Climate 411

COP 27: The 3 issues we’re watching as the world gathers in Sharm El-Sheikh

Co-authored by Angela Churie Kallhauge, Executive Vice President, Impact; Maggie Ferrato, Manager, Global Climate; and Julia Ilhardt, High Meadows Fellow 

It’s been a year since countries and companies announced new climate pledges in Glasgow. 

Since then, war and economic disruption, on top of a still-raging pandemic and increasingly destructive natural disasters, have complicated those commitments – and arguably made them even more urgent. The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change underscores that we have very little time left to meet even the upper limit of the Paris Agreement’s temperature goals. 

COP27 is expected to be a “working COP,” meaning we’re likely to see incremental progress on key issues rather than major announcements. But that doesn’t make it any less important. This COP is a chance for countries to take meaningful steps toward tackling the climate crisis.  

Here are the three issues to watch in Egypt both in the negotiations and on the sidelines to ensure we implement our existing commitments while raising our ambition.   Read More »

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Carbon Markets Can Drive Revenue, Ambition for Tropical Forest Countries, New Studies Show

This post was co-authored by Pedro Martins Barata, Senior Climate Director, and Julia Paltseva, Senior Analyst, Natural Climate Solutions.

Aerial view down onto vibrant green forest canopy with leafy foliage. Source: Getty Images

Global climate mitigation requires rapid action to protect ecosystems, particularly Earth’s tropical forests. Once ecosystems are lost, wide-scale restoration takes time. Recognizing the importance and urgency of taking action to protect intact forests, more than 100 global leaders, representing nations that account for 85% of global forests, pledged at COP26 to halt and reverse deforestation and land degradation by 2030.

We know that tropical forest jurisdictions which have implemented results-based payment programs on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation have been successful at reducing deforestation while bringing co-benefits and buy-in from Indigenous and local forest communities. These programs need to be scaled up to meet the urgency of the climate crisis. Carbon markets are one promising means to do so.

Now two new studies suggest that tropical forest jurisdictions that engage in emissions trading for conserving their forests at large scales could generate significant revenues, and promote more ambitious, but attainable, climate goals.

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Also posted in Carbon Markets, Forest protection, Indigenous People, International, News, REDD+ / Comments are closed

Markets, stocktake, and impacts: The three issues to watch at the UN climate talks in Bonn

This post was co-authored by Julia Ilhardt, High Meadows Fellow at Environmental Defense Fund

Opening Plenary of Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI), 2019 climate negotiations in Bonn, Germany. UNclimatechange via Flickr.

Next week, climate negotiators will begin two weeks of meetings in Bonn, Germany to make progress on a full slate of issues—from carbon markets and finance to adaptation and loss and damage—before November’s global climate talks.

At these mid-year negotiating sessions, negotiators will continue to elaborate rules for international carbon markets, kick off dialogues on the global stocktake, and start work on critical processes to address the impacts of the climate crisis, among other things. They will build on the work completed at COP26 in Glasgow last year, and the results will give us an indication of what the upcoming COP27 negotiations in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt will look like.

1. Elaborate rules needed to “operationalize” international carbon markets

At COP26 in Glasgow—after six years of difficult, technical negotiations—countries delivered a strong Paris Agreement rulebook for international cooperation through carbon markets. These rules will give countries the tools they need for environmental integrity and ultimately clear a path to get private capital flowing to developing countries.

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Countries must heed IPCC reports as they review collective progress under the global stocktake

This post was authored by Maggie Ferrato, Senior Analyst for Environmental Defense Fund.

Forest family photo of World Leaders at COP26 in Glasgow, Scottland. Karwai Tang/ UK Government via Flickr.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest Working Group III report has made it clear that the world is not on track to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement—and emissions have continued to rise across all sectors—despite the technological and policy solutions that are increasingly available to decisionmakers.

It’s an important message that needs to be repeated with more urgency than ever. We already know we must do much more to reduce our emissions, including by transitioning more quickly from fossil fuels and rethinking how we grow our food. And in February, the IPCC’s Working Group II report highlighted the dramatic impacts the planet faces from a warming atmosphere, and how this decade is a critical window to adapt to our changing climate and limit the damage by dramatically cutting our emissions.

The IPCC reports taken together send a clear signal that countries must urgently set their ambitions much higher in the fight against climate change.

The good news is that the Paris Agreement was designed to ratchet up ambition over time. One of the mechanisms to make this happen, a process known as the “global stocktake,” is an opportunity to assess countries’ collective progress toward the Paris Agreement’s long-term goals on mitigation, adaptation and finance.

The IPCC reports provide an important backdrop for the UN’s global stocktake process. Here’s how countries can leverage the scientific research from the IPCC to conduct a stocktake that succeeds in increasing global ambition and action.

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Why we need a global stocktake that works

UN climate agency’s upcoming review puts a spotlight on Paris Agreement implementation 

Day 1 plenary of COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland. UNclimatechange via Flickr

This post was co-authored by Maggie Ferrato, Senior Analyst for Environmental Defense Fund

In the wake of the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, it’s clear that current climate targets are not enough to meet the Paris Agreement temperature goals, despite dozens of updated national climate plans and the plethora of announcements made on the sidelines of COP.

With COP26 now in the rearview, it is time to look ahead toward what needs to happen next for the world to get on track to meet the Paris Agreement goals.

The good news is that Paris Agreement was designed to ratchet up ambition over time. One of the elements written in the Paris Agreement, a process known as the global stocktake (GST), just kicked off. The two-year process risks becoming a bureaucratic check-the-box exercise that doesn’t produce any real benefit to the climate. However, if implemented properly, the stocktake offers an important opportunity to increase countries’ climate ambition enough to set the world on the right path to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement.

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Also posted in International, United Nations / Comments are closed

What’s next for the LEAF coalition? An outlook for tropical forest protection in 2022 and beyond

This post was authored by Rocio Sanz Cortes, Managing Director of Supply at Emergent. In 2019 EDF set up Emergent, the group facilitating LEAF, because we saw the need for a new, innovative financing facility that could catalyze a high-quality market for forest carbon/jurisdictional REDD+ credits. EDF’s Ruben Lubowski is a senior advisor for Emergent.  

Amazon Canopy. iStock.

Last year’s COP26 UN climate summit was referred to as “Nature COP,” as forests and nature took a protagonist role. Financial pledges to protect forests and reduce deforestation reached unprecedented volumes. In the first major formal deal of COP26, 100 leaders representing 85% of the world’s tropical forests pledged to end deforestation by 2030. This agreement was backed by the Global Forest Finance Pledge with $12 billion in public funds and $7.2 billion in private money. This funding will support actions such as restoring degraded land, tackling wildfires and advancing the rights of Indigenous people in tropical forest countries.

Another key success of last year’s global climate summit was the historic $1.7 billion pledge from governments and private funders to support Indigenous peoples and local communities. Direct financing for these groups underscores their essential role in forest stewardship. Other commitments announced at COP26 included the Congo Basin Pledge. Signed by more than 10 countries, the Bezos Earth Fund and the European Union, the pledge seeks to mobilize $1.5 billion to protect forests, peatlands and other critical carbon stores.

Natural climate solutions include conservation, restoration and management of forests, grasslands and wetlands – which could provide at least 20% of the emissions reductions and removals needed for the world to achieve net zero. Not only that, but they could also deliver socio-economic and environmental benefits beyond carbon. We are at a critical point for the future of the planet, and the pledges made at COP26 are game changers in keeping the planet’s temperature increase from reaching catastrophic levels.

LEAF’s breakthrough commitments

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Also posted in Carbon Markets, Forest protection, International, News, REDD+, United Nations / Read 1 Response