Natural Climate Solutions
Weekly Briefing

N4C is recalling the previous version of the weekly brief and is reissuing this updated version. Please refer to this version. Apologies for the confusion. 

Welcome to Nature4Climate's Weekly Briefing, which summarises content from international media outlets (and our partner organisations) on stories, developments and events that relate to natural climate solutions from 7 to 14 July, 2020. Our editorial policy is to circulate articles and opinion pieces whether we agree or disagree with viewpoints represented. 

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Featured Events
We're kicking things off in this issue with two featured events in the coming week on nature-based solutions, finance and economic recovery. 
Future of Nature and Business Report Launch

First, the World Economic Forum is hosting a virtual press conference for the launch of The Future of Nature and Business report, the second in the New Nature Economy Report series. The press conference will be held on 15th July from 15:00-16:00 CET and will be followed by the release of the report. 
Finance for Nature Virtual Global Series
Second, the Finance for Nature Virtual Global Series will kick off 20-21 July. The series - convened by UNDP, UNEP, the Scottish Government-backed Global Ethical Finance Initiative, the New York Declaration on Forests Global Platform and Climate Advisers - will seek to accelerate momentum on nature-based finance in advance of the UN Climate and Biodiversity COPs in 2021.

This series will commence with a session aimed at positioning nature at the forefront of economic recovery from COVID-19 and for the long-term well-being of people and the planet. The panel will showcase how the finance community can work across coalitions to accelerate nature-friendly investments in developing countries on the frontline to unlock the climate and biodiversity crisis and ensure green economic recovery. The second session will provide a rich dialogue on how nature can be embedded in ESG risk disclosure and solutions and as an exciting investment opportunity that delivers prosperity for climate, nature and people.
Featured News
Protecting 30% of planet could bolster economy, study says
The Guardian, Fiona Harvey, 8 July
The Guardian covers a new report, commissioned by the Campaign for Nature charity, which finds about $140bn (£110bn) a year would be required by 2030 to place 30% of land and sea under protection. But achieving that target would lead to increased economic output of between $64bn and $454bn a year depending on which areas were subject to conservation efforts, as well as generating other benefits. Reuters leads with the finding that expanding areas under conservation could yield a return of at least $5 for every $1 spent just by giving nature more room to thrive.
Nearly two million acres of British grassland lost to urban development and woods in 25 years, analysis shows
Independent, Emily Beament, 9 July
The Independent reports that almost 2 million acres of grassland have been lost to urban development and new woods across Britain in the past 25 years. The UK Centre of Ecology and Hydrology (UKCEH) has used high-resolution data from satellites to assess how land use has changed in Britain between 1990 and 2015. (Report also covered in the Times).

In other UK coverage, BusinessGreen reports on the UK Environment Agency's new five year plan, dubbed EA2025, which sets out how the agency plans to promote health, equity and environmental enhancement, while delivering on its core goals to create more climate resilient places, improve air, soil, and water quality, and deliver on its target of net zero emissions by 2030. Also in BusinessGreen: coverage of findings published last week by UK-based campaign group Feedback that reveal between January 2015 and 30 April 2020 the world's 35 largest meat and dairy companies received more than $478bn of investment from the private sector. The Independent reports on how UK consumption is fuelling Amazon fires. And finally, the BBC reports on a new approach for flood prevention using natural solutions. Sky News and the Telegraph also carry the story. 
As fog clears on benefits of forest protection, excuses for failure wear thin
Reuters, Michael Taylor and Harry Jacques, 9 July
This Big Story in Reuters explains that "global efforts to stop the destruction of tropical forests have faltered so far largely because poor understanding of the value of preserving them has led to weak political will - a barrier that may be overcome with stronger evidence of their benefits."
The Wood Pellet Business is Booming. Scientists Say That’s Not Good for the Climate
Inside Climate News, James Bruggers, 13 July
Inside Climate News reports that Trump’s EPA is expected to propose a new rule declaring burning biomass to be "carbon neutral" and what that would mean as the industry looks to expand its domestic markets. ICN interviews voices from all sides of the debate as it delves into this hot button issue. 
U.N. Predicts Rise In Diseases That Jump From Animals To Humans Due To Habitat Loss
NPR, Scott Neuman, 6 July
NPR, among others, covers a new UN report that warns that more diseases that pass from animals to humans, such as COVID-19, are likely to emerge as habitats are ravaged by wildlife exploitation, unsustainable farming practices and climate change. These pathogens, known as zoonotic diseases, also include Ebola, MERS, HIV/AIDS and West Nile virus. They have increasingly emerged because of stresses humans have placed on animal habitats, according to the U.N. Environment Program report released on Monday.
Brazil bows to investor pressure, bans setting fires in Amazon
Reuters, Lisandra Paraguassu, Jake Spring, 9 July

Reuters reports the decision by the Brazilian government to ban setting fires in the Amazon for 120 days after a meeting with global investors to address their rising concerns over destruction of the rainforest. Mongabay reports that despite this announcement, Marcio Astrini, executive secretary of the Climate Observatory, an NGO that is a coalition of 50 organizations that analyzes climate change in the Brazilian context, expressed his skepticism about the new initiative. 
2 million acres
The amount of grassland have been lost to urban development and new woods across Britain in the past 25 years
Nature-Positive Recovery 
For People, Economy & Climate

Nature4Climate has published a compendium report that addresses the role nature can play in economic recovery from COVID-19. We reviewed scores of reports and research and pulled together relevant information about the economic value of nature-based solutions in a single place for the first time. By doing so, we hope the collective weight of this information will begin to cultivate a new appreciation for nature-based solutions, and also help us identify knowledge gaps that future work can help fill. Please have a read and let us know what you think; we plan to update the compendium on a regular basis moving forward. Please also share the report with your contacts who might find this useful for their own work.   
Featured Commentary

Will Climate Change Upend Projections of Future Forest Growth?
Yale Environment 360, Gabriel Popkin, 7 July
While the world’s forests can play an important role in absorbing carbon dioxide and slowing climate change, new research indicates that elevated CO2 concentrations do not necessarily boost forests and that higher temperatures could cause changes in trees that reduce their ability grow.
EU’s trade deals can put an end to deforestation
Euractiv, Fazlun Khalid, 10 July
The EU must take an aggressive “stick and carrot” approach to trade deals in order to put an end to deforestation and avert a next pandemic, writes Fazlun Khalid.
Freelance writer Jawad Iqbal writes that hedgerows in the UK could turn out to be an environmental magic bullet, efficient in capturing greenhouse gases and critical to Britain achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.
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Media Round-Up

Natural Climate Solutions and Nature4Climate Partners

Does it pay to protect nature? A new study weighs in
Reuters, Simon Jessop and Matthew Green, 8 July

'Build back greener': Environment Agency debuts new five year plan
Business Green, James Murray, 9 July

Norway to pay Rp812 billion for gas emission reduction in Indonesia
Antara News, 5 July

Indonesia speeds up regulation on global carbon trading
The Jakarta Post, Tri Indah Oktavianti, 7 July

Effects of emission cuts on climate change ‘may take decades’
Science Focus, Alexander McNamara, 8 July


Brazilian companies join call for action on Amazon deforestation
Reuters, 7 July

Why rural electrification won’t fix deforestation in Zimbabwe
Farming Portal, 6 July

Ghana: Why The Green Economy Is Important To Ghana – And How Certification Marks Contribute To It
Inventa International, Vera Albino, 6 July

How Mexican communities are helping to save a fir forest
Mongabay, Agustín del Castillo, 7 July

Protecting 30% of planet could bolster economy, study says
The Guardian, Fiona Harvey, 7=8 July


TreeSD wins million dollar grant for Urban Forestry Project
KUSI News, 8 July

Critically endangered plant from Kahoolawe gets new life with more than 20 seedlings
Star Advertiser, Mark Ladao, 13 July

Negative Emissions Technologies

EU to invest €1bn in clean technology projects
Gulf Projects, 6 July

Industry leaders to develop decarbonisation process in Singapore
Microsoft News, 7 July

Sudan’s first ‘Solar Lab’ launches to provide quality-assured solar technology
Engineering News, 7 July

Equinor plans 600 MW hydrogen production facility in UK
IPP Journal, 8 July

Spreading rock dust on fields could remove vast amounts of CO2 from air
The Guardian, Damian Carrington, 8 July

Agriculture and Soil Health

Could Paying Farmers to Store Carbon Help the Climate and Save Farms?
Mother Jones, Maddie Oatman, June 2020

Hedgerows are our ally in the battle to cut emissions
The Times, Jawad Iqbal, 10 July


Ministry supports youth farming
The Fiji Times, Ana Madigibuli, 6 July

New Science, Research, Policy and Tools

Land Use and Land Cover Dynamics Analysis of the Togodo Protected Area and Its Surroundings in Southeastern Togo, West Africa
Sustainability, July 2020
This study analysed historical LULC changes over a temporal extent of 42 years (1974–2016) in the Togodo Protected Area and its surroundings, in Togo, by associating intensity and trajectory analyses, that are complementary but rarely associated in the literature. Our results show that LULC change in our study site is linked to the combined effects of human activities, climate, and invasive plants, particularly Chromolaena odorata.

An assessment of remote sensing-based drought index over different land cover types in southern Africa
International Journal of Remote Sensing, July 2020
We analysed the drought impact on land cover using Globcover land cover data and Vegetation Condition Index (VCI) for the 2015 to 2016 season. Our results reveal that the evergreen forests and the flooded vegetation were the most severely affected by the 2015–2016 drought.

A New Background Method for Greenhouse Gases Flux Calculation Based in Back-Trajectories Over the Amazon
Atmosphere, July 2020
Together, our findings suggest that our trajectory-based method is a robust new way to derive background air concentrations for the purpose of greenhouse gas flux estimation using vertical profile data.

Forests in a time of crises
CIFOR Annual Report, July 2020
In 2019, the RTI team continued to help research teams ground their projects on strong theories of change and use monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems to test underlying hypotheses and generate data that support project management. The RTI team has designed and implemented M&E components of large projects such as FORETS, Governing Multifunctional Landscapes, and Sustainable Wildlife Management, to undertake a series of impact monitoring activities, generate learning and demonstrate results.

Climate change significantly alters future wildfire mitigation opportunities in southeastern Australia
Geophysical Research Letters, July 2020
We use a regional climate projection ensemble to provide a robust spatiotemporal quantification of statistically significant future changes in prescribed burn windows for southeastern Australia.

Potential for large-scale CO2 removal via enhanced rock weathering with croplands
Nature, July 2020
Here we use an integrated performance modelling approach to make an initial techno-economic assessment for 2050, quantifying how CDR potential and costs vary among nations in relation to business-as-usual energy policies and policies consistent with limiting future warming to 2 degrees Celsius.


VIRTUAL EVENT: Can Healthy Ecosystems Prevent Future Pandemics?
Date: 14 July
Host:  UCCRI

VIRTUAL EVENT: Tackling Deforestation in Supply Chains: A New Resource on Walmart’s Sustainability Hub
Date: 14 July
Host:  Walmart 

WEBINAR: Future energy systems webinar series: how can a flexible energy system help deliver net zero?
Date: 14 July
Host:  Carbon Trust

VIRTUAL EVENT: The Climate Crisis Report in Focus
Date: 14 July
Host: Environmental and Energy Study Institute

VIRTUAL EVENT: Case Study: Investing in Nature to Build Climate-Resilient Communities
Date: 14 July
Host: WWF Canada

WEBINAR: Introduction to NREL’s State and Local Planning for Energy (SLOPE) Platform
Date: 14 July
Host: Clean Energy States Alliance

WEBINAR: Climate Risks and TCFC, Focus on Middle East and Africa
Date: 14-15 July
Host:  UNEP Finance Initiative

WEBINAR: EMG Nexus Dialogues on COVID 19 and the Environment: A 3-Part Series
Date: 14-16 July
Host:  UN Environment Management Group 

WEBINAR: Open and Transparent: Forest data setting the course for green future under the Paris Agreement
Date: 15 July
Host:  Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

WEBINAR: Using biodiversity data to enhance biodiversity risk management
Date: 16 July
Host:  IBAT Alliance

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Lucy Almond, Director and Chair of Nature4Climate
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