Natural Climate Solutions: Monthly News & Reports Summary
News stories from April 2021
- REDD.plus executes first private-sector sale of national-level credits in test of UNFCCC as carbon standard. The REDD.plus trading platform has executed the first-ever purchase by a private sector buyer of jurisdictional-scale deforestation reduction credits, serving as a key test for national-level carbon offsets generated under the UN climate agency.
- Big brands join $1-billion forest conservation push for SE Asia. Major household brands and palm-oil buyers Nestle and PepsiCo have backed a scheme that aims to invest $1 billion in forest conservation across Southeast Asia over 25 years.
- Creating a Bigger Tent for REDD+ Success. Natural resource management is, by nature, a collective action problem that requires incentives and cooperation of all levels of government, private and public actors. National governments alone are not better equipped to cope with deforestation compared to broad coalitions of stakeholders.
- The Risk of Diverting Carbon Finance from Nature to Technological Carbon Removals. Increasingly, engineered carbon removal technologies are pitched against nature-based solutions to tackle the climate crisis—particularly in the voluntary carbon markets. Will forests be passed over to benefit from carbon finance – again?
- Forestry Leads the Charge to Close a Gap in Carbon Offsets Retirements and Issuances. Retirements surged 81 percent in Quarter 1 of 2021, closing the gap with issuances, which declined 11.3 percent. Forestry offsets led the charge with 20.0 million offsets retired and 24.9 million issued, according to Ecosystem Marketplace’s newest Insights Brief.
- Shell invests $90 mln in nature-based activities over past year. Oil major Shell invested around $90 million in nature-based carbon mitigation activities over 2020, ramping up financing to help meet a pre-pandemic pledge to allocate $300 mln over three years.
- European Commission sets the carbon farming initiative in motion. The Commission published the final report of a two-year study on how to set up and implement carbon farming in the EU. Building on this study and on the input from several EU-funded projects and events, the Commission plans to launch the carbon farming initiative by the end of 2021.
- Why the market for ‘blue carbon’ credits may be poised to take off. Seagrasses, mangrove forests, and coastal wetlands store vast amounts of carbon, and their preservation and restoration hold great potential to bank CO2 and keep it out of the atmosphere. But can the blue carbon market avoid the pitfalls that have plagued land-based programs?
- UNEP’s Foresight Brief: Nature-Based Solutions for Urban Challenges. The 23rd edition of UNEP’s Foresight Brief highlights the potential routes of how investments into nature-based solutions (NbS) may be supported and financed. NbS can improve biodiversity in cities, as well as reduce pollution and greenhouse gases thereby improving human health.
- GCF Draft Sectoral Guide on Forests and Land Use: The Green Climate Fund (GCF) launched a consultation on the draft sectoral guides they have developed, including the Draft GCF Sectoral Guide on Forests & Land Use. See the recording and presentation materials from the introductory webinar held on 28 April. The deadline to submit comments is 25 June 2021. To view the consultation document, you must register on the GCF platform.
- USDA Smart Agriculture and Forestry Strategy: IETA submitted comments to the USDA as a part of the Request for Public Comment on the Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad. IndigoAg, in conjunction with Woodwell Climate Research Center developed 3 policy briefs that cover the potential for agriculture to be part of the climate solution, and include recommendations related to the USDA consultation, see below:
- Policy Brief: Carbon Market for Climate Smart Agricultural Practices
- Policy Brief: Policy Opportunities for Climate Smart Agriculture
- Policy Brief: Harnessing Agricultural Data with Standards and Interoperability
Policy & Market Developments
- Launch of LEAF Coalition: At the Leaders Summit on Climate, one of the largest NCS commitments was the announcement of the Lowering Emissions by Accelerating Forest finance (LEAF) Coalition. LEAF aims to mobilise at least $1 billion in financing, in what is expected to become one of the largest ever public-private efforts to help protect tropical forests.
- Verra JNR Version 4: On 15 April, Verra released version 4 of its Jurisdictional and Nested REDD+ (JNR) Framework. See full updates in the Verra announcement, and the JNR v4.0 release documents.
- FCPF ERPAs: On 3 May, the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility ERPA with the Republic of Congo was signed, for US$41.8 million. This marks 13 FCPF countries (Chile, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, DRC, Fiji, Ghana, Indonesia, Laos PDR, Madagascar, Mozambique, Nepal, Republic of Congo, Vietnam) that now have ERPAs signed with the World Bank for a total contract value of nearly $645 million.
- Nature-based solutions should play increased role in tackling climate change (European Environment Agency)
- Nature-based solutions for climate change, people and biodiversity (COP26 Universities Network Briefing)
- Embracing a global goal for nature (WBCSD)
- Measuring contributions towards biodiversity targets (IUCN)
- Nature-based recovery (IUCN)
- Innovate4Climate (I4C): IETA is once again partnering with CPLC to host I4C. The annual climate conference, focusing on climate markets, finance and investments, is being held virtually on 25-27 May 2021. Registration is now available.
- UNEP Webinar: UNEP’s Tropical Landscapes Finance Facility (TFF) with support from Global Affairs Canada are holding a virtual event, Valuing Tropical Landscapes Finance: Lessons and Opportunities in Indonesia, on 28 May.
- FCPF Carbon Fund Meeting: The World’s Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility’s (FCPF) next Carbon Fund (CF23) meeting is being held virtually on 15 June