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Can Brazil’s “Green Municipalities” Save the Amazon?

Consumer giants like Unilever and Marks&Spencer have promised to source materials from states and regions that slash deforestation, but slowing deforestation requires buy-in at every level of society. Here’s how one Brazilian jurisdiction became the country’s first “Green Municipality”, and why that success may prove difficult to replicate. 11 February 2016 | Adnan Demachki hadn’t…

The Case Of The Flatulent Fugitive: How California’s Methane Monster Escaped The Carbon Cap (And How To Nab It)

We all make mistakes – that’s why pencils have erasers and renters have insurance. If we add some numbers wrong, we can erase them and start over; but if we burn down the neighbor’s house, we can’t “un-burn” it by labeling it a mistake. Instead, we have to offset our damage by paying to rebuild…

Banks Aren’t Doing Their Part To End Deforestation. Here’s How They Can – And Why They Should

Companies around the world are tripping over each other to make “zero deforestation” pledges, but that won’t mean a thing if the banks that finance them ignore deforestation liability. A new study says that’s exactly what’s happening, but there’s a simple solution. Will the banks bite? 29 July 2015 | The UN Environment Programme (UNEP)…

13 Powerhouse American Companies Have Taken Obama’s New Climat Pledge. What Does It Mean For Forests?

Thirteen major US companies today took the White House’s “American Business Act on Climate” pledge to slash their greenhouse gas emissions to slow climate change. The pledges commit to at least $140 billion in new low-carbon investment, but only three companies – Cargill, PepsiCo, and Walmart – made any explicit mention of purging deforestation from…

US EPA To Approve California’s Newest List Of Impaired Waterways

More than 40,000 miles of California’s rivers and streams are currently threatened by pollution, according to a list of impaired waterways submitted by the state to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Monitoring of rivers, lakes and coastal waters in California continue to show harmful pollutant levels, based on updates to the list from three of the…

The Pope Is Right On Climate, Wrong On Offsetting

Pope Francis’s “Ecumenical Letter on Care for Our Common Home” is elegant, inspirational, and insightful. It may even prove to be transformational if people heed its call to deliver themselves from soul-sucking consumerism and immerse themselves in nature and the brotherhood of man. The Pontiff rightly identifies the drivers of this mess: our disconnection from…

Indigenous People Build Fund For Direct Access To Climate Finance, Push For More Active Role In Proceedings

Hundreds of millions of dollars in climate finance have been pledged to helping indigenous people manage their territories, but all of that money now flows through intermediaries. Here’s how the Amazon’s largest federation of indigenous organizations aims to change that. 24 June 2015 | BONN/BARCELONA | Indigenous leader Juan Carlos Jintiach says he was ecstatic…

Dutch Court Says Country Violates Human Rights By Not Meeting Global Norms In Slashing Emissions

A Dutch court today ruled that the country’s government failed to protect human rights by not implementing policies that would reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by at least 25% by 2020. “Based on the State’s current policy, the Netherlands will achieve a reduction of 17% at most in 2020, which is below the norm of 25% to…

REDD Dawn: The Birth Of Forest Carbon

Governments around the world will have pledged more than $7 billion to support “REDD”, which is an acronym for “Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation” of forests. The acronym covers a broad set of activities that aim to slow climate change by saving endangered forests and keeping carbon locked in trees. In this series, we…

Getting Down To Business: The Tolo River People Shift From Building Their Carbon Project To Selling The Offsets

After three years of preparation and four years of development, the Tolo River community of Colombia in 2013 began earning carbon offsets for saving their endangered rainforest. For the project to deliver on its potential, they must now sell the offsets and manage the income. 12 May 2015 | “I feel pain when the forest…

Brazilian Ecosystem Services Matrix Brings Transparency To Environmental Finance

Brazil is not only a hotbed of ecosystem services, it’s also testing grounds for the market-like payments for ecosystem services approach to conserve and manage these natural services. And now, a new initiative launching this week provides a comprehensive way to track, understand and scale these programs using an interactive mapping and database system.   5…

High-Risk African Nations Ratcheting Up Support For Results-Based Finance

The African Carbon Forum wrapped up last week in Morocco with calls to beef up funding for results-based finance and improve existing market-like mechanisms, such as the Clean Development Mechanism, as the eight-month countdown to year-end talks in Paris begins. 21 April 2015 | Africa generates very little in the way of greenhouse gas emissions,…