Natural Climate Solutions
Welcome to Nature4Climate's Weekly Briefing. This weekly newsletter summarises content from international media outlets (and our partner organisations) on stories, developments and events that relate to natural climate solutions. Our editorial policy is to circulate articles and opinion pieces whether we agree or disagree with viewpoints represented. In this new version, we feature the week's top NCS related news stories and analyse themes in coverage.
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A Nature-Positive Recovery for People, Economy & Climate Webinar
Investing in nature-based jobs and initiatives to stimulate the post-COVID economy
In association with the Planetary Emergency Partnership, the Club of Rome, and the World Economic Forum, Nature4Climate
invites you to join the following webinar as part of London Climate Action Week 2020.
Our scientific understanding of nature’s role in the fight against climate change is now well established. So too has our understanding of the full range of benefits that nature-based solutions deliver for people around the world: whether providing jobs, filtering water, reducing air pollution, providing resilience to extreme weather or regulating local climate.
Join our online event to find out more about the vital role that nature-based solutions can play as part of a just and effective economic and jobs stimulus package.
Speakers and Panellists:
- Pavan Sukhdev, Environmental Economist, UNEP Goodwill Ambassador and Founder and CEO of Gist Impact;
- Jennifer Morris, CEO, The Nature Conservancy;
- Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, Minister of Environment, Costa Rica;
- Diane Holdorf, Managing Director of Food and Nature, WBCSD;
- Mark Wishnie, Executive Director, BTG Pactual Timberland Investment Group;
- Paul Mutuku, Africa Region Co-ordinator, Youth4Nature;
- Moderator Justin Adams, Executive Director, Tropical Forest Alliance, World Economic Forum
Mark your calendars and keep an eye out for a registration link in next week's newsletter.
Date: July 1, 2020
Time: 10am-11am EST / 3pm-4pm BST / 4pm-5pm CET
‘Final blow’ to aviation climate plan as EU agrees to weaken rules
Climate Home News, Chloé Farand, 9 June
Climate Home News reports that EU members will back an industry proposal to reduce airlines’ climate obligations in response to the coronavirus pandemic. If implemented, the proposal could delay carbon offset purchases under the program for three to six years. "Campaigners say it would further damage the credibility of the offsetting scheme, which is widely regarded as weak and not aligned with the Paris Agreement goals." The Environmental Defense Fund argues the ICAO Council does not have the legal authority to change a decision of the ICAO Assembly. ENDS Europe, Reuters, Environment + Energy Leader and others also carry the story.
Unilever to invest €1 billion in climate change fund over 10 years
Reuters, Siddharth Cavale, 14 June
Reuters reports Unilever will invest €1 billion into a climate change fund focused on reforestation, water preservation, and carbon sequestration amongst other solutions over the next ten years. Bloomberg reports that the company also intends to put labels on each of its 70,000 products to show how much greenhouse gas was emitted in the process of manufacturing and shipping them to consumers. CNBC, City A.M., The Guardian and Yahoo!Finance also carry the story.
Dirty secret of subsidised wood-fired power stations
The Times, Rhys Blakely, 15 June
The Times shares a new report that states the £13 billion the UK dedicated to subsidising wood-burning power plants was built on assumptions using outdated data on the impact of these plants' climate benefits. The Telegraph also covers the report: “The Telegraph found Drax, which runs the UK’s biggest biomass operation, is sourcing some of its wood pellets from forests in Russia that could take up to 150 years to regrow, five times longer than we have to meet our net-zero target.”
Colombia receives multi-million funding boost to protect tropical forests
Reuters, Anastasia Moloney, 12 June
Reuters covers the announcement of Britain's pledge of 64 million pounds to the government of Colombia to improve registries of land rights and anti-illegal logging efforts to prevent deforestation.
Afghanistan hires lockdown jobless to boost Kabul's water and trees
Thomson Reuters Foundation, Shadi Khan Saif, 15 June
Reuters reports that Afghanistan has provided 40,000 people jobs restoring native trees and rehabilitating groundwater supplies. The initiative follows in the footsteps of Pakistan and New Zealand's programs to provide the unemployed jobs restoring green infrastructure during the coronavirus crisis.
Agriculture secretary directs national forests be used for more mining, oil and gas
Axios, Orion Rummler, 12 June
Axios reports on a memo from the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture outlining a new direction for the U.S. Forest Service to focus on utilizing national forests for mining, oil, and gas development projects. The Hill, Bloomberg, and E&E News also carry the story.
Halt in ecotourism threatens conservation efforts worldwide
The Washington Post, Hugh Biggar, 11 June
The Washington Post writes on the struggles many communities and conservationists are facing as COVID-19 has ground ecotourism to halt and with it the dollars essential to maintaining operations to protect vulnerable natural habitats.
Dear readers, we've established a special section to highlight media coverage of deforestation in the amazing, which continues to be a key theme. Here you will find the week's top stories on deforestation, conservation efforts, and the politics of the region.
reports that Brazil's lead mining regulator is planning a "regulatory guillotine" for the sector to open up more land for development. Al Jazeera
, and Reuters
both cover new data showing the Amazon lost 10,000 sq km in 2019. Valor
shares an article that President Bolsonaro's administration aims to release a new anti-illegal deforestation plan soon. The Economist
covers a new report detailing how beef and soy production led to deforestation in Brazil's Amazon and Cerrado. Mongabay
covers a new report identifying the financiers of oil projects in Brazil's Amazon. Reuters
reports that the Bolsonaro administration is extending its deployment of the army to prevent illegal deforestation, and also reports
that the effectiveness of using the army for anti-deforestation activities has been limited. Mongabay
reports Brazil's indigenous agency's attempt to legalize the development of indigenous lands is facing a new court battle. Mongabay
warns that the convergence of this fire season and COVID-19 could lead to unprecedented catastrophe. Mongabay
also covers efforts in Colombia amongst farmers, ranchers, and businesses to reduce deforestation within their Amazon territory.
STAT OF THE WEEK
10,000 square km
The forest cover lost in the Amazon in 2019
'Nature is the beating heart of a green recovery': Corporates step up calls for nature restoration policies
BusinessGreen, Cecilia Keating, 15 June
A new letter calling for CEOs to work with governments to secure a green economic recovery signed by the International Chamber of Commerce, WWF, We Mean Business, United Nations Global Compact, the IUCN, and Business for Nature
Sustaining Conservation in a Pandemic
Project Syndicate, Matthew Brown, 11 June
Matthew Brown, Africa Director at The Nature Conservancy, explains how the current drought of ecotourism dollars is harming conservation efforts globally.
Is Destruction the Inevitable Fate of Our Forests?
Global Forest Watch, Frances Seymour, 9 June
Frances Seymour, a Distinguished Senior Fellow at WRI, questions whether recent data on global forest loss should leave us pessimistic about the future of our forested world.
We Need A 21st Century Civilian Conservation Corps
Honolulu Civil Beat, Collin O’Mara and Moana Bjur, 9 June
The President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation and the Executive Director of the Conservation Council for Hawaii pen an article on how a conservation corps could benefit the United States in recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
To Save the Climate, Look to the Oceans
Scientific American, Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, 8 June
Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, Founder of Ocean Collectiv and the Urban Ocean Lab, shares why a focus on oceans is needed to develop clean energy and maintain oceans' ability to absorb carbon as a natural climate solution to meet global targets.
NbS Digital Dialogues
Hosted by the Nature-based Solutions Initiative
, this online event will ask “What do we mean by successful, sustainable nature-based solutions?”
and “How can we achieve this?”
Leaders from science, policy and practice will discuss the four key guidelines
for NbS, and identify the most promising methods for financing and governing NbS. The role of NbS for COVID-19 recovery will be a cross-cutting theme. Learn more about the programme and register to attend
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Natural Climate Solutions and Nature4Climate Partners
26 ways to launch a clean energy future out of the pandemic recovery
Bloomberg Green, 9 June
How Fighting Poverty Accidentally Stopped Deforestation
Bloomberg, Eric Roston and Jess Shankleman, 15 June
Cash payments to cut poverty in Indonesian villages help forests too
Thomson Reuters Foundation News, Michael Taylor, 12 June
Weatherwatch: how forests protect species from global heating
The Guardian, Paul Brown, 8 June
6 Ways to Remove Carbon Pollution from the Sky
World Resources Institute, James Mulligan et al., 9 June
Socio-ecological resilience allows for better response to Covid-19
Medium, TMG, 12 June
Business leaders must now turn positive ESG talk into long-term results
World Economic Forum, Claire Skinner, 12 June
New institutional arrangements in climate mitigation programs show promise in Peruvian Amazon
Forest News, Julie Mollins, 9 June
Cut! All Sky Original TV dramas to be certified 'carbon neutral'
BusinessGreen, Michael Holder, 16 June
A study names firms who buy products from areas with deforestation
The Economist, 11 June
Nicaraguan beef, grazed on deforested and stolen land, feeds global demand
Mongabay, Mario Rautner and Sandra Cuffe, 10 June
For forest communities without a legal footing, new guideline is a starting template
Mongabay, 10 June
Cognitive Deforestation Prevention
Deloitte, 11 June
B.C. opens Sunshine Coast forest — home to some of Canada’s oldest trees — to logging
The Narwhal, Judith Lavoie, 5 June
Arctic temperatures hit 30C, raising risk of wildfires
I News, Madeleine Cuff, 10 June
New partnership puts soy farmers at the centre to manage impact on Brazil's environment
Market Screener, 9 June
Timber smugglers loot Kashmir’s forests during pandemic lockdown
Eco-Business, Auqib Javeed, 9 June
Bighorn fire near Tucson has burned over 6,000 acres and is threatening hundreds of homes
CNN, Madeline Holcombe and Joe Sutton, 12 June
From Myanmar to Milan: how tracking trade in Burmese teak reveals fundamental flaws in European regulations
Forest Trends, Jade Saunders and Marigold Norman, 28 May
Vietnamese rubber giant razes indigenous lands as Cambodian government grapples with legacy land issues
Eco-Business, Tim Ha, 11 June
How much rainforest is being destroyed?
Mongabay, Rhett A. Butler, 10 June
Vietnamese agribusiness firm HAGL accused of clearing indigenous land in Cambodia
Mongabay, Michael Tataraski, 15 June
Chernobyl: US Forest Service helps reduce wildfire risk in contaminated zone
Fox News, James Rogers, 13 June
Fears for Indonesian park's rare species as Trump town rises
KL Explore, Niniek Karmini, 16 June
The African country that inspired more and more countries to plant billions of trees
World Economic Forum, 11 June
Fast-growing mini-forests spring up in Europe to aid climate
The Guardian, Hannah Lewis, 13 June
Building a holistic monitoring framework for ecosystem restoration
UN-REDD Programme, 10 June
Republican bets on timber industry woes to topple DeFazio
E&E News, Timothy Cama, 12 June
Negative Emissions Technologies
Global cooperation will be needed to do carbon removal right
Axios, Ben Geman, 10 June
Fossil Fuel’s Answer to Climate Change Just Got Less Expensive
Bloomberg, Will Wade and Brian Eckhouse, 11 June
Saudi Aramco exec: Capturing carbon emissions can help combat climate change
CNN, Ahmad O. Al-Khowaite, 10 June
Carbon capture project emerges from Humber refineries
Fuel Oil News, June
Carbon Dioxide Market to Reach 12.15 Billion by 2027; Extraction of Crude Oil and Natural Gas to Stimulate Growth, states Fortune Business Insights
Investor Network, Pune, 9 June
JNCASR and Breathe Applied Sciences partner to boost research on reducing CO2
Devdicourse, 9 June
How This Strange Green Sand Could Reverse Climate Change
Popular Mechanics, Caroline Delbert, 11 June
Entrepreneurs tasked with removing carbon pollution from the air
Yale Climate Connections, ChavoBart Digital Media, June
Agriculture and Soil Health
New sustainable food policy bears risk of unsustainable imports, ministers warn
EurActiv, Gerardo Fortuna, 9 June
Ohio State University soil professor gets World Food Prize
Associated Press, David Pitt, 11 June
Study of eco-friendly farm shows benefits of sustainable agriculture
ITV, 9 June
Two Things To Do Now To Avoid Supply Chain Disruption Later
Forbes, Jenny Ahlen, 12 June
Ohio professor wins World Food Prize for carbon research
E&E News, 12 June
New Science, Research, Policy and Tools
The value of habitats of conservation importance to climate change mitigation in the UK
Biological Conservation, 2020
"The twin pressures of climate change and biodiversity loss mean that it is imperative to manage land in ways that benefit carbon storage and biodiversity conservation. We focus on a set of UK habitats of recognised conservation value, first quantifying the carbon stored in the vegetation and top 30 cm of soil in these areas."
The hidden land use cost of upscaling cover crops
Communications Biology, June 2020
"Cover cropping is considered a cornerstone practice in sustainable agriculture; however, little attention has been paid to the cover crop production supply chain. In this Perspective, we estimate land use requirements to supply the United States maize production area with cover crop seed, finding that across 18 cover crops, on average 3.8% (median 2.0%) of current production area would be required, with the popular cover crops rye and hairy vetch requiring as much as 4.5% and 11.9%, respectively. The latter land requirement is comparable to the annual amount of maize grain lost to disease in the U.S. We highlight avenues for reducing these high land use costs."
Climate Mitigation Potential of Regenerative Agriculture is significant!
"In a recent World Resources Institute (WRI) blog post entitled “Regenerative Agriculture: Good for Soil Health, but Limited Potential to Mitigate Climate Change”, Ranganathan et al. (2020), dismiss the potential for regenerative agriculture to contribute to the “large-scale emission reductions” and CO2 removal needed to hold global warming below the 2 oC threshold in the Paris Accords. We believe their blog post merits comment and critique. Given the severity of the climate change challenge and the urgent need to decarbonize the global economy, while also actively drawing down CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere, all viable options are needed to help solve the problem. We believe that the science is clear that regenerative agriculture can in fact contribute significant emission reductions and CO2 removal, as well as improve soil health. Unfortunately, we believe the WRI post confuses rather than clarifies the scientific and policy issues concerning the role and potential of regenerative agriculture to contribute to climate change mitigation. "
Equity in allocating carbon dioxide removal quotas
Nature Climate Change, June 2020
"The first nationally determined contributions to the Paris Agreement include no mention of the carbon dioxide removal (CDR) necessary to reach the Paris targets, leaving open the question of how and by whom CDR will be delivered. Drawing on existing equity frameworks, we allocate CDR quotas globally according to Responsibility, Capability and Equality principles."
Regreening Africa Newsletter Issue 3
Regreening Africa, June 2020
Updates on regreening Africa’s degraded lands through the Regreening Africa project. Includes updates on local partners and draws linkages between environmental degradation and pandemics.
A re-boot of tropical agriculture benefits food production, rural economies, health, social justice and the environment
Nature Food, May 2020
"Environmental degradation, loss of biodiversity and climate change threaten the stability of our planet. Inappropriate approaches to food production interact with hunger, malnutrition and extreme poverty, especially in the tropics and sub-tropics. These approaches, in turn, enhance social deprivation and limit rural development, both of which are drivers of economic migration and civil conflict. Exacerbated by population growth, food systems lie at the heart of these global issues. Here, a planet-proofing approach developed in Africa is presented that illustrates that it is possible to diversify and rehabilitate degraded farmland with species producing highly nutritious and marketable traditional foods in ways that improve food production by conventional staple food crops."
Faster, further, fairer: Putting people at the heart of tackling the climate and nature emergency
IPPR, May 2020
"The Environmental Justice Commission was founded with the recognition that action to address the climate and nature crises need not be about staving off the worst, but can instead be about imagining a better world which we can build together. A future where people and nature can thrive, centred on good jobs and meaningful work, low carbon businesses, and where inequalities are reduced and opportunities offered to all. A future where progress is measured by the quality of life, security and wellbeing of all citizens as well as the health of our natural world."
Is it faster to degrade than to restore soil physical properties?
Danish Centre for Food and Agriculture, June 2020
"Researchers from Aarhus University are using a long-term field experiment to investigate what happens to the soil physical properties when the fields are converted from arable or bare fallow management to grassland or vice versa to find out if and how quickly a restoration or degradation of the soil organic carbon content, structural stability, and soil structure occurs."
What makes a high-quality carbon credit?
WWF, June 2020
"World Wildlife Fund (WWF-US), Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and Oeko-Institut are
developing a “Carbon Credit Guidance for Buyers” to guide buyers of carbon credits amidst a complex market. The project is implemented in four phases: This paper presents the results from Phase 1 in which criteria are identified for assessing the quality of carbon credits. Phase 2 of the project is to develop and test a methodology for assessing carbon credits against the criteria; Phase 3 is to apply the methodology to different carbon credits; and Phase 4 is to combine the Phase 3 results with additional recommendations to produce the “Carbon Credit Guidance for Buyers”."
Aboveground Carbon Storage and Cycling of Flooded and Upland Forests of the Brazilian Pantanal
Forests, June 2020
"Tropical forests and savanna (cerrado) are important carbon (C) sinks; however, few data exist for seasonally flooded forests. We quantified the annual rates of aboveground net primary production (ANPP) over a five-year period for two forests, an upland mixed forest and a seasonally flooded cerrado forest, located in the northern Pantanal region of Brazil. We hypothesized that rates of ANPP would be higher for the mixed forest than the cerrado forest because seasonal flooding can limit rates of tree growth."
Shedding light on relationships between plant diversity and tropical forest ecosystem services across spatial scales and plot sizes
Ecosystem Services, June 2020
"This paper reveals a knowledge gap for services other than carbon stock and shows that at local to regional spatial scales, synergies can be achieved between policies focused on biodiversity conservation and maintenance of carbon stocks."
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Lucy Almond, Director and Chair of Nature4Climate