September 11, 2018

Dear Colleagues,

It’s a pleasure to be asked to write this month’s introduction to the   newsletter. Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace team, where I lead market tracking and analysis of innovative finance and market-based mechanisms for biodiversity and watershed conservation, is a sister initiative of Supply Change.

Yet even though we all work together, it is not always obvious where our efforts intersect. What is the connection between my work at Ecosystem Marketplace – which includes projects like estimating the scale of global demand for biodiversity offsets, or mapping opportunities for wetland restoration projects – and Supply Changes mission of tracking corporate commitments to more sustainably and responsibly sourced agricultural commodities?

One thing is their climate connection: environmental markets and corporate commitments to reverse commodity-driven deforestation are both going to be important pieces of the puzzle for global climate action.

As we head toward the Global Climate Action Summit later this week, it is clear to all of us at Forest Trends that forests and other ecosystems like wetlands and grasslands must be part of the path forward. We know that these ecosystems (what we call “green infrastructure”) can cost-effectively provide a third of the emissions reductions we need to keep global temperatures from rising more than 2°C. We also know that commercial agriculture drives at least two-thirds of tropical deforestation. Voluntary corporate action on deforestation means there is already momentum and experience in building sustainable supply chains. Now we need to put our foot on the pedal by

Climate change is not the only reason to save our forests: green infrastructure also safeguards our access to clean water, helps protect us from flooding and storms, is home to global biodiversity, and holds irreplaceable cultural, recreational, and spiritual value. As Torgny Holmgren, Executive Director of the Stockholm International Water Institute noted in the Opening Plenary at this year’s World Water Week, “The wonderful thing about green infrastructure is that it is inherently multifunctional.”

The growing recognition that we depend on nature in a great many ways is driving new conservation investments which Ecosystem Marketplace works to track globally, including a new $27.5 million commitment in Peru that recognizes that nature must be at the core of the country’s water security and climate adaptation strategy.

It is encouraging to see natural climate solutions gaining recognition in advance of the Global Climate Action Summit – see for example, the recent Op-Ed in the New York Times setting out how California can use its cap and trade program to meet its climate goals and protect vulnerable forests in the Amazon. We hope leaders at this week’s Summit will take note.

Kind regards,

Genevieve Bennett, Senior Associate, Forest Trends' Ecosystem Marketplace




Recent News

The Paris of the West: Climate is the hot topic in San Francisco

This week, leaders in business, government, civil society, and academia are gathering in San Francisco for the Global Climate Action Summit. Two of Supply Change’s favorite topics are high on the agenda: private sector action on climate, and the role of natural solutions in addressing climate change. Follow the hashtags #GCAS2018 and #theforgottensolution to keep tabs on the latest news.

RSPO investors advocate for stricter certification criteria
Over 90 institutional investors representing over $6.7 trillion in assets are calling on the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) to strengthen its criteria for sustainable palm oil certification. The investors want the certification to ban clearance of all forests, enact stricter requirements for peatland conversion, and establish procedures to protect human rights defenders, indigenous communities, and plantation laborers. Read more from Mongabay.

Environmental destruction: brought to you in part by ultra-secretive tax havens
An article published last month in Nature Ecology and Evolution found that businesses involved in environmentally-harmful activities – specifically illegal fishing and deforestation in the Amazon – are channeling money through secretive tax havens, such as the Cayman Islands. Two-thirds of the money directed towards the Brazilian beef and soy sectors was funneled through tax havens and 70 percent of vessels engaging in illegal fishing are registered in tax havens. These tax havens have strict privacy laws that make it difficult to track international flows of capital and to hold businesses accountable for their environmentally destructive activities. Read more from the Guardian.

So your company wants to launch a Scope 3 Value Chain Intervention
Gold Standard, a standard and certification body for climate and development projects, is partnering with a group of companies and non-profits (Climate KIC, Livelihoods Funds, WRI, CDP and WWF) to develop a guide for companies interested in reducing their GHG emissions throughout their value chains. The guide will build on the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and will support and enable companies to identify, account for, and report the reductions they achieve from value chain interventions. Read more from the Gold Standard.

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