Sustainability in the fashion industry


Written by Natalia Rodrigo, Group Sustainability Technical Manager.


 

Recent studies on the fashion industry state that this sector highly needs to improve sustainability performance. Although it is true that most fashion brands are aware of their environmental and social impact, only less than half of them have started to take real action. In addition to this, fashion companies are not yet implementing sustainable solutions fast enough to effectively counteract all the negative impacts this hastily growing industry has.

Current patterns of production and consumption in the fashion industry endanger natural resources and generate a loss of biodiversity. Furthermore, it cannot be discarded increasing rates of carbon emissions, water consumption, chemical use, and waste generation. Considering that, our planet has already overcome its safe operating boundaries, restrictions on one or more of its key input factors cannot be discarded, making it difficult to grow at the projected rate of a predicted increase of 60% by 2030. 

In addition to this, other non-environmental challenging issues such as animal welfare, lack of transparency and negative image, for instance, pressuring society to live up to body ideals, cannot be consigned to oblivion.

It is a universally acknowledged truth that the fashion industry is regarded as a powerhouse for global development. This point can be illustrated by the position it has as one of the world’s largest consumer industries. As a result, this sector imperatively needs to perform differently. Far away from integrating profit and growth, fashion can provide additional value towards its products, resulting in tangible benefits across society as well as the world economy. 

Fashion, talent, and creativity always go hand in hand. This means that fashion has a far-reaching savoir-faire, is active on social media and counts with enough leverage to successfully work on its own transformation. 

Positively surprisingly, the fashion industry has already embarked on the challenging target of raising consumers ´awareness, undertaking for real and effective improvements, conforming wide networks dedicated to environmental, social, and transparent goals.

In addition to all of this, targeted investments made on technology as well as labor conditions and productivity, achievable heretofore will allow fashion brands to counterbalance current pressure. This point can be illustrated by current initiatives on converting textile waste into raw materials using advanced recycling techniques; reduce water and energy consumption due to innovative technology implementation as well as to integrate waste management techniques across production and distribution operations.

Taking all these new specialized strategies into account, a sneaking suspicion that acting differently nowadays as well as eagle eyeing for innovative solutions will provide these companies with a unique opportunity to manage and make certainly profitable growth forge ahead.

On the other hand, if no prompt action is taken, fashion brands will strain themselves to downgrade average unitary prices, deeper depreciation levels, rising costs, as well as resource shortage among the value chain. Undoubtedly, this industry is nowadays based on a linear ‘one-way street’ of take, make, and waste.

As a result, chain reactions across fashion are quite predictable. Considering current projections for growth in energy prices and salaries by 2030, fashion brands will suffer a decline in benefits if they still opt for business, as usual, consequently pledging their long-term resourcefulness.

In order to effectively address the rising environmental and social pressure, as well as to strike with the continuous industry boost, this sector is called to assess its footprint. In order to determine the industry’s environmental, social, and ethical gaps, ALLCOT helps the fashion industry to successfully identify the level of sustainability at each stage of the value chain. This strategy empowers companies to identify KPI´s and raise red flags for the weakest of them.  The main objective of this effort is to build-up knowledge, transparency, and overall sustainability. 

Without any doubt, this challenge in patterns ‘turnover also aims to establish the basis for prospective remodeling, investment channeling and innovation.

In conclusion, if the fashion industry does not take prompt and fast action on sustainability performance, its contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will not be significant, putting into high risk the commitments of the Paris Agreement and therefore the Agenda 2030.  As a result, it is urgently needed to place environmental, social, and ethical improvements as an indispensable task within management’s agendas.

The fashion industry has the iron in the fire to empower large-scale environmental and social change.  Integrating more energy-efficient and conscientious use of limited resources, fair working conditions, as well as progressing on upstream and downstream issues along the value chain are key strategies to make this change a reality.

ALLCOT is changing the change…

ALLCOT at COP25

 

SIDE EVENT

“Quantification of SDGs to implement Article 6 of the Paris Agreement”

From December 2th to 13th, the UN’s Climate Change Conference will take place at IFEMA, Madrid’s convention center. This event will include the 25th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), also known as COP25, the 15th meeting of the parties for the Kyoto Protocol, and the second meeting of the parties for the Paris Agreement

ALLCOT will be attending this high-level conference, which is an opportunity to give enhanced visibility to the work that is being carried out about climate change. 

Sergi Cuadrat, our Group Chief Technical Officer, will be presenting a side event called “Quantification of SDGs to implement Article 6 of the Paris Agreement”.

ALLCOT is developing an open-source SDG Quantification Methodology which aims to measure the co-benefits of emission reduction projects on the SDGs. This requires measuring SDG baselines at the local scale and tracking progress. This operational tool will be applied to development activities to ensure a fair carbon price.

Panel Discussion:

  • El Hadji Mbaye Diagne, Vice-Chair of the CDM Executive Board.
  • Margaret Kim, Chief Executive Officer of Gold Standard.
  • David Antonioli, Chief Executive Officer of Verra.

Venue: BusinessHub Side Event room. (IFEMA – Madrid)

Day: December 10th. 

Hour: 14:00 to 15:30.  

It will be a pleasure for us to participate in this great event and share it with all the attendants.  See you there!

ALLCOT participates in the Local Stakeholder Consultation process in Ziguinchor, Senegal


Written by Mercedes García, Climate Change and Sustainability Manager


The degradation of mangroves during the last years is alarmingly increasing. Uncontrolled deforestation is one of the main causes, but the increase of the temperature of the planet is altering the salinity of certain areas, which significantly impact on the stability of an ecosystem as fragile as mangroves are. 

Mangroves live in tropical and subtropical latitudes. To the south of Gambia, mangroves occupy Casamance estuary, where they form a long band over the northern margin of the 6 km wide river, between Ziguinchor and Tobor, in Senegal. Due to the anthropogenic pressure, linked to illegal harvest and agriculture, there are many mangroves areas in a state of maximum degradation on which we must act. 

ALLCOT, together with the Senegalese NGO OCEANIUM, is working on the developing of reforestation and conservation project for a part of this mangrove, starting in Senegal and expanding in the coming months to the Gambia and Guinea Bissau. The goal of the project, called SWAMP (Senegal and West Africa Mangrove Project) is to empower the local communities through reforestation and mangrove conservation. For this, the project will be registered in the international standard SDVista with the objective of obtain carbon credits that could be reinvested in these communities and different socio-economics activities. For that, the participation of Senegalese government and local authorities has been necessary, through various meetings held during last year.

On October 15, ALLCOT had the privilege of being one of the speakers in these meetings, held in Zinguinchor. During a complete working day, the ALLCOT team had the opportunity to share with the participants how the project is structured, the short and long term objectives, and especially the detail of the socio-economics activities to be implemented, all of them aligned with the Sustainable Developing Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda. 

There was also the opportunity to discuss and share a lunch with all the mayors who have already joined the initiative and many others who are still evaluating the possibility of adhering. Ideas about initiatives of developing and their alignments with the needs of the populations were exchanged. It was a very fruitful workday, which will be a turning point in the design of the SWAMP project. 

ALLCOT has extensive wide experience in the design and structuring of the project in the field of mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions. Our role in the project is to improve the quality of life of the populations that live in the mangroves through the incomes from the carbon credits. To obtain the maximum benefit the project is designed to cover two main areas. In the most degraded areas, propagule plantations of Rhizophora Mangle and Avicennia sp are scheduled. In the areas, best-conserved, protection and training activities will be carried. These activities include the creation of monitoring brigades, to awareness and training in the field. In parallel, the technical team is working in different activities linked to the food security and gender equity for the communities who live in the mangrove areas. 

Due to the significant social component of the project, the standard chosen has been SDVista. Standard developed by VERRA for all those projects which mitigate the greenhouse gas emission but have a profound impact on local populations. 

One of the objectives of the standard is not only to evaluate the contribution of the projects with the SDGs, but also their quantification, monitoring, and of course the verification by an accredited entity. It is, therefore, a robust standard that aims to demonstrate in an effective and verifiable way that the projects are contributing to meet the needs of certain populations. 

During last years, in ALLCOT we have worked in each one of our projects in the alignment of all the activities with the SDSs, all channeled through the fight against climate change. 

SWAMP project is undoubtedly a clear example of the strategy of the company for the future. Empower the local communities through the fight against the current climate crisis by developing initiatives in the scope of all the SDGs of the 2030 Agenda.

Carbon footprint and Expotural, The Nature and Sustainable Tourism Fair


Written by Patricia Piñero, Sustainability Consultant.


Between September 27th and 29th, the EXPOTURAL Nature and Sustainable Tourism Fair opened in Madrid in Hall 1 of IFEMA.

EXPOTURAL has become the national reference for sustainable tourism, where nature and biodiversity protection has the greatest role. It is a space to propose and facilitate the promotion and development of destinations through sustainable rural tourism.

A 6000 m2 venue hosted this celebration, accommodating numerous activities available to attendees. Among them the award for the best initiatives in sustainable tourism, being the winning company Bahía de Santander, and secondly, Casa del Tesoro. Bahía Santander received the award thanks to its ecotourism and environmental education project focused on the recovery of the osprey, through the installation of innkeepers and nests in height. A meeting point was also set up for professionals of Active Tourism business tables so that both exhibitors and attendees could participate in these business rounds.

In addition to all these activities, the II International Forum of Nature Tourism and Sustainable Tourism was held, a series of presentations and round tables developed within the pavilion, and structured in different blocks, which dealt with topics such as Ecotourism, Local Development and Sustainability, rural and active tourism, etc. All under a Responsible Tourism approach, above all, for the climate change mitigation.

Coinciding with the general strike called worldwide to support the fight against climate change, EXPOTURAL actively participated in this cause by dedicating the first day of the II International Forum of Nature Tourism and Sustainable Tourism to Climate Change, the latter being one of the structural axes of the fair’s philosophy.

Another edition in which we had the pleasure of being invited to participate in the forum and of being able to be an active part of EXPOTURAL, not only in the presentation we offered to attendees on the management of the carbon footprint for companies, but also contributing to offsetting the fair’s carbon footprint itself. 

Alfonso Polvorinos, technical director of the Fair and the Forum, contacted us some time ago to explore how we could assess the impact of the fair on climate change and mitigate it in the best possible way.

For the 2018 edition, we calculated the fair’s emission identified them and drew up a reduction strategy as recommendations adapted for it. After this study and conclusions, we offered the possibility of compensating for the emissions resulting from the activity of the fair, to obtain a neutral carbon balance. This was done and we have continued working to make it possible again in this edition.

This emission offsetting consists, in broad terms, of the economic investment in carbon credits, an international decontamination mechanism introduced by the Kyoto Protocol for the reduction of the emissions causing climate change.

Therefore, the fair compensated these emissions generated through its collaboration with the RMDLT project, a forestry project located in the Brazilian Amazon that works to protect this fragile ecosystem from the rampant deforestation of the jungle, while allowing degraded forests to have the opportunity to regenerate.

The project contributes to reaching 12 out of the 17 United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, among the most prominent we can mention: the improvement of the quality of life of the families that reside within the area and the land tenure of the people committed to the conservation.

For more information check our website www.allcot.com, or you can contact us directly at the following email ppr@allcot.com

IEA-IETA-EPRI Conference on Greenhouse Gas Emission Trade


Written by Casania Fometescu, ALLCOT Group Business Development


Earlier this month, Casiana Fometescu, international CO2 consultant and ALLCOT Group business development director on Eastern Europe attended the 19th Annual Workshop on Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading, jointly organized by The International Energy Agency (IEA), the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) in Paris.

The Conference shows the growing importance of the CO2 market worldwide. The number of attendees at the Conference doubled from last year’s, especially in terms of government representatives (e.g. United Kingdom, Switzerland, European Commission, China, New Zealand, Canada, etc.). This feeling was embodied by Mark Lewis from BNP who told the audience he feels “in the glory days of the carbon action”.

The international carbon market has become such an extended topic since national and regional governments, but also companies have developed policies to reduce emissions, and each of them has different technical details in implementation. The presentations held explained many sub-national trading schemes or carbon initiatives (Ontario, Quebec, California), national ones (New Zealand, China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Costa Rica, Columbia), and supra-national carbon markets (EU ETS). 

The following talking points are worth highlighting:

  1. The representative of the World Bank, Celine Ramstein, recognized the importance of pricing carbon and mentioned that there are 46 national and 30 subnational jurisdictions that have already implemented either carbon trading or carbon tax schemes. Yet, all the emissions trading schemes (ETS) in the world (including China) comprise just 20% from the worldwide greenhouse gas (GHG). Therefore, there is still plenty of room to broaden the scope of these mechanisms. 
  2. According to the World Bank report on the state of the carbon market, there is a diversity of carbon prices in different countries, ranging from €127/tCO2 in Sweden and €96/tCO2 in Switzerland, to €25/tCO2 in the EU ETS to less than €10/tCO2 in most countries covered by carbon pricing. Only 5% of the global GHG market has carbon prices between €40-80/tCO2.
  3. Worldwide carbon revenues by governments are also on the rise from USD 22 billion in 2016 to 33 billion USD in 2017, and 45 billion USD in 2018, according to the WB.
  4. Voluntary carbon trading volumes have been rising in recent years and companies are increasingly looking to set CO2 targets in line with the Paris Agreements, Sustainable Development Goals and EU targets for 2030 and 2050.
  5. The EU target of carbon neutrality for 2050 can be achieved only if governments reinforce their National Determined Contributions (NDCs), and set higher targets to achieve through carbon offsetting and investment in green technologies, renewable energy, and carbon storage measures.
  6. Germany would like to introduce a national sectoral trading scheme in addition to the mandatory EU ETS, which will comprise more activity sectors compared to the EU ETS. China has been moving forward on the implementation of the national ETS finalizing Phase I with the plan to realize Phase 2 “simulation exercises” before the end of this year.
  7. Article 6 negotiations of the Paris Agreement can represent an opportunity for private entities to contribute to global mitigation efforts through their participation in international market mechanisms, but also through voluntary cooperation in the implementation of the each country’s NDC. Yet, all pilot initiatives under Article 6 are government initiatives and not private ones.
  8. IETA’s 2019 GHG Market Sentiment Survey shows that 85% of respondents expect corporate voluntary action to increase over the next 5-10 years with businesses much more involved in reducing GHGs emissions and achieving their voluntary targets.

The benefits of recycling in the fight against the climate crisis


Written by Encarnación Hernández, Climate Change Mitigation Consultant


We are currently facing a critical global situation in terms of consumption of plastics and their subsequent recycling. It is expected that by next year, plastic production will increase to 350 million tons. If this rhythm and the current “use and discard” consumption model are maintained, this level could increase to 619 million tons in 2030.

The process of decomposing plastic material produces the emission of two greenhouse gases with a high global warming potential (methane and ethylene) and a very harmful effect on human health. For this reason, in recent years various initiatives have been developed in the field of plastic waste reduction and recycling. Their main objective is to reduce dependence on existing conventional resources. However, there are other solutions in the market contributing to the manufacture of different products from recycled plastics. This is a great innovation in the recycling market.

ALLCOT Group, a company specialized in environmental solutions in the fight against climate change, is working on an innovative project based on the construction of sustainable housing from recycled plastic.

The main objective is the recycling of plastic waste to give it a second life, improving the performance of both recycling and waste recovery. The population is involved in the collection of plastic, mainly bottles, from which blocks and bricks are manufactured and used for the construction of houses or other types of buildings. These materials are flexible and flame retardant light and they display high insulation capacity. These characteristics make them ideal to face extreme weather events that often affect vulnerable countries to the effects of the current climate crisis, such as heatwaves or deterioration caused by water on such conventional buildings.

The ongoing project will be replicated in developing countries. It has focused on vulnerability groups, including women working in the informal waste recycling sector, and therefore contributing to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals signed in the 2030 Agenda. In addition to reducing the amount of waste destined for its final disposition and increase its recovery, the project will yield another series of economic, social and environmental benefits. These include an increase in the country’s resilience to climate change, poverty alleviation, and improvement of the well-being and health of populations by offering a new sustainable livelihood. Finally, it also contributes to greater access to drinking water and improved biodiversity protection in the area.

This project contributes to the mitigation of GHG emissions and thus tackles the current climate crisis. With the use of different internationally accepted methodologies and previous studies, the actual reduction of greenhouse gas emissions can be calculated.  In fact, the secondary production of construction materials entails lower amounts of CO2 emissions compared to conventional production (from 40% to 80% depending on the type of material).

Given that fuel and electricity consumption the freest are the stages of the building process that release most CO2, the plastic brick recycling project is expected to have a high impact on greenhouse gas emissions reduction. 

Concentrating on five key areas (cement, plastics, steel, aluminum, and food), the project “Completing the Picture: How the Circular Economy Tackles Climate Change” illustrates how designing out waste, keeping materials in use, and regenerating farmland can reduce emissions by 9.3 billion tonnes. That is equivalent to eliminating current emissions from all forms of transport globally.

ALLCOT is currently developing a methodology to estimate CO2 emission reductions since there is none approved by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that directly applies to the project in question.

Once approved by the United Nations, project implementation can begin. 

We need additional efforts to decarbonize our economy while creating creative and innovative sustainable growth opportunities.

ALLCOT certifies under “Gold Standard for the Global Goals” more than 644,000 tons of CO2 emissions for Consorcio Santa Marta in Chile.


Written by Alfredo Gil, Climate Change Mitigation Consultant


Consorcio Santa Marta, as Project Proponent and ALLCOT in its role as consultant in climate change mitigation projects, have achieved, on September 13, 2019, the issuance of 644,763 VERs (Verified Emission Reductions) certified under “Gold Standard for the Global Goals”, corresponding to the GS3976 project “Santa Marta Landfill Gas (LFG) Capture for Electricity Generation Project”.

These VERs are equivalent to 644,763 tons of CO2 emissions, avoided during the fourth monitoring period of the project (from August 1, 2017, to April 30, 2019), thanks to the collection and reuse of biogas from the landfill to produce clean electricity.

The project, located 17 km south of the city of Santiago, in Chile, receives a monthly average of 130,000 tons of municipal solid waste and it is estimated that during the project’s crediting period it avoids around 3 million tons of CO2 in the atmosphere. This reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is achieved through two routes, one is the use of biogas itself, with high methane content (a gas with a high global warming potential) since if it is not collected and used for generation of energy, it would be emitted into the atmosphere. The other way is the generation of unconventional and clean electricity and its supply to the Chilean national network since these MWh generated present 0 emissions and otherwise would have been produced by the country’s conventional electricity mix, partly formed by thermal power plants and the partial use of fossil fuels.

In addition to its contribution to climate change mitigation, the Consorcio Santa Marta project contributes positively to different United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, due to its certification in “Gold Standard for the Global Goals”. Among these social, environmental and economic benefits, are the reduction of the per capita environmental impact due to the sustainable management of urban solid waste, the improvement of quality in early childhood education, the contribution of clean energy and the creation of quality jobs and training for the workers.

If you want to read more about this project, please click here

 

Carbon offsets for a sustainable and decarbonized future


Written by Sergi Cuadrat, Chief Technical Officer (ALLCOT)


In 2015, leaders from the member states of the United Nations agreed on objectives to shift all economies and societies toward sustainable and decarbonised development through the adoption of the Agenda 2030 on the Sustainable Development Goals (New York, September 2015) and the Paris Agreement to limit climate warming to well below 2ᵒC (Paris, December 2015). There is enormous potential for co-benefits to arise from the mutually supportive implementation processes of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) elaborated in the voluntary 2030 Agenda and the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) underpinning the legally binding Paris Agreement under its Article 6.

Both frameworks, although negotiated under different multilateral processes, promote the participation of all countries and are highly interlinked: the Paris Agreement emphasizes the need for considerations of sustainability in low-carbon transitions; at the same time avoiding dangerous climate change is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) defined in the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development. Thus, failure in one process could undermine the success of the other. The implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) –countries’ emissions reduction commitments– requires huge investments, which are more likely to be financed if embedded in and benefiting national development plans. While, vice versa, prospects for sustainable development depend on a limitation of global warming. This interdependency can be seen as an opportunity to move away from the discourse of two different agendas that are often perceived to be in competition, and instead pursue their implementation in a way to maximize mutual benefits.

Several carbon offset standards such as the Gold Standard and the Verified Carbon Standard are adapting their frameworks and requirements to better define a carbon mitigation project’s impacts beyond carbon reductions, and in some cases, this may lead to the creation of other tradeable instruments in addition to carbon credits. ALLCOT assesses project alignment with the SDGs to conduct a thorough analysis of the data currently being monitored and verified at the project level, to determine whether there are additional metrics that can be tracked for SDG reporting purposes.

ALLCOT is seeing an evolution in the way our clients think about carbon finance and the additional impacts their carbon investments can have. Businesses are able to articulate the benefits of their carbon project investments beyond the verified emission reduction. We believe that businesses can use carbon finance to deliver additional value through alignment with the SDGs, enabling the carbon market to extend beyond emission reductions, and play a vital role in driving a low carbon sustainable development throughout the world.

Maturity of carbon offsets opens a path for Blockchain and SDGs

Carbon offsets have been around for more than 20 years. In that time a dizzying variety of projects have been developed to reduce harmful carbon dioxide emissions compared with business-as-usual, generating billions of tonnes of effective and real reductions.

In that time, we have learned how to measure, verify and report on these reductions, we have built a system of electronic registries to hold them and we have built markets to trade them. Carbon offsets are now a mature business.

But in those 20 years, for the most part, we have only focused on the carbon element: every offset project generates these. But for a long time, we overlooked the co-benefits:

  • Reductions in land pollution.
  • Reductions in air pollutants other than CO2.
  • Stronger and healthier local communities.
  • Economic opportunity and jobs.

The launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the United Nations in 2015 represented the starting point for a broader conversation on environmental issues. For many years, the concept of sustainable development had been discussed within the UN and other international fora, but the issue had not been translated into a set of wide, actionable principles.

The refinement of the SDGs into a concise list of 17 goals that would allow the world to “meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” represented the first time that interlinked social, environmental and economic goals have all been brought together

Until 2015 it had been climate change that received the most attention, thanks to the Kyoto Protocol and more recently the Paris Agreement. However, a large number of public and private actors had long seen the need to address other global goods in addition to the climate, and over the last ten years there were increasing efforts to capture these additional outcomes. 

Early attempts focused on capturing the “co-benefits” of carbon emission reductions. Distributing cleaner cookstoves, for example, reduced health impacts from burning wood in poorly-ventilated accommodation and allowed children to attend school and women to work, rather than risk their safety collecting firewood, all while reducing carbon emissions from inefficient fireplaces

Forest-based projects were also seen to bring economic and community benefits while also storing vast amounts of carbon dioxide. Small-scale, distributed renewable power generation brought benefits across many of the 17 SDGs to remote communities.

The challenge, however, has always been how to quantify these non-carbon benefits and render them into an asset that represents the value of sustainable development, and thereby incentivise the scale of investment that is needed to achieve the SDGs.

Earlier this year, two of the leading carbon offset standards, Verra and the Gold Standard, launched new rules and criteria for projects that specifically target the Sustainable Development Goals.

Verra’s SD VISta applies to any project that is contributing to the SDGs, including those related to eliminating hunger, promoting good human and environmental health and well-being, and ensuring education, and can be used in conjunction with its existing Verified Carbon Standard

Similarly, the Gold Standard for the Global Goals offers the opportunity to combine carbon offsets that meet the requirements of the UN Clean Development Mechanism or the Verified Carbon Standard, with measurable outcomes in terms of lifespan (Averted Mortality and Disability in Adjusted Life Years) or water security (water benefit certificates).

With these standards, the way is now open for climate-based projects to capture and quantify the associated public benefits embodied in the SDGs. We believe these standards will become the norm over time, as public and private stakeholders look to maximise the impact of their investments.

At the same time, it’s becoming clear that some existing technologies have passed through the realm of being “innovation” and are now “business as usual”. Wind power is a clear example, and we believe the time is right to start to streamline the process of calculating climate benefits from these newly-incumbent technologies.

Monitoring, verifying and reporting emissions reductions, as well as holding them in a recognised registry are critical components of the carbon offset business. But these aspects of offsetting, while well understood now, are challenging in developing economies and the need for increased standardisation of methodologies and baselines offer an ideal opportunity to leverage the capability of the blockchain to validate both the source and the transactions of offsets. By unlocking a trusted global market for environmental attributes, the blockchain helps renewable energy generators and carbon off-setters yield the full economic value and social benefit of their attributes, and provides corporates with a mechanism to flex their financial muscles and contribute in a meaningful way to the energy transition and to the SDGs.

Article 6 of the Paris Agreement comprises three approaches for cooperation between Parties – “cooperative approaches” under Article 6.2; a new mechanism to promote mitigation and sustainable development (Article 6.4 – 6.7); and a framework for nonmarket approaches (Article 6.8 and 6.9). There is very little clarity on how these approaches will function and very basic issues such as scope, governance and infrastructure for operationalising provisions under Article 6 are still to be agreed. Our view is that to ensure that SDGs are not relegated to being merely a reporting framework and the SDGs actually change countries’ development trajectories, its inclusion under Article 6.8 can unlock its potential and to effect real change.

As the Gold Standard puts it: “To ensure that sufficient resources are available to encourage the drive to achieve SDG goals, we can streamline the process of MRV for certain project types that deliver widely understood and easily quantifiable benefits.”

Hear, hear!  

Alexis Leroy
Board member at Climate Markets and Investment Association (CMIA)

Nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history and the world will likely fail to meet 35 out of the 44 SDG targets

Nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history — and the rate of species extinctions is accelerating, with grave impacts on people around the world now likely, warns a landmark new report from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

The Report finds that around 1 million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction, many within decades, more than ever before in human history.

The average abundance of native species in most major land-based habitats has fallen by at least 20%, mostly since 1900. More than 40% of amphibian species, almost 33% of reef- forming corals and more than a third of all marine mammals are threatened. The picture is less clear for insect species, but available evidence supports a tentative estimate of 10% being threatened. At least 680 vertebrate species had been driven to extinction since the 16 th century and more than 9% of all domesticated breeds of mammals used for food and agriculture had become extinct by 2016, with at least 1,000 more breeds still threatened.

The Report notes that, since 1980, greenhouse gas emissions have doubled, raising average global temperatures by at least 0.7 degrees Celsius – with climate change already impacting nature from the level of ecosystems to that of genetics – impacts expected to increase over the coming decades, in some cases surpassing the impact of land and sea use change and other drivers.

Despite progress to conserve nature and implement policies, the Report also finds that global goals for conserving and sustainably using nature and achieving sustainability cannot be met by current trajectories, and goals for 2030 and beyond may only be achieved through transformative changes across economic, social, political and technological factors. With good progress on components of only four of the 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets, it is likely that most will be missed by the 2020 deadline. Current negative trends in biodiversity and ecosystems will undermine progress towards 80% (35 out of 44) of the assessed targets of the Sustainable Development Goals, related to poverty, hunger, health, water, cities, climate, oceans and land (SDGs 1, 2, 3, 6, 11, 13, 14 and 15). Loss of biodiversity is therefore shown to be not only an environmental issue, but also a developmental, economic, security, social and moral issue as well.

You can access to the report here