Data ReFined #33: Co-Benefits in the Voluntary Carbon Market & UNEP’s Report on Open-Source Climate Data Platforms

Data ReFined #33: Co-Benefits in the Voluntary Carbon Market & UNEP’s Report on Open-Source Climate Data Platforms
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The Newsletter about Climate Data, Regenerative Finance, and Climate Risk ⛅

The voluntary carbon market (VCM) is changing rapidly, with rising demand for high-integrity credits and more emphasis on co-benefits. This edition of dClimate's biweekly newsletter features the U.S. government's principles for high-integrity credits, Ecosystem Marketplace's State of the VCM Report, and Neutral's latest insights on REDD+ initiatives.

We also share news about physical climate risks, including the long-lasting heavy rainfall in the United Kingdom, the United Nation's report on open-source climate data platforms, as well as exciting developments in the field of satellite data and AI models for climate science.

Let's dive into it! 👇

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Industry News

Principles for High-Integrity Carbon Markets

The Biden-Harris Administration has announced a list of key principles to enhance the integrity of voluntary carbon markets (VCMs). These principles emphasize the need for robust standards, more public disclosures, and a greater focus on co-benefits in project development.

Read the fact sheet to learn more about all 7 principles:

FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration Announces New Principles for High-Integrity Voluntary Carbon Markets | The White House
Since Day One, President Biden has led and delivered on the most ambitious climate agenda in history, including by securing the Inflation Reduction Act, the largest-ever climate investment, and taking executive action to cut greenhouse gas emissions across every sector of the economy. The President’s Investing in America agenda has already catalyzed more than $860…

Ecosystem Marketplace's State of the VCM Report 2023

The 2023 report on the state of the voluntary carbon market shows a shift towards higher-priced, high-integrity carbon credits. The average price per credit increased significantly due to a focus on nature-based solutions and credits with verified co-benefits. This trend indicates more discerning carbon market participants who prioritize quality and impact when purchasing carbon credits.

You can find a download link to the full report in the article below:

NEW! State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2023 finds VCM demand concentrating around pricier, high-integrity credits - Ecosystem Marketplace
New research published by Ecosystem Marketplace finds evidence of a market-wide shift in the voluntary carbon markets (VCM), with demand concentrating around high-integrity, high-quality carbon credits that have holistic co-benefits beyond the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions. Transaction data analyzed in the report show a massive 82% leap in average carbon credit prices between […]

High-Integrity REDD+ Initiatives

The latest article from Neutral discusses the complexities and changes in the REDD+ initiatives focused on improved carbon crediting integrity. The write-up emphasizes the need for updated methodologies that align with scientific advances and suggests future directions to ensure REDD+ remains a pivotal part of global forest conservation and carbon sequestration strategies.

View the article, including five insightful graphs, via the link below:

The Evolution of Redd+: At the Frontline of Carbon Crediting Integrity - Neutral

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Extreme Rainfall 10x More Likely

The type of continuous rain experienced last autumn and winter in the UK and Ireland is now estimated to occur on average every 5 years instead of every 50 years. The increase and intensity of rain and storms have resulted in significant flooding, loss of life, damage to infrastructure, and agricultural losses during one of the wettest periods in nearly two centuries.

Find more context and details in the article from The Guardian:

‘Never-ending’ UK rain made 10 times more likely by climate crisis, study says
Winter downpours also made 20% wetter and will occur every three years without urgent carbon cuts, experts warn

Climate perils pose significant financial risks that impact investment and lending decisions across various financial sectors. The article below points out specific vulnerabilities in sectors like banking and insurance and stresses the importance for all investors to integrate climate risks into their strategic planning.

Learn more in this article from the Climate Policy Initiative:

Climate-Related Financial Risk: How, When, And For Whom? - CPI
Climate change, now a major financial concern, impacts investment and lending decisions through physical and transition risks. Banks face significant physical risks affecting their assets and loan portfolios, while institutional investors and insurance companies must manage both risk types. Equity investors should prioritize transition risks due to potential policy changes. Ignoring climate risks is not viable; investors must integrate climate considerations to safeguard portfolios and drive positive change in business practices.

Physical climate risk assessment platforms, such as Aegis, can help your company understand climate-related risks and provide valuable insights for mandatory disclosures.

Florida's Home Insurance and Hurricane Season

The 2024 Atlantic hurricane season, predicted by NOAA to be highly active, poses significant challenges for Florida's already vulnerable insurance market. Due to the increased frequency and severity of weather events, home insurance premiums have doubled over the past three years. A major hurricane hitting densely populated areas in Florida, Texas, or Louisiana could drastically impact insurance markets, possibly leading to insolvencies and even higher premiums.

Read the full story on Newsweek:

Florida insurance market braces for hurricane season
An above-normal Atlantic hurricane season could destabilize Florida’s fragile insurance market, which is yet to find a way out of its ongoing crisis.

Open-Source and Neutral Climate Data Platforms

The United Nations has released a new report that explores how open and neutral platforms for robust climate data could overcome hurdles like data availability, quality, comparability, and the high costs of data acquisition. The authors emphasize that accessible and reliable data is essential to improve climate risk assessments and mitigation strategies.

The report supplements the recently published Climate Risk Landscape Report, which was covered in issue #31 of this newsletter, and can be downloaded below:

The climate data challenge: the critical role of open-source and neutral data platforms
This latest report explores the challenges that companies, including financial institutions, could encounter concerning their management of critical climate data.…

dClimate's open data marketplace and API contain over 40 terabytes of free institutional-grade climate data that can be used to build data-driven climate applications.

Microsoft's Aurora: a Foundational AI Model of the Atmosphere

Aurora utilizes advanced AI to analyze vast amounts of data, allowing it to predict weather and atmospheric conditions with high accuracy. This breakthrough model is expected to revolutionize climate modeling and environmental prediction by providing detailed insights into atmospheric dynamics.

Learn more in Microsoft Research's press release:

Introducing Aurora: The first large-scale AI foundation model of the atmosphere
Aurora, a new AI foundation model from Microsoft Research, can transform our ability to predict and mitigate extreme weather events and the effects of climate change by enabling faster and more accurate weather forecasts than ever before.

Using Satellites to Detect Wildfires Early

High-profile collaborations between NASA, Google, SpaceX, and others are advancing satellite missions to improve early wildfire detection and response from space. The proposed satellite constellations could revolutionize resource deployment and emergency management during wildfire incidents due to more granular data about the location, temperatures, and movement of wildfires.

Read the full article in the Los Angeles Times:

Can satellites combat wildfires? Inside the booming ‘space race’ to fight the flames
New missions backed by Google, NASA and other groups will monitor the planet’s worsening wildfire activity from outer space.

New Satellite Data for Atmospheric Dynamics

The EarthCARE satellite, a joint project between European and Japanese space agencies, has been launched to enhance our understanding of Earth's atmospheric dynamics. This mission will collect data about the complex interactions of clouds, aerosols, and radiation, thereby helping scientists to refine global climate models.

Find more details about this satellite mission in the announcement below:

EarthCARE launched to study role of clouds and aerosols in Earth’s climate
ESA’s EarthCARE satellite, poised to revolutionise our understanding of how clouds and aerosols affect our climate, has been launched. This extraordinary satellite embarked on its journey into space on 29 May at 00:20 CEST (28 May, 15:20 local time) aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, US.

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