Voluntary carbon credits – made for reducing CO2 in countries without existing “caps” on carbon, but Europeans like them too.
And European corporates increasingly seek to invest in local projects, which are not always kosher under the current Kyoto Protocol framework.
This special report from Ecosystem Marketplace explores existing programs’ limited options and creative approaches to domestic carbon reductions – and how Durban could change everything.
While the use of ecosystem services markets is increasingly discussed as a policy option to protect ecological functions that benefit society, there is limited publicly available information regarding the risks associated with investing in, operating in, and regulating, such markets. In this paper we outline the risks faced both by entrepreneurs who sponsor wetland mitigation banks-the most mature ecosystem services market in the US-and the regulators who oversee them. To identify these risks, as well as their potential mitigants or other strategies to navigate them, we rely upon existing literature and interviews conducted with industry participants, including entrepreneurs, regulators, and consultants. This paper seeks to provide a consolidated list of risks that may help to inform investors due diligence processes and their understanding of wetland mitigation banking as a real asset, and may serve as a reference for entrepreneurs and regulators who are new to wetland mitigation banking or other more nascent ecosystem services markets featuring similar risks.
This report benchmarks companies taking a landscape-scale approach to water risk – looking beyond direct operations to the larger watershed context. Business leaders from Coca-Cola to SABMiller to Sony are experimenting with natural infrastructure investments that address many of the operational risks at the top of their lists – including supply disruptions and emerging regulations – while saving money, increasing resilience to climate and natural disaster shocks, and improving relations with local communities. These efforts are known as investments in watershed services (“IWS”).
This executive summary is developed specifically for a business audience, building upon data and analysis first presented in a more comprehensive report from Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace on the topic of watershed investments – Charting New Waters: State of Watershed Payments 2012. In Charting New Waters, we track the size, scope, and outlook for investments in watershed services and in the ecological infrastructure from which they flow.
The number of initiatives that protect and restore forests, wetlands, and other water-rich ecosystems has nearly doubled in just four years as governments urgently seek sustainable alternatives to costly industrial infrastructure, according to a new report from Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace.
“Whether you need to save water-starved China from economic ruin or protect drinking water for New York City, investing in natural resources is emerging as the most cost-efficient and effective way to secure clean water and recharge our dangerously depleted streams and aquifers,” said Michael Jenkins, Forest Trends President and CEO. “80 percent of the world is now facing significant threats to water security. We are witnessing the early stages of a global response that could transform the way we value and manage the world’s watersheds.”
The report, State of Watershed Payments 2012, is the second installment of the most comprehensive inventory to date of initiatives around the world that are paying individuals and communities to revive or preserve water-friendly features of the landscape. Such features include wetlands, streams, and forests that can capture, filter, and store freshwater.