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  • 01 Nov 2017 19:31 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    ICROA is in the final stage of preparations for COP23 in Bonn, starting on 6 November and running through 17 November. Voluntary action will be high on the agenda for this year’s event as negotiators and Parties work towards key events in 2018, including the first Facilitative Dialogue and a decision text on the Article 6 rule book. Meanwhile, new research has shown that the annual increase in CO2 emissions in 2016 was 50% higher than the average of the past 10 years, and the new UNEP Emissions Gap report shows the gap between the NDCs and the reductions required to keep temperature rise below 2°C is bigger than ever. This highlights the urgent need for all stakeholders to rapidly scale ambition. 

    ICROA’s work programme on securing a role for voluntary action in a post-Paris world continues at COP23 with the second in our series of workshops. This will take place on Friday 10th November in the IETA Business Hub. To support this invitation-only event, we recently published our guidance report ‘Pathways to increased voluntary action by non-state actors’. This document will be the basis for discussion during our side event.

    In addition, ICROA Programme Director Simon Henry will also be participating on the following panel sessions:

    Fostering Innovation to Help Implement the SDGs – Case Study from the Pacific Islands
    November 7, 14:30 - 16:00
    IETA Business Hub

    Future-Proofing Voluntary Carbon Projects Post-2020
    Download the event flyer here
    November 8, 9:30 - 11:00
    IETA Business Hub

    Five Years of Experiences Gained from the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM) - Lessons Learned and Way Forward
    November 8, 17:00 - 18:30
    IETA Business Hub

    As usual, IETA will be hosting a variety side events in our Business Hub. The draft programme of events can be accessed here, and our COP23 Practical Tips & Tricks, with details of how to find the IETA Business Hub, are available here.
  • 24 Oct 2017 13:35 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Paris Agreement presents an opportunity for accelerated and deeper voluntary action by the private sector to complement state action and close the ambition gap. ICROA has developed guidance which sets out pathways to achieve this, which can be supported and actioned by Parties and the private sector alike. To help inform this guidance, we have conducted targeted consultation with selected stakeholders, including the UNFCCC, Parties, independents standards and civil society.

    This is part of an ICROA programme of work to secure a role for voluntary action in a post-Paris world. It builds on a first workshop we hosted in May 2017 with a broad range of stakeholders, and will serve as the basis for discussion for our second workshop, to be held at COP 23.

    The guidance describes three potential models for the future framework of the voluntary carbon market, operating in parallel to each other and accommodating the variability in the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) and the provisions set out in the Paris Agreement:

    • Non-NDC crediting model: Credits are generated from sectors which are not currently part of a host country’s NDC
    • Financing Emission Reductions model: Emission reductions are financed by non-state actors and contribute to the host country’s NDC
    • NDC crediting model: Emission mitigation units generated under the Paris Agreement's article 6.4 mechanism are voluntarily purchased and retired by non-state actors

    ICROA is calling for an ‘open architecture’ approach to article 6.4 to allow independent standards to be accredited under the mechanism. We also propose the development of an international voluntary market account, as a central data repository to bring transparency to voluntary action across the private sector.

    Whilst there is clear desire for international action on climate change, the emission reductions pledged through the NDCs are insufficient to hold the increase in the global average temperatureto below 2°C above pre-industrial levels – the primary objective of the Paris Agreement. To help close this ambition gap it is vital that voluntary action plays the fullest role possible.

    To achieve this, it is important that the differences between regulated and voluntary action are recognised and addressed, notably that; voluntary action scales when the rewards to those taking action are explicit and meaningful, and that voluntary action needs to be measured, reported and verified in order to deliver environmental integrity, which is of paramount concern to those taking action. To inform and ensure alignment between the emerging arrangements under the Paris Agreement, we offer the following four guiding principles for voluntary action.

    1. It should be complementary to policy and regulation under the Paris Agreement focused on raising ambition
    2. It needs to be encouraged, recognised and rewarded to realise its full potential
    3. It must be reported openly & transparently to ensure the highest possible standards of integrity
    4. It needs sound governance, particularly because it operates outside of compliance systems

    The guidance can be accessed here. It will serve as a basis for discussion in the second in our series of workshops on scaling voluntary action under the Paris Agreement. This event will be held at COP23 in Bonn on Friday 10th November 2017. For more details, please click here.

  • 20 Oct 2017 13:16 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On October 10th, ICROA Programme Director Simon Henry participated in a workshop organised by the Josoor Institute, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy and IETA Member Gulf Organisation for Research & Development (GORD). 

    The Workshop provided decision makers with the background fundamentals of climate science, the importance of carbon neutrality and practical tools to achieve it.

    Simon raised awareness, highlighted the various drivers & benefits of offsetting, and presented ICROA Members’ experience in providing carbon neutrality services for major sporting events, conferences and summits. Simon emphasized the leadership role of voluntary action as a way to increase global ambition under the Paris Agreement and the wish for IETA and ICROA to engage more actively in the MENA region. The presentation is available here and the GORD press release from the workshop can be accessed here

  • 05 Oct 2017 17:05 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Organised by ATAG, in partnership with IATA, ACI, CANSO and ICCAIA, the 2017 Summit in Geneva came exactly one year after the historic agreement at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to institute the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). 

    The Summit brought together over 360 aviation leaders and experts to discuss driving sustainable growth in aviation, sustainable aviation fuels, technology’s contribution to the 2050 goal to reduce aviation’s net CO2 emissions, and long-term challenges according to industry leaders.

    Now that CORSIA has been agreed upon, the Summit was an opportunity to look towards the long-term future of aviation and discuss how the industry can develop in a sustainable manner. 

    IETA President and CEO Dirk Forrister joined a panel session along with Jane Hupe (ICAO), Paul Steele (IATA) and Peter Vis (European Commission). He underlined the challenges ahead in the context of the current negotiations on the Paris Agreement’s Article 6 mechanism, and elaborated on the vital role carbon markets will play in helping international aviation achieve its goal of carbon-neutral growth after 2020.

  • 03 Oct 2017 16:50 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On September 28, ICROA Programme Director Simon Henry participated in a panel session discussing the role the voluntary carbon market can play in bridging the ambition gap in the Paris Agreement, at the 2017 Carbon Forward Conference in London. In his presentation he discussed the latest trends in the voluntary carbon market, drawing on the results of our recent report on the drivers and benefits of offsetting.

    He also presented an update on ICROA’s work to develop guidance on pathways to increased voluntary action by non-state actors. This report sets out ICROA’s views on how the market can grow after 2020, and how voluntary action can contribute to delivering the objectives of the Paris Agreement. The guidance describes three potential models for the future framework of the voluntary carbon market, accommodating the variability in NDCs and the provisions set out in the Paris Agreement. The presentation from his panel session is available here

  • 05 Sep 2017 14:18 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Businesses are voluntarily reducing their emissions as they see climate change poses risks to their operations, according to a new survey.

    The Imperial College London survey, conducted in consultation with ICROA and the UNFCCC, assesses the business demand and preferences for voluntary carbon credits to offset emissions.

    Overall, 94% of respondents feel that organisations should reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, even when not required to do so by law, and 79% believe that climate change poses a risk to their organisation.The results of the survey show that respondents across a wide range of sectors are primarily using offsetting to take responsibility for their GHG emissions and see it as a solution to mitigate their impact on the environment.

    “The effects of climate change, such as extreme weather events and supply chain failure, pose real threats to business,” says Simon Henry, ICROA Programme Director. “Voluntarily offsetting their emissions allows businesses to play a role in this global challenge and take steps to mitigate their climate impact.”

    Beyond carbon mitigation, offset projects generate a range of co-benefits to communities such as health improvements, alternative livelihoods, water stewardship and biodiversity conservation. These co-benefits can increase the willingness to pay for offsets, and 81% of respondents think these extra benefits should be verified.

    “This report provides important insights into what attributes make offsets more or less attractive to companies, in addition to climate change mitigation. Clearly aspects such as co-benefits associated with the offsets are important which may also be useful to consider for new market instruments emerging in the UNFCCC process,” says Niclas Svenningsen, Manager for Strategy and Relationship Management, UNFCCC.

    Businesses have a preference for domestic and local projects. Increasingly, they are also looking to use carbon finance projects to lessen their environmental impact within their own supply chains.

    A better recognition of the contribution of offsetting to climate change mitigation would increase the use of offsets, respondents said. Furthermore, half of offset users say they have experienced tangible benefits from voluntary offsetting, ranging from market differentiation to employee engagement. More data on these benefits would help build the case for more businesses to take voluntary action.

    The full report is available to download here.

  • 21 Jul 2017 16:17 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On 29-30 June 2017, IETA International Director Sophy Greenhalgh and a number of IETA / ICROA members recently attended a Climate Technology Initiative workshop hosted by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB).

    The workshop held insightful discussions on climate action in international aviation and ICAO’s new global market-based measure CORSIA. Presentations and panel discussions on interactions between the Paris Agreement and CORSIA as well as other regional climate policies were held over the two days.

    The workshop brought together a number of experts to provide analysis of the general requirements for CORSIA, ranging from monitoring, reporting and verification and considerations of the eligibility criteria proposed, through to the interaction between CORSIA and the Paris Agreement and the European Union’s emission trading system. The workshop also presented various scenarios on the potential implications of CORSIA for the global supply and demand of carbon credits and the expected requirements of capacity building.

    An overview of the science behind climate mitigation in the aviation sector was provided by the German Aerospace Centre presenting new research to demonstrate that roughly 5% of anthropogenic warming is caused by aviation, including both direct greenhouse gas emissions and indirect climate effects.

    Sophy Greenhalgh gave a presentation, introducing the International Carbon Reduction and Offset Alliance and the role it plays in the voluntary markets, elaborating on ICROA endorsed voluntary credit mechanisms for CORSIA and the role aviation can play by inclusion of REDD+ into CORSIA.

    The Verified Carbon Standard presented on the innovative role that voluntary markets have made over the years offering new project types which will be important as nationally determined contribution policy gains more coverage of country emissions. First Climate talked of supply demand dynamics of current voluntary markets, noting there is limited supply of various project types.

    The workshop concluded that in order to project post-2020 carbon market developments, it is essential to understand how the Paris Agreement and other regional climate policies will interact with CORSIA and shape these markets in the future.

  • 30 Jun 2017 12:29 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    ICROA is pleased to welcome Althelia Ecosphere as a new member company. 

    Althelia Ecosphere is an impact investment manager focusing on designing and deploying innovative financing solutions that enable a transition towards sustainable management of the earth's finite ecosystem-based resources such as agricultural landscapes, forests and coastal environments. The company works by linking sources of capital with activities on the ground that deliver outcomes that unify economic, social and environmental improvements, generating competitive returns alongside measurable social and environmental impact.

    Althelia Ecosphere’s diverse EUR 100 million portfolio of investments from Latin America, Africa and South East Asia comprises real assets (certified commodities and agricultural produce) and environmental services (emissions reductions and other ecosystem services). Althelia’s portfolio is targeting over 70 million tonnes of emissions reductions of which about 20 million tonnes have already been achieved. It also contributes to the improved management of 2 million hectares of land as well as to the protection of 2 million hectares of critical habitat for high conservation value species.

    With the launch of Ecosphere+, Althelia’s sales and marketing arm, there is now a dedicated team focused on building and growing demand for natural climate solutions with measurable SDG impacts, ecosystem services and sustainably produced commodities.  

    We are delighted to join ICROA and contribute to the industry association’s work on shaping future voluntary climate action to help achieve the <2°C target,” said Edit Kiss, Director of Business Development and Operations at Althelia Ecosphere.

  • 20 Jun 2017 15:12 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On 22 May 2017 ICROA organized a workshop on ‘Scaling voluntary action within the framework of the Paris Agreement’, involving voluntary market stakeholders and national governments. The participants took part in roundtable discussions based on the 'World Café' format and shared their opinion on key questions regarding the future of voluntary action.

    We have a produced a short report which summarises the conversations held at each of the workshop roundtables, which focused on the following five themes:

    1. The concept of offsetting
    2. Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)
    3. Article 6 of the Paris Agreement
    4. Demand side of the voluntary market
    5. Governance and infrastructure

    This workshop was the first of a bi-annual series of workshops designed to build a broad coalition of stakeholders to address the forthcoming market challenges, and to help secure a role for voluntary action in a post-Paris world.

    ICROA will build on this first workshop by developing guidance on pathways to increased voluntary action by non-state actors. This will set out our views on how the market can grow after 2020, and how it can help contribute to delivering the objectives of the Paris Agreement. To refine this guidance, ICROA will be seeking targeted consultation over the course of summer 2017.

    The second workshop of the series will be held in Bonn at COP 23 in November 2017 where we will look to build on the outcomes from Barcelona and focus the discussion on pathways to increased voluntary action by non-state actors. Our longer-term ambition is to develop guidance that is widely supported and actioned by Parties and the private sector.


  • 09 Jun 2017 16:22 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On 8th June, ICROA Programme Director Simon Henry moderated a workshop on “Clean Energy Future: Carbon emissions – transitioning to net zero" at the Responsible Business Summit Europe in London. This is Europe’s leading business conference focusing on the latest in sustainability, communications and governance. The workshop discussed the opportunities and challenges for companies in transitioning to net zero carbon emissions. Simon was joined on the panel by:

    • Mark Chadwick: Founder and CEO of Carbon Clear (an ICROA member); and
    • Hans Koeleman: Director of Corporate Communications & CSR at KPN

    After opening presentations from the panellists, the workshop focused on a number of roundtable discussions. These allowed participants to explore the subject of transitioning to net zero carbon emissions in more detail, specifically focusing on the following three topics:

    • Setting the vision: How do you build the case internally within an organisation for transitioning to net zero, and how do you get buy-in from senior managers?
    • Implementing the governance arrangements: What systems to do you need in place to ensure you’re on track, and how do you measure the impact of your programmes?
    • Delivering the transition economically: How do you decide what actions to take, and how do you maximise the value of going to net zero?

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