Biodiversity Pulse Weekly: Thursday December 15, 2022

Published 12:47 on December 15, 2022  /  Last updated at 12:47 on December 15, 2022  /  Biodiversity, Newsletters  /  No Comments

A weekly summary of our biodiversity news plus bite-sized updates from around the world. All articles in this edition are free to read (no subscription required).

Presenting Biodiversity Pulse Weekly, Carbon Pulse’s free newsletter on the biodiversity market. It’s a weekly summary of our news plus bite-sized updates from around the world. Subscribe here

All articles in this edition are free to read (no subscription required).

COP15

UN-backed biodiversity credit alliance to launch to help scale nascent market

An alliance set up to bring clarity and scale a biodiversity crediting market, supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), will formally launch at a side event at the UN’s biodiversity summit in Montreal on Friday, a member told Carbon Pulse.

Developing countries walk out of talks due to impasse on finance mechanism

A large group of developing countries walked out of COP15 UN biodiversity negotiations in the early hours of Wednesday morning, pointing to continued struggles related to money.

Investors call for strong global deal on biodiversity

A group of 150 financial institutions with more than $24 trillion in assets under management on Tuesday called for delegates at COP15 in Montreal to secure an ambitious Global Biodiversity Framework for the post-2020 period, with clear targets to halt and reverse nature loss.

Finance tops list of crunch issues as ministers arrive in Montreal for high-level section of talks

Ministers and other top delegates have started to arrive at the UN’s COP15 negotiations ahead of the Dec. 15-17 high-level segment that is meant to polish off a new global agreement on biodiversity.

INTERVIEW: Search for biodiversity metric gold standard holds risks for some

Reaching consensus on which metrics can most accurately quantify biodiversity impact is considered crucial to support streamlined government and corporate reporting, and could underpin the emergence of a voluntary biodiversity credit market, but it could also come at a great cost for some.

A glimmer of light in a dark landscape as IUCN documents restoration efforts

While extinction threats, tipping points, and ecological collapse have dominated newsfeeds at the COP15 biodiversity negotiations in Montreal, a new IUCN tool allows viewers to track progress on targets to restore degraded landscapes, providing a glimmer of light into an otherwise dark landscape.

Seven nations sign up to Canada-led Sustainable Critical Minerals Alliance

A new international alliance has formed on the sidelines of COP15 in Montreal to ensure the prevention of biodiversity loss, engagement with Indigenous communities, and the phasing out of greenhouse gas emissions from mining of critical minerals.

Is ambition on biodiversity dropping with the draft agreement’s bracket count?

Delegates met for the fourth day of official negotiations at the UN COP15 biodiversity talks on Saturday, where the pace of progress is accelerating to agree the text that will form the post-2020 global agreement – but only if “progress” is measured in “bracket count”, according to some groups of observers.

More than 100 investors sign on to biodiversity impact initiative

A group of global institutional investors launched the Nature Action 100 (NA100) at the UN’s COP15 biodiversity negotiations on Sunday, calling on the financial sector to help address nature loss through engagement and decision making which incorporates portfolio companies’ impact on biodiversity.

New tool revealed to track finance flows for biodiversity alignment

A new tool that tracks and rates $31 trillion in global financial flows for their biodiversity impact was launched on the sidelines of the UN’s COP15 biodiversity summit on Saturday, touted as a first step for broad-based financial realignment towards nature-positive outcomes.

MARKET

New technical paper proposes integrity principles for voluntary biodiversity credit framework

A new paper has outlined a series of integrity principles that could form part of a voluntary biodiversity crediting framework, likely to be key to scaling the nascent market and closing the current private finance gap.

FINANCE

Kering, L’Occitane Group back new Climate Fund for Nature with €140 mln

French luxury goods firm Kering and beauty goods retailer L’Occitane have pledged €140 mln to a new fund that will mobilise investments from the luxury fashion and beaty industries to protect and restore nature, focusing in particular on empowering women.

Iberdrola commits to net positive impact on nature by 2030

Spain-headquartered renewable energy generator Iberdrola has committed to ensuring all its global facilities will have a net positive impact on nature by 2030.

Australian banks, super funds yet to pick up ball on nature risks

The vast majority of Australian banks and superannuation funds have yet to set nature-related targets, and only a small minority of them plan to do so, according to a survey released Monday carried out by the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF).

Global Canopy allies with family offices to pressure asset managers on deforestation

UK-based non-profit Global Canopy has cooperated with a number of financial market participants to draw up guidelines for how global family offices can help put pressure on asset managers to rid their portfolios of activities that drive deforestation.

COMMENTS

Carbon copy: Biodiversity markets need to avoid repeating past mistakes

Financing for biodiversity is about to take off with the launch of biodiversity markets. They have the opportunity to learn from the successes and mistakes of the Voluntary Carbon Market by creating an effective biodiversity metrics framework, writes Torrey Sanseverino, a natural capital research associate with offset ratings agency BeZero.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Going plant-based – Japanese trading house Mitsui & Co. will decide next year whether to build a bioplastics factory in the southeastern U.S., creating one of the largest production sites worldwide for the plant-based packaging material. The proposed bio-PET plastics factory, with an annual capacity of 400,000 tonnes, could open in 2025. Investment is estimated at $550 mln. Mitsui has signed a memorandum of understanding with US-based chemical company Petron Scientech to explore a joint venture. Bio-PET, short for bio-based polyethylene terephthalate, is a plant-derived version of the plastic produced from fossil fuels and commonly used in drink bottles. Carbon dioxide emissions from the factory’s bio-PET plastic are expected to be 70% to 80% lower than from petroleum-derived plastic. The Mitsui factory would procure bioethanol made from plants such as American corn and Brazilian sugar cane to produce the bio-PET plastic. Recycled bottles would be mixed into the plastic, which then would be sold to beverage makers as a container material. (Nikkei)

Funding incoming – Basecamp Research, a London-based company that designs protein products based on those found in natural biodiversity, has raised a $20 mln Series A funding round, Sifted reports. Basecamp is working to map millions of naturally occurring proteins whose potential has yet to be tapped. Systemiq Ventures, Valo, Blue Horizon, True Ventures, and Hummingbird Ventures joined the funding round for the company, which now has raised a total $30 mln since it launched in 2019.

Mainstreaming – The Inter-American Development Bank is in the process of aligning its activities with the CBD GBF, and has developed an action plan for mainstreaming natural capital and biodiversity across the institution for approval early next year, it announced Tuesday. As part of a planned increased in spending on nature, it has approved a $100 mln debt-for-nature swap project in Barbados that will go towards conservation efforts.

Ban with consequences – The Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) said while the country’s palm oil and palm oil products are deforestation-free, higher administrative and production costs as a result of due diligence following the new EU import ban may impact the industry, especially the smallholders, according to the Edge Markets. In a response to the EU’s agreement to ban the import of several products, which include palm oil, beef, soy, coffee, cocoa, and timber, MPOB director general Datuk Dr Ahmad Parveez Ghulam Kadir said the EU’s regulation only targets the cultivation of commodities from developing economies as the major challenge in protecting the global environment.

A few more – On the sidelines of COP15, 15 more financial institutions have signed on to the Finance for Biodiversity Pledge, taking the total to 126 signatories with €18.8 trillion in assets under management. The newcomers included Third Swedish National Pension Fund, avesco Sustainable Finance, Blue Horizon, Danske Bank, Desjardins, Tribe Impact Capital, and UniCredit. Those who sign commit to protecting and restoring biodiversity through their finance activities and investments.

The big picture – The Connected Conservation Foundation and Airbus Foundation are currently accepting proposals for an award to support the use of satellite imagery for biodiversity conservation, and the winners will get access to Airbus’ Pleiades and Pleiades Neo satellite constellations as well as $5,000 in financing, reports Mongabay. The satellites deliver images with resolutions down to 30 cm and could be used in applications such as anti-poaching, forest monitoring, and species population assessments.

Rebel yell – Intensive farming — and decades of official inaction — have devastated biodiversity in the Netherlands, forcing a painful reckoning as the government clamours to save its natural ecosystems from collapse. But farmers are resisting efforts to curb the environmental impact of agriculture that could put them out of business, according to this Bloomberg report.

Just krillin’ – Australia on Wednesday announced it will build an Antarctic krill aquarium and research facility in Hobart, Tasmania. Krill is fundamental to marine life, and the new research centre is planning to investigate how it is impacted by climate change. It will also enable multi-year research on all aspects of krill biology as well as on other species in the Antarctic ecosystem.

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