Monthly Archives: March 2015

Countries Lag In Signing Green Climate Fund Contribution Agreements

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) was celebrated at last year’s international climate negotiations for securing more than $10 billion worth of pledges from developed and developing countries. But only four countries whose commitments total $80 million have actually signed contribution agreements ahead of an April 30 deadline, raising uncertainty over when the GCF will be…

Mexico Becomes First Developing Country To Post Climate Action Plan

Mexico on Friday became the first developing country to upload its proposed national climate action plan, known as its “Intended Nationally-Determined Contribution” (INDC) to the United Nations web site. The draft proposal foresees emissions peaking by 2026, and it comes on the heels of Norway’s submission on Thursday. The United States is expected to submit…

WRI Launches New Tool For Tracking And Comparing National Climate Plans

The end of March brings with it the the first deadline for nations to submit their national climate action plans — or “Intended Nationally-Determined Contributions” to the United Nations — but so far, only Switzerland and the European Union have submitted their plans. As with taxes, there’s a lot of procrastinating and an automatic extension — as…

Commodity Roundtables: Green Gatekeepers Or Dirty Doormen?

It’s been a decade since the first commodity roundtables brought producers of soy, palm, and other crops together with environmental organizations. The results have been less than stellar, but the Roundtable for Responsible Soy recently disciplined 100 members for failure to comply with paperwork requirements. Critics say that’s a nice beginning, but we still have…

Climate Engineering: Solution Or Problem?

On February 10, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) released two major new reports on climate engineering (or “geoengineering”). The reports set out to summarize the scientific basis for what the authors chose to call “climate intervention”, identify governance and ethical challenges, and chart a new research agenda. While the authors were careful to state…

MIT Crowdsourcing Climate-Change Solutions

24 March 2014 | The Climate CoLab has announced twenty-two contests that seek high-impact ideas on how to tackle climate change. A project of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Center for Collective Intelligence, the Climate CoLab seeks to harness the knowledge and expertise of thousands of experts and non-experts across the world to help…

Marks & Spencer: Cooking Its Way To A Cleaner Future

Motivated by an ambitious sustainability plan, British retailer Marks and Spencer has become one of the biggest voluntary buyers of carbon offsets, according to a new Ecosystem Marketplace report. But the company is going beyond greening its own operations, making a commitment to the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves to raise awareness of clean cooking,…

Jurisdictional REDD: Long Deferred, Soon Delivered

Forest-carbon projects are now conserving as much forested land as you’ll find in all of Malaysia. It’s a stunning achievement, but one that needs to get big fast if we’re to make a dent in global greenhouse gas emissions. Fortunately, jurisdictions like the Brazilian state of Acre are developing “jurisdictional REDD” programs to do just…

Bioenergy Can Support Climate, Food, Land Restoration – If It’s Done Right

Governments have long promoted the use of biofuels like ethanol derived from corn as a relatively clean-burning alternative to coal, but biofuels have gone from hero to zero as people started chopping forests to plant fuel crops. Many environmentalists today are calling for an end to pro-biofuel policies, but Emily McGlynn of The Earth Partners…

EU Leaves Land-Use Off Its New INDC

9 March 2015 | The European Union (EU) on Friday submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and land use was not part of it. “The INDC was altered from a draft version that included land use in the 2030 goal – a move criticised by green groups…

Coalition Of 600 To CIMI: Stop Telling Lies!

The Amazon Working Group, a grassroots network of 600 associations representing smallholder farms, fishermen, rubber-tappers, and indigenous people, on Friday became the latest association of forest people to condemn Brazil’s powerful Indigenous Missionary Council. Many indigenous leaders say the once-revered institution now fosters dependency rather than allegiance, and does so by fomenting division among those…

California Moves With Chinese Provinces On Climate

The United States and China made headlines last year with their Climate Pact, but significant collaboration had already occurred at the subnational levels. Both California and several of China’s provinces launched emissions trading systems (ETS) in 2013, and they have been working together ever since. Now, a new report highlights the latest accomplishments and partnerships.…

Researchers Say Ecotourism In Protected Areas Delivers 60:1 Annual Return On Costs

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Researchers say that the first study to attempt to gauge global visitation figures for protected areas reveals nature-based tourism has an economic value of hundreds of billions of dollars annually, and call for much greater investment in the conservation of protected areas in line with the values they sustain – both economically and ecologically. 3…

Switzerland Becomes First Country To Post Climate-Action Plan.

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Most developed countries have agreed to submit their post-2020 climate action plans by the end of March, and Switzerland became the first out of the gate on Friday. In this analysis, the World Resources Institute (WRI) says the Swiss proposal is clear and comprehensive, but they also said the country may relying too heavily on…

US Gulf Coast Prime For Wetlands Restoration: Study

Louisiana’s disappearing coastlines are propelling renewed efforts to preserve the areas that can be saved before it’s too late. A new study finds the carbon markets could potentially contribute up to $1.6 billion toward this effort, if the offsets generated by wetlands restoration projects are eventually welcomed into the compliance markets. 12 March 2015 |…