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 21 to 28 July, 2020. Our editorial policy is to circulate articles and opinion pieces whether we agree or disagree with viewpoints represented. 

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Dear Readers, this newsletter will be taking a break starting next week. We hope to take a step away for this period to recharge and to return to your inbox soon with the latest news on nature-based solutions news.

Lucy Almond, Director and Chair of Nature4Climate
Featured Event
Online Networking for Nature & Climate Professionals

The climate movement has long used online networks to spread its message, connect and organise. As lockdowns and social distancing have made in-person gatherings impossible, learn the practical steps you can take to grow a network of like-minded nature and climate professionals online. The training will cover:
  • Why online networking is a useful & vital way to meet peers in your field
  • What effective, regular online networking looks like in a nature & climate context
  • A structure you can use to make your time on social media effective & reduce aimless scrolling
Featured News

Global heating: best and worst case scenarios less likely than thought
The Guardian, Jonathan Watts and Graham Readfearn, 22 July
The Guardian shares a new report from climate scientists who have gained more confidence in what climate outcomes we should expect to see in the coming years. The research found the low and high-range temperature increases the world has considered are increasingly unlikely to occur. This means the worst-case scenarios scientists have predicted are less likely to happen, but that the 1.5-degree scenario that is the basis of the Paris Climate Agreement is also increasingly unlikely. The New York Times, Bloomberg, and Ars Technica carry the story as well.
It would take $30 billion a year to prevent future pandemics—that’s a lot less than COVID-19 is costing us
Fast Company, Adele Peters, 23 July

Fast Company covers a new report analyzing how much it would cost the world to protect nature and prevent more zoonotic diseases similar to COVID-19. The findings published in Science shows the proven connections between deforestation increasing wildlife contact with humans and agricultural livestock increasing the transmission of diseases from the former to the latter. BusinessGreen also covers the report and notes that the world has lost nearly $5.6 trillion in economic activity due to the current coronavirus pandemic.
Make nature part of 'build build build' policy, green watchdog says
The Guardian, Patrick Barkham, 25 July
The Guardian shares new comments from the chair of Natural England who is calling upon the U.K. government to focus on "nature, nature, nature" as part of it's Build Back Better plans. i newspaper covers a report that shows tripling tree cover in the U.K. could be accomplished without disturbing valuable peat bogs. Environmentalists and campaigners have been critical of the government's plans which they say emphasize development at the expense of nature instead of designating land for reforestation or protecting existing natural resources such as bogs.
UK and banking giants spearhead drive to combat nature-related financial risks
BusinessGreen, Michael Holder, 21 July
BusinessGreen reports on a new initiative supported by the U.K. and Swiss governments alongside 10 major banks to create a  Task Force for Nature-related Financial Disclosures. The taskforce will resolve the reporting, metrics, and data needs of financial institutions that will enable them to better understand their risks, dependencies and impacts on nature. 
Apple vows to be carbon neutral by 2030
Axios, Amy Harder, 21 July

Axios reports that Apple has updated its emissions policy with a new target to achieve net-zero emissions for itself and its supply chain by 2030. The company states that it can cut emissions by 75% within ten-years through efficiency, recycling of products and renewable energy. The final 25 of emissions will be covered by a "carbon solutions fund" for nature-based solutions. The Hill covers the announcement from nine large corporations united to form The Transform to Net Zero which will enable the transition to net-zero emissions by 2050. Founding members includedA.P. Moller-Maersk, Danone, Mercedes-Benz, Natura & Co, Unilever, Microsoft, Starbucks, Nike and the Environmental Defense Fund. Financial Times writes about the growing trend of large businesses turning to nature to solve their emissions problems.
The Energy 202: Minority groups more likely to have limited access to nature, new report finds
The Washington Post, Dino Grandoni and Paulina Firozi, 21 July

The Washington Post shares a new report which found minority communities in the U.S. were three times less likely to have access to nature and green spaces. The Center for American Progress and Hispanic Access Foundation report showed a connection between undesirable health outcomes for these communities due to the lack of nature and the overabundance of pollution found in their communities. The Washington Post also covers the Sierra Club's efforts to reconcile with its own racist past as nature enthusiasts and campaigners come to terms with the racism that has plagued their past.
China says U.N. biodiversity summit rescheduled for May 2021
Reuters, Muyu Xu and David Stanway, 28 July

Reuters reports that the United Nations biodiversity summit scheduled for October will now be held in the spring of next year. The conference will take place over two weeks starting May 17th, 2021, and involve nearly 200 countries negotiating a new global contract to preserve biodiversity.

The Guardian covers the historic flooding occurring in Bangladesh where a third of the country is estimated to be underwater. Nature-based solutions have grown popular as a means to mitigate disasters like these but it is worth noting that as climate change continues to worsen natural disasters will overpower these solutions. 
$30 Billion per Year

The estimated cost of protecting and restoring nature to significantly decrease the likelihood of new pandemics.
The Guardian publishes a new investigative report conducted with Réporter Brasil and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism tying JBS cattle purchases to a farm under sanction from illegal deforestation. The Guardian reports that Nordea Asset Management, which controls a €230bn, will drop JBS from its portfolio due to its' environmental, corruption, and human record. The Guardian also carries coverage of a new report that animal trafficking in the Amazon is occurring much more frequently within and exported our of Brazil than previously believed. Researchers state a lack of data leads to a lack of awareness and action as biodiversity losses continue to climb within Brazil. Mongabay announces a new initiative, The Science Panel for the Amazon, to consolidate research on the Amazon biome to help protect and restore the rainforest. Mongabay covers a report studying the deforestation feedback loop for the Amazon which found "if rainfall in the region decreases by 200 millimeters (7.9 inches), it would then trigger an additional 26% increase in deforestation..." Mongabay also reports that the Brazilian state of Maranhão which is debating new forest protection policy which could be crucial to protecting its remaining old-growth forest.
Featured Commentary

Why we need to declare a global climate emergency now
Financial Times, Johan Rockström, 27 July
Johan Rockström argues that calling for a planetary emergency in response to climate change is not a failure but instead the necessary step to confronting the crisis.

Why China is key in the battle against palm oil deforestation
Ethical Corporation, Morgan Gillespy, 21 July
Morgan Gillespy, Global Director of Forests at CDP, writes how crucial the Chinese market has become for the palm oil industry and the growing awareness of deforestation risk amongst investors and buyers within China.

Who should be responsible for removing CO2 from the atmosphere?
Carbon Brief, Claire Fyson, 27 July
An analyst at Climate Analytics shares her new research that reviews several possible answers to which countries should be held responsible and what methods should be used to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Congress wants to fix public lands. It's just a bandage on the wounds Trump caused
The Guardian, Sally Jewell and Ken Salazar, 24 July
Sally Jewell and Ken Salazar, two former Interior Secretaries, detail how the U.S. Congress' recent victory to secure funding for conservation is a band-aid upon the damage caused by the Trump administration.

C.E.O.s Are Qualified to Make Profits, Not Lead Society
The New York Times, N. Gregory Mankiw, 24 July
A Harvard economics professor writes that reliance on business CEOs to solve the world's problems is doomed to fail.

People want a greener, happier world now. But our politicians have other ideas
The Guardian, George Monbiot, 21 July
George Monbiot argues that the recovery people truly want to see develops a world people have never experienced before, not a return to normalcy he paints as the U.K. government's desired outcome.

Mangrove forest restoration boosts Costa Rica communities
Mongabay, Andrew Whitworth, 24 July
The Executive Director of Osa Conservation shares the benefits from an ambitious mangrove restoration effort in the Terraba Sierpe National Wetland of Costa Rica to celebrate World Mangrove Day.

Nature Standards, Finance & Fires

Last week held a suite of new nature news and insights through webinars that we encourage you to watch. 
  1. Finance for Nature: Virtual Global Series Session 1 - How can we get nature on the finance agenda and position nature in a green recovery? 
  2. Finance for Nature: Virtual Global Series Session 2 - How can disclosure of nature-related financial risks open the door to sustainable financing?
  3. Carbon Brief webinar: Is climate change making wildfires worse?
  4. The IUCN Global Standard for NbS - High-level launch event
  5. The IUCN Global Standard for NbS - High-level panel discussion
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Food in the Age of COVID-19 

The Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU) recently published two new briefing papers on how the world can incorporate better land-use practices to protect nature and supply the world with the nutritious food it needs. The Future of Nature and Business Policy Companion Recommendations for policy-makers to reset towards a new nature economy contextualizes and expands upon the World Economic Forum's recent report that found a 'nature-positive' recovery from COVID-19 would yield ~400 million jobs and $10 trillion a year. Strengthening Food Systems’ Resilience to COVID-19: Initial Lessons from FOLU Countries’ Responses to the Global Pandemic shares a framework for analyzing food system resilience and how five FOLU focus countries have responded to COVID-19 to increase their resilience.

Media Round-Up

Natural Climate Solutions and Nature4Climate Partners

Shell offsetting carbon in Scottish forest is 'greenwashing', Government official warned
Telegraph UK, Hayley Dixon, 24 July

Satellite Data Helps Sri Lankan Forest Officers Patrol During Pandemic, at a Safe Distance
Global Forest Watch, Stephanie Jamilla and Sarah Ruiz, 23 July

Kenya's forest communities face eviction from ancestral lands - even during pandemic
Reuters, Nita Bhalla, 23 July

Expand conserved areas to boost global economy ravaged by COVID-19: Report
Mongabay, Chris Arsenault, 23 July

How cities are using nature to keep heatwaves at bay
UN Environment, 22 July

House passes major conservation bill, sending it to Trump's desk
The Hill, Rachel Frazin, 22 July

Dossier: carbon offsetting
Geographical, Mark Rowe, 24 July

Both parties pat themselves on the back for passing big conservation bill
Washington Post, Dino Grandoni, 24 July

Biden plots $2tn green revolution but faces wind and solar backlash
The Guardian, Oliver Milman, 25 July

Viet Nam action could help reduce pandemic risks and protect wildlife
World Wildlife Fund, 24 July


Protected areas in Paraguay hit hard by illegal marijuana farming
Mongabay, Aldo Benítez, 22 July

Photos show scale of massive fires tearing through Siberian forests
Mongabay, Elizabeth Claire Alberts, 23 July

Wildfires in Siberia have burned down an area larger than Greece
CBS News, Sophie Lewis, 21 July

Deforestation is accelerating in the Amazon, and agribusiness is singled out
Reporterre, Adriana Carvalho, 27 July

Indonesia may disband more agencies to slash red tape
The Inquirer, 22 July

Scientists measure Amazon drought and deforestation feedback loop: Study
Mongabay, Shanna Hanbury, 21 July

World’s biggest meatpacker JBS bought illegally grazed Amazon cattle: Report
Mongabay, Sam Cowie, 20 July

From exclusion to partnerships: Marfrig's plan to achieve zero deforestation 
Capital Reset, Natalia Viri, 24 July

Environmental defenders voice concerns as COVID-19 crisis deepens
Mongabay, Lauren Crothers, 21 July


Forest restoration, not just halting deforestation, vital to Amazon
Mongabay, Sarah Sax, 22 July

10 million saplings to be planted on 15,000 Ha through people's participation
The Northern Herald, 23 July

Ivanka Trump joins House GOP to pitch 'Trillion Trees'
E&E News, Emma Dumain, 27 July

Sustainable Forestry

A Brazilian forest community shows certified timber really does work
Mongabay, Maria Fernanda Ribeiro, 22 July

Timber industry asks Congress for $2.5B in COVID-19 aid
E&E News, Mark Heller, 22 July

Court of Appeal to hear legal challenge against Drax gas plant approval
Business Green, 22 July

Carbon neutral claims could snag biomass rule
E&E News, Mark Heller, 27 July

Negative Emissions Technologies

Can carbon capture help to curb climate change?
Tomson Reuters Foundation, Amber Milne, 27 July

U.S. Department of Energy Announces $11.5 Million funding for FLExible Carbon Capture and Storage (FLECCS) program
Department of Energy, 13 July

Scientists unveil tech to slash 90% of CO2 from gas plants
E&E News, Carlos Anchondo, 24 July

Agriculture and Soil Health

Forests can help reshape ‘dysfunctional’ global food system, scientists say
Forest News, Julie Mollins, 20 July

'They’re already struggling': Smallholder farmers need more access to climate finance
Devex, Teresa Welsh, 28 July

Survey shows potential impact of palm trees in quantifying rainforest carbon
Forest News, Julie Mollins, 22 July

Bayer launches carbon capture program for U.S. and Brazil farmers
Reuters, Karl Plume, 21 July

Environmental and human rights groups unite for declaration urging cocoa sustainability action
Confectionary Production, 22 July

New report asks, do land titles help poor farmers?
Mongabay, John Cannon, 22 July

Soybeans flourish in Russia's thawing north
E&E News, 24 July


Fires in Pantanal, world's largest tropical wetlands, 'triple' in 2020
BBC, 24 July

Securing the future of mangroves through sustainable wood fuel management
Forest News, Abdon Awono and Lydie Flora, 24 July

New guidelines aim to support mangrove restoration in the Western Indian Ocean
UN Environment, 24 July

New Science, Research, Policy and Tools

Large scale tropical deforestation drives extreme warming
Environmental Research Letters, July 2020
Using satellite observations to quantify the local temperature changes in deforested patches of rainforests across the tropics found local warming larger than that predicted from more than a century of climate change under a worst-case emissions scenario. 

Trade‐offs between biodiversity and agriculture are moving targets in dynamic landscapes
Journal of Applied Ecology, July 2020
Focus on the Argentinean Chaco, a global deforestation hotspot, to explore how landscape context shapes trade‐off curves between agricultural intensity and avian biodiversity.

Costs and Carbon Sequestration Assessment for REDD+ in Indonesia
Forests, July 2020
Findings highlight that the contribution of carbon sequestration from plantations to REDD+ will remain limited, and that opportunity costs in Southeast Asia will likely increase, due to future oil palm expansion.

Justice-related impacts and social differentiation dynamics in Nepal's REDD+ projects
Forest Policy and Economics, July 2020
Now that REDD+ policies are being increasingly implemented, a number of justice-related challenges have emerged, including how social heterogeneity should be approached to avoid deepening the unequal access to land, resources and livelihood opportunities or even violating human rights in rural contexts.

Ecology and economics for pandemic prevention
Science, July 2020
As public funding in response to COVID-19 continues to rise, analysis suggests that the associated costs of these preventive efforts would be substantially less than the economic and mortality costs of responding to these pathogens once they have emerged.

After 40 years, researchers finally see Earth’s climate destiny more clearly
Science, July 2020
It seems like such a simple question: How hot is Earth going to get? Yet for 40 years, climate scientists have repeated the same unsatisfying answer: If humans double atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) from preindustrial levels, the planet will eventually warm between 1.5°C and 4.5°C—a temperature range that encompasses everything from a merely troubling rise to a catastrophic one.


VIRTUAL EVENT: International Climate Finance for Transformational Change
Date: 29 July
Host: DIW Berlin

VIRTUAL EVENT: The Future of America’s Public Lands and the Outdoor Recreation Economy
Date: 29 July
Host: Resources for the Future

VIRTUAL EVENT: Capital Conversation with Sir James Bevan, Chief Executive, Environment Agency
Date: 4 August
Host: London Chamber of Commerce and Industry

WEBINAR: Building America's New Climate Economy
Date: 4 August
Host: World Resources Institute

WEBINAR: Climate and Clean Energy Opportunities for Southeast Asia
Date: 4 August

WEBINAR: Human Rights Strategies in Climate Change Litigation – A Latin-American Perspective
Date: 5 August
Host: Global Network for Human Rights and the Environment

WEBINAR: How can our coastal communities adapt to an uncertain future?
Date: 6 August
Host: Resilience to Nature’s Challenges

WEBINAR: Scaling up Financing for Clean Energy, Sustainable Landscapes, and Climate Adaptation
Date: 6 August

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Lucy Almond, Director and Chair of Nature4Climate
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