Time: 13.00 – 15.00 (USA East Coast Time)
There is a 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, most of which, to date, has come from public or charitable sources. However, this is truly beginning to change, with an increase in the use of private capital being used to achieve positive conservation outcomes along with competitive commercial returns.
“Conservation finance” investments can now be used to point to specific examples of how investments can be structured and show performance, as well as how we demonstrate the high levels of measurable positive social and environmental impact of these investments.
The funding mechanism for these forest conservation projects which protect vulnerable landscapes from deforestation and degradation, is primarily carbon finance. The projects generate verified REDD+ carbon credits which are sold to companies as part of their solutions to reduce net emissions. By bringing a tangible value to the carbon-reducing services forests perform, those companies are making critical forest ecosystems more valuable standing than felled or burned for the land beneath them.
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 carbon emissions, such as forest-based carbon credits, are recognised by scientists as one of the most powerful and immediate ways to tackle climate change and meet the Paris Agreement reduction goals, with better land management accounting for 37% of all emissions cuts needed by 2030 and critical alongside the energy transition . Avoiding deforestation is also the most cost-effective action for capturing, avoiding and storing carbon emissions with nearly 2GT of potential at <$10/tonne .
By expanding the carbon markets to new sectors and creating further demand for forest-based carbon credits at their true value, conservation finance is absolutely key to protecting critical ecosystems, and enabling businesses and consumers to take much needed climate action.