COP26, and COP27 was meant to iron out operational details. Unfortunately, Parties struggled with the sheer volume and highly technical nature of the text.

Anticipated recommendations on activities involving removals released at the outset of COP27 were insufficient and will be updated before COP28 — ideally with a greater focus on safeguards and human rights. No decisions were taken to address double counting of emission reductions between countries (as part of their NDCs) and non-state actors such as companies — or to clarify in which cases this could undermine the integrity of carbon markets and give the impression that emissions are being reduced more than they actually are.

On a promising note, the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Expert Group on Net-Zero Emissions Commitments of Non-State Entities released a new report during COP27. Among other recommendations, the report suggested that high-quality carbon credits cannot substitute for emissions cuts needed for achieving targets along the net-zero pathway. Instead, high-value carbon credits should only count toward curbing emissions beyond a corporation’s own value chain.

What’s next? While many hoped that the finer details of how carbon markets should operate would be hashed out in Egypt, parties instead agreed to continue negotiations over the next two years. Over the next year, multi-stakeholder initiatives such as the Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market (IC-VCM) and the Voluntary Carbon Market Integrity Initiative (VCMI) will continue to advance their respective efforts to promote carbon credit quality and the integrity of corporate claims based on carbon credit use.

9) Nature-Based Solutions are Elevated

At COP27, nature-based solutions were included in a UN climate negotiations’ cover decision for the first time. The text encourages Parties to consider nature-based solutions or ecosystem-based approaches while ensuring relevant social and environmental safeguards, though an effort to more explicitly link nature and climate in the cover decision ultimately failed.

The decision text was complemented by signs of increased political will and new financial commitments.

Young people planting mangrove trees.
In Semarang, Indonesia, young people volunteer to plant young mangroves as part of restoration efforts on bodies of water. For the first time, nature-based solutions were a part of a UN climate negotiations’ cover decision at COP27. Photo by Moh. Saefudin/Shutterstock

Outside the negotiations, the launch of the Forest and Climate Leader’s Partnership (FCLP) brought together 28 countries (and counting) to halt and reverse forest loss and degradation by 2030.  Brazil, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo also announced a partnership to cooperate on forest preservation. While a unified voice from tropical forest countries could raise much-needed finance, as the partnership’s strategy develops, it will be crucial to ensure local communities play a significant role.

Of the $12 billion pledged by governments at COP26 to protect, restore and sustainably manage forests over five years (2021-2026), countries announced that $2.67 billion has already been spent. Germany doubled its committed finance from €1 billion to €2 billion. Private entities added $3.6 billion to the $7.2 billion committed in Glasgow for protection and restoration, including the LEAF coalition’s announcement of $500 million to purchase high-integrity emissions-reduction credits, as well as the establishment of the Forests, People, Climate collaborative, which committed $400 million of philanthropic funding.

What’s next? On COP27’s Biodiversity Day, key climate leaders as well as a group of 350 scientists, Indigenous Peoples, businesses and NGOs urged governments to prioritize the UN’s Biodiversity Conference (COP15) and create a Paris Agreement-like treaty to turn the tide on biodiversity loss. We will know whether this happens before the end of the year.

Cover Image by: UNclimatechange/Flickr

ART Issues World’s First Jurisdictional Forestry TREES Carbon Credits to Guyana
EM Strategic Supporter Press Release

ARLINGTON, VA, 1 December 2022 – The Architecture for REDD+ Transactions (ART) has issued the world’s first TREES credits to Guyana. This also marks a milestone as the first time a country has been issued carbon credits specifically designed for the voluntary and compliance carbon markets for successfully preventing forest loss and degradation — a process known as jurisdictional REDD+.

Following completion of an independent validation and verification process and approval by the ART Board of Directors, ART has issued 33.47 million TREES credits to Guyana for the five-year period from 2016 to 2020. These serialized credits, listed on ART’s public registry, are available to buyers on the global carbon market, including for use by airlines for compliance with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s global emission reduction program, CORSIA, as well as for use toward voluntary corporate climate commitments.

Guyana’s completion of the ART process paves the way for other governments that are looking to receive carbon market finance for success in protecting and restoring forests. Currently, 14 other countries and large sub-national jurisdictions are working toward their own issuances of TREES credits.

Frances Seymour, the Chair of the ART Board, congratulated the Government of Guyana and the many domestic stakeholder groups who contributed to this achievement, which recognizes the success the country has had in protecting its forests. “Guyana is the first to complete the ART process for generating high-integrity, Paris Agreement-aligned carbon credits that will allow the country to access market-based finance to continue to implement forest stewardship strategies. ART, other governments, and important stakeholder groups, especially Indigenous Peoples and local communities, around the world can now build on Guyana’s experience to accelerate progress towards meeting global forest and climate goals in ways that ensure environmental and social integrity.”

Vice President of Guyana, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo lauded Guyana’s leadership and tenacity, which started in 2007 when Guyana set out a far-reaching vision for how national scale action on forests could unlock huge global benefits in the fight against climate change, the preservation of biodiversity, and building energy and food security. The Vice President stressed that ambitious progress was possible – in Guyana and elsewhere – if the peoples of forest countries designed their own way forward so that action on forests boosted their legitimate development aspirations.

“The people of Guyana continue to be willing to play their part – but we also need international standards that keep pace with what science tells us is needed to safeguard the world’s vital tropical forests. So, we are pleased that ART-TREES was created to help accelerate global climate action – by recognizing what forest countries like Guyana have long called for: that the time for small-scale pilots and projects is long past, the world needs jurisdiction-scale action to make the required impact, and the world also needs to value the ecosystem services that tropical forests provide. Today, the vision set out in 2007 moves to the next phase – where payments for forest climate services can be sourced from global carbon markets. We are pleased that the vision of fifteen years ago moves forward in a major way today,” the Vice President said.

The independent validation and verification process was conducted by Aster Global Environmental Services, Inc., an internationally accredited environmental services company, which audited Guyana’s REDD+ results for conformance with both the carbon accounting requirements and the rigorous social and environmental safeguards of TREES.

On behalf of his colleagues, the Chair of the National Toshaos’ Council in Guyana, Toshao Derrick John said, “The National Toshaos’ Council welcomes this important milestone in Guyana’s programme on Low Carbon Development which will further support the development of sustainable livelihoods and protection of forests within indigenous communities. As the national body which represents all elected Indigenous Villages Leaders in Guyana, the NTC is pleased that Guyana is pioneering efforts on climate finance that will bring direct benefits to Indigenous peoples in advancing climate resilience and sustainable livelihood opportunities.”

Endorsement for the government to sell credits from Guyana’s Indigenous lands — both titled and untitled – including the terms of benefit sharing, was given by the National Toshaos’ Council, which includes leaders elected by each community and is the legal representative of Indigenous peoples in Guyana.

Guyana’s TREES credits are also the first market-ready credits issued to a jurisdiction classified as “High Forest, Low Deforestation” (HFLD), which means it has high forest cover and low historical rates of deforestation. Carbon markets have historically focused predominantly on areas that have already experienced high rates of deforestation. This is now starting to change with the first TREES credits issued to Guyana.

Prior to the crediting approach in TREES, there had not been a market-oriented approach that allows HFLD jurisdictions to benefit from carbon market finance. The HFLD crediting approach in TREES recognizes that HFLD jurisdictions must continue to aggressively protect forests to avoid deforestation and degradation, and that carbon market finance can be a powerful incentive to help achieve this. All HFLD credits are tagged as such on ART’s public registry.

Mary Grady, Executive Director of the ART Secretariat, said, “Our planet’s last intact forests are under mounting threat of irreversible, permanent loss if new approaches to protect them are not urgently supported. Without the proper financial incentives to value forests and the actions that protect them, there is no guarantee that forests in HFLD areas will remain standing in the long run. Providing a pathway that incentivizes jurisdictions to keep their forests standing will create a more effective and equitable global system for forest protection and restoration.”