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  • 21 Jul 2017 16:17 | Anonymous

    On 29-30 June 2017, IETA International Director Sophy Greenhalgh and a number of IETA / ICROA members recently attended a Climate Technology Initiative workshop hosted by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB).

    The workshop held insightful discussions on climate action in international aviation and ICAO’s new global market-based measure CORSIA. Presentations and panel discussions on interactions between the Paris Agreement and CORSIA as well as other regional climate policies were held over the two days.

    The workshop brought together a number of experts to provide analysis of the general requirements for CORSIA, ranging from monitoring, reporting and verification and considerations of the eligibility criteria proposed, through to the interaction between CORSIA and the Paris Agreement and the European Union’s emission trading system. The workshop also presented various scenarios on the potential implications of CORSIA for the global supply and demand of carbon credits and the expected requirements of capacity building.

    An overview of the science behind climate mitigation in the aviation sector was provided by the German Aerospace Centre presenting new research to demonstrate that roughly 5% of anthropogenic warming is caused by aviation, including both direct greenhouse gas emissions and indirect climate effects.

    Sophy Greenhalgh gave a presentation, introducing the International Carbon Reduction and Offset Alliance and the role it plays in the voluntary markets, elaborating on ICROA endorsed voluntary credit mechanisms for CORSIA and the role aviation can play by inclusion of REDD+ into CORSIA.

    The Verified Carbon Standard presented on the innovative role that voluntary markets have made over the years offering new project types which will be important as nationally determined contribution policy gains more coverage of country emissions. First Climate talked of supply demand dynamics of current voluntary markets, noting there is limited supply of various project types.

    The workshop concluded that in order to project post-2020 carbon market developments, it is essential to understand how the Paris Agreement and other regional climate policies will interact with CORSIA and shape these markets in the future.

  • 30 Jun 2017 12:29 | Anonymous

    ICROA is pleased to welcome Althelia Ecosphere as a new member company. 


    Althelia Ecosphere is an impact investment manager focusing on designing and deploying innovative financing solutions that enable a transition towards sustainable management of the earth's finite ecosystem-based resources such as agricultural landscapes, forests and coastal environments. The company works by linking sources of capital with activities on the ground that deliver outcomes that unify economic, social and environmental improvements, generating competitive returns alongside measurable social and environmental impact.

    Althelia Ecosphere’s diverse EUR 100 million portfolio of investments from Latin America, Africa and South East Asia comprises real assets (certified commodities and agricultural produce) and environmental services (emissions reductions and other ecosystem services). Althelia’s portfolio is targeting over 70 million tonnes of emissions reductions of which about 20 million tonnes have already been achieved. It also contributes to the improved management of 2 million hectares of land as well as to the protection of 2 million hectares of critical habitat for high conservation value species.

    With the launch of Ecosphere+, Althelia’s sales and marketing arm, there is now a dedicated team focused on building and growing demand for natural climate solutions with measurable SDG impacts, ecosystem services and sustainably produced commodities.  

    We are delighted to join ICROA and contribute to the industry association’s work on shaping future voluntary climate action to help achieve the <2°C target,” said Edit Kiss, Director of Business Development and Operations at Althelia Ecosphere.

  • 20 Jun 2017 15:12 | Anonymous

    On 22 May 2017 ICROA organized a workshop on ‘Scaling voluntary action within the framework of the Paris Agreement’, involving voluntary market stakeholders and national governments. The participants took part in roundtable discussions based on the 'World Café' format and shared their opinion on key questions regarding the future of voluntary action.

    We have a produced a short report which summarises the conversations held at each of the workshop roundtables, which focused on the following five themes:

    1. The concept of offsetting
    2. Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)
    3. Article 6 of the Paris Agreement
    4. Demand side of the voluntary market
    5. Governance and infrastructure

    This workshop was the first of a bi-annual series of workshops designed to build a broad coalition of stakeholders to address the forthcoming market challenges, and to help secure a role for voluntary action in a post-Paris world.

    ICROA will build on this first workshop by developing guidance on pathways to increased voluntary action by non-state actors. This will set out our views on how the market can grow after 2020, and how it can help contribute to delivering the objectives of the Paris Agreement. To refine this guidance, ICROA will be seeking targeted consultation over the course of summer 2017.

    The second workshop of the series will be held in Bonn at COP 23 in November 2017 where we will look to build on the outcomes from Barcelona and focus the discussion on pathways to increased voluntary action by non-state actors. Our longer-term ambition is to develop guidance that is widely supported and actioned by Parties and the private sector.

         

  • 09 Jun 2017 16:22 | Anonymous

    On 8th June, ICROA Programme Director Simon Henry moderated a workshop on “Clean Energy Future: Carbon emissions – transitioning to net zero" at the Responsible Business Summit Europe in London. This is Europe’s leading business conference focusing on the latest in sustainability, communications and governance. The workshop discussed the opportunities and challenges for companies in transitioning to net zero carbon emissions. Simon was joined on the panel by:

    • Mark Chadwick: Founder and CEO of Carbon Clear (an ICROA member); and
    • Hans Koeleman: Director of Corporate Communications & CSR at KPN

    After opening presentations from the panellists, the workshop focused on a number of roundtable discussions. These allowed participants to explore the subject of transitioning to net zero carbon emissions in more detail, specifically focusing on the following three topics:

    • Setting the vision: How do you build the case internally within an organisation for transitioning to net zero, and how do you get buy-in from senior managers?
    • Implementing the governance arrangements: What systems to do you need in place to ensure you’re on track, and how do you measure the impact of your programmes?
    • Delivering the transition economically: How do you decide what actions to take, and how do you maximise the value of going to net zero?
  • 01 Jun 2017 17:08 | Anonymous

    ICROA analysis of voluntary carbon market data shows that 43.5 million carbon credits were retired1 in 2016 across the major voluntary market standards.

    The total volume retired is equivalent to removing 9.3 million cars from the road for one year. However, this is a slight dip in levels from 2015, which at 45.9 million credits was a record high for the voluntary market. Over the last five years, the market volume has more than doubled, demonstrating the continued growth in demand for voluntary offsets from corporate buyers. 


    “The voluntary carbon market continues to deliver strong results,” says ICROA Programme Director Simon Henry. “Credit retirement data is the clearest measure of the size of the market, and the data indicates volumes are very close to the record high we saw in 2015.”

    ICROA’s analysis uses data from the public registries of the major voluntary market standards: American Carbon Registry (ACR), Clean Development Mechanism, Climate Action Reserve (CAR), Gold Standard, and the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS). All these standards are endorsed within ICROA’s Code of Best Practice for Carbon Management Services.

    “ICROA is optimistic of future growth in the voluntary carbon market, particularly since there is an ambition gap in the Paris Agreement that requires more than has been pledged by countries so far,” Henry adds. “ICROA’s members are seeing that the private sector is willing to play a role in helping close that gap.”

    “The voluntary market will still have a role to play in engaging business in the climate fight even under the Paris Agreement,” says Dirk Forrister, IETA’s President and CEO. “It allows private sector actors from all over the world to step into a leadership role and find new ways of responding to climate change.

    “There is a disconnect between where science says we need to be and how far the Paris Agreement will take us, and the voluntary carbon market will be crucial in bridging that gap.”

    NOTES

    1: A carbon offset credit is classed as retired when it is permanently removed from the marketplace, such as to voluntarily reduce or neutralise the emissions from an individual, government, corporate, or other organisation.
  • 22 May 2017 17:39 | Anonymous

    Jointly organised by the World Bank Group, IETA and Fira Barcelona on May 22-25, the new platform Innovate4Climate (I4C) brought together business and finance leaders, multilaterals, and governments from around the world.

    ICROA hosted an invitation-only workshop on ‘Scaling voluntary action within the framework of the Paris Agreement’, involving voluntary market stakeholders and national governments. This successful first edition was oversubscribed and attracted over 80 participants who took part in roundtable discussions based on the 'World Café' format. As an introduction to these discussions, the following panelists from the public and private sector shared their views on the challenges and opportunities for the future of the voluntary market:  

    • Glen Murray: Ontario Minister of the Environment and Climate Change
    • Marion Verles: CEO, Gold Standard Foundation (presentation here)
    • James Grabert: Director, Sustainable Development Mechanisms, UNFCCC (presentation here
    • Andrew Howard: Director, Koru Climate (presentation here)
    • Mahlin Ahlberg: Senior Policy Advisor, German Ministry of Environment (presentation here)

    In the past 15 years, the voluntary market has helped raise ambition, mobilise private sector finance and build momentum around emissions mitigation. These experiences will prove valuable in helping to deliver the objectives of the Paris Agreement. At the same time, the entry into force of the Agreement will create opportunities for increased voluntary action, but will also raise important questions, which were discussed by the participants during the roundtables: 

    • Is the concept of offsetting still fit for purpose and practicable under the Paris Agreement?
    • Does offsetting have different roles to play in different types of NDCs?
    • Are specific provisions needed under Article 6 to support voluntary action? If so, what areas would these provisions need to focus on?
    • What incentives would drive higher levels of voluntary action from the private sector, and what options are available to governments to encourage voluntary action?
    • What governance and infrastructure arrangements are needed to ensure that voluntary actions contribute to NDCs under the Paris Agreement, whilst maintaining environmental integrity?

    This edition was the first installment of a bi-annual series of workshops designed to help secure a role for voluntary action in a post Paris world. ICROA will build on this first edition to write a report which will serve as guidance and a communication tool for the second edition scheduled for November 2017 during COP23 in Bonn.

       

  • 18 May 2017 11:24 | Anonymous

    Simon Henry, ICROA Programme Director, joined a panel discussion at the Annual Global Impact Investment Conference in Geneva to discuss the drivers behind corporate carbon offsetting strategies.

    The conference highlighted the latest R&D techniques and metrics being used to widen the investment flows into the impact market. It also addressed pooling impact investment strategies and techniques to optimize financial, as well as social and environmental returns, while reducing risk exposure.

    The sustainable investment market, largely dominated by negative screening and ESG integration strategies for public equities, is slowly transitioning to impact investment with a dual bottom line of positive societal and financial returns. This is driven by private capital and “early entrant” family offices with a long term investment horizon, aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 


  • 22 Mar 2017 19:02 | Anonymous

    On 22nd March, ICROA Programme Director Simon Henry moderated a panel session at the RECs Market Meeting 2017 in Amsterdam. The panel session discussed the overlap between the voluntary offset and voluntary RECs markets. As an increasing number of companies take on voluntary action around climate change, and have an increasing choice of market mechanisms to help them, this session discussed how better knowledge sharing can help both markets grow whilst maintaining environmental integrity. 

    Simon was joined on the panel by Meinrad Burer, Director of Research & Development at EcoAct (and an ICROA member) and Aron Simon, Senior Originator Statkraft, (and an IETA member)

  • 16 Mar 2017 14:36 | Anonymous

    ICROA is pleased to welcome VNV Advisory as its first Indian member company. Based in Bangalore, VNV Advisory work with the community for a large number of projects, which have contributed substantially to the global fight on climate change as well as aided in providing a better way of life for over a half a million households in developing and under developed countries. They also engage with businesses to address issues of social responsibility and environmental sustainability. 

    VNV Advisory help organizations seeking to develop a S.M.A.R.T (Strategic. Measurable. Achievable. Reliable. Tangible) sustainability agenda. VNV promotes the idea of reporting and transparency, and has been at the forefront of the sustainability space in India.

    Sandeep Roy Choudhury, Head Origination – Carbon and Sustainability says "We're pleased to join ICROA and demonstrate our commitment to best practice carbon management. We look forward to working with the alliance and other members on deepening our network in the international carbon space and hope to make some meaningful contributions to further the development of voluntary environmental markets globally."

  • 15 Mar 2017 16:16 | Anonymous

    The entry into force of the Paris Agreement presents opportunities for increased voluntary action, and it also raises important questions for the voluntary market, due to the very different nature of the Kyoto Protocol under which the voluntary market developed. The transition from one agreement to the other therefore raises important questions such as:

    1. What options exist under the Paris Agreement to promote voluntary action?
    2. How can the Paris Agreement rule book enable those options in ways that prevent double counting, respect environmental integrity, promote sustainable development, and enable the flow of private sector capital in support of mitigation and adaptation
    3. How can Article 6 provisions be developed to provide an enabling framework for voluntary action?

    ICROA has released a white paper on “Scaling Voluntary Action within the Framework of the Paris Agreement”. This sets out the opportunities and challenges facing the voluntary market, and presents ICROA’s initial thoughts on addressing these important questions

    Click here to download the white paper.
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