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What is Cop28 and why does it matter?

Our latest selection of articles from New Zealand and around the world on environmental management and sustainability. Click here to subscribe.


Thanks for reading our Snippets newsletter this week. We have once again included a mixed selection of articles we hope you find interesting.


We start with a look at COP28, why it matters and what it must deliver in response to the changing world in which we live in. 4 in 5 people around the world support whatever it takes to limit climate change. We just need world and industry leaders to take the hint, and firm up action on our behalf.


As the Coalition government gets going, we take a look at the things they are intending to change. Some good, and some not so good. As a consequence of the new government signalling, they are not going to apply for accreditation under the new international standards for Carbon offsets, Toitu Envirocare is to cease accepting government issued Emissions Trading Scheme carbon credits from NZ forests.  If ETS issued carbon credits met international accreditation requirements, Recloaking Papatūānuku would provide a better way for Aotearoa to meet decarbonisation targets.


And with the right protections in place, the appetite for carbon capture is strong.  Furthermore, The World Bank has expressed a strong intention to enter the carbon markets and provide oversight and regulation which would further boost confidence.


Once again, getting out in nature is good for you. With Canadian health professionals now prescribing patients with national park passes! We wrap up with a look at New Zealand’s first utility scale solar farm which recently began generating electricity from its 60,000 solar panels.


Did you know: You can display your organisation’s sustainability data on your website or intranet using our carbon management software, e-Bench? Read more…



Here is the full list of articles...


COP28 officially commenced on the 30th of November in Dubai, UAE; but exactly what is COP?  As this article explains, COP stands for Conference of the Parties under the UNFCCC and it is held annually.  COP28 is expected to have 70,000 delegates attending, with 2,500 of those regretfully being fossil fuel lobbyists.  This articles provides a good background on previous COP, including those that are regarded as successful (Paris in 2015) and disastrous (Copenhagen in 2009) and why limiting warming to 1.5C is so important. Read more…


And there are high expectations for COP28. 2023 has been the warmest year on record and last week, the UN projected that under current pledges, we are on track for an average global warming of 2.5-2.9C, which would be disastrous for the wellbeing of humans and other species.  We are also falling short of meeting critical climate targets, with only one of 42 indicators - the share of electric vehicles - on track to meet its 2030 target.  This stark reality, therefore, demands more than just incremental action. Read more…


And there is certainly a huge demand for action.  A new survey, the largest of its kind, conducted by the Yale Program on Climate Change, shows that people around the world want their governments to take action.  Some 78% of those polled agree that it’s essential to do “whatever it takes” to limit the effects of climate change.  The research also gauged what messages resonated the most.  The best one?  “Later is too late.”  That fits with the reason people want action: to protect the planet for the next generation. Read more…


The new National, ACT, and New Zealand First coalition government, contrary to expectations, includes surprising climate initiatives. These include plans for drilling for hydrogen gas, incentivising emissions reduction in farming, conducting a cost-benefit analysis for EV charging stations, and supporting kelp forests and mangroves. However, there are concerns over potential setbacks such as a halt to EV discounts, reduced funding for cycleways, reconsideration of methane reduction targets in agriculture, and the cancellation of projects like Auckland Light Rail. Climate analysts express disappointment in the government's climate approach, emphasising the economic efficiency of climate action. Read more…


Toitū Envirocare, a major climate-action certifier in New Zealand, will no longer accept carbon credits from the country's forests as evidence of carbon neutrality. Previously, companies could use such credits to demonstrate carbon neutrality, but Toitū now cites changing international best practices and increased demand for integrity and transparency in carbon credit projects. This decision follows scrutiny of forest offset projects globally. Toitū emphasises its commitment to using credits certified by the Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market. Approximately 90% of Toitū's offset customers currently utilise overseas offsets. Read more…


The Recloaking Papatūānuku initiative in Aotearoa proposes a more sustainable approach to meet decarbonisation targets, aiming to capture 1,500 million TCO2 by 2100. Costing an estimated $11.8-12.1bn by 2050, it offers a lower abatement cost of $32/TCO2 compared to international offsets. The program would create jobs, foster education, and boost economic and disaster resilience in local communities. Policy options include Crown financing for landowners, grants with revenue sharing, or Crown-funded reforestation with carbon credit returns. The proposal aligns with Aotearoa's NDC commitments and awaits further development and planning. Read more…


Meanwhile, in global news, a number of insurance companies are hoping to support the global voluntary carbon credit market, essentially offering a form of guarantee on credit producing projects. Where investors see risks in buying carbon credits that might not live up to their promise, insurers are seeing opportunity. Although the market is still in the early stages of development, large international insurers and specialist start-ups are already promoting products and solutions related to carbon credit risks. Howden, which operates in 50 countries, launched its carbon invalidation coverage a year ago. The coverage indemnifies buyers of carbon credits that do not meet the promised specifications. Read more…


Also jumping on board to help, the World Bank wants to run carbon markets to boost their credibility, revealing recently that they are months away from setting up a mechanism to issue certification for forest carbon credits. Strengthening the credibility and transparency of the voluntary carbon markets is the way forward, according to Ajay Banga, the World Bank’s new president. This will put voluntary carbon markets, which have been plagued by transparency and integrity concerns, on a more credible footing. Read more…


Connecting with nature is one of the best things you can do to improve your physical and mental health, which is why doctors in Canada have started prescribing national park passes to their patients. The PaRX initiative of the BC Parks Foundation started back in 2020 and has since seen over 11,000 healthcare providers prescribe time outdoors for their patients’ health. Outside of the physical and mental health benefits, the initiative is also helping Canadians reconnect with nature, increasing the likelihood of patients participating in pro-environmental activities.   Read more…


To end things with a positive local development, New Zealand’s first utility scale solar farm is now operational. Consisting of over 60,000 solar panels, the solar farm will generate 56 GWh of energy per year. Additionally, the solar panels are raised more than two meters above the ground to allow for grazing and the potential growth of certain crops. Although the adoption of solar in New Zealand has not followed the same trajectory as Australia, the project is ushering in the next era of New Zealand’s energy transition.   Read more…





This week we have the following innovation articles we hope you find interesting:




Hydrology Report - 7 December 2023



Electricity Price Index - 7 December 2023








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