COP27: Everland signals key climate role for voluntary carbon market

Business leaders have been urged to consider the importance of the voluntary carbon market to help protect rainforests and limit global temperature rise. With COP27 underway in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, Josh Tosteson, President of Everland, signalled to business leaders that a scalable solution for protecting threatened forests is readily available to help meet the ambitions of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Speaking at the recent sustainable landscapes and commodities forum held in Amsterdam, Tosteson led discussions focused on how REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) is a solution to halt climate change and ready to scale in line with the need to end deforestation.

Through successful forest protection, REDD+ projects aim to generate verified emissions reductions which local communities and host governments can sell to corporations who voluntarily offset unavoidable emissions as part of their plans to meet net-zero targets. The market, as estimated by global consultancy firm McKinsey, for such credits topped US$1bn in value in 2021 and is expected to grow 15x by 2050.

Tosteson said: “By scaling REDD+ projects through meaningful collaboration between governments, NGOs, indigenous peoples and local communities and corporations, we can build on a proven solution to save forests, protect wildlife and bring investment capital for sustainable community development with the urgency that is needed.”

At COP27, world leaders will be expected to report back on the progress towards the Glasgow Declaration on Forests, a commitment of 141 countries to halt and reverse deforestation by 2030. Tosteson said: “At Everland, alongside our developer partners we want to create action at the urgency and scale needed to mitigate climate change. We therefore need to use existing, proven solutions such as community-based REDD+ to transform the drivers of deforestation into durable incentives for forest conservation.

“The voluntary carbon market is ready to provide transformative financing to the stewards of our most precious rainforests now. We invite governments and local communities to collaborate with us in maximizing the potential of project-based REDD+ towards meeting climate change commitments.”

Jeff Hayward, global director for quality & practice at US conservation company Wildlife Works, added: “Community-driven REDD+ projects put indigenous peoples and local communities in the driver’s seat to bend the arc of deforestation. Utilizing finance from the sale of verified carbon emissions reductions they create employment and economic opportunities, support better education for their children, improve farming practices and confront challenges of food security, while protecting the forest around them.”

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