A new guide provides decision makers with guidance in choosing to compensate unabated emissions with high-quality carbon credits to drive demand for Natural Climate Solutions (NCS).

The Natural Climate Solutions Alliance, with support from the SustainAbility Institute by ERM has developed the guide ‘Natural Climate Solutions and the Voluntary Carbon Market’ to provide decision makers guidance to drive demand for high-quality Natural Climate Solutions (NCS) projects and urge companies to mitigate their emissions beyond their value chains.

NCS are actions which protect, conserve, sustainably use, manage and restore ecosystems, but they are also a way to address two other major crises: the loss of biodiversity and social injustice.

Quotation mark The climate crisis requires businesses to demonstrate leadership by counterbalancing their unabated emissions year on year, in addition to their efforts to decarbonize their value chain (Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions) in the transition to net zero, through the purchase and retirement of high-quality carbon NCS credits on the voluntary carbon market. That is why it is important to provide decision makers with key facts about why they should invest in the voluntary carbon market while taking action in decarbonizing their value chain at the same time. Quotation mark

Peter Bakker

President and CEO of WBCSD

The guide provides C-suite executives with an overview of why they should purchase NCS credits that go beyond the delivery of carbon credits by providing measurable benefits to nature and people. It also provides an overview of the business drivers for investing in NCS voluntary carbon credits and practical guidance on immediate actions that can be taken to build a credible climate strategy using NCS voluntary carbon credits.

Businesses recognize they have a critical role to play in tackling climate change and reversing nature degradation. Companies have put in place strategies to drive down emissions across their value chains and are now looking at what further steps they can take to address the climate emergency.

Quotation mark We welcomed this opportunity to work with the NCSA to help CEOs and their organizations understand how Natural Climate Solutions can accelerate their journey to net zero. ERM has joined the NCS Alliance and signed up to the NCS Investment Accelerator as part of our own commitment to addressing climate, nature and livelihood challenges within our overall decarbonization strategy. We believe that high quality NCS carbon credits make good business sense and we look forward to working with peers, partners and clients to help drive this market forward. Quotation mark

Tom Reichert

CEO of ERM Group

The voluntary carbon market is not the only way businesses can finance NCS. In particular businesses in land sectors should consider investing in NCS within their own value chain – this is also known as insetting.

The value of the voluntary carbon market quadrupled in 2021 compared to 2020. The majority of this growth occurred in the Forestry and Land-use sector (FOLU) - where most NCS activities take place. While this is impressive, it still falls short of the potential of nature to help stop climate change.

NCS will play a critical role in achieving a just transition to global net zero emissions by 2050 and the businesses that have a validated net zero target should consider stepping up and raising their ambitions by investing in Natural Climate Solutions voluntary carbon credits.

About the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)

WBCSD is the premier global, CEO-led community of over 200 of the world’s leading sustainable businesses working collectively to accelerate the system transformations needed for a net zero, nature positive, and more equitable future.

We do this by engaging executives and sustainability leaders from business and elsewhere to share practical insights on the obstacles and opportunities we currently face in tackling the integrated climate, nature and inequality sustainability challenge; by co-developing “how-to” CEO-guides from these insights; by providing science-based target guidance including standards and protocols; and by developing tools and platforms to help leading businesses in sustainability drive integrated actions to tackle climate, nature and inequality challenges across sectors and geographical regions.

Our member companies come from all business sectors and all major economies, representing a combined revenue of more than USD $8.5 trillion and 19 million employees. Our global network of almost 70 national business councils gives our members unparalleled reach across the globe. Since 1995, WBCSD has been uniquely positioned to work with member companies along and across value chains to deliver impactful business solutions to the most challenging sustainability issues.

Together, we are the leading voice of business for sustainability, united by our vision of a world in which 9+ billion people are living well, within planetary boundaries, by mid-century.

About the Natural Climate Solutions Alliance (NCS Alliance)

The NCS Alliance brings together public and private stakeholders to identify opportunities and barriers to investment into carbon credits in new and existing markets to scale up financing for natural climate solutions. The Alliance also serves as a forum for knowledge sharing and technical capacity building to ensure natural climate solutions reach their full potential in abating climate change. Natural Climate Solutions contribute their full potential towards the Paris Agreement climate goals as well as helping to solve some of the world’s most pressing and intractable environmental and social challenges, including biodiversity and forest loss, land degradation, sustainable water management and sustainable community livelihoods, starting today.