There is NO solution to the climate or biodiversity extinction crises without ending tropical deforestation. Tropical forests:
Store 250 billion tonnes of carbon,
Absorb 30% of global anthropogenic emissions,
Support the livelihoods of over a billion local and Indigenous people
Contain 50% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity and carbon stocks.
However, deforestation contributes 13% of global emissions, which is more than any country except for the US and China. Even if all other anthropogenic emissions stopped today, deforestation emissions would take us beyond the limits needed to keep warming below the 1.5 °C target of the Paris Agreement. With enough funding to meaningfully slow and reverse deforestation, forests have the potential to provide a third of the climate solution by 2030.
02.Aren’t governments just going to tackle deforestation anyway?
Not necessarily. Since most tropical subtropical forests are in developing countries, governments are often forced to choose between economic development and ecological integrity. We help them avoid this choice by providing funding from credit purchases that allows to protect forests at scale.
HOW EMERGENT WORKS
01.What is Emergent and why does it exist?
Emergent is a non-profit with the mission to accelerate the speed and scale of tropical forest protection to combat the climate crisis. We exist to end deforestation by growing private sector demand for carbon credits to provide long-term funding for forest nations to protect their irreplaceable natural assets. As an intermediary between the private sector and forest nations, we act as a market catalyst to help deliver transformational impact for the climate, biodiversity and indigenous peoples.
02.What is Emergent’s model?
Emergent purchases high-integrity carbon credits from ‘jurisdictional’ – national or subnational – REDD+ forest protection programs that are verified to the ART/TREES standard. We then sell these credits to buyers who seek to meet their climate mitigation and emissions reductions goals. This speeds-up, simplifies, and standardizes the credit-buying process for both forest nation sellers and private sector buyers – which, in turn, stimulates supply as demand emerges. By bringing together donor funds to provide floor price guarantees to jurisdictional sellers, Emergent enables the necessary investments in reducing deforestation. We also ensure proceeds from transactions are reinvested according to robust financial, social, and environmental safeguards. The Emergent model catalyses the carbon markets to protect forests at scale.
03.When will Emergent have credits that it can offer?
We anticipate having our first credits available for the 2022 crediting year, initially offering several millions tonnes with volumes building from there.
04.How much will Emergent credits cost?
Credits will cost at least $10 per ton. Numerous estimates expect prices to rise as forest ecosystem services grow and increasingly reflect the value of their numerous social, biodiversity, economic and environmental co-benefits. The values will be in line with research-based, long-term and system-wide change requirements to reduce deforestation. Credit prices will also consider the country-specific cost of generating them and we are working closely with forest nations to ensure their payments are reinvested into social programs or further climate goals.
SAFEGUARDS AND STANDARDS
01.What is the Architecture for REDD+ Transactions (ART) and how does it relate to Emergent?
ART is an independent organization that serves as the first global voluntary carbon program that purely recognizes jurisdictionally created and guaranteed tropical forest reductions. ART is governed by an independent Board of Directors, the members of which represent a diverse group of objective, globally recognized experts.
ART registers, verifies and issues high-quality credits from REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) to jurisdictions, embedding the highest standards of environmental and social integrity.
Emergent and ART are complementary initiatives that work together to facilitate a large-scale carbon market to end tropical deforestation. Presently, Emergent exclusively deals credits issued by ART under The REDD+ Environmental Excellence Standard (TREES).
02.What makes ART’s credits different?
ART issues credits under The REDD+ Environmental Excellence Standard (TREES). TREES is the first jurisdictional REDD+ standard with a clear pathway to zero deforestation, incorporating an innovative, ever-tightening baseline. This encourages forest nations to continually reduce deforestation, creating a credible pathway to zero deforestation.
TREES was designed to be consistent with UNFCCC-aligned social and environmental decisions including the Paris Agreement, Warsaw Framework and Cancun Safeguards while ensuring no double counting of results.
TREES embeds ambitious reference levels, strong requirements for managing uncertainty, leakage risks and permanence, as well as robust environmental and social safeguards.
Emission reductions are measured against conservative historic deforestation baselines calculated across areas of at least 2.5 m hectares of contiguous forest. Most jurisdictions are many times that size.
Deforestation is reduced using various public and private finance and enforcement tools, targeted at the root causes of deforestation, the features of which will depend on country circumstances.
Payments are made only after results have been fully verified by an accredited and independent body.
01.Is there a link between Emergent’s work and the current global health crisis?
We believe so. As many as 1.7 million unidentified viruses with the potential to infect people still exist in mammals and water birds today. Exploiting nature and wild species such as by deforestation creates the ‘perfect storm’ for fostering conditions that trigger transmission of pandemic-creating zoonotic diseases from wildlife to people. In fact, there is increasing evidence that pandemics like COVID-19 are caused by activities that bring people into direct contact, and often conflict, with the animals that carry these pathogens. By protecting forests, we protect ourselves by reducing the chance of spillovers of disease.
02.How do carbon credits make a difference to climate change?
Crediting allows organizations or individuals to mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by paying for reduced GHG emissions elsewhere. The value of each credit for emission removals or reductions represents a ton of CO2, or an equivalent amount of another GHG.
Purchasing high-integrity carbon credits provides a means for companies to meet their climate mitigation and net-zero targets while simultaneously pursuing internal emissions reductions.
Many industries cannot yet completely eliminate operational emissions – there are no zero carbon airplanes or steel mills, for example. Crediting therefore offers a way for companies to become net-zero while on a pathway to decarbonizing their internal emissions.
ENSURING SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL INTEGRITY
01.How does Emergent ensure additionality?
Reductions in deforestation are measured against a conservative baseline of historic emissions, which is updated every five years and may not decrease over time. In other words, the standard incentivizes a relatively rapid downward trajectory of emissions.
All jurisdictions are required to submit a strategy detailing how they will reduce emissions from deforestation, making a credible case for how that strategy will achieve the target results.
02.How does Emergent’s approach avoid leakage?
Results will be measured at the national or subnational scale with a minimum size of 2.5 million hectares of forest for state or provincial-level programs. When not at a national level, moreover, there are deductions taken for leakage risks. Working at this scale reduces the risk that deforestation is displaced elsewhere.
03.How is Emergent different to traditional REDD+ projects?
Emergent’s partner ART ensures that REDD+ interventions are made and accounted for with the highest levels of both integrity and impact. In order to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement (i.e. limit temperature change to 1.5 degrees C), we need to tackle deforestation immediately and through large-scale action.
The jurisdictional approach is crucial in that endeavor. By jurisdictional approach, we mean that accounting for GHG mitigation from the land sector should be accounted for centrally and at a large- scale. In most cases, that will require government involvement in the accounting of emissions reductions from REDD+ activities.
It is important to note that we also believe that site-specific interventions are also necessary, especially those that target high-risk areas. We firmly believe that the jurisdictional approach is not opposed to REDD+ projects. On the contrary, it can and should create an enabling environment for them, including predictable incentive structures to ensure that the important work that project do is adequately recognized and compensated for.
The TREES standard is agnostic about how projects are included in emission reduction jurisdictions, as long as issues around double counting are sufficiently mitigated against, and safeguards are addressed and respected. ART is in the process of preparing some guidance documents for further ideas about how this incorporation- or “nesting”- may be accomplished, and Emergent is standing ready to assist all parties to create tailored arrangements that work best for all stakeholders.