December’s UN climate talks held in Madrid were aptly titled ‘Time for Action’. While little progress was made at the conference in establishing an international framework that would help to instigate this, there is still much scope for action in 2020. The need for this has become all too apparent as the impacts of climate change are increasingly seen around the world.
One of the key areas where progress can be made in 2020 is in increasing the ambition of nationally determined contributions (NDCs), these being governments’ plans to take action in response to climate change. To date, 184 countries have submitted NDCs, yet the commitments that have been made fall far short of what is needed to avert catastrophic climate change.… Seguir leyendo »
To meet the challenge of climate change, there is a need to massively increase financing for sustainable infrastructure: the governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, recently estimated that to enable a transition to a low carbon economy there is a need for a four-fold increase in finance in new technology investments and long-term infrastructure projects.
China, through its Belt and Road Initiative, could help provide this financing. Given its scale and ambition – China has already pledged $1 trillion to Belt and Road projects – this initiative could have a transformative impact.
Sustainable infrastructure is that which not only minimizes any negative environmental and social impacts but also brings about positive change, enhancing the environment, livelihoods, and the economy.… Seguir leyendo »
The UK Department for International Development’s (DFID) new Economic Development Strategy, published at the end of January, sets out an ambitious but pragmatic agenda for international development, focusing on investment in sustained, job-creating growth which will help countries move beyond the need for aid. On the UN’s International Day of Forests, it is a good time to showcase the role that UK leadership in tackling illegal logging and improving forest governance is primed to play in delivering this strategy.
For nearly two decades, DFID has shown remarkable global leadership on forests and a willingness to innovate that is rare among donor institutions.… Seguir leyendo »
Today Indonesia begins issuing the first ever FLEGT licenses for timber exports bound for the EU market. A major step in the battle against illegal logging and trade in illegal timber, these licenses are issued under a national system to verify the legality of all timber and timber products. A commitment to licensing its timber exports to Europe was made in the country’s Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) with the EU, although the licensing system applies to all exports and to the domestic market. The scale of this achievement can not be underestimated given the size of the country and of its forest sector – there are hundreds of thousands of forest enterprises ranging from large-scale concession holders and processing industries, to smallholders and micro-scale loggers, saw-millers and manufacturers.… Seguir leyendo »
As countries and businesses seek to find ways to meet the emissions targets laid down in the Paris Agreement, it’s not only the energy sector that may find itself out on a limb, struggling with the prospect of stranded assets.
Usually associated with fossil fuels, stranded assets are investments made in a commodity that at some point down the line loses its economic value. This can occur through physical impacts, like the recent El Nino-fueled drought in southern Africa or rising sea levels, technological advancements, such as the hydrogen car, or regulatory changes, as countries implement low-carbon policies.
With global investment in agriculture and forestry increasing, new research from Chatham House finds that while there are significant regulatory and physical stranding risks due to climate impacts (and actions to mitigate climate change), such risks are not being considered in national low-carbon development plans − or by investors.… Seguir leyendo »
Small- and medium-sized forestry enterprises (SMFEs) make up a large proportion of the forest sector, accounting for over half the timber production and supporting hundreds of thousands of livelihoods in developing countries − over 50 per cent of the forest sector workforce. But they often operate outside the realms of the law – making them difficult to monitor and control, and providing a window for corruption and poor management practices. Consequently, SMFEs are often seen as a problem to eliminate rather than an opportunity for sustainable development. However, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) offer an opportunity to change perceptions while also bringing more attention and resources to the small-scale sector.… Seguir leyendo »