This blog has been written by Ecosphere+ VP External Affairs & Strategy, Jen Stebbing.
Earth Day, celebrated on 22nd April each year, has helped to build awareness of concerns for the environment since 1970. Launched in the US, it has since become a global movement engaging and encouraging activism to tackle climate change – protecting and conserving our planet. This year, we’re marking Earth Day by publishing a White Paper with our parent company, Althelia, that sets out the need for private finance in conservation and addresses the key issues involved in ensuring natural capital protects our planet.
The huge gap between the level of funding that is needed to protect the world’s valuable ecosystems and actual money that is being directed into them is beginning to be filled by an increase in private capital. This finance generates high levels of measurable environmental and social impact along with competitive commercial returns.
Althelia has the largest portfolio of forest conservation projects in the world generating verified carbon credits which Ecosphere+ brings to market. By bringing tangible value to the carbon-reducing services they perform, Ecosphere+ clients are making critical forest ecosystems more valuable standing than felled.
This flow of investment is financing a transition to sustainable land use and commodity production and causes a chain reaction of other positive impacts such as protecting biodiversity, supporting endangered species, empowering women and bringing new jobs to local communities.
Natural solutions to reducing net carbon emissions are recognised by scientists as one of the most powerful and immediate ways to tackle climate change and meet the Paris Agreement reduction goals. Ecosphere+ creates innovative, business-focused solutions that use these forest-based carbon credits to help its customers attain a number of climate and sustainability outcomes, including: managing climate risk; achieving corporate climate targets; insetting; addressing the SDGs; launching new climate positive products and services; engaging & empowering consumers; achieving deforestation-free supply chains and sourcing sustainable commodities.
With the Paris Agreement in place we are entering a world where there is a finite ‘budget’ of carbon that can be emitted. This will lead to a need for zero and even negative emissions technologies and processes to replace emitting activities today, along with importantly, a transfer of capital associated with that transition, and a true understanding of the role forests have to play in reaching those goals.
By expanding the carbon markets to new sectors and creating further demand for forest-based carbon credits at their true value, Ecosphere+ is at the very heart of the movement that is using climate or conservation finance to protect these critical ecosystems.
Read the full white paper here.