September 28, 2023
September 17-24 marked Climate Week NYC, an annual summit that takes place alongside the UN General Assembly. Bringing together leaders from business, government and civil society, the summit is geared towards showcasing global climate action. veritree was fortunate enough to attend and participate in a host of events that surrounded the UNGA . Here are some of our takeaways.
A highlight of the week was the launch of the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) recommendations. This marked a key milestone in the relationship between nature, business, and financial capital, positioning nature risk alongside financial, operational and climate risk and helping to shift capital flows to nature-positive outcomes. As well as the TNFD, the Nature Positive Hub was bustling with events and talks which highlighted the central role nature plays in climate discussions. The recently created Nature Positive Initiative is a testament to the growing company and institutional interest in nature as being more than just a co-benefit to carbon and climate discussions.
Part of the agenda aimed to address the growing interest among financial institutions in assessing their environmental footprint. The lack of consensus on what constitutes a footprint and the need for improved footprinting approaches were key concerns. Discussions around effective nature monitoring methods and tools emphasized the need for innovative solutions and collaboration across sectors. While many companies have hurdles to overcome in order to understand their impact and dependencies on nature, the message from TNFD was ‘just get started’. Ideas circulated regarding the need to have a grade of data from proxy to primary to allow for a lack of data to not impede starting the process. Ultimately providing simple systems will be key in order to provide an enabling environment for companies to disclose on nature.
There was a lot of discussion regarding the need for transparency, accountability and efficiency within carbon markets. Currently there is a lack of data flows regarding offsets. A key solution for these issues is Digital Measurement, Reporting, and Verification (DMRV) for carbon credits
The World Biodiversity Summit, which took place on Thursday, September 21st, highlighted the critical role of indigenous and local communities as stewards of the land. There is broad consensus that designing and implementing successful conservation initiatives must involve these communities from the outset. Their knowledge and perspectives are invaluable in shaping sustainable environmental solutions.
At the Forest and Climate Leader’s Partnership (FCLP) reception a number of policy makers echoed the need to take immediate action for people and the planet. John Kerry, United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, emphasized the urgency, stating,
"We are at a unique moment….it is really hard to impress on folks how important this moment is. This is one of the few most dangerous moments for humans in the history of this planet….We need to demand transparency in the whole marketplace….This is investing in a transition in the largest market the world has ever known. Let’s get together and do things that are plain old common sense." - John Kerry
Nature and climate are increasingly being discussed together. It is recognized that businesses need to take responsibility for understanding their impacts and dependencies as we move away from discussions about a net zero future to a Nature Positive one. We recognize that businesses are increasingly heeding nature's call and are eager to meet recommendations laid out by initiatives like the TNFD. Our goal is to create systems that enable transparent data flows about partners' impact on nature. As we move forward, veritree will continue to be at the forefront of these discussions and policy forums, so that we can continue to enable businesses to embrace effective and transparent nature strategies.
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