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 15 to 22 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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The U.S. Nature4Climate coalition is publicly launching this week, with a website focusing on the potential of Natural Climate Solutions going live and a formal launch on September 24th during Nature for Life’s “Nature for Climate” event. The goal of this partnership is to increase the salience of Natural Climate Solutions in the U.S. climate change conversation, particularly among leaders in the environmental, agriculture, forestry and sustainable business communities.

You can follow the activities of N4C US on Twitter and on LinkedIn.
Nature For Life Hub

In two 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 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
Closing the Nature Funding Gap: A Finance Plan for the Planet
The Nature Conservancy, 15 September

The Nature Conservancy in partnership with the Paulson Institute and the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability releases a new report titled Financing Nature: Closing the Global Biodiversity Financing Gap. The report offers the most comprehensive assessment to date on how much the world currently spends to benefit nature, how much more we need to be spending, and how we can close that nature funding gap now. The findings show the world should be spending an additional $598-$824 billion annually to reverse the biodiversity crisis by 2030—but much of that money can be found by changing existing spending flows. Bloomberg interviews former U.S. Treasury Secretary and Paulson Institute Chairman Hank Paulson to discuss the findings of the report. Axios reports that only one percent of the world's USD 12 trillion Covid-19 stimulus packages is directed towards any type of green finance.

The New York Times covers a report from the UN that finds the world failed to achieve any of the 20 Aichi biodiversity targets agreed in Japan in 2010 to slow the loss of the natural world. Mongabay reports on new concerns from scientists that climate change deniers will lead efforts to deny the looming biodiversity crisis the world faces.
EU commission accused of 'cheating' on net-zero emissions accounting
The Guardian, Jennifer Rankin, 14 September
The Guardian reports on environmental campaigners' comments that the new EU Commission emissions reduction goals "cheats" because it relies on offsets to reduce emissions 55% by 2030. An earlier version of the proposal published in March set the same target but did not mention offsets. Campaigners stated that protecting nature is a vital goal in its own right "but must be additional to efforts to cut emissions in the most polluting sectors.” Climate Home News carries the response from the EU's climate chief Frans Timmermans insisting including carbon sinks in a proposed new 2030 emissions target does not weaken it. EURACTIV also carries the story.
China’s 40-Year, Billion-Tree Project Is a Lesson for the World
Bloomberg, Emily Pontecorvo, 14 September
Bloomberg covers the decades-long effort by China to plant a "Great Green Wall" in it's northern regions. The program has faced multiple issues of "poor planning, the unrealistic demands of local party cadres, and a poor understanding of how and where a forest can successfully grow." Despite setbacks, tree planting has become ingrained as a popular climate action within China and is a feature within several of its "Belt and Road" initiatives for foreign aid development. Climate Home News reports that China signals it may be willing to consider a carbon-neutrality target after a virtual summit with the EU. Increased ambition from China will likely incorporate nature-based solutions or offsets given its leadership on UN biodiversity efforts and familiarity with these solutions.
The Amazonification of Climate Change Is Here
Gizmodo, Brian Kahn, 17 September

Gizmodo reports on Amazon's announcement of the first companies it will invest in as part of its USD 2 Billion climate fund. The article explains why a lack of climate action from governments has left a power-vacuum leaving Amazon and other large companies to shape climate action in their own image. Axios covers the companies Amazon will invest in, including several carbon removal and nature-based solutions companies. Shopify also announces a set of startups it is investing in including Pachama, Indigo Ag, Nori and others looking to utilize reforestation or soils to sequester carbon. 

Reuters covers a new statement from more than 560 companies with combined revenues of $4 trillion including Walmart, Citigroup, and Microsoft calling upon governments to take more action to protect nature.
Carbon offsets burning
CarbonPlan,12 September

CarbonPlan shares a deep dive into California's carbon market and offsets program, and how recent fires have affected the program's "buffer pool." The article reviews how fire damaged one of the largest forest offset projects currently operating and how the recent fires pose a sizeable threat to North America's largest carbon market's "insurance" mechanism.

The Economist explores the boom in purchasing carbon offsets and why these projects are being sold for far less than the estimated social cost of carbon.

#ImagineFor1Minute what a better future looks like. Is it a world where we respect and honor nature? Where no more species go extinct because of humanity’s impact on the planet? Where leaders prioritize nature and the health of our planet? We have a responsibility to do better. Now is the time to talk about the future we want, one that is better for us all and built in harmony with nature.
Fierce, frequent, climate-fueled wildfires may decimate forests worldwide
Reuters, Matthew Green, 21 September

It’s Not Just the West. These Places Are Also on Fire
The New York Times, Veronica Penney, 16 September

What wildfires in Brazil, Siberia, and the US West have in common
Vox,  Lili Pike, 17 September

‘Off the chart’: CO2 from California fires dwarf state’s fossil fuel emissions
Mongabay, Elizabeth Claire Alberts, 17 September

Firefighters make headway in subduing U.S. western wildfires
Reuters, Brad Brooks, 17 September

The Most Important Number for the West’s Hideous Fire Season
The Atlantic, Robinson Meyer, 15 September

Game changer: NASA data tool could revolutionize Amazon fire analysis
Mongabay, Shanna Hanbury, 15 September

The view from above: How do we know what’s really burning in the Amazon?
Mongabay, Liz Kimbrough, 11 September
$598-$824 Billion

The funding gap the world needs to close to meet global biodiversity goals.
Science-Based Targets for Nature

Business plays a vital role to ensure we stay within Earth’s limits and meet society’s needs. Today, as part of Climate Week, new guidance from the Science-Based Target Network, part of the Global Commons Alliance,  on how to set #ScienceBasedTargets for nature has been published detailing for the first time how companies can protect and restore nature. 

Featured Commentary

How the EU could snatch defeat from the jaws of victory on climate
EURACTIV, Dr. Bert Metz, 16 September
The former co-chair of the Mitigation Working Group of the UN IPCC warns that the European Commission’s commendable move to aim for emission reductions of “at least 55%” by 2030 risks being completely undermined if the target also takes into account “reductions and removals” from forest growth and tree planting schemes.

How much is this planet worth? This is the real value of nature

World Economic Forum, Alexia Semov and Rebecca King, 21 September
World Economic Forum staff argue that if countries and businesses prioritize nature they could generate $10.1 trillion in annual business value and create 395 million jobs by the end of 2030.

The climate crisis will sweep away my country if the world doesn't keep its promises

The Guardian, President David Kabua, 20 September
Marshall Islands President David Kabua writes how his nation's existence is threatened by the possibility of promised climate finance funds left unfulfilled and current coronavirus stimulus packages incapable of putting the world on a firm path to limit greenhouse gases.

Congress must finish work on popular conservation bill before time runs out

The Hill, Jason Rano, 21 September
The federal executive director of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation argues that if Congress doesn’t act quickly, it will lose the opportunity to deliver conservation, environmental, and recreational benefits to the entire country through the America’s Conservation Enhancement (ACE) Act.

Prince Charles calls for 'Marshall-like plan' to combat climate crisis

The Guardian, Oliver Millman, 21 September
Prince Charles has called for the world to put itself on a “warlike footing” to tackle the “comprehensive catastrophe” caused by the climate crisis and the loss of nature.

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Media Round-Up

Natural Climate Solutions and Nature4Climate Partners

In Brazil’s Bahia, peasant farmers and cowboys keep the Cerrado alive
Mongabay, Caio de Freitas Paes, 15 September

Carbon offsets burning
CarbonPlan, Claudia Herbert, Jared Stapp, Grayson Badgley, William R L Anderegg, 17 September

Europe’s primary forests: What to protect? What to restore?
European Forest Institute’s Resilience Research Programme, 16 September

Trees as a civil right: 'All we have is cement and pavement'
E&E News, Ariel Wittenberg, 16 September

ACTIAM employs satellite data to combat deforestation
ACTIAM, 16 September

Senate approves bipartisan conservation bill
E&E News, Manuel Quiñones, 17 September

Senators urge swift passage of forest policy overhaul
E&E News, Marc Heller, 17 September

Community Forest Management in Colombia: lessons learned, progress and challenges
UN REDD Programme, Johan Kieft, 15 September

Peru presents its first report on REDD+ safeguards
UN REDD Programme, Johan Kieft, 14 September

Ecological restoration as a tool for adapting and mitigating the impacts of climate change
UN REDD Programme, Johan Kieft, 14 September


Brazilian farmers and environmentalists jointly propose “Six Actions” to urgently reduce Amazon deforestation and protect country’s agricultural sector
Tropical Forest Alliance, 16 September

Impact of Effort to Reduce Amazon Deforestation Overestimated, Study Finds
NC State, Laura Oleniacz, 21 September

World’s top banks must stop funding factory farming to prevent future pandemics, say campaigners
The Independent, Jane Dalton, 21 September

Key EU States Worry South America Trade Pact May Hurt Amazon
News18, 21 September

How Morgan Stanley is linked to deforestation in the Amazon
Mongabay, André Campos, 16 September

Surge in forest loss seen if Brazil indigenous reserves opened to mining
Reuters, Mauricio Angelo, 18 September

Nestlé identified over 1,000 cases of deforestation per day in palm oil areas
Swiss Info, Anand Chandrasekhar, 15 September

'Shocking': wilderness the size of Mexico lost worldwide in just 13 years, study finds
The Guardian, Graham Readfearn, 18 September

BlackRock, other asset managers enabling deforestation, says Friends of the Earth
Mongabay, Ashoka Mukpo, 16 September


Justin Trudeau promised Greta Thunberg 2 billion trees. None have been planted
The Independent, Louise Boyle, 19 September

Reforestation can only partially restore tropical soils, University of Göttingen, 16 September

Lalong seeks end to deforestation, leads trees planting
Punch, James Abraham, 21 September

Sustainable Forestry

Uganda reverses forest destruction by inviting in ... loggers
Reuters, 17 September

Negative Emissions Technologies

Petra Nova is closed: What it means for carbon capture
E&E News, Carlos Anchondo and Edward Klump, 22 September

Norway preps project Longship for second attempt at carbon 'moon landing'
Reuters, Nora Buli and Nerijus Adomaitis, 21 September

Cemex to launch carbon-capture pilot program in early 2021
Reuters, 17 September

Agriculture and Soil Health

Can Loans Tied To Soil Health Save Agriculture? A New $250 Million Fund Wants To Find Out
Forbes, Chloe Sorvino, 11 September

On a mission to save our soils - the EU's plan to rebuild the land
euronews, Claudio Rosmino, 22 September

Experts: How do diets need to change to meet climate targets?
Carbon Brief, 16 September

How fertilizer is making climate change worse
E&E News, 16 September


Ministers accused of blocking plans to ban burning of UK peatlands
The Guardian, Toby Helm and Robin McKie, 20 September

Welsh seagrass meadow sows hope for global restoration
The Guardian, Paul Simons, 15 September

Missing mangroves are root of contention over Philippine airport project
Mongabay,  Leilani Chavez and Susan Claire Agbayani, 17 September

Forget planting trees: This company is making carbon offsets by putting seaweed on the ocean floor
Fast Company, Adele Peters, 15 September

New Science, Research, Policy and Tools

Overstated carbon emission reductions from voluntary REDD+ projects in the Brazilian Amazon
Proceedings of  National Academy of Sciences, September 2020

Tree planting has the potential to increase carbon sequestration capacity of forests in the United States
Proceedings of  National Academy of Sciences, September 2020

CCU Activity Hub
Global CO2 Initiative, University of Michigan, September 2020

University of Illinois awarded $4.5 million to develop commercial carbon credit tools
University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences, September 2020

Foundations for net-zero target-setting in the corporate sector
Science-Based Targets, September 2020

Food production in China requires intensified measures to be consistent with national and provincial environmental boundaries
Nature, September 2020

The Opportunity Framework 2020
Rights + Resources, September 2020

Mixed Effectiveness of REDD+ Subnational Initiatives after 10 Years of Interventions on the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
Forests, September 2020

Mapping pervasive selective logging in the south-west Brazilian Amazon 2000–2019
Environmental Research Letters, September 2020

Integrated assessment of deforestation drivers and their alignment with subnational climate change mitigation efforts
Environmental Science & Policy, September 2020

Spatial priorities for conserving the most intact biodiverse forests within Central Africa
Environmental Research Letters, September 2020


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

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

WEBINAR: Forest Data and Transparency: ‘Zoom in’ on the Experience of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Date: 23 September
Host: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

WEBINAR: Worker protections in the Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Agriculture Standard: New requirements and opportunities
Date: 23 September
Host: Rainforest Alliance

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: Rainforest Alliance Sustainability Summit Series: Climate Justice and Resilience - Farmers and Communities on the Front Lines
Date: 25 September
Host: Rainforest Alliance

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: How the cocoa industry can stop deforestation
Date: 29 September
Host:  Earthworm Foundation 

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

WEBINAR: The Power of Youth for Agricultural Transformation: A View from Sub-Saharan Africa
Date: 30 September
Host: FAO North America, Alliance to End Hunger and Humanitas Global

VIRTUAL EVENT: Ethical Finance 2020 (EF2020)
Date: 5-8 October
Host: Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI)

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
Copyright © 2020 Nature4Climate, All rights reserved.

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