Natural Climate Solutions
Weekly Briefing

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This weekly newsletter summarises content from international media outlets (and our partner organisations) on stories, developments and events that relate to nature-based solutions to climate. 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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The economic case for putting nature at the heart of Europe’s recovery
ENDS Europe, Luc Bas and Lucy Almond, 3 June 
IUCN's Luc Bas and N4C's Lucy Almond argue in ENDS Europe that the European Commission is missing a trick by not drawing a stronger link between their recovery plan and their biodiversity and farm to fork strategies. For those who can't get beyond the paywall, you can read the full version on the N4C website. Main points below: 
  • The importance of protecting and restoring nature is beginning to take root within the highest levels of decision making. However, the economic case for NBS is still overlooked by many of the financial decision makers, including those planning COVID response measures.
  • Commission President Ursula von der Leyen says that “making nature healthy… is at the heart the European Green Deal, and is part of a recovery that gives more back to the planet than it takes away.” 
  • However, if the Commission’s intention is to put nature at the heart of recovery, then its plan only goes half the distance. While there is much to celebrate here, it misses the consideration of the direct and indirect benefits NBS can offer economic recovery efforts.   
  • For example (the full version lists many others), the needs associated with protecting 30% of the EU’s land and seas – the Commission’s target – could create 500,000 new jobs in the bloc, as well as the 104,000 direct jobs and 70,000 indirect jobs already supported by the network of protected areas. 
  • The Commission has taken the first step of acknowledging the importance of protecting and restoring ecosystems, and of the economic value they can deliver, but now is the time for it to put this understanding into practice, or we will once again condemn nature as the forgotten solution. 
This op-ed draws from N4C's Nature-Positive Recovery work that will be released at the end of the month. For more information, please contact us/
Amazon Deforestation Soars as Pandemic Hobbles Enforcement
The New York Times, Ernesto Londoño, Manuela Andreoni and Letícia Casado, 6 June
The New York Times reports that Brazil's National Institute for Space Research data shows a 55 percent increase in deforestation from January to April compared to the same period last year, an area roughly 20 times the size of Manhattan. The Guardian covers a new report co-produced by the Guardian, Unearthed and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism tying major financial institutions to more than $2 billion in financial backing in recent years to meat companies involved with the deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon. HSBC, Schroders, Standard Life Aberdeen, and Prudential UK are major UK institutions named in the report. An additional $2.1 billion was provided by other European institutions like Santander, Deutsche Bank and Credit Agricole. The financial institutions who provided comment on the report recognised shortcomings in monitoring and reporting in the Brazilian cattle market, but cited that improvement and new resources were on the way. Reuters reports that the Brazilian government is reducing its budget to support efforts to curb climate change and deforestation.  Reuters also reports that Brazilian states have begun to step up their operations to protect the Amazon utilising funds from an oil company's corruption settlement. Estadão reports that deforestation in 'protected areas' has increased 167% over last year according to the National Institute for Space Research. Mongabay shares a photo essay relaying the realities of the Amazon's deforestation-causing gig-economy in Brazil's Rondônia.
Big polluters are spending billions on controversial projects that protect forests and let them keep polluting
Seattle Times, Ben Romano, 7 June
The Seattle Times publishes an in-depth article that explores corporate support of projects that protect forests and generate carbon credits. Despite the strongly-positioned headline, the piece takes a balanced approach that looks at both the concerns and the opportunities, noting progress that has been made in recent years. The article includes quotes from TNC's Lynn Scarlett. 
Nature based solutions: Shell Energy debuts new 'carbon neutral' tariffs
BusinessGreen, James S. Murray, 3 June
BusinessGreen reports on a new program for oil major Shell offering two new 'carbon neutral' energy tariffs for British households. This program is in addition to "its existing 100 percent renewable power offer with a promise to offset emissions from heating and cooking through investment in nature-based projects." The program will offer fixed tariffs for two or three years to utilise global forest conservation or restoration efforts to offset energy emissions. 
'The future belongs to companies that work with nature': Leading figures call for circular economy role in green recovery
BusinessGreen, Cecilia Keating, 4 June 
BusinessGreen shares a letter penned by politicians, academics, and environmental campaigners who urge governments to develop sweeping Covid-19 stimulus packages that eschew short-term carbon-intensive solutions in favour of those that establish a 'real circular economy'. 

In related news, a growing group of Ministers of Environment are joining forces to form a High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People to encourage governments worldwide to commit to protecting at least 30% percent of the planet’s land and sea by 2030 in the lead up to the UN CBD COP15.
Why we can’t count on carbon-sucking farms to slow climate change
MIT Review,  James Temple, 3 June
The MIT Review publishes an article detailing the lack of certainty behind an increasingly popular notion that changes to farming practices can store significant amounts of carbon in soils. Besides the lack of scientific research that verifies farming practices can have a major impact, agricultural soil sequestration suffers the same issues that other offset programs are still overcoming after years of efforts to get them right.
Mass Extinctions Are Accelerating, Scientists Report
The New York Times,  Rachel Nuwer, 1 June
The New York Times covers a new report stating the world has ten to fifteen years to prevent mass-extinctions occurring across the world. The Associated Press writes on the hurdles conservationists now face in the middle of the coronavirus to protect species on the brink of extinction. 
UK gives £64m package to Colombia to help protect rainforests and biodiversity
i newspaper,  Jane Clinton, 5 June
The i newspaper reports on a new £64 million funding package for Colombia from the UK government to aid in protecting the Amazon. "COP26 President and Business Secretary, Alok Sharma, said the money was part of the UK’s commitment to fight global climate change."
Ethiopia will plant 5 billion trees this year to tackle climate change, but it comes at a steep price
Quartz Africa,  Samuel Getachew, 10 June

Quartz Africa covers the economics of Ethiopia's ambitious plan to plant 20 billion seedlings by 2024. The plan was originally expected to cost $117 million, but now estimates that costs might double and a ballooning budget deficit call into question the viability of the plan.
The increase in deforestation in 'protected areas' over last year according to Brazil's National Institute for Space Research.
Featured Commentary

Momentum Grows for a ‘Green’ Economic Recovery
U.S. News and World Report, Rick Saines, 4 June
Rick Saines, a partner at Pollination, a specialist climate change advisory and investment firm, argues that leaders from government, business and civil society are increasingly recognising the role that nature must play in a green recovery. "While we protect natural ecosystems, we must also encourage sustainable forestry and land management as part of an integrated approach.... We need governments to create the enabling environments necessary to encourage a much greater scale of investment into both preserving and protecting natural ecosystems and sustainable land management practices."

The Guardian view on Brazil and the Amazon: don’t look away
The Guardian, Editorial, 5 June
The editorial board of The Guardian calls on the world to not let the coronavirus pandemic distract us from the record-setting destruction of the rainforest occurring in Brazil.

Nature-based solutions must be integrated in strategy to rebuild the economy
Business India, Ruchika Singh, 4 June
The Director of Sustainable Landscapes and Restoration, at WRI India, Ruchika Singh, explains why nature based solutions are critical for India's economic recovery for job creation, biodiversity, equity, and health.

Planting trees helps climate change and creates jobs
The Hill, Jad Daley, 2 June
Jad Daley, president and CEO of American Forests, shares insights on the number of jobs and economic growth that could stem from utilizing forests in economic recovery efforts.

Delaying COP26 is not a reason to delay climate action
Nature, 2 June
The journal Nature runs an editorial demanding that the postponement of COP26 should not be used as an excuse to delay action on climate change by global leaders.

The Amazon Will Soon Burn Again
The New York Times, Bruno Carvalho, 27 May
Professor Bruno Carvalho calls attention to the growing threat of a worse Brazilian fire season for the Amazon with Brazil's President Bolsonaro more prepared for international backlash.

The hyping of negative emissions
EurActiv, Kelsey Perlman, 5 June
Kelsey Perlman, a Forest Campaigner with NGO FERN, cautions the European Commission on lack of clarity in their plans to utilize nature to remove atmospheric carbon dioxide without a clear definition of the vital role reducing emissions must play. 

Forests and Covid-19: Recovering our Future
NYDF Global Platform, Jamison Ervin, 3 June
Jamison Ervin, Manager of the Nature for Development Programme at UNDP, writes how governments can use forests as an engine of economic growth for the recovery our global economy needs.

Lockdown has made us see the natural world anew – let's not waste it
The Guardian, Gaby Hinsliff, 22 May
Gaby Hinsliff writes for The Guardian that the coronavirus pandemic gives us an opportunity to learn new lessons about the fragility of life and nature, and to do better as we recover.

Offensive against the Amazon: An incontrollable pandemic
Mongabay, Marcos Colón, Luís de Camões Lima Boaventura and Erik Jennings, 1 June
The disastrous spread of COVID-19 within Brazil is linked to the deforestation of the Amazon according to the authors of this piece, and it all stems from the Bolsonaro administration.

Amid Pandemic, Japan's Megabanks Must Lead On Sustainability
International Business Times, Hana Heineken, 7 June
Hana, Heineken, a campaigner on responsible finance for the Rainforest Action Network, calls for Japan's megabanks to make new commitments on issues, such as deforestation, contributing to climate change, and ensure they're implementation.

Wildlife conservation needs a post-COVID recovery plan
Mongabay, Razan Al Mubarak, 3 June
"Just as ‘green recovery’ plans are being advocated, the conservation community must advocate for a ‘nature recovery plan’ where biodiversity is given the necessary stimulus to recover."

Media Round-Up

Natural Climate Solutions and Nature4Climate Partners

Money for Carbon Can Help Save Forests – But Who Owns That Carbon?
Ecosystem Marketplace, Francesca Felicani and Till Neeff, 1 June

Jane Goodall and Robert Nasi: Put forests at forefront of COVID-19 recovery
FOREST NEWS, Julie Mollins, 6 June

'Green infrastructure' can be cheaper than dams — report
E&E News, Daniel Cusick, 5 June


The Guardian, Lisa Cox, 6 June

California Was Set To Spend Over $1 Billion to Prevent Wildfires. Then Came COVID-19
NPR, Lauren Sommer, 7 June


Ethiopia wants to plant 5 billion seedlings this year
World Economic Forum, Joe Myers, 5 June

We planted 7.5 million trees in 5 years
Head News Nigeria, 7 June

Togo set to restore 35,000 hectares of forest lands in 2020
Togo First, Ayi Renaud Dossavi, 2 June

Lockdown delayed native tree planting
Stuff, Olivia Wannan, 4 June

Restoring Sudan's forest cover, one tree at a time
Beijing News, 8 June

Sustainable Forestry

How Small Family Forests Can Help Meet the Climate Challenge
Yale E360, Gabriel Popkin, 4 June

Do you want beautiful, sustainable and safe tall buildings? Use wood
The Guardian, Rowan Moore, 6 June

Biomass a Big Winner in Fight to Reduce Carbon Emissions
InsideSources, Michael Graham, 8 June

Negative Emissions Technologies

Inside Microsoft’s Mission to Go Carbon Negative
Bloomberg Green, Dina Bass, 4 June

Climeworks raises further $75 million to fund carbon capture
Reuters, Nina Chestney, 2 June

Chevron could be forced to pay $100m for failure to capture carbon emissions
The Guardian, Adam Morton, 3 June

World's largest CO2 pipeline comes online after 10 years
E&E News, Carlos Anchondo, 4 June

CCS pipeline grows by 10 large-scale facilities globally
gasworld, Joanna Sampson, 8 June 

Agriculture and Soil Health

Bipartisan bill would help farmers tap carbon markets
E&E News, Nick Sobczyk, 5 June

Better wines among the pines: Agroforestry can climate-proof grapes, French researchers show
Mongabay, Erik Hoffner, 3 June

'Life attracts life': the Irish farmers filling their fields with bees and butterflies
The Guardian, Ella McSweeney, 6 June

Scientists lock horns over climate change impact of cattle
The Sydney Morning Herald, Mike Foley, 8 June


Call on science to protect wetlands policy in a changing climate (Commentary)
The Hill, Jeff Peterson and Betsy Southerland, 5 June

Mangrove withstood Cyclone Amphan, saved national park in India
Garavi Gujarat, 7 June

Minister assesses project to protect mangroves
Agência Angola Press, 7 June

Major Mangrove Restoration Project Coming For Clarendon
The Gleaner, Christopher Serju, 7 June

Group helps turn abandoned shrimp farms into carbon-storing mangrove ecosystems
Yale Climate Connections, Molly Matthews Multedo, 3 June

New Science, Research, Policy and Tools

Unlocking Nature's Potential: Forests related Nature-based Solutions to address climate change and promote sustainable development
CDP, June 2020
This policy briefing is CDP’s first look at the actions taken by companies on Nature-based Solutions within its forests’ disclosure data. It is aimed at policymakers seeking to understand the role of the private sector in unlocking the potential of Nature-based Solutions as a cost-effective tool to support a responsible forest-risk commodity value chain and in delivering a 1.5°C, deforestation-free world.

WBCSD SOS 1.5 The road to a resilient, net-zero carbon future

WBCSD, June 2020
On World Environment Day, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) released its new climate action roadmap to help companies reach net-zero carbon emissions before 2050 featuring natural-climate solutions as one of six main pillars of action.

Strengthening Corporate Responsibility: The case for mandatory due diligence to tackle the UK's global deforestation footprint
Client Earth and Global Witness, June 2020
A briefing by ClientEarth and Global Witness calling for the UK to adopt mandatory due diligence legislation to tackle its environmental footprint overseas, address associated human rights violations, and stop the flow of money leading to deforestation.

Mapping feasibilities of greenhouse gas removal: Key issues, gaps and opening up assessments
Global Environmental Change, June 2020
One of the first studies to elicit perspectives through an expert mapping process to open up and broaden the discussion around feasibility of afforestation and BECCS.

Aboveground biomass estimation and carbon stock assessment along a topographical gradient in the forests of Manipur, Northeast India

Arabian Journal of Geosciences, June 2020
In recent decades, significant land use changes occurred in the Manipur valley, India, impacting biomass production and carbon sequestration potentials. To assess the trajectories of these changes and their impact on biomass, this study examined the effect of land use changes and altitude on aboveground biomass (AGB). 


WEBINAR: Agricultural Solutions to Mega Global Challenges
Date: 9 June
Host: North American Climate Smart Agriculture Alliance

WEBINAR: REDD+ Learning Session: The NDCs we want – Forests in the Focus
Date: 10 June
Host: REDD+

WEBINAR: Why Regenerative Agriculture Is Good for Soil Health, but Has Limited Potential to Mitigate Climate Change
Date: 10 June
Host: WRI

WEBINAR: TCFD for Food, Agriculture and Forest Products Companies
Date: 11 June

WEBINAR: Unleashing the Potential of Finance to Green the Recovery
Date: 12 June
Hosts: WFF and OECD

VIRTUAL EVENT: Building business resilience: How collective leadership will reverse nature loss
Date: 15 June
Hosts: World Economic Forum, WBCSD, ICC, UN Global Compact, IUCN, Business for Nature

WEBINAR: Introduction to landscape approaches for supply chain companies with Proforest
Date: 16 June
Hosts: CDP and Proforest

WEBINAR: TerraMatch: Growing a Trillion Trees the Right Way
Date: 18 June
Host: WRI

WEBINAR: How to source soy responsibly? Corporate action for deforestation-free soy
Date: 23 June
Host: CDP

WEBINAR: Forest Management and Land Cover Change under Changing Climate
Date: 23 June

Dates: 7-9 July
Host: Nature-based Solutions Initiative, Oxford

Please reach out with any feedback or thoughts on this version of the newsletter. If you want to be removed from the distribution list, please use the unsubscribe link below. Please join the conversation #NatureNow @nature4climate or get in touch.

Lucy Almond, Director and Chair of Nature4Climate
Copyright © 2020 Nature4Climate, All rights reserved.

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