SCALING CLIMATE ACTION TO DELIVER 2030 GOALS AND DRIVE GLOBAL GROWTH
6 & 7 September 2016
SCALING CLIMATE ACTION TO DELIVER 2030 GOALS AND DRIVE GLOBAL GROWTH
6 & 7 September 2016
SCALING CLIMATE ACTION TO DELIVER 2030 GOALS AND DRIVE GLOBAL GROWTH
6 -7 September 2016
B4E, the Business for Environment Global Summit, is the world's leading international conference for dialogue and business-driven action for the environment. The summit addresses the most urgent environmental challenges facing the world today. Important topics on the agenda include resource efficiency, renewable energies, new business models and climate policy and strategies. CEOs and senior executives join leaders from government, international agencies, NGOs and media to discuss environmental issues, forge partnerships and explore innovative solutions for a greener future.
Guy has been involved in the energy sector since 1984 working initially in the oil and gas industry as an exploration geologist for Amoco before joining the newly formed PowerGen in 1990. At PowerGen Guy worked initially in the UK core business before transferring to be part of the International expansion of developing conventional power stations in Portugal, Germany and Eastern Europe.
Pete is the Programme Director for Transport at the European Climate Foundation, where he has worked since 2011. Prior to that, he spent 10 years analysing and reporting on politics, business and markets for the international newswire Reuters. Since 2008, he has been living in Brussels, focusing on the European politics of climate and energy. He has published several books and papers on ecology, travel and communications.
This article was originally published on The Climate Group and is republished with permission.
LONDON: Leading heads of states along with prominent global organizations, have called today to expand carbon pricing to cover double the current level of global emissions by 2020 – and quadruple it by 2030.
The Carbon Pricing Panel, convened by the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund, has just released its Vision Statement for carbon pricing to cover 25% of global emissions in the next four years, and 50% by the end of next decade.
The call is supported by international leaders such as Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, President of France François Hollande, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany Angela Merkel, California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. and OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría.
“There is a growing sense of inevitability about putting a price on carbon pollution,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. “In order to deliver on the promises of the historic Paris climate agreement, a price on carbon pollution will be essential to help cut emissions and drive investments into innovation and cleaner technologies.”
STATES AND REGIONS LEADERSHIP
Earlier this week, The Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition, a global initiative of which The Climate Group is a member, held its first High-Level Assembly to share further evidence for the economic and social benefits of putting a price on carbon and further accelerate the “unprecedented” political moment for such policy.
In fact, a recent report by the International Carbon Action Partnership showed how half of the world agrees that carbon markets are crucial to tackling climate change. To date, carbon pricing covers only 9% of global greenhouse gas emissions, but this number will increase to 16% next year – four times more than 2010 – covering almost half of the world’s GDP.
Sub-national governments are at the forefront of this crucial policy. “Thanks to early action by Canadian provinces, more than 85% of Canadians live in jurisdictions with existing or planned carbon pricing,” said Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister, Canada.
“We will continue to work with our provincial and territorial partners to develop a more coordinated, pan-Canadian approach to climate change and carbon pricing, so that our children and grandchildren can inherit a Canada more prosperous and sustainable than the one we know today.”
NORTH AMERICAN COLLABORATION
The Climate Group’s States & Regions Alliance clearly shows how collaboration can overcome national and international barriers while fostering the sharing of good practices. A striking example of this is the joint carbon market that our members Québec and California launched last year, creating the largest regional carbon market in North America – which will soon be linked to the ‘cap-and-trade’ system that the Canadian province of Ontario launched last year.
“Carbon pollution threatens our wellbeing and it is imperative we put a price on it,” underlines California’s governor Brown. “California is already proving that we can take action to decarbonize and continue to grow our economy at the same time, but this effort must be global.”
Libby Ferguson, States & Regions Director, The Climate Group says: “States & Regions are demonstrating the art of the possible when it comes to innovative and ambitious climate policy.
“They have both the size and economic strength to implement bold climate policies such as carbon pricing, but also flexibility and political drive to respond faster than their national counterparts. Carbon pricing is an important policy that both protects our climate while stimulating competiveness in the business sector.”
Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., the world’s largest manufacturer of tractors, is one of the private sector supporters of the Carbon Pricing Panel initiative. Today, the company joined The Climate Group's new energy campaign EP100, that will work with the world’s most influential businesses in setting commitments to double their energy productivity and maximize the economic output from each unit of energy used. The Indian-based company has committed to doubling their energy productivity by 2030, a core requirement for any business signing on to the campaign.
By Carey L. Biron, Citiscope
This article was originally published on Eco Business and is republished with permission.
An intergovernmental panel voted not to do an immediate report on urban areas but rather to incorporate new emphasis on cities in all of its coming assessments.
The main body tasked with overseeing the global body of science around the processes and projected impacts of climate change has voted to include a major new focus on cities in all of its research in the coming decade.
This new emphasis will culminate in a special report on the subject of cities and climate change at the end of its next five-year assessment cycle, in 2028. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), while meeting in Nairobi last week, also agreed to hold a global scientific conference on cities and climate change in the near term.
The IPCC decided “to pay special attention … to the impacts of climate change on cities and their unique adaptation and mitigation challenges and opportunities,” the panel said in a release.
The decision fell somewhat short of what backers had been pushing — a proposal, floated by South Africa, to begin a cities-focused special report in the coming year. A final breakdown on countries that supported the cities report is available here.
The move “means that IPCC recognises the probability of important new science results for the topic of cities and climate change over the coming four to five years but decides to incorporate those results into its full assessment rather than into a special report,” said David Carlson, director of the World Climate Research Program at the World Meteorological Organization, which hosts the IPCC Secretariat in Geneva.
Nonetheless, supporters are seeing the IPCC’s vote as a major step forward.
“These outcomes represent a significant achievement for cities,” Debra Roberts, deputy head and chief resilience officer of eThekwini municipality in Durban, South Africa, and co-chair of IPCC Working Group II, said in a statement.
“They create great opportunities to dramatically increase the scientific evidence on cities and climate change, in order to enable better climate policy-making at local level.”
Roberts noted that the IPCC’s actions will build on two major global processes that have brought new high-level attention to cities. In September, all members of the United Nations agreed to a new anti-poverty and sustainability framework, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which includes a first-ever goal specifically on urban areas. Three months later, the landmark climate agreement struck in Paris in December formally acknowledged cities as important players in combating climate change.
The IPCC’s focus on cities will also take place just as the global community begins negotiations on the details of the U. N.’s new 20-year strategy on sustainable urbanization. That strategy, known as the New Urban Agenda, is set to be finalized at a pan-U. N. conference in Ecuador’s capital in October, an event known as Habitat III.
Close observers of the Habitat III process have expressed confidence that the Paris Agreement — and the slew of agreements and frameworks for city-specific climate pledges and actions that have come out of the Paris negotiations — will figure prominently in the drafting of the New Urban Agenda.
The IPCC’s announcements take place just as countries are set to formally sign on to the Paris Agreement. On Friday, a record 150-plus national governments are reportedly set to gather in New York to take their first steps toward implementing the new climate accord, which includes a global goal of keeping average global warming below 1.5 degrees C.
A prominent surprise of the Paris climate talks was the strong mobilization by cities and regions, arguing that they hold a potentially critical opportunity to make major, immediate gains in cutting down on carbon emissions. But they also warned that they need additional fiscal and planning powers to do so.
Supporters now see the IPCC’s actions as doing much to extend the momentum from Paris. The panel’s votes offer prominent impetus for the scientific community to delve far more deeply into the technical details behind cities’ potential role in combating and preparing for climate change.
But the IPCC’s decisions are also being seen as a strong legitimizing signal — bolstering city officials’ views of their role in the climate discussion while also underscoring to national governments that urban areas and their governance structures constitute an important tool with which to fulfil countries’ new emissions-reduction pledges.
“As cities advance on the goals of the Paris Agreement, it is vital that their work is supported by rigorous scientific analysis,” Gino Van Begin, secretary general of the global cities network ICLEI, said following the IPCC vote. “
Until now, cities have had to extrapolate the significance of general scientific findings and apply them locally. By addressing the particularities of cities in relation to climate change, the IPCC Special Report will assist local and subnational governments in developing effective mitigation and adaptation strategies.”
Official comments from the IPCC’s working groups noted that the panel did place a new focus on cities by including a related chapter in its last five-year assessment, which came out in 2012. Yet they also warned that this relatively cursory treatment left “many gaps” in the scientific understanding of the role cities can play in combating and responding to climate change.
“[T]here is a broad spectrum of related issues that are very relevant and where the literature and action has been burgeoning, and single chapters … can barely scratch the surface of these issues,” one comment stated.
“[P]erhaps most importantly, integration between adaptation and mitigation at the urban scale is crucial in order to avoid counteracting actions and utilise synergistic opportunities, and addressing the urban scale in separate volumes will not be able to play this pivotal integrative role,” it said.
The comments also noted a significant new uptick in scientific and policy interest in this issue.
“There is an increasing recognition in recent years that cities often offer opportunities for more flexible and faster action on climate change than national governments, and thus both action at this level as well as the literature analysing these actions have been burgeoning,” it said.
“Given the burgeoning literature on and the so far limited attention given by IPCC to the urban scale, combined with the increasing attention to city-level climate action, the subject of this proposed [special report] is topical and an assessment is highly needed,” the comments stated. “The urban scale also offers perhaps the most important arena for integration of adaptation and mitigation.”
By Marc Gunther
This article was originally published on Corporate Knights and is republished with permission.
What's the best way to conserve wild places?
Several years ago, at Brainstorm Green, a conference on business and the environment that I co-chaired for Fortune magazine, Rick Ridgeway of Patagonia (the company) talked about Conservacion Patagonica, a nonprofit created by the late Doug Tompkins and his wife, Kris, that has protected more than 2 million acres of land and laid the groundwork for a future Patagonia National Park. “National parks serve as the most effective conservation tool for protecting and restoring wild lands for wildlife and people alike,” the group says.
The following year at Brainstorm Green, Peter Knights described how WildAid, a UK-based nonprofit he founded, protects elephants, rhinos, wild tigers and sharks from poaching. It aims to end demand for products like elephant ivory, rhino horn and shark fins, saying: “When the buying stops, the killing can, too.” Greenpeace , the Rainforest Action Network and business-friendly coalitions like the Round Table on Responsible Soy also make the case that the best way to protect wild places and wildlife is to focus on the demand for commodities like soy and palm oil, and insure they are sustainably sourced.
So which is the most effective way to protect wild lands? Traditional, place-based conservation? Or efforts to reshape markets and reduce demand?
Those questions came to mind last week when the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, one of the world’s leading funders of environmental conservation, made two major announcements. The foundation, which is already the biggest private supporter of conservation in the Amazon, said it will commit another $100 million to its 15-year-old Andes Amazon Initiative, an effort to protect vast tracts of land across Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Bolivia. Several days later, the foundation announced a new set of collaborations, supported by more than $90 million in grants, that are designed to advance conservation by promoting sustainable supply chains in agriculture and fisheries.
So, again, which approach works best? I put the question to Aileen Lee, who recently became chief program officer for environmental conservation at the foundation.
“It’s absolutely a fair question,” Lee told me, by phone. “I can’t say that we have a great answer.” Grant-makers at the Moore Foundation, she said, “believe that a portfolio approach makes sense,” which is why they support both place-based conservation and initiatives to reshape markets. “We are learning as we go,” she added.
With about $6.6 billion in assets, the Moore Foundation is one of the 10 biggest in the US. It was started in 2000 by Gordon Moore, a founder of Intel, and his wife, Betty Moore. Since then, the foundation reports, its environmental conservation program has made more than 1,000 grants that are cumulatively worth $1,177,815,399. So important is conservation to the Moores that they hired Steve McCormick, the former head of The Nature Conservancy to lead the foundation from 2008 to 2014.
McCormick understands as well as anyone the challenges facing traditional, place-based conservation. In a 2013 interview with Mark Tercek, who replaced him as head of The Nature Conservancy, McCormick said:
Despite all the great conservation work that’s been done over the past 50 years, we haven’t staunched the rate of loss of biodiversity. Extinction rates have actually increased in the 30 years I’ve worked in conservation. And while some major habitat types, like temperate forests, have been fairly well conserved, most are disappearing at accelerated rates.
The biggest challenge we have to face, therefore, is that the drivers of these changes derive from fundamental human needs and desires. While I am passionate about the importance of creating protected areas, I’m convinced that the only way we will secure conservation at a globally meaningful scale is to work on system change, especially in market systems by reflecting the true costs of natural capital in its various forms.
To its credit, the Moore Foundation continues to wrestle with these issues. They have funded an evaluation of their long-running Andes-Amazon program by Hardner & Gullison Associates, a consultancy, that will be made public later this year. They supported a small nonprofit called Foundations of Success that aims to improve conservation practices, and invested in its development of Miradi, a software program that can be used to help design, manage and monitor conservation programs. They supported academic research by Holly Gibbs, who has looked at the impact of global economic drivers on deforestation; she has found that corporate deforestation commitments can have a favorable impact, she told the Guardian. Last fall, Moore made a $2.1 million grant to the Nelson Institute at the University of Wisconsin to evaluate “supply chain interventions for deforestation-free cattle and soy production” in the Brazilian.
None of these evaluation projects have come up with definitive answers, but they should help guide future grant-making. “We think it’s critical to invest (in evaluation), although we recognize that it’s a very complex environment in which to tease out cause and effect,” Lee says.
Consider, as an example, the mid-2000s campaign by Greenpeace blaming McDonald’s for deforestation of the Amazon because the fast-food giant bought chickens that were fed soy from the region. Greenpeace’s Paulo Adario and McDonald’s Bob Langert subsequently persuaded major soy producers to agree to stop selling soy linked to deforestation, a moratorium that has held for a a decade. “The moratorium is widely credited as a major factor in the reduction of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon in recent years,” says Adario. Success? Maybe, but chickens are still being fed plenty of soy, which may or may not be causing environmental problems in soy-producing regions of Argentina or Paraguay.
The $90-million tranche of supply chain grants are an indication that Moore is putting more resources into reducing demand for commodities that cause environmental harm. “It’s a very deliberate diversification of the portfolio,” Lee says. “We want to take advantage of the changes we’re seeing at forward leaning businesses that are taking initiatives to clean up their supply chains.” Many big food and ag companies, including Cargill, Danone, Nestle, Unilever have made zero-deforestation commitments.
Grantees for Moore’s supply chain work will include Ceres, FishWise, Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, National Wildlife Federation, New Venture Fund, Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, The Nature Conservancy, World Business Council for Sustainable Development and World Wildlife Fund. These are, for the most part, well-established, business-friendly entities.
The Moore Foundation also supports grass-roots groups in the Amazon, mostly through its Andes-Amazon initiative, according to Genevieve Biggs, a communications officer at the foundation. They include Gaia Amazonas in Colombia, Instituto Socio Ambiental and Instituto de Ensino e Pesquisa Indígena in Brazil, and Instituto del Bien Comun in Peru. Says Biggs: “It’s part of a long-term commitment to place and to the stewards who live there, who are most impacted by the various pressures these areas face.”
If there’s one element missing from Moore’s portfolio, it is support for activist groups like Greenpeace or Rainforest Action Network. My own reporting on their campaigns, for Fortune and for the Guardian, has persuaded me that they’ve raised awareness of deforestation among consumers, and brought pressure on brands to clean up their supply chains. (Ask Asia Pulp & Paper.) Then again, I could be mistaken.
The trouble is, we really don’t know what works. It may well be impossible to do randomized control trials of conservation projects. But that doesn’t mean that foundations and big conservation organizations like WWF, The Nature Conservancy, Conservation International can’t do a better job of reporting on their impacts.
Nick Salafsky, the co-founder of Foundations of Success, says his group would like foundations and nonprofits that support conservation to be clear about what they are trying to accomplish, to measure and report on what they do and to become learning organizations.
“Those don’t seem to me to be huge asks,” he told me. They’re not
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