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Reflections on Terra Global Capital’s “Best Practices for Delivering a Just Transition through NbS Climate Finance”

Terra Global Capital’s paper Best Practices for Delivering a Just Transition through NbS Climate Finance describes the historical origins of the “Just Transition” and how, especially since COP28, Just Transition is being interpreted and applied to our global actions. Terra Global Capital asserts that while there is an impetus for the Private Sector to invest in Nature-based Solutions (NbS), it is imperative that there is a focus on the need to ensure a Just Transition for local communities that participate in NbS projects and offers nine key criteria that can be used to guide good practices. The criteria are shared and strongly endorsed by Nature For Justice (N4J).

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Photo: Alto Mayo Region, Peru, a member of the Awajun Indigenous People with new crops (H Cauley)

I recently participated in a webinar conducted by Terra Global Capital (TCG) on the “Best Practices for Delivering a Just Transition through NbS Climate Finance”. TCG is a women-founded, woman-run, for-profit social enterprise and small business, with a mission to facilitate financially, socially, and environmentally sustainable landscapes. The company offered nine key criteria as the cornerstones of good practice for NbS investments:


The nine key criteria that can be used to guide good practice for NbS investments are:

  1. Foster strong social dialogue and consensus, as well as adequate, informed, and ongoing consultation
  2. Prioritize interventions for the most at-risk places and communities
  3. Account for gender dimensions of environmental challenges and opportunities
  4. Ensure policy is informed by countries’ specific conditions and local contexts
  5. Promote the creation of more decent jobs
  6. Provide workers and enterprises with the skills required for a transition / Provide income support to workers during periods of transition
  7. Implement climate action that enhances social equity
  8. Develop NbS programs that are economically viable
  9. Manage NbS that are adaptively based on evidence

 

The TCG paper describes the historical origins of the “Just Transition” and how, especially since COP28, Just Transition is being interpreted and applied to our global actions. It covers the scope of Just Transition in Climate Agreements and UN Resolutions, which provide the background and importance of delivering on the Paris Agreement.

The paper explains the imperative need for the Private Sector to invest in NbS, along with good guidance practices that investors should adopt to ensure climate finance investments are being made into NbS programs, demonstrably to promote a Just Transition. Applying these good practices as we move to a net-zero global green economy allows developing countries and their communities to win in the process. For corporates with net-zero goals who use NbS carbon credits or asset owners with a climate mitigation mandate, it is meant to be an investor’s guide on how NbS programs should be developed, implemented, financed, and measured to benefit the countries, communities, and biodiversity, and to ensure that those who are disproportionately affected by climate change receive the funding needed and that can contribute to our global goal of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions to limit global warming exceeding 1.5 degrees C.

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Photo: Alto Mayo Region, Peru (H Cauley)

TCG’s focus on the need to ensure a Just Transition for local communities that participate in NbS resonated with me, and its philosophy is completely congruent with N4J’s approach to facilitating the involvement of local communities and organizations that represent them and their interests in such initiatives and associated access to climate finance.

Unfortunately, to date N4J has encountered very few carbon project developers that seem willing to embrace these practices and, as importantly, to offer the up-front support that is usually necessary for local communities to be able to advance promising NbS opportunities effectively and to benefit in a fair and transparent manner.

N4J has collectively written on this topic quite extensively, on the subjects of Development Paradigms for Carbon Investors, Climate Justice Additionality defined and Best Practices in Creating and Leading NbS Projects.
Currently, N4J and TCG are collaborating to explore opportunities to support small- and medium-scale rice farmers in Colombia to adopt alternative farm management practices to reduce both GHG emissions and water usage, and, potentially, to also support upstream watershed restoration activities to help ensure future hydrological services and improve biodiversity conservation. We anticipate this being the first example of working together to help promote a Just Transition.

*Header Photo: Alto Mayo Region, Peru (H Cauley)

Author

  • Frank Hicks

    Frank has over 30 years of broad expertise in international development as a senior manager, board member, and consultant with leading NGOs, foundations, and impact investing funds. He is based in Costa Rica, formerly in West Africa, Asia, and the US.

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