Advancements in Natural Climate Solutions in 2021
Combating climate change requires a multi-pronged approach, and it’s such a wide-sweeping goal that it can be hard to conceptualize effectively at times. But advancements are being made nonetheless. In 2021, significant steps have already been taken toward natural climate solutions (NCS) that we can all feel good about.
Here are some of the noteworthy developments from 2021 that can help speed the growth of NCS:
#1: The voluntary carbon credits market took shape.
In January of this year, the Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets (TSVCM) released a blueprint for a global market of voluntary carbon credits. The idea is for this market to facilitate the flow of capital toward a wide variety of climate-change projects. In September, the TSVCM launched a governing body to establish a global benchmark for high-quality carbon credits. With time, this body will move forward with its goal of scaling high-integrity voluntary carbon markets.
#2: Carbon-credit exchange was announced.
A new global exchange for carbon credits is set to come online by the end of this year. The effort is led by DBS, SGX, Standard Chartered, and Tamasek. Once this exchange is up and running, the idea is to join established exchanges like CBL Markets, CME, and AirCarbon Exchange.
#3: Financial task force was launched.
2021 also saw the launch of the Task Force on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD). The goal of this organization will be to provide a framework for corporate and financial institutions to assess, manage, and report on their dependencies and impacts on nature. This will aid in the appraisal of nature-related risk, and support the redirection of global financial flows away from “nature-negative outcomes.” In fact, the task force recently received the backing of G7 Finance Ministers.
#4: Forest protection efforts were raised.
In February, UN agencies, NGOs, and private companies declared their goal of curbing deforestation to prevent one gigaton per year of carbon emissions by 2030. Known as the Green Gigaton Challenge, this project aims to increase forest protection by setting a minimum price for carbon credits. Since avoiding deforestation has significant benefits for climate change—sustainable development for local communities, biodiversity preservation, and improvement of soil health, just to name a few—this is a great step in the right direction.
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