Natural Climate Solutions
Weekly Briefing

Welcome to Nature4Climate's Weekly Briefing. This weekly briefing 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.

If you received this email and wish to subscribe please click below.
Nature-Positive Recovery 
For People, Economy & Climate

Last Wednesday, Nature4Climate released 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 News

Environmental experts dismayed by details of Johnson's 'New Deal'
The Guardian, Fiona Harvey, 30 June
The Guardian reports environmentalists' frustration with Prime Minister Boris Johnson's lack of ambition to tackle climate issues within the U.K.'s plans for an economic recovery. Unearthed reports that the U.K.'s new economic recovery proposal for building more housing "would allow an increasing number of residential developments to sidestep biodiversity rules". BusinessGreen covers the Prime Minister's plans to boost funding for direct-air capture technologies to sequester atmospheric carbon. BusinessGreen shares a report from UK100 stating nearly 2.2 million workers will need to be retrained to achieve a net-zero economy in jobs like reforestation and conservation and calls from the CPRE for the U.K. to achieve net-zero emissions from land-use by 2045.
ICAO Council adopts 2019 baseline for aviation carbon offsetting system
S&P Global Platts, Frank Watson, 1 July
S&P Global Platts reports that the United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) will change its baseline assessment of global aviation industry carbon offsetting requirements to not include the year 2020. By removing 2020 from the baseline assessment, ICAO will now judge the number of offsets that will need to be purchased against 2019 emissions and not the significantly lower level of emissions if 2020 measurements were included. Some estimate the decision will allow the aviation industry to avoid having to purchase nearly $15 billion in offset projects. Gizmodo UK covers the ire of environmentalists frustrated by the decision and calling for national governments to lead on setting their own stricter standards. 
Amazon fires at 13-year high for June
BBC, 2 July
BBC reports that fires in Brazil's Amazon rainforest rose by almost 20% in June - a 13-year high for the month, according to government data. In Indonesia, Reuters Foundation reports that with more than 700 ongoing forest fires, Indonesia's third-largest province -- Central Kalimantan -- has declared a state of emergency amid scaling back forest protection. In the U.S., Bloomberg reports that wildfires are taking an "unexpectedly huge" toll on Americans' lungs. Finally, more reporting from National Geographic, France24 and Reuters on the unprecedented heatwave in Siberia that is causing a rash of fires. 
Europe losing forest to harvesting at alarming rate, data suggests
The Guardian, Fiona Harvey, 1 July
The Guardian reports that Europe's forests saw a 69% increase in harvesting for fuel and timber from 2016-2018. The findings show an impact on Europe's ability to absorb carbon in the short-term and could alter plans for meeting climate targets.. The researchers could not identify why more trees were being harvested. An editorial in Nature argues that the European Union must improve how it collects forest data, which are essential to its ambitions in biodiversity and climate change.
Indians keep their distance in mass tree-planting campaign
E&E News, 6 July
E&E News reports that more than 2 million people gathered over the weekend at river banks, farmlands and government buildings in northern India while trying to practice social distancing to plant 250 million trees as part of a government plan to tackle climate change.
NDC Alert 
Jamaica becomes first Caribbean nation to submit tougher climate plan to UN
Climate Home News, Alister Doyle, 2 July
Climate Home News shares the updated NDC from Jamaica that sets more ambitious goals for energy and includes forestry and land-use emissions for the first time. The absolute level of ambition in Jamaica’s unconditional commitment has increased by more than 60% when comparing the first NDC and the updated NDC.
$15 Billion

Estimated amount of capital the aviation industry would have spent on future offsets if 2020 aviation emissions were included in UN offset program measurements.
Featured Commentary

Boris Johnson is once again failing to lead on the biggest question of our time – the climate emergency
The Independent, 1 July
The Independent's editorial board writes that "It was striking and disappointing that so little of the prime minister’s address was devoted to what will still be the greatest ‘unresolved challenge’ of all" in response to Boris Johnson's proposal for the U.K.'s economic recovery.

Airlines blame COVID-19 for rowing back climate commitments
The Economist, Fiore Longo, 4 July
"The industry defangs an already mostly toothless carbon-offsetting scheme."

Growing evidence of record-high deforestation throws spotlight on role of investors
Ethical Corp, Oliver Balch, 6 July
In the first part of his Cheat Sheet analysis of sustainability news, Oliver Balch looks at data from Planet Tracker showing agriculture funds failing to address deforestation risk, a new guide for ESG investors from Ceres, Syngenta’s Green Growth Plan, and how a fashion industry effort to source sustainable viscose has won backing from Amazon.

EU must not sacrifice the Amazon rainforest on the altar of trade with Brazil
Climate Home News, Nicole Polsterer, 1 July
Nicole Polsterer, sustainable consumption and production campaigner at Fern, attempts to galvanize European leadership to not sign a Mercosur trade deal that would open up more demand for Brazilian agricultural products driving Amazonian deforestation.

EU and partner countries must protect gains in legal timber trade during COVID-19
Mongabay, Paolo Omar Cerutti, 2 July
"Paolo Omar Cerutti, a Senior Scientist at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), argues maintaining global trust in the legality of timber exports is critical to secure investments and deliver on sustainability commitments."
Some Good News

The Guardian reports on the efforts of the 2,300 citizens of Langholm, a Scottish village, attempting to raise £5 million by October to purchase Langholm Moor. Their plan is to convert the well-known grouse moor into a sustainable nature reserve powered by small-scale wind and solar farms.
Finding the newsletter useful? Subscribe or share with a friend to grow our community!

Media Round-Up

Natural Climate Solutions and Nature4Climate Partners

Here's the skinny on the Democrats' jumbo climate plan
E&E News, Nick Sobczyk, Jeremy Dillon and Emma Dumain, 1 July

Rainforest Alliance aims to help ethical growers get climate-smart
Reuters, Michael Taylor, 1 July

Video: Access to Nature and Outdoor Recreation are Critical, Underappreciated Environmental Justice Issues
Inside Climate News, Anna Belle Peevey, 3 July


Amazon deforestation may hurt Brazil's corn yields, study warns
Al Jazeera, 29 June

Wildfire season is coming. Is the new PG&E ready?
E&E News, Anne Mulkern, 1 July

‘They took it over by force’: Corruption and palm oil in Sierra Leone
Mongabay, Victoria Schneider, 30 June

World’s biggest trade deal in trouble over EU anger at Brazil deforestation
Mongabay, Jenny Gonzales, 6 July

‘Zombie Fires’ in the Arctic Pump Out Carbon at Record Pace
Bloomberg Green, Laura Millan Lombrana, 2 July

Arizona reels as three of the biggest wildfires in its history ravage state
The Guardian, Steve Horn, 2 July

Soybean Trader Vows Crop Tracing to Prevent Deforestation Harm
Bloomberg Green, Andy Hoffman and Tatiana Freitas, 1 July

Cargill mapping project in Brazil meant to help control deforestation
Star Tribune,  Evan Ramstad, 3 July

Collectively Advancing Forest Resilience via Sustainable Soy
Tropical Forest Alliance, Justin Adams


Tree Plantations Waste Money, Harm The Environment: New Study
IndiaSpend, Bhasker Tripathi, 1 July

Replanting Charred Land: Tree planting project aims to regrow forests in barren burn scars
Santa Fe Reporter, Leah Cantor, 1 July

People are planting tiny urban forests to boost biodiversity and fight climate change
World Economic Forum, Alex Thornton, 3 July

Climate change could be making forests shorter – this is how
World Economic Forum, Johnny Wood, 1 July

Highway of Heroes Tree Campaign plants over 600,000 trees in honour fallen soldiers
Microsoft News, Sawyer Bogdan, 1 July

A Landmark Project Aims at Reforestation in Togo
InDepth News, Ramesh Jaura, 5 July

Sustainable Forestry

Indonesia lavishes $195m subsidy on palm biodiesel producers over smallholders
Mongabay,  Hans Nicholas Jong, 1 July

Forestry sector insists it's not the 'big bad wolf' coming after farmers' land
Newshub, James Fyfe, 6 July

Bishop warns conservation bill could rob eastern states of forest money
Politico, Anthony Adragna, 6 July

Forestry plantations now eligible for ERF funding
Australia Financial Review, Mark Ludlow, 2 July

Negative Emissions Technologies

Equinor to build hydrogen plant with carbon capture in Britain
Reuters, 1 July

Dominic Cummings wins £100m to save planet by sucking CO2 from air
The Times, Oliver Wright, 3 July

Norway’s $2.6 Billion Green Bet Could Help the Whole Planet
Bloomberg Green, Akshat Rhati, 30 June

Nuclear, carbon bills ride on NDAA, but DOE spat continues
E&E News, Jeremy Dillon, Bev Banks and Manuel Quiñones, 1 July

What if carbon removal becomes the new Big Oil?
The Economist, 4 July

Agriculture and Soil Health

Farmers fear climate crisis will have greater impact on their business than coronavirus
Business Green, 1 July

Burger King, Cargill and WWF Launch Grassland Restoration Project
Drovers News Source, 1 July

NSW farmers accelerate land-clearing rates, doubling previous decade
The Sidney Morning Herald, Peter Hannam, 2 July


Mangrove Trees Can Save Americans Tens of Billions in Flood Damages– So New Alliance Gets Planting
Good News Network, Andy Corbley, 3 July

PHL, Japan experts partner in mapping of mangroves
Business Mirror, Cai Ordinario, 5 July

Overlooked Methane Emissions Can Halve Climate Benefits of Subtropical Mangrove Wetlands
The News Minute, 3 July

Excavation follows mangroves burning at Ulwe creek
The Times of India, Vijay Singh, 1 July

New Science, Research, Policy and Tools

Beyond ‘Business as Usual’: Biodiversity Targets and Finance
Natural Capital Finance Alliance, June 2020

This report is designed for financial instututions to enable a better understanding of the business sectors and financial mechanisms at risk from the loss of biodiversity. The report lays the groundwork for biodiversity-related target-setting and sets out an initial approach to enable financial institutions to set evidence-based biodiversity targets aligned with international policy developments.

Abrupt increase in harvested forest area over Europe after 2015
Nature, July 2020
The increasing demand for forest services and products, driven by the bioeconomy, poses challenges for sustainable forest management. Here we use fine-scale satellite data to observe an increase in the harvested forest area (49 per cent) and an increase in biomass loss (69 per cent) over Europe for the period of 2016–2018 relative to 2011–2015, with large losses occurring on the Iberian Peninsula and in the Nordic and Baltic countries.

Environmental destruction not avoided with the Sustainable Development Goals
Nature, June 2020
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were designed to reconcile environmental protection with socioeconomic development. Here, we compare SDG indicators to a suite of external measures, showing that while most countries are progressing well towards environmental SDGs, this has little relationship with actual biodiversity conservation, and instead better represents socioeconomic development. If this continues, the SDGs will likely serve as a smokescreen for further environmental destruction throughout the decade.


WEBINAR: Financing blue carbon: What pathways to mobilise global capital?
Date: 8 July
Host: Earth Security Group

WEBINAR: Pandemics/Epidemics, Drought and Agriculture: Building back better
Date: 10 July
Host: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

WEBINAR: Kick-off webinar - Introducing nature-based solutions and UrbanByNature in the Caucasus
Date: 10 July
Host: UrbanByNature

WEBINAR: Building a Nature-Positive Economic Recovery
Date: 10 July
Host:  OECD, WWF, EDF and the World Bank

WEBINAR: Nature-Based Solutions for Coastal Defense: Experimental and Numerical Modeling
Date: 13 July
Host:  CMCC Foundation – Euro-Mediterranean Centre on Climate Change

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

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.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.