Why take action?
The scientific community has clearly stated the need to reach net-zero global CO2 emissions by 2050 in order to limit global warming to 1.5°C and to reduce the destructive impacts of climate change on human society and environment. This means that we have to transition to a low carbon economy and sequester and store carbon to balance out any emissions that we cannot abate.
Citizens across the world are demanding environmental and social action
Studies have shown that consumers are prepared to change their habits, reduce their environmental impact, and put pressure on companies to adopt a more socially and environmentally responsible behaviour.
Governments and investors now recognise that climate change and the continued destruction of nature represent two of the most significant risks to the global economy. Governments across the world are setting new ambitious environmental policies and incentives, and investors are integrating climate and nature-related risks into their investment decision-making. As a result, businesses are under pressure to take action on climate change, nature protection and restoration.
For businesses to align with science-based net-zero, they must:
- Achieve value-chain emission reductions consistent with the level of abatement required for pathways that limit global warming to 1.5°C with no or limited overshoot;
- Neutralise the impact of any source of residual emissions that remains unfeasible to be eliminated by permanently removing an equivalent amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide.
Several global climate and nature focused initiatives have gained momentum and gathered significant support from businesses, institutions and investors over the last few years:
- Science Based Targets Initiative which has mobilised companies to set science-based targets in line with the Paris Agreement;
- The Race to Zero Campaign by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, an umbrella coalition of leading net-zero initiatives, which at the end of 2020 was representing 452 cities, 22 regions, 1,101 businesses, 45 of the biggest investors, and 549 universities;
- Principles for Responsible Investing network, which in 2020 had 3,038 signatories, 521 asset owners with USD $23.5 trillion assets under management;
- The Business for Nature coalition supporting business action on nature with over 500 companies committed to reversing nature loss.
- The Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets, led by Mark Carney, is a private sector-led initiative with the goal to scale transparent, verifiable and robust voluntary carbon market to help meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Nature Based Solutions
Nature-based solutions are a crucial part of Voluntary Carbon Markets, harnessing the power of the planet’s natural resources to address the dual climate and biodiversity crises. Done well, nature-based solutions protect and restore vital habitats to increase biodiversity at the same time as reducing atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions by avoiding or removing them.
Land-use change ranks second only to the burning of fossil fuels as the biggest source of emissions that contribute to climate change. Investing in tropical rainforests to sequester and store carbon can have a significant beneficial climate impact; according to the IPCC, reducing deforestation and forest degradation rates represents one of the most effective and robust options for climate change mitigation.
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From the knowledge centre
Hartree Partners and ecosecurities launch Project Araucaria to generate $1.5bn to support habitat restoration across Latin America
The project will work with local farmers, landowners, cooperatives, and NGOs in Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay The project will…
- The project will work with local farmers, landowners, cooperatives, and NGOs in Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay
- The project will help design, finance, and develop nature-based carbon reduction and removal projects, aiming to achieve the highest level of accreditation
- The project targets the creation of over 300 million tonnes of voluntary carbon credits over 30 years
Hartree Partners, Vertree’s founding partner, and ecosecurities today announce an estimated $1.5bn project to work with local farmers, landowners, associations, co-operatives, and NGOs in the Cono-Sur region of Latin America.
Named Project Araucaria after one of the most endangered tree species in the region, this project will help design, finance, and develop nature-based carbon reduction and removal projects in Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay, generating over 10 million tonnes of voluntary carbon credits each year.
Aggressive agricultural land use and conversion in Latin America now account for almost a third of global greenhouse gas emissions, and over half the deforestation in the world. By working alongside people who own, farm, and support work on the land, Project Araucaria aims to reverse this trend by promoting the conservation and restoration of forests and implementing sustainable agricultural practices.
Ariel Perez, Partner at Hartree Partners, said:
“Reducing emissions is vital to halting devastating climate change; but it’s not enough. We also need to remove carbon that’s already in the atmosphere by restoring key habitats that have already been degraded and destroyed.
“Hartree’s project with ecosecurities will bring significant investment and expertise to farmers, agricultural producers, and landowners across Latin America by supporting their efforts to restore habitats and ecosystems, targeting the reduction and removal of carbon in the atmosphere by over 300 million tonnes.”
Ecosecurities, an impact-driven provider of environmental services with over two decades of experience in carbon emissions reduction and removal projects around the world, will use its on-the-ground presence in and knowledge of Latin America to engage farmers, producers, and landowners across the region. Ecosecurities aim to design and implement at least 20 projects and programmes.
Pablo Fernandez, CEO of ecosecurities said:
“If we are to turn climate commitments into tangible action, we must develop solutions that deliver benefits for local people, nature and, as a result, to the entire planet.
“This is why we are delighted to be partnering with Hartree to deliver Project Araucaria – a vitally important initiative that will promote sustainable production practices and, in turn, reduce global emissions.”
The portfolio aims to achieve certification under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and receive Climate, Community and Biodiversity (CCB) status; it will be marketed by Vertree.
Hartree Partners, a leading global energy and commodities trading company will invest, develop, manage, and market the projects, to help meet the surging demand for high quality Verified Emissions Reductions as businesses look to play their part in addressing the climate emergency.
Unprecedented private sector finance deal to generate over $2bn to protect threatened forests, wildlife, and improve community livelihoods
Hartree Partners, Vertree founding partner, and Wildlife Works sign landmark voluntary carbon market deal Over 20 new high-impact projects will…
- Hartree Partners, Vertree founding partner, and Wildlife Works sign landmark voluntary carbon market deal
- Over 20 new high-impact projects will be implemented in collaboration with forest communities to protect threatened landscapes in Africa, Asia, and Latin America
- Project portfolio to generate 20 million tonnes of Verified Emission Reductions (VERs) each year for the 30-year life of the projects
Hartree Partners and Wildlife Works announce a ground-breaking deal that will generate over $2bn of private sector investment to enable communities to protect biodiversity and forests at risk from deforestation.
13 million hectares of tropical forest, an area the size of Greece, is currently lost to deforestation every year. But, to keep the increase in global temperature below 1.5 degrees in line with the Paris Agreement, more than three quarters of deforestation must be stopped by 2030. Thousands of companies are addressing the climate emergency and, with voluntary carbon markets playing an increasingly prominent role, the demand for Verified Emissions Reductions (VERs) is forecast to outstrip supply.
Hartree Partners, a leading global energy and commodities trading company, and Wildlife Works, an innovative global conservation company, will help meet this surging demand by partnering to invest, develop, manage and market one of the world’s largest portfolios of avoided deforestation projects. Hartree’s investment is effective immediately, with the projects expected to begin delivering VERs by 2023.
The deal, which will increase the availability of high-quality, verified, avoided deforestation projects by approximately 40%, will reduce emissions from deforestation by 20 million tonnes each year and 600 million tonnes over the 30-year life of the projects – equivalent to taking 4.3 million cars off the road.
The partnership will develop more than 20 high-impact projects in collaboration with local communities to improve livelihoods while preserving and protecting forests and wildlife.
The ground-breaking deal was facilitated by Everland, the exclusive marketing partner of Wildlife Works. The portfolio will be marketed by Everland and Vertree.
Ariel Perez, Partner at Hartree Partners, said:
“The scientific community agrees that the world cannot keep the increase in global temperature below 1.5 degrees without significant support from global businesses. Hartree Partners is proud to be providing substantial long-term investment in nature-based solutions through this partnership.
“We’re delighted to be working with such experienced partners as Wildlife Works to ensure that these projects reduce emissions, protect highly threatened species, and enhance the wellbeing of thousands of people in these forest communities who hold the key to stopping deforestation.”
Mike Korchinsky, Founder and CEO of Wildlife Works, said:
“While those in the Global North continue to debate what they want from climate action, our partners in the Global South urgently need just and effective solutions now.
“With Hartree Partners’ financial backing and carbon market expertise, we can implement our just and inclusive climate, community, and biodiversity solutions in many more forest communities where they’re desperately needed.”
Wildlife Works’ proven approach addresses the drivers of deforestation in last-chance ecosystems while rewarding communities for protecting forests and biodiversity.
The portfolio of projects announced today will meet global best practice standards for nested projects under VERRA, including: the Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS); the Climate, Community and Biodiversity (CCB) standard at the gold level; and the SD Vista standard to verify project contributions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and can make a significant contribution to host country Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) under the Paris Agreement.
Gerald Prolman, CEO of Everland, said:
“Hartree’s financial commitment to Wildlife Works will help give forest governments, landowners, and communities long-term financial confidence as they consider valuing their standing forests under REDD+. The VERs will be offered to businesses as an essential tool they can use as part of their transition plan towards a low-carbon future.
“It is our hope that this partnership’s bold commitment to rapidly scale REDD+ projects will inspire more private sector action at the critical speed and magnitude that is so desperately needed.”
Carbon offsets – avoidance and removals
‘Stop the tap before mopping up’ Vertree is focused on nature-based solutions (NBS) as a key part of the fight…
‘Stop the tap before mopping up’
Vertree is focused on nature-based solutions (NBS) as a key part of the fight against catastrophic climate change. Carbon offsetting schemes provide critical finance to NBS projects. Among these, carbon offset projects that reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD) provide the most immediate, tangible and sustainable climate impact available. Emission reductions from offset projects must be measurable, additional, and be as permanent as human intervention can guarantee. The focus of this note is to explore the increasing bias of carbon offset buyers for carbon removals over avoidance credits.
Avoidance credits are defined as certified emissions reductions from projects that reduce emissions compared with the most likely course of action – the baseline scenario. REDD+ projects reduce forestry loss and preserve the existing biomass and embedded carbon beyond historical trends. Other avoidance projects include renewable energy and carbon-capture from flue gases. In each, current emissions are reduced by improved alternatives, but existing CO2 is left untouched.
Removal credits are defined as emissions offset projects that adsorb additional CO2 back from the atmosphere in order to remove the greenhouse gas potential. This includes photosynthesis of all kinds, into timber, peat, seagrasses as well as engineered methods such as direct air capture and accelerated mineral weathering.
Global deforestation, at around 13 million hectares per year, makes up 8-12% of net emissions. As such it ranks 3rd after the USA in the country league tables. Preventing mature forestry loss, along with wider ecosystem destruction is therefore a priority for any climate strategy.
A tree stores very little carbon in the first 10 years of its life (figure 1). In any afforestation project, the bulk of the carbon captured is during the middle phase, from 15-40 years after planting to maturity, with early growth rates at a third of peak potential.
Cutting down a hectare of mature tropical forest releases an average of 629 tonnes of CO2 which will take more than a lifetime to regrow. Over the first 10 years of new planting the recapture is less than 80 tonnes CO2 per hectare.
The carbon budget (figure 2) shows that emissions must halve by 2026 to stay within 1.5 degrees of warming. This means that we do not have the time to continue emitting whilst we wait for new trees to grow and store carbon later. The atmospheric ‘pot’ will boil over in the interim.
The Oxford Principles for Net Zero Aligned Offsetting illustrate this point well (figure 3). Removals will be required, but avoidance is urgent today.
Trees grown for carbon capture – often fast growing, densely packed Sitka (spruce) or Eucalyptus (gum) trees are less favourable for wider forest benefits (apart from timber production). The recently released IPBES report argues strongly for tackling climate change and biodiversity loss together, and to this end REDD+ projects are increasingly focused on species conservation and habitat improvement. The CCB Gold framework provides certification of biodiversity co-benefits in voluntary offsets.
Vertree works with high-quality REDD+ projects with verified baselines and genuine emissions reductions. Our work helps preserve tropical rainforests alongside the wildlife and communities that live within them. These actions are critical to combat climate change today and over the next 10 years.
A premature focus just on removals, whilst well intentioned, means that immediate action to reduce forest emissions could be neglected at huge risk to the overall climate change pathway.
Sources: European Commission, REDD+ initiative 2018 World Resources Institute, By the Numbers: The Value of Tropical Forests in the Climate Change Equation Vertree, based on Journal of Environmental Management, Carbon in the Vegetation and Soils of Great Britain 1995 2020 figures, World Resources Institute Global Forest Watch. Fored Pulse: The Latest on the World's Forests IPCC quoted Brown et al. How Much Carbon Can Be Sequestered by Global Afforestation and Reforestation? The Oxford Principles for Net Zero Aligned Carbon Offsetting 2021 The IPBES IPCC Co-Sponsored Workshop on Biodiversity and Climate Change The Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance