Sustainability Reads: 10/20–10/26

EU leaders agree to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030

It’s great news this week that, after a process of conceding to individual countries’ concerns, a deal was struck in the European Union to reduce emissions 40% compared to 1990 levels by 2030. However, according to this article ‘key aspects of the deal that will form a bargaining position for global climate talks in Paris next year were left vague or voluntary, raising questions as to how the aims would be realised.’ Additionally, a clause was inserted into the text allowing for a review of the targets if other countries do not come forward with similar goals in Paris. Other decisions reached as part of this 2030 framework for climate and energy policies include to reform the cap and trade system, a binding target of 27% renewable energy, an indicative target of increasing energy efficiency by 27%, and a new governance system. By Arthur Nelsen at the Guardian.

WRI’s newest tool in visualizing climate equity

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Forest carbon projects turn to consumers in quest for cash

A New Initiative called Stand for Trees is set to be launched in February 2015. This initiative expands the REDD+ market to ordinary consumers as well as corporations and governments, and will be backed by USAID. The program will even allow customers to purchase forest carbon credits on their smartphones. Some have been disappointed in REDD+ lack of progress to reduce deforestation, such as the UK’s climate envoy Greg Barker who claimed that “money is taking too long to flow and not enough incentives are in place for it to work.” By opening the market up to other types of customers, the program hopes to bring about more investment in order to unlock the potential for the REDD+ program in reducing emissions from deforestation.  By Megan Darby at RTCC.org.

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