Natural Climate Solutions
Weekly Briefing

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 9 to 15 September, 2020. Our editorial policy is to circulate articles and opinion pieces whether we agree or disagree with viewpoints represented. Please submit NCS jobs, news, reports and events for the newsletter to

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Nature For Life Hub

In nine days the Nature for Life Hub will bring together more than 300 heads of state, business leaders, youth activists, and more to call for the essential systemic transformations and key messages that must be fed into UN biodiversity and climate-related discussions. You can explore the theme of each day of the hub below. Be sure to tune in for N4C's opening session at 9am on the 24th of September. 

24 September: SDG DAY  Celebrating the value of nature in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
25 September: BUSINESS AND FINANCE DAY  Greening our wallets in development, finance and business
28 September: GLOBAL AMBITION DAY  A planetary response to our planetary emergency
29 September: LOCAL ACTION DAY – Celebrating the power of local action, and the role of local communities in our planetary response

Featured News
How the ‘climate assembly’ says the UK should reach net-zero
Carbin Brief, 10 September

More than 100 randomly selected members of the public in the UK have been meeting (both in the real world and virtually since the lockdown began) to listen to advice from climate experts before coming up with a list of recommendations for how the country should reach net-zero emissions by 2050. The "climate assembly" was asked to reach decisions involving complex trade-offs on topics such as how we travel, what we eat, what we buy, how we generate electricity and how we use the land, and their report was released last week. There was widespread media coverage of the assembly's findings, but most of it glossed over the findings related to NCS. As Carbon Brief notes, "Natural solutions – and particularly afforestation and forest management – were the most popular approaches. The strong support for forestry came despite the fact that, according to Watson, during the process the “uncertainties” around such “nature-based” solutions were emphasised. Some participants did mention the possibility of trees providing long-term storage."

Animal Populations Fell by 68% in 50 Years and It’s Getting Worse
Bloomberg, Eric Roston, 9 September
Bloomberg reports on the findings from a new World Wildlife Fund and Zoological Society of London report on the disastrous loss of biodiversity the planet is experiencing. The report cites land-use and oceanic activities as the leading causes for this loss of life with climate change, invasive species, and overfishing and hunting as contributing factors. The Guardian, Thomson Reuters Foundation, Mongabay and others also cover the report.

On a related note, The Guardian shares a report from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds finding the UK has failed to reach 17 out of 20 UN Biodiversity Targets. The report claims the gap between rhetoric and reality has resulted in a “lost decade for nature”. 
What’s an intact forest worth? The tricky task of quantifying Canada’s nature-based climate solutions
The Narwhal, James Wilt, 9 September
The Narwhal dives into carbon offset markets for nature-based solutions in Canada to help clarify how these projects are working to make standing trees more valuable than lumber. This is part six of their Carbon Cache series. Also on the topic of valuing natural ecosystems: The National covers an interview with economist Dieter Helm who claims Scotland's natural capital can be used to lead its coronavirus recovery. Financial Times shares an opinion piece from former US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson calling for a new asset class that values natural resources like trees and healthy soils. Dow shares a press release that their "Valuing Nature" program with The Nature Conservancy that has worked to develop tools that help evaluate and measure the value of nature-based projects along with process improvements and valuing natural capital assets. 
Biofuels are a controversial climate solution. Could they still help save the planet?
Grist, Emily Pontecorvo, 11 September
Grist covers two recent studies trying to clarify if biofuels are truly climate solutions. The first study finds that biofuels do provide a clear contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions but ignores factors like biodiversity loss and economics. The second study analyzed how bioenergy and carbon capture technologies could drive up food prices as arable land might be converted from farming to bioenergy crops if prices rise. Mongabay releases a video on "Why biomass burning isn't a climate solution".
'Effective today': Google vows to 'eliminate entire carbon legacy'
BusinessGreen, James Murray, 14 September

BusinessGreen covers Google's announcement that the company has offset its carbon emissions since 2007 and is moving towards operating on carbon-free energy by 2030. BBC environmental analyst Roger Harrabin questions Google's offsetting claim as the majority of their offsets have come from preventing methane release at farms. Google has reportedly monitored Natural Climate Solutions, "But the science is still contested."
Wildfires will be more common in a warming world
The Economist,12 September

The Economist covers the connection between climate change and the growing threat of wildfires across the globe. Heated notes that fires are occurring globally and news outlets are not adequately connecting these natural disasters to increasing global temperatures. Reuters reports that fires in Brazil are up 13% compared to August. E&E News questions if the American West's fires will alter the dynamics of the Presidential election.

oneworld - the parent organization for 13 of the world's largest airlines including American Airlines, British Airways, Japan Airlines, Qantas, and Qatar Airways - announces its group's commitment to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

NPR reports that California will allow inmate firefighters to have their records expunged, clearing the path for them to be eligible for firefighting jobs upon release. The state has had to increasingly rely upon inmates trained to be firefighters to combat wildfires but would not allow them to seek firefighting roles for employment upon release in the past.

BusinessGreen reports that winemaker Accolade has been certified carbon-neutral across its core brands. 

The average decrease in vertebrate animal populations since 1970.

Conservation International has launched a new campaign to respond to the EU's public consultation on actions to tackle the EU's forest destruction footprint. From the Amazon to the Asian rainforests, the EU is responsible for more than 10% of global forest destruction. Take a moment to fill out this online form to add your voice calling for the EU to take action and eliminate it's global deforestation footprint today.
Featured Commentary

I Need You to Care That Our Country Is on Fire
The New York Times, Charlie Warzel, 9 September
Opinion writer Charlie Warzel pleads with his fellow Americans not plagued with wildfires to take the climate-fueled disasters as a threat to them as well. 

End of the polar bear by the 2030s, another major pandemic in the 2080s… and a sixth mass extinction by 2100

The Daily Mail, Sir David Attenborough, 12 September
Sir David Attenborough channels what a future without biodiversity will mean for future generations if society's current course is not corrected.

The Times view on saving wildlife: Living Planet

The Times, 10 September
The Times publishes an editorial demanding action on the worsening biodiversity crisis while there is still time to act.

Salvage opportunities can lock up carbon, restore forests more quickly

The Hill, Bill Imbergamo, 11 September
Bill Imbergamo, Executive Director of the Federal Forest Resource Coalition, argues that more action should be taken to harvest dead trees to reduce the impact of wildfires and take action on climate change.

American environmentalism’s racist roots have shaped global thinking about conservation

The Conversation, Prakash Kashwan, 2 September
Prakash Kashwan highlights how racism inherent within the conservation movement in the United States has become intertwined with global conservation organizations and efforts.

How Pressuring Corporations Can Save the Amazon from Destruction

Yale E360, Glenn Hurowitz, 10 September
Mighty Earth CEO Glenn Hurowitz shows how corporate pressure can drive lasting impacts to protect forests in Southeast Asia can be applied to the Amazon.

Government proposals to combat overseas deforestation can and must be strengthened
BusinessGreen, Kerry McCarthy, 12 September 
Kerry McCarthy MP argues that loopholes in the Environment Bill must be closed if the UK is to take responsibility for its global deforestation footprint.

Protecting half of the planet is the best way to fight climate change and biodiversity loss – we’ve mapped the key places to do it

The Conversation, Greg Asner, 8 September 
Greg Asner of Arizona State University shares his latest research, the “Global Safety Net” that identifies the exact regions on land that must be protected to achieve a global deal for nature.

Mapping the Evidence of Nature-Based Solutions for Climate Change Adaptation

The Oxford Nature-Based Solutions Initiative published new research mapping the effectiveness of nature‐based solutions for climate change adaptation. "The review investigates nearly 400 scientific studies including both real-world cases, and modelled scenarios. Of the real-world cases, most nature-based interventions (59%) were found to reduce climate impacts such as flooding, soil erosion and loss of food production". The research is the first global systematic review of the effectiveness of nature-based solutions.
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Media Round-Up

Natural Climate Solutions and Nature4Climate Partners

Senior Democrat joins calls for new conservation corps
E&E News, Emma Dumain, 10 September

Lessons from the Intergenerational Webinar on Nature-Based Solutions Implementation in Africa
Youth4Nature, 2 September

Covid-19 helps put SDGs more than 60 years behind schedule
Responsible Investor, Vibeka Mair, 11 September

Shaping up forest and landscape restoration initiatives
Forest News, Julie Mollins, 7 September

Towards accurate, open and transparent forest data
UN REDD Programme, 9 September

Do celebrity endorsements really help environmental campaigns? We found no evidence
Business Green, Alegria Olmedo, Dan Challender & Diogo Veríssimo, 14 September

This interactive map shows the key places that must be protected to curb climate change
Fast Company, Adele Peters, 9 September


In the Amazon, forest degradation is outpacing full deforestation, Tommaso Jucker, 11 September

Experts question integrity of Indonesia’s claim of avoided deforestation
Mongabay, Hans Nicholas Jong, 8 September

Threatened species caught in crossfire of ongoing land conflict in Myanmar
Mongabay, Aimee Gabay, 10 September


African ministers call for investment in Great Green Wall to aid Covid-19 recovery
Climate Home News, Chloé Farand, 7 September

Negative Emissions Technologies

Bipartisan coalition calls for 'USE IT Act' in defense bill
E&E News, Jeremy Dillon, 11 September

IEA calls for scale-up of hydrogen, carbon capture
E&E News, Miranda Willson, 11 September

Agriculture and Soil Health

In-depth Q&A: What does the global shift in diets mean for climate change?
Carbin Brief, Josh Gabbatis, 15 September

Interactive: What is the climate impact of eating meat and dairy?
Carbon Brief, 14 September

How Fertilizer Is Making Climate Change Worse
Bloomberg Green, Paul Tullis, 10 September

Pope teams up with Slow Food founder for environment appeal
The Washington Post, Nicole Winfield, 12 September

Hamburgers are hard on the planet. These cattle ranchers are trying to change that
CNN, Danielle Wiener-Bronner, 10 September

For European chemical giants, Brazil is an open market for toxic pesticides banned at home
Mongabay, Pedro Grigori, 10 September

Solent's 'nitrate trading' trial aims to get developers building again
BusinessGreen, Tom Gockelen-Kozlowski, 15 September


Study shows Falkland Islands' potential to become carbon negative
Phys.Org, 14 September

Mangrove loss has fallen dramatically, but the forests are still in danger
The Washington Post, Gabriel Popkin, 12 September

How artificial salt marshes can help in the fight against rising seas
The Guardian, Patrick Greenfield, 9 September

New Science, Research, Policy and Tools

Common ground : restoring land health for sustainable agriculture
IUCN Global Ecosystem Management Programme, September 2020

Financing Resilient Agriculture: How agricultural lenders can reduce climate risk and help farmers build resilience
Environmental Defense Fund, September 2020

Sustainable Palm Oil: Trade and Key Players between Indonesia and China
Proforest, September 2020

Vulnerability of hop‐yields due to compound drought and heat events over European key‐hop regions
International Journal of Climatology, September 2020

What Drives the Erasure of Protected Areas? Evidence from across the Brazilian Amazon
Ecological Economics, September 2020

Mapping the effectiveness of nature‐based solutions for climate change adaptation
Global Change Biology, September 2020

Brazilian Amazon Fires Intensify in September
Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project, September 2020

Strategy for halting and reversing biodiversity loss revealed
UN Environment Programme, September 2020

Managing Land‐based CDR: BECCS, Forests and Carbon Sequestration
Global Policy, September 2020

Lessons for Jurisdictional Approaches From Municipal-Level Initiatives to Halt Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon
Forests, Trees, and Agroforestry, September 2020

Living Planet Report 2020
World Wildlife Fund, September 2020

Robust paths to net greenhouse gas mitigation and negative emissions via advanced biofuels
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, September 2020


WEBINAR: Scaling resilient water and agriculture management practices for Sustainable Rice Intensification in East Africa
Date: 15 September
Host: FAO

WEBINAR: The Green Recovery featuring session on "The Return of Nature" with President Santos of Colombia, Jen Morris and Christiana Figueres
Date 16-17 September
Host: Project Syndicate

WEBINAR: FAO – Google Partnership Earth Map and the Hand in Hand Geo-spatial platform: a new powerful and user-friendly access to big-data
Date: 16 September
Host: FAO

WEBINAR: The Nature of Nature: A Conversation with Enric Sala
Date: 16 September
Host: WRI

WEBINAR: Introduction to the governance of large-scale Carbon Dioxide Removal
Date: 16 September
Host: Carnegie Climate Governance Initiative

WEBINAR: Do we need to stop eating meat and dairy to tackle climate change?
Date 16 September
Host: Carbon Brief

WEBINAR: Financing nature – Closing the biodiversity finance gap
Date: 17 September
Host: The Paulson Institute, TNC, Cornell Atkinson

WEBINAR: Do we need to stop eating meat and dairy to tackle climate change?
Date: 17 September
Host: Carbon Brief

WEBINAR: Large-scale Carbon Dioxide Removal: Gaps in governance
Date: 18 September
Host: Carnegie Climate Governance Initiative

VIRTUAL EVENT:14th International Conference on Community-based Adaptation to Climate Change
Date: 21-25 September
Host: International Institute for Environment and Development

WEBINAR: CGF Forest Positive Coalition Event @ NYC Climate Week
Date: 22 September
Host: The Consumer Goods Forum

WEBINAR: An Indigenous Vision for Transition
Date: 22 September
Host: Amazon Sacred Headwaters Initiative (ASHI)

WEBINAR: Landscape Restoration - can it improve water security in Sweden and beyond?
Date: 23 September
Host: SIWI Swedish Water House

BRIEFING: Growing Green Industry and Innovation: Mass Timber
Date: 23 September
Host: Environmental and Energy Study Institute

VIRTUAL EVENT: Business Action in and Beyond Supply Chains: How Public-Private Collaboration is Driving Landscape and Jurisdictional Impacts
Date: 23 September
Host: Good Growth Partnership

VIRTUAL EVENT: Mobilizing Private Sector Action: Launch of the Jurisdictional Approaches Resource Hub
Date: 24 September
Host: Tropical Forest Alliance

VIRTUAL EVENT: Nature for Life Hub
Date: 24-29 September
Host: Learning for Nature

WEBINAR: What is the ambition for biodiversity COP15 in South Asia and Southeast Asia?
Date: 25 September

WEBINAR: Scaling Climate Policies and New Financing for High Biodiversity Areas
Date: 25 September
Host: Under2° Coalition/The Climate Group, Gobierno del Estado de Querétaro, Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda I.A.P.

VIRTUAL EVENT: Can tree planting save our planet?
Date: 29 September
Host: CIFOR, Resilient Landscapes, Global Landscapes Forum

VIRTUAL EVENT: Biodiversity Summit
Date: 30 September
Host: IISD

WEBINAR: ‘Landscapes for People, Food and Nature’ 2012-2020: Reflections and Lessons Learned for Future Global Landscape Development
Date: 8 October
Hosts: FAO and EcoAgriculture Partners

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Lucy Almond, Director and Chair of Nature4Climate
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