But Sime Darby wasn’t as lucky. According to a study by the Washington D.C.-based consultancy firm Chain Reaction Research, at least 45 percent of the company’s concession area in Liberia would be off limits under the HCS approach.
The report recommends a series of options for Sime Darby to maintain the profitability of its Liberian operation. On the one hand, the report notes, the company could completely disregard its environmental and social obligations – a risky strategy that it is almost certain not to pursue. On the other hand, the report suggests Sime Darby could move toward contract farming, in which the company would act as a buyer for palm fruit farmed by communities on their own land. It warned that Sime Darby’s share price could decline once its investors realize how unlikely it is that the company will be able to clear and develop its entire concession area.
“Other world leaders are likely to press on the president not only the importance they place on climate change but also the impact that pulling out will have on the president’s other foreign policy priorities,” said Nigel Purvis, a climate negotiator in the Clinton and Bush administrations. “And I think that will make an impression.”
May 2, 2017
The architecture of the Paris deal, which allows countries to offer emissions cuts and finance based on what each government believes it can deliver, makes comparing commitments difficult. But that freedom to set goals is part of what makes the Paris accord “fair,” said Nigel Purvis, a chief climate negotiator in the Clinton and George W. Bush years. That architecture follows what Democrats and Republicans alike demanded in a 1997 Senate resolution that passed 95-0, which specified that any climate deal the United States joined must treat all parties’ commitments the same legally.
“Not only is it fair, but [it] is what the Bush administration thought was fair,” he said. “It’s been a pillar of U.S. climate policy for 10 years.”
April 29, 2017
Another group fighting back is Climate Advisors, a policy consultancy in Washington which produces the Trump BackTracker – a regular analysis of the vulnerability of Obama-era climate policies to Trump and, they said, “what that means for the US climate pollution trajectory”. Their first update warned of the “Trump Effect” – a half a gigaton increase in pollutants by 2025. This came after the group’s analysis found that 55% of Obama’s 2015 climate goals were highly vulnerable to reversal under the new administration.
April 25, 2017
President Donald Trump’s planned climate change policies could lead to an extra half a billion tons of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere by 2025, according to a new analysis. That is equal to the annual electricity emissions of 60 percent of U.S. homes. Climate Advisers, a Washington consultancy, predicts that U.S. carbon emissions, which have been falling, will begin to flatten or increase by 2020 if the Trump administration succeeds in repealing the Clean Power Plan and other Obama-era regulations.
April 25, 2017
Organizations that monitor the industry say they have yet to see a correction. Satellite imagery captured by Chain Reaction Research, a risk-management research institute, showed active deforestation on concessions managed by a subsidiary of Sawit Sumbermas Sarana as recently as last May. Concerns over deforestation have led some major palm oil buyers, including Wilmar, the world’s largest refiner of palm oil, to halt purchases from the company.
April 18, 2017
Nonetheless, a withdrawal or public announcement that the U.S. is abandoning its efforts to fight man-made climate change could spark repercussions individually from other nations, said Nigel Purvis, who was the top U.S. State Department environmental diplomat when George W. Bush pulled out of the 1997 Kyoto climate treaty. “Any sign that the administration would not be serious will provoke an international reaction that would undermine the administration’s foreign policy,” said Purvis, an international attorney who served in Democratic and Republican administrations. Other countries, he said, take climate change seriously and could retaliate in trade deals or tariffs or balk on negotiations over international security costs.
March 28, 2017
Today’s executive order doesn’t dismantle the CPP just yet — the policy was finalized under Obama, and can’t be eliminated with the stroke of a pen. Rather, it instructs the EPA to begin the process of reviewing and reversing the CPP, which could take years. The administration has to publish a proposal saying what’s changing and why, open a period of public comment, and then respond to those comments. “Basically, the CPP will be on the books for a while, while the EPA muddles through the process to undo it,” Maria Belenky, director of policy and research at Climate Advisers, writes in an email to The Verge. “Now, that said, there will obviously be no enforcement.”
February 7, 2017
“’While I don’t expect President Trump to lead on international climate finance, U.S. programs that support low carbon development abroad will not disappear as some fear,'” said Nigel Purvis, who served in the State Department under both Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush and now heads the D.C. consulting firm Climate Advisers. Purvis’ position is based on the following argument: Programs that promote U.S. clean energy exports to developing countries are likely to continue because they are good for American companies. Furthermore, efforts to create more resilient societies can be defended on national security and humanitarian grounds rather than as climate adaptation, and international forest conservation programs tend to be popular with liberals and conservatives in Congress, he said.
January 20, 2017
The courts will “really decide the extent to which the Obama legacy is maintained or rolled back,” says Maria Belenky, director of policy and research at Climate Advisers. “The courts are the area of last resorts for a lot of environmental groups and a lot of states that have supported the Obama administration’s agenda.”
December 20, 2016
“While the transition team has a right to know how the State Department spends its money, what they are going to find out is that environmental spending is a tiny fraction of the foreign affairs budget, which itself is a small part of the federal budget,” said Nigel Purvis, who served in the State Department under both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush and now heads the D.C. consulting firm Climate Advisers. “Most international environmental programs run by the State Department enjoy broad bipartisan support and many of these programs were started by Republicans.”
November 23, 2016
“The Trump administration has far more to gain from staying in the Paris Agreement than getting out of it,” said Nigel Purvis, who served as a deputy assistant secretary of state for environment under President George W. Bush when the United States signed but failed to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. Bush subsequently declared Kyoto “dead.” “I saw firsthand how America’s go-it-alone approach on climate made it harder to secure international support for President Bush’s foreign policy priorities,” Purvis said. “Rejecting Paris now would undermine the president-elect’s goals on trade, migration and terror, which presumably he cares more about than walking away from an innocuous climate agreement.”
October 28, 2016
The three biggest challenges facing humanity are climate change, poverty and the economy. Perhaps the only good thing about the three is that they can and should be dealt with at the same time.
October 20, 2016
Nigel Purvis, chief executive officer of Climate Advisers and a former State Department treaty lawyer, says that such approval may not be necessary. “It’s a well established principle of U.S. law that the President can approve, without further Congressional review, certain international agreements that fall under a treaty already approved by the Senate,” he wrote in an emailed statement to the Monitor. The Montréal Protocol, to which the Kigali Agreement is an amendment, was overwhelmingly approved by the Senate in 1988, with a vote of 83 to 0.
October 4, 2016
“The international community has demonstrated exceptional commitment to the Paris Agreement by bringing it into force in less than a year, which is extraordinary compared to other major international pacts,” said Nigel Purvis, a former senior U.S. climate change negotiator in the Clinton and Bush administrations and president of Climate Advisers. “No nation will be able to withdraw from the Paris Agreement without alienating important allies and undermining vital foreign policy objectives.”
September 26, 2016
But any action is preferable to the climate future the U.S. could face under a Donald Trump presidency, experts warned. Maria Belenky, a senior associate at the policy firm Climate Advisers, told The Verge that “The key here is political will from the next administration and that’s gonna be extremely integral to whether or not we’re able to meet our targets.”
May 18, 2016
“Countries gave considerable thought in Paris to creating a durable agreement that would outlive occasional lapses in political will,” Nigel Purvis, the president and chief executive of Climate Advisers, said in an April interview with The Washington Post.
April 11, 2016
In late March, when the United States and China jointly declared that they’d be moving to immediately sign and then join the Paris climate agreement “as early as possible this year,” it was seen as the latest show of joint leadership by the two largest emitters.
February 10, 2016
“The Supreme Court just clarified the stakes for the American people in the election when it comes to climate change,” said Nigel Purvis, the president of the Climate Advisers consulting group and a climate diplomat under Bill Clinton and Mr. Bush.
December 10, 2015
The United States’ refusal to make internationally binding its ambitious pollution targets at the Cop21 climate talks in Paris isn’t a sign of Barack Obama’s lack of political will, but a reflection of the legal limits of his authorities and the political realities of what other nations will commit to doing.
December 10, 2015
The climate deal being negotiated here is meant to begin a transformation of the world’s energy systems, but it has another goal that has received far less attention: a sweeping effort to save the world’s forests.
December 6, 2015
The Green Climate Fund was created to be the main conduit for tens of billions of dollars a year from the world’s biggest economies for climate projects. “In order to keep the 2 degree target in sight, we need to help the developing countries do more. Every country should do more, but the opportunity to do more quickly is through partnerships with developing countries,” says Nigel Purvis.
December 2, 2015
“It’s like seeing an action movie,” said former U.S. climate negotiator Nigel Purvis, who is now president of Climate Advisers. “There’s generally a plot, bad guys come to threaten the world. Eventually humanity rallies together and overcomes. That’s the kind of thing that happens here.”
December 1, 2015
President Barack Obama said Tuesday that parts of the global warming deal being negotiated in Paris should be legally binding on the countries that sign on, setting up a potential fight with Republicans at home.
December 1, 2015
There are two ways the next GOP president could scuttle our participation in such an international agreement, in which participating countries would all pledge to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions. The first, most direct way is by pulling the United States out of it. The second, less direct way would be to roll back Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which seeks to reduce carbon emissions from power plants and thus may be pivotal to whether we can meet our end of the bargain.
November 30, 2015
Although it won’t take center stage, one thing is certain: The world can’t stay below 2 degrees Celsius of warming — the threshold determined by scientists that, if crossed, could lead to catastrophic climate change — without the carbon-sequestering power of forests and the land-use sector.
November 30, 2015
“The basic rule is if an international agreement doesn’t require a change in U.S. law, if the president has the authority to implement the agreement with existing law, you don’t need to send it to Congress for approval,” Purvis said. He added that presidents since George Washington had joined “executive agreements” without seeking Senate approval.
November 28, 2015
President Barack Obama is trying to negotiate a legacy-making climate change pact this coming week in Paris with one hand tied behind his back. Congress can’t even agree whether global warming is real.
November 28, 2015
President Obama travels to the Paris climate summit on Sunday for what could be the crowning diplomatic achievement of his presidency, yet one that climate experts say will still leave the planet on a path toward dangerous levels of global warming.
November 26, 2015
As global leaders begin hashing out a global warming accord in Paris beginning next week, their efforts to tackle the enormous issue of deforestation was supposed to be boosted by a heralded, business-led effort to protect the world’s tropical forests and combat climate change. But that program has so far failed to deliver progress and its sluggishness serves to highlight how complex the issue is, and how many barriers stand in the way.
November 26, 2015
U.S. President Barack Obama wants to burnish his climate legacy before he leaves office, while the Europeans want an ambitious worldwide deal that doesn’t leave the Continent’s businesses saddled with uncompetitive environmental rules. There’s just one big problem: They remain sharply at odds over some fundamental issues.
November 25, 2015
Todd Stern is special envoy for climate change at the US State Department, one of a handful of positions to report directly to John Kerry. Stern has held the role since early 2009, appointed by President Barack Obama at the bidding of Hillary Clinton, who he knew when White House staff secretary to Bill Clinton from 1995-1998. It’s a “gruelling” and “near impossible” job trying to convince the world to take action and keep the US Congress onside, says Nigel Purvis, deputy chief US climate negotiator from 2001-2002.
November 12, 2015
Whatever international deal comes out of the Paris climate talks, it likely won’t be a treaty that needs ratification by a reluctant Republican U.S. Congress. However, as Nigel Purvis explains, the U.S. Constitution and the rest of the world have different definitions of the word “treaty,” and the outcome of Paris is likely to contain both binding and non-binding elements.
November 3, 2015
The Obama administration can help narrow the emissions reduction shortfall that is projected to come out of this year’s Paris talks by leveraging trade negotiations and other bilateral engagement to help developing nations deliver more than they can do on their own, a new Climate Advisers analysis proposes.
October 26, 2015
An Oval Office meeting between President Obama and Indonesian President Joko Widodo comes as raging forest and peatland fires in Indonesia pour huge amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, highlighting the challenge both leaders face in curbing climate change.
October 13, 2015
The near complete omission of the climate-change-mitigating ability of forests from the recently released draft text of the United Nations’ climate deal has some forest advocates closely watching the upcoming pre-Paris meeting to be held later this month.
September 23, 2015
Indonesia’s second-largest palm oil grower, Astra Agro Lestari, pledged to halt deforestation, peatland destruction and labor violations in its palm oil plantations. The strong commitment goes further than the deforestation moratorium the company announced in June, and could also have deeper political ramifications in Indonesia as companies are looking to the Indonesian government to enact meaningful forest reform to level the playing field.
September 18, 2015
Climate Advisers’ Rebecca Lefton talks with WNYC’s The Takeaway about the road through the Paris climate summit and the reasons for renewed optimism in the international fight against climate change.
July 9, 2015
Climate Advisers’s Managing Director Michael Wolosin joins BBC World News TV to discuss deforestation trends in Brazil, and President Rouseff’s recent meeting in Washington with President Obama in which the two countries announced new plans to fight climate change ahead of the Paris summit in December.
June 30, 2015
Alongside the announcement of China’s official climate plan for the Paris summit, President Obama and Brazilian President Rousseff pledged for both countries to increase their share of renewable energy, while Brazil also committed to restore 12 million hectares of its forests by 2030 as it works to eliminate illegal deforestation.
June 25, 2015
A target date for Brazil to reach zero net deforestation is not expected to be part of a bilateral summit between President Dilma Rousseff and President Obama in Washington. However, many expect the two countries to announce plans for ambitious cooperation to tackle the main causes of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon.
June 25, 2015
Environmental groups in Brazil and the United States are laying out a wish list for the Tuesday meeting between U.S. President Obama and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, including a suggestion for the Brazilian leader to announce a target date to end deforestation in her nation once and for all.
June 9, 2015
The EPA has released its endangerment finding showing that emissions from airlines pose a risk to human health because of their contribution to climate change, an essential first step to reign in one of the world’s fastest growing emissions sectors. However, the EPA may follow the lead of the International Civil Aviation Organization, which is on track to set a ‘business-as-usual’ standard that could lock in emissions increases for decades to come.
June 5, 2015
Analysis shows that the UN climate agreement in Paris will, at best, get the world halfway to an emissions pathway to stay under 2 degrees C of warming. The international community has to now look at how we can work together to get the other half through partnerships on clean energy, forest conservation, and other global measures.
June 2, 2015
The EPA is preparing to set regulations on carbon emissions from airplanes, which are on pace to triple by 2050. This is an opportunity for meaningful climate action, but the EPA may just match the standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization, which are unlikely to deliver any significant emissions reductions.
May 19, 2015
David Roberts follows up on a widely-read post on the “awful truth” about climate change with a piece about what we need to do about it — including a discussion of the gap between the action we need and the commitments heading into this year’s negotiations in Paris.
May 14, 2015
Indonesian announced that the country has again extended a key policy intended to preserve its swiftly disappearing tropical forests. Environmental groups praised the decision as a signal that the nation’s new administration is taking forest protection seriously, but because the moratorium has had limited on-the-ground impact, advocates also called for the policy to be strengthened.
April 13, 2015
As the race for the White House in 2016 begins, ClimateWire takes a closer look at where Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton stands on climate change and energy issues.
April 2, 2014
Wilmar International’s landmark No Deforestation policy in December 2013 started a wave of commitments from global palm oil traders to stop deforestation, peatland development, and labor exploitation in their supply chains. Grist tells the behind-the-scenes story of the campaign and negotiations led by Glenn Hurowitz with Wilmar CEO Kuok Khoon Hong that led to this historic agreement.
March 31, 2015
Archer Daniels Midland, one of the world’s largest commodities suppliers, has joined the growing number of major agriculture and food companies promising to take steps to conserve forests that are threatened by the global demand for commodities like palm oil and soy.
March 31, 2015
As the United States and other countries submit their formal national strategies for reducing greenhouse gases ahead of the UN climate talks in Paris, our analysis shows that a strong set of expected pledges could deliver around 50 percent of the emissions reductions need for a likely chance of limiting warming to 2°C. As Rebecca Lefton argues, bilateral international partnerships can help close the gap in these multilateral international agreements.
March 12, 2015
Bloomberg BusinessWeek tells the fascinating inside story of how Wilmar International CEO Kuok Khoon Hong went from “forest foe” to one of the leading drivers of the palm oil industry’s move towards forest and human rights protection over the past year.
February 25, 2015
Today the EU will unveil its latest commitment to fighting climate change – a pledge to cut internal emissions by at least 40% by 2030. The new target represents a good step forward, a hard-fought political compromise at a time of considerable economic difficulty. But the EU’s regulations would only reduce emissions within Europe, whereas success on climate depends on Europe also taking steps to cut pollution outside of Europe as well.
February 4, 2015
America’s biggest doughnut companies’ decision to buy only deforestation-free palm oil offers a window into one of the environmental movement’s biggest success stories in recent years. How it came to be is an example of a new form of green advocacy, manifested in equal doses of public protest and behind-the-scenes detective work.
January 23, 2015
As President Obama travels to India, the US hopes to persuade India, one of the world’s biggest emitters, to commit to an ambitious post-2020 plan for reining in its greenhouse gas emissions ahead of the international climate change meeting in Paris this December.
January 22, 2015
Wilmar International, the world’s largest palm oil trader, made information on all of its 800 palm oil suppliers available through an online dashboard in a major new transparency initiative to further implementation of its landmark No Deforestation commitment.
January 6, 2015
Even as a global deal to curb carbon emissions eludes the world’s governments, different carbon-pricing systems are being set up by regional blocs, signalling that the carbon-credit system is not dead, but flourishing.
December 23, 2014
In the battle to limit the risks of climate change, it has been clear for decades that focusing on the world’s immense tropical forests is the single most promising near-term strategy. Now, a growing global movement is making a fresh push to end deforestation and promote regrowth of the world’s forests.
December 12, 2014
The past year has seen a string of commitments from palm oil traders to stop deforestation, peatland development, and labor exploitation in their global supply chains. In an interview with Grist, Glenn Hurowitz explains how this transformation has come about and what it means for the future of forests and sustainable agriculture.
November 26, 2014
The Brazilian soy industry announced that it would renew the Amazon Soy Moratorium, a historically successful forest protection measure that was set to expire at the end of 2014, through May 2016.
November 17, 2014
The U.S.-China agreement suggests the potential for a new global peak carbon target—the year by which worldwide greenhouse gas emissions will start to decline.
October 28, 2014
Agribusiness giant Bunge has joined the growing ranks of companies that have established zero deforestation policies for their palm oil supply chains.
October 16, 2014
As momentum builds toward the next United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, experts weigh in on the opportunities and challenges of negotiating a new global climate pact in 2015.
October 5, 2014
A new report ranks global palm oil companies on their sustainability commitments and performance on protections of forests, peatlands, and human rights.
September 24, 2014
With political efforts to slow global warming moving at a tortuous pace, some of the world’s largest companies are stepping into the void, pledging more support for renewable energy, greener supply chains and fresh efforts to stop the destruction of the world’s tropical forests.
September 24, 2014
The widow of Nelson Mandela punctured the self-congratulatory mood of the UN summit on Tuesday, saying world leaders had failed to rise to the challenge of climate change.
September 24, 2014
President Obama and Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli told a landmark global warming summit yesterday that their countries stand ready to make serious new commitments to tackling climate change.
September 24, 2014
Cargill, one of the world’s largest agricultural companies, has extended its zero deforestation commitment for palm oil to all commodities it produces.
September 23, 2014
In a forceful appeal for international cooperation on limiting carbon pollution, President Barack Obama warned starkly on Tuesday that the globe’s climate is changing faster than efforts to address it. “Nobody gets a pass,” he declared. “We have to raise our collective ambition.”
September 22, 2014
The People’s Climate March that trumpeted its way through the streets of Manhattan yesterday was led by communities on the front lines of climate change—and Indigenous Peoples were at the forefront of this group. The tropical forests where they live are not only getting hammered by changing weather patterns, drug traffickers, invasive pests, and massive fires, but these woodlands are also being cleared at an alarming rate, making way for cropland, pastureland, strip mines, and other ventures that extract natural resources from the Earth.
September 21, 2014
World leaders embark Tuesday on the first new round of global climate talks since a push in 2009 failed to reach binding agreements.
September 18, 2014
Environmentalists say two major doughnut chains got a little sweeter this week. Krispy Kreme and Dunkin’ Brands have both made new commitments to source palm oil for frying their goodies from suppliers who are not clear-cutting forests.
September 5, 2014
The first thing to know about the U.N. Climate Summit is that it’s not a part of the formal global climate treaty negotiations. Except it sort of is.
August 21, 2014
A growing number of leaders are openly acknowledging that a 2015 international agreement to avert catastrophic global warming will surely fall short of what’s needed to achieve that goal.
June 11, 2014
Tony Abbott’s assertion on the eve of his visit to Washington that Barack Obama’s climate change policy is “very similar” to his own Direct Action approach contains an element of truth but is also disingenuous. There are more differences than similarities between the Prime Minister’s and President Obama’s approaches to climate change, far beyond their contrasting enthusiasm for the topic.
March 5, 2014
The president’s budget undergirds a mantra of the climate change movement: It’s cheaper to strap down the nation before a storm strikes than to rebuild it afterward. It also reveals the political difficulties in doing that.
February 14, 2014
Secretary of State John Kerry arrives today in Beijing, where climate change will claim center stage on his agenda. Traveling with U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern, Kerry is expected to meet with Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi on a range of issues, including cooperation between the two emissions giants in areas like vehicle fuel standards, building efficiency and the collecting of greenhouse gas emissions data.
January 22, 2014
U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy plans to tout her agency’s efforts to address climate change this week when she speaks at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
January 21, 2014
When corporate leaders and politicians gather today for the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting, climate change will dominate their agenda in an unprecedented way.
January 16, 2014
Environmentalists yesterday reacted strongly to a leaked draft of the environment chapter for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement among 12 countries that is being negotiated behind closed doors.
December 17, 2013
The recent UN climate talks in Warsaw failed to give carbon markets the certainty it needed, but there are some signs of revival, say experts, and an international carbon reserve could be the answer.
October 8, 2013
A lack of financial support for a key scheme to fight deforestation is foreshadowing a dim future for the program, a recent paper finds. Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+), a movement that would create a financial system to pay landowners to keep forests standing, is suffering from an unclear future demand for carbon credits, said authors in a paper from the environmental group Conservation International, a strong supporter of REDD+ and the use of carbon markets to generate financing for conservation.
August 20, 2013
On August 20, 2013, Meridian hosted a roundtable discussion which brought together a State Department International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) on Pacific Women Climate Leaders with women leaders from Washington, DC-based climate-focused organizations to discuss environmental and climate policy.
June 17, 2013
Carbon markets suffered a heavy setback recently when the European Parliament rejected a plan to boost the flagging price of carbon in the region’s emissions trading scheme (ETS). But while carbon trading worldwide has been floundering, experts say carbon markets have a permanent role in combating climate change and are predicting an industry revival in the coming years.
June 7, 2013
The U.S. government could play a key role in breaking the link between commodity production and greenhouse gas emissions associated with tropical deforestation, argues a new report released by seven environmental groups.
June 4, 2013
Climate Advisers managing director Michael Wolosin on the crucial role the U.S. government can play in helping break the link between commodity production and climate change.
May 30, 2013
Climate Advisers Managing Director, Glenn Hurowitz, comments on Indonesia’s extended policy to protect rain forests from palm oil development.
April 30, 2013
Climate Advisers’ President, Nigel Purvis, comments on some of the key findings of a recent report co-authored with the Center for American Progress on carbon markets.
April 11, 2013
Climate Advisers director of research and policy Michael Wolosin suggests that policy measures need to play a greater role than direct finance in meeting the Obama administration’s international climate objectives.
April 8, 2013
Clive Mutunga, a senior research associate at Population Action International (PAI), spoke alongside Abigail Jones of Climate Advisers and Eliya Zulu of the African Institute of Development Policy at the Wilson Center about two new policy reports on incorporating population dynamics – mainly efforts to meet unmet demand for contraceptives – into climate change adaptation policies in Malawi and Kenya.
March 20, 2013
The United States must use public money to spur private investment to stop massive deforestation, said the U.S. envoy for climate change yesterday.