The Paris Agreement confounds those looking for a top-down, one-size-fits all global solution. That’s because it’s a framework within which workable solutions can emerge, and a recent analysis from the Wuppertal Institute offers a simple allegory for explaining that. Think of it, they write, as an old ship coming out of drydock. It’s a work of beauty, but it won’t sail itself.
The forests, farms, and fields of the United States mop up a staggering 15 percent of the country’s industrial greenhouse-gas emissions, but this capacity will plunge as the climate changes. That’s why every credible climate solution incorporates nature-based solutions and climate-smart agriculture, but major media still aren’t covering it. Would that change if we called them “sky farming”?
Mitigation banking is built on the premise of “no net loss”, which means people who damage nature must fix what they break, usually with the aim of improving more degraded nature than they damage. Ecologist David Hill, however, has turned net gain into a bare minimum rather than an extra. Will it catch on across the UK?
For four tumultuous years, Yvo de Boer was the public face of global climate talks, but since 2010 he’s been working quietly on low-profile projects that he hopes will have a high impact on climate change. Now, as President-elect of the Gold Standard’s Board, he’s helping to beef up the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
The Green New Deal has high ambitions and high costs, but the mechanisms for covering those costs already exist, and they pale in comparison to the cost of doing nothing. Here’s how the Restoration Economy already works.
The emerging “Green New Deal” seems to offer something for everyone – except climate-science deniers. Criticized by some for being short on details, the proposal actually seems designed to propel solutions that have been languishing for decades – including natural climate solutions, climate-smart agriculture, and support for green infrastructure.
The US House of Representatives is holding its first hearings on climate change in over a decade this morning. Here’s how you can watch them remotely.
Ten years ago, US environmental regulators, drawing on a decade of research, endorsed the practice of mitigation banking as a way to support healthy rivers, streams, and wetlands while enabling economic development. The results have been good for both the restoration industry and permit applicants, but the jury is out on how it serves the environment.
For centuries, farmers have worked to make their fields more productive, usually by relying on trusted rhythms that only occasionally got out of whack. Global warming changes that, with unpredictable seasons and unforeseeable disruptions that demand an increased emphasis on resilience, or the ability to bounce back from external stresses.
The Oregon state legislature is considering a “cap and invest” bill that promises to place a firm limit on the state’s greenhouse gasses while ensuring continued investments in resilient communities, green jobs and clean energy. Legislators are expected to release bill language by January 31.
Nearly two dozen people have joined the race to become the Democratic nominee for President of the United States, and all of them – in contrast with their sole Republican counterpart – acknowledge climate science and aim to deal with climate change. In this continuously updating scorecard, we’ll be expanding and clarifying positions as the candidates themselves do.
It’s been almost a decade since global companies pledged to slow climate change by purging deforestation from their supply chains, and those pledges have led to unprecedented transparency and accountability in the way companies produce, procure, and process key commodities. Leaders meeting at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting have a unique opportunity to kick the process into overdrive. Will they?
UN Secretary-General António Guterres and UN General Assembly President María Fernanda Espinosa Garcéhas have both called for dramatically accelerating efforts to slow climate change and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
Natural climate solutions can get us 37 percent of the way to meeting the Paris Agreement’s 2-degree target, and farmers are key to implementing those solutions, writes California farmer A. G. Kawamura, who served as the state’s Secretary of Agriculture under Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and now co-chairs the nonprofit Solutions from the Land.
The Paiter-Suruí indigenous people of the Brazilian Amazon have long used modern tools to support their traditional way of life, and the cultivation of babassu nuts is part of that tradition. To help them improve productivity, Ecosystem Marketplace publisher Forest Trends recently contracted Finnish impact start-up GoSol Solar to install sun-powered driers that work by concentrating the sun’s heat on a drying shed. Here is a field report from GoSol’s Chief Design Officer.
Based on our team’s reports from Katowice, our take at Forest Trends is that negotiators have signed off on a promising, but incomplete, set of rules for implementing the Paris Agreement, which is best understood as a global framework for capturing and accelerating ambition.
Climate negotiators have signed off on an incomplete rulebook for implementing the Paris Climate Agreement, with guidance for Article 6 pushed off until next year in Chile. That won’t prevent states from developing markets among themselves, but does leave a proposed centralized market operating under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in limbo.
For three years, Brazil has insisted that developing countries should be allowed to double-count some emission reductions in the early years of the Paris Agreement, as long as they make it up later. Most countries oppose the idea, but Brazil and a narrow contingent of supporters are standing firm. Now there’s hope of a compromise that would allow weaker accounting rules until 2023, with a firm mechanism for making up the shortfall thereafter.
Since their inception in 1992, global climate talks have floundered on the issue of finance, with developed countries balking at the prospect of sending billions of dollars to poorer countries that will suffer the worst effects of global warming. But a coalition of development banks have quietly funneled $200 billion per year to climate investments since the Paris Agreement.
Brazilian president-elect Jair Bolsonaro wants to ratchet up development in the Brazilian Amazon, which would lead to a surge in greenhouse gas emissions. Indigenous people, the “guardians of the forest”, have vowed to stop him, but they can’t do it on their own. Indigenous leader Nara Baré hopes to build global support for Amazon protection.
Countries and companies around the world have endorsed the New York Declaration on Forests, which is a pledge to end deforestation by 2030. An analysis of climate action plans from six key tropical countries – including four NYDF endorsers – finds that none of them are on track to meet that target.
On the weekend, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate operationalized a representative platform that incorporates local communities and indigenous people into the climate negotiations, but on Monday it emerged that key human rights language had been stricken from the emerging Paris Agreement Rulebook.
It’s not all doom and gloom as year-end climate talks enter their final days in Katowice, Poland, with many observers seeing increased support for natural climate solutions such as better management of forests, farms, and fields. Such solutions can provide one-third of the action needed to meet the Paris Agreement targets, but historically draw just 3 percent of dedicated climate finance.
For over 20 years, indigenous people of the Amazon have been using “Life Plans” to manage their forests sustainably, but most of them struggled to find the money needed to get the plans off the ground. Forest-carbon finance seemed to offer an answer, but REDD+ as initially structured in the voluntary markets didn’t always match indigenous values. Now, it does.
Representatives from nearly 200 nations gathered in Katowice, Poland on Sunday for year-end climate talks designed to create a rulebook for implementing the Paris Climate Agreement. To date, just seven nations, most of them tiny, are on track to reduce emissions to meet the 2 degree Celsius goal, while the U.S. is on track to withdraw from the accord by 2020.
Four years ago, nearly 200 governments, corporations, NGOs, and Indigenous Peoples’ organizations pledged to cut deforestation in half by 2020 and end it by 2030. Instead, deforestation is up 42 percent, and much of that is illegal.
When the indigenous people of Bélgica, in the Peruvian Amazon, turned to sustainable logging, they did so to earn income, out of necessity. They found, however, that the process of getting certified helped them create a long-term strategy for sustainable management of their land.
Climate risks endanger 13 of the 18 FTSE 100 sectors, and a new tool makes it possible for investors, insurers, and anyone with an interest to explore the specific risks faced by sectors, sub-sectors, and specific processes supporting the global economy.
We’ve lost more than half the world’s species in the last half century, thanks mostly to large-scale infrastructure projects and commercial agricultural expansion. Now a growing number of private and public entities are calling for agreement on making net biodiversity gain a mandatory component of development.
Oil palm evolved in Western Africa, but it took root in Southeast Asia, where it’s driving a $60 billion-per-year industry but leading to the destruction of forests across the country. Now West African countries like Ghana are scaling up their production, and Samuel Avaala says they can do so while reviving, rather than destroying, their forests.
As biodiversity continues to decline in the face of climate change and development, a consortium of private and public actors is harvesting decades of experience to offer new solutions based on past lessons.
The Paris Agreement doesn’t cover emissions from international shipping or air, but a global agreement on air travel is set to kick in soon. Here’s what you need to know to make sense of it.
Anyone who’s suffered through a few hundred panel discussions at even the most productive climate event knows the drill. You’ll sit quietly as diligent souls like yourself describe workable, viable solutions to the climate challenge, or maybe you’ll present one of your own. Many of these solutions will already be up and running, delivering verifiable […]
The Brazilian Soy Moratorium is credited with reducing deforestation from soybean production within the Amazon forest by as much as 80 percent in some states, and it worked by getting soybean traders like Bunge, Cargill, ADM, Amaggi, and Louis Dreyfus to stop buying from farmers who clear forested land to grow soybeans. Unfortunately, the same […]
The Royal Bank of Sweden today announced it was awarding the Nobel Prize for Economics to two American economists: Paul Romer, who made us think about the economics of education and sustainable development, and William Nordhaus, who pioneered the use of economic modeling to quantify the economic impact of climate change. The announcement comes just […]
As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) puts the finishing touches on a new report detailing pathways to keeping global temperatures from rising 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels, more and more scientists are calling for greater emphasis on natural climate solutions. Research published last year in the Proceedings of the National […]
Forestry and farming generate more than 30 percent of all the world’s greenhouse-gas emissions, mostly because land managers are pinching pennies to meet our own appetites for soy, beef, and palm oil. These rural Indonesian farming districts say they can manage the land more sustainably, but agribusinesses will have to share the risk. Will they?
26 October 2018 | The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s recent Special Report showing that we may have little more than a decade before global warming exceeds 1.5°C is rattling. A finding that’s received less attention but is equally critical is that there is no pathway that keeps us under 1.5 degrees without active […]
This story first appeared on Clean Energy Wire 24 October 2018 | No matter how you look at it, people need sustenance to survive – and growing crops or raising livestock creates emissions. But Germany must find a way to reduce its agricultural emissions, which make up seven percent of total greenhouse gas emissions to […]
17 October 2018 | Twenty years ago, Oregon’s Willamette River was an unswimmable cocktail of 64 deadly chemicals, while the Chesapeake Bay was suffocating under a blanket of algae fed by fertilizer running off of farms spread across six US states. Governments in both regions – and, indeed, across the United States – vowed to […]
15 October 2018 | Rick Wilson loves the thousand acres of land he bought to expand his ranch in Denton County, Texas, but it didn’t come cheap, and he was nervous about making ends meet – until he got a letter from a man named Adam Riggsbee, offering to pay Wilson good money to let […]
On one hand, bugs are high in protein and easy on the environment: a compelling solution for reducing global meat consumption and its contribution to climate change. On the other hand, try pitching that business idea to an investor. An entrepreneur who sees major potential for both the planet and their bottom line through producing […]
4 October 2018 | International aviation is one of only two sectors not covered in the Paris Climate Agreement (the other is international shipping). Many airlines already use carbon offsets to limit their net carbon emissions, either on a voluntary basis or to comply with national or regional regulations. To date, there has been no […]
2 October 2018 | As more companies and individuals are looking for tools to mitigate their impact on climate change, the idea of utilizing blockchain technology has been on the forefront of many conversations. It is one of the building blocks behind cryptocurrency and companies are looking to utilize blockchain technology as a means to […]
2 October 2018 | Centuries of unsustainable agriculture have squeezed massive amounts of nitrogen and carbon out of soils, and Ohio State’s Rattan Lal, a professor of soil science who has presciently spoken out about restoring forests and soils for carbon mitigation and sequestration, says we can pull about 10 percent of our greenhouse gasses […]
This story is cross-posted on the World Economic Forum web site 1 October 2018 | Facebook seemed so frivolous when it first emerged 15 years ago, but look at it now: this glorified chatroom has completely upended the very sector it seemed destined to complement, becoming in the process the epitome of a “disruptive technology”. […]
25 September 2018 | When US President Donald Trump addresses the United Nations General Assembly today, try to look beyond the dog and pony show to see what’s happening at Global Goals Week, which started over the weekend and runs through Friday at events across New York. Global Goals Week is designed to forge support […]
24 Sept 2018 | In the wake of Hurricane Florence and wildfires that have swept the country, over 200 organizations, scientists and elected officials – including 40 mayors from across the country – have endorsed a new effort to slow climate change by protecting US forests. The initiative, called the Stand4Forests platform, comes as a […]
This story is excerpted from the upcoming book “Carbon Cowboys and REDD Indigenes”. 21 September 2018 | The Paris Climate Agreement aims to keep global temperatures from rising another 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Farenheit), and one way it aims to achieve that is by funneling money into forest conservation and sustainable farming through a […]
18 September 2018 | Over the past 30 years, environmental NGOs and the Brazilian government have slashed deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon, mostly by positioning the Amazon as the “lungs of the planet” and getting companies to sign and implement the high-profile Soy Moratorium and Cattle Agreements. But what about the Cerrado? The Amazon Forest’s […]