Shaping the low carbon economy Climate Advisers is a mission-driven policy and politics shop working to deliver a strong low-carbon economy. In the United States and around the world, we create and implement large-scale, cost-effective strategies to strengthen climate action and improve lives.
  • Climate + Energy

    Our political, policy and diplomatic expertise shapes
    climate and energy solutions

  • Forests + Lands

    We catalyze action and innovative financing to
    reduce climate pollution from forests and lands

  • Sustainable Development

    We create climate solutions that accelerate sustainable development,
    spur economic growth and fight poverty

  • Capital Markets

    We perform sustainability risk analysis to shine
    a spotlight on the forest commodity industry

Expertise

Climate Advisers brings together globally recognized thought leaders on climate and energy, forests and lands, and sustainable development. We specialize in breakthrough ideas informed by a deep understanding of complex policy and political challenges.

Insight

The latest insight into U.S. and global climate challenges and solutions.

Recent Posts

  • September 12, 2018

    Press Release: Deforestation-Related Externalities Create Financial Risks and Poor Returns for Investors, New Research Shows

    By Matt Piotrowski and Gabriel Thoumi

    Contact: Matt Piotrowski | piotrowski@climateadvisers.com | 202-350-4950

    Investing in companies that engage in deforestation-related activities poses material risks and produces poor returns for financial institutions, according to new ongoing research from Climate Advisers and S-Network Global Indexes. Companies in the palm oil sector that do not have sustainability policies have significantly underperformed compared to those that have followed no-deforestation programs, according to the research. Similarly, a rules-based analysis of Latin American companies shows that firms representing best practices in strategic and operation areas that support policies and activities that limit deforestation have scored higher than their competitors in a preliminary Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) ranking while also encountering few incidences of public controversy.  

    Climate Advisers and S-Network will discuss the new findings at its GCAS Affiliate Event in San Francisco on Thursday, September 13, 2018. The event, “Forests for Our Future: Portfolio Opportunities & Material Financial Risks,” will be held at the Marines’ Memorial Club & Hotel from 3:30-6:30 PM PDT.   

    Unsustainable palm oil development is a leading cause of deforestation, which is the second biggest factor behind global climate change after the use of fossil fuels. The new research from Climate Advisers and S-Network provides details on why companies linked to deforestation face greater financial and reputational risks, as well as weaker returns, than their competitors.  

    “Businesses can take action to not only mitigate the dangers of climate change, but also bring about better returns for their investors,” said Gabriel Thoumi, CFA, FRM, Director Capital Markets at Climate Advisers. “Businesses’ sustainability policies will become increasingly important as more investors and asset managers include Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) risk management into their portfolios.”  

    “The Latin America research can create a forum for greater corporate engagement on the themes they embody,” said Gregg Sgambati, Director, Head of ESG, S-Network Global Indexes, Inc. “It creates a platform for companies to further their corporate efforts to limit deforestation, produce crops legally and sustainably, and protect human capital and communities. It is great to have Climate Advisers’ leadership on board for this excellent GCAS story.” 

    Key findings: 

    • The top performing stocks in the palm oil sector have adopted no-deforestation policies. 
    • Companies that are members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) outperform similar companies that are not members. 
    • RSPO companies outperformed the FTSE Bursa Malaysia Asian Palm Oil Plantation Index (USD) by approximately 6 percent over the past five years.
    • Companies high in the Latin America rankings have ESG scores that indicate supply chain best practices. 
    • Companies with high scores in the Latin America rankings have lower incidences of public controversies compared to other rated companies. 

    About the Organizations: 

    Climate Advisers is a mission-driven policy and politics shop based in Washington, DC working to deliver a strong low-carbon economy. In the United States and around the world, Climate Advisers creates and implements large-scale, cost-effective strategies to strengthen climate action and improve lives. Climate Advisers is a Certified B Corporation and its team includes recognized thought leaders on climate and energy, forests and lands, and sustainable development. 

    S-Network Global Indexes, Inc. is a publisher and developer of proprietary and custom indexes. Founded in 1997, S-Network publishes over 200 indexes, which serve as the underlying portfolios for financial products with approximately USD  7 billion in assets under management. S-Network is a leader in socially responsible investment, publishing best-practice benchmark indexes in collaboration with Thomson Reuters.   

     

  • June 22, 2018

    Creating Negative Emissions: The Role of Natural and Technological Carbon Dioxide Removal Strategies

    By Claire Langley

    A new report from Climate Advisers makes the case that natural solutions are abundant, well-understood, and readily-available carbon dioxide removal options that exist today. They should be deployed fully and without delay.

    Scientists and other experts increasingly believe that nations will need to proactively deploy planetary-scale solutions to remove carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) from the atmosphere in addition to rapidly decarbonizing the global industrial economy in order to limit the impacts of climate change. The 2015 Paris Agreement recognizes this dual challenge. In addition to limiting temperature rise to well below 2ºC (and striving for 1.5ºC), its long-term goals commit signatories to balancing emissions from sources and removals in sinks in the second half of the century.

    Carbon Dioxide Removals (CDR) include both natural and technology-based methods to capture and either store or use CO2. Natural approaches use photosynthesis to absorb atmospheric CO2, storing it in above-ground biomass, as well as in roots and soil. Technological approaches use man-made methods to remove CO2 from point sources such as power plants and industrial facilities, as well as from the atmosphere.

    The table below provides a summary of the most prevalent CDR approaches.

    Our new report attempts to bring CDR into the mainstream climate conversation by identifying powerful solutions that are ready and cost-effective to deploy today.

    Key Findings

    • Natural solutions are the most readily-available CDR options. Most are very well-understood and have been deployed on a large scale for decades. Technological solutions are still largely immature, most exist only at the laboratory or demonstration stage.
    • Natural solutions are currently a far more cost-effective option to capture carbon dioxide, with a price tag that is an order of magnitude lower per ton of CO2 captured than technological solutions.
    • Natural CDR also offers numerous co-benefits, including more resilient ecosystems, increased wildlife habitat and biodiversity, improved water quality and erosion control. With some minor exceptions, technological CDR would be deployed purely for its climate mitigation benefits. This might make it more difficult to obtain buy-in from a diverse group of stakeholders.
    • Natural CDR may not be enough to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. There are significant limiting factors to Natural CDR through both saturation effects—the natural limit of biomass to store carbon—and land constrains will cap the mitigation potential of solutions such as afforestation/reforestation and make them costlier.
    • The cost of technological approaches will likely decrease in the decades to come while their mitigation potential will remain largely unchanged.
    • Encouraging large-scale deployment of CDR should be a component of all truly visionary international climate action agendas and national long-term emissions strategies, with a strong early emphasis on natural CDR over the next few decades and continued research and development of technological CDR as an insurance policy over the long term.

    Summary of CDR Approaches, by Factor

    Report Recommendations

    To meet the climate challenge, we must achieve a balance between GHG sources and sinks, through actions to reduce emissions and increase removals. However, attention to the latter half of the equation has not kept pace. Therefore, governments, companies and advocates should:

    • Deploy mature natural solutions as early as possible to the greatest extent possible. Natural, biological sinks offer the best combination of benefits for the climate at the lowest cost today. Vegetation also takes time to reach its full sequestration potential.
    • At the same time, invest in continued research, development, and demonstration of technological CDR options so that they can be deployed by mid-century. New technology takes time to become cost-effective and reach commercial scales.
    • Focus on forests and land as a near term solution to galvanize international action and create more climate ambition in the short term.

    Click here to read the full report.

  • April 26, 2018

    Discussion Draft: The Economic Impact at the National Level of the Illegal Conversion of Forests for Export-Driven Industrial Agriculture

    By

    Between 2000-2012, half of all tropical deforestation was the result of illegal clearing for industrial agriculture (Lawson et al. 2014).  This report aims to characterize the costs of this illegality.  While the impacts are widespread, including global, we focus our analyses on the costs to the countries in which the deforestation occurs.  We hope a broad estimate of financial loss will help convince forest country actors, like Finance Ministers, of the gains to be made by enforcing laws and regulations related to land use for industrial agriculture.

    Illegal clearing creates losses by undermining a country’s objectives for the management of its natural resources, like land and forests, which include, inter alia, promoting:

    • Economic activity that generates jobs, investment, as well as tax revenue;
    • Production of timber and non-timber forest products, as well as the maintenance of ecosystem functions like climate stabilization;
    • Contribution to the lives and livelihoods of rural people; and,
    • Protection of the rights of indigenous people, forest-owners, and forest-users.

    Read more >

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Featured Projects

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People

bcorpClimate Advisers is a mission-driven policy and politics shop working to deliver a strong low-carbon economy. We’re proud to be a Certified B Corporation, a new kind of company which meets higher standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. Learn more.

  • Nigel Purvis

    Nigel Purvis is the founding President and CEO of Climate Advisers, a Washington, DC-based consultancy specializing in U.S. climate change policy, international climate change cooperation, global carbon markets, and climate-related forest conservation.

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  • Claire Langley

    Claire Langley is Managing Director of Policy and Research at Climate Advisers, focusing on international climate & energy policy and diplomacy, international political climate change strategy, and the sustainable development agenda.
    more >

  • Janet “Betsy” Hanlon

    Janet “Betsy” Hanlon is Director of Finance at Climate Advisers, where she oversees all aspects of accounting, reporting, business analysis and other aspects of firm operations. more >

  • Emma McMahon

    Emma McMahon is a Program Coordinator for Climate Advisers, as well as the Executive Assistant to the President. As Program Coordinator, Emma manages a wide range of the firm’s policy projects. In her role as Executive Assistant, Emma is involved in almost all aspects of the firm’s projects.

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  • Peter Graham

    Peter Graham is Managing Director of Policy and Research at Climate Advisers, where he specializes in forests and land issues.  more >

  • Anthony Mansell

    Anthony Mansell is Director of Policy and Research at Climate Advisers, where he focuses on international climate policy, the role of carbon markets, and aviation. more >

  • Matt Piotrowski

    Matt Piotrowski is Senior Analyst at Climate Advisers, focusing on communication outreach with the financial sector, managing and editing the Chain Reaction Research newsletter, and providing analysis for investors to mitigate climate risks. more >

  • Veronica Matthews

    Veronica L. Matthews is the Human Resources Manager at Climate Advisers, where she oversees all aspects of the organizations’ most valuable assets, the people. more >

  • Gabriel Thoumi

    Gabriel Thoumi, CFA, FRM is Director Capital Markets at Climate Advisers where he provides global financial analysis for mitigating systemic climate risk while advising on greening capital markets. more >

  • Gwynne Taraska

    Gwynne Taraska is a Senior Fellow at Climate Advisers, focusing on international climate and environmental policy and diplomacy. more >

  • Zach Drennen

    Zach Drennen is Communications Manager with Climate Advisers, and provides nimble strategic communications for clients and coalitions, while building the organization’s reach and branding. He has experience with press for political campaigns, think tanks, and advocacy organizations. more >

  • Erika Drazen

    Erika Drazen is Associate of Policy and Research at Climate Advisers, where she focuses on forest and land use issues.  She has experience working on forests and climate change, zero deforestation supply chains, REDD+, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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  • Joel Finkelstein

    Joel Finkelstein is a Managing Director with Climate Advisers, and provides breakthrough strategy and execution for clients and coalitions. He has 19 years of experience creating communications campaigns for good.

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  • Bruce Searby

    Bruce Searby serves as Special Counsel to Climate Advisers.  In that role, he serves as Climate Advisers’ thought leader and expert on how to use U.S. and international laws to advance climate action.  Bruce’s current projects at Climate Advisers focus on combatting corruption and other illegal behaviors that drive tropical deforestation.

    more >

  • Maria Belenky

    Maria Belenky is Director of Policy and Research at Climate Advisers, where she leads work on energy market transformation and steers much of the firm’s quantitative analytics on the mitigation impact of public policy. more >

About Us

Delivering a low-carbon economy that creates prosperity in a changing world requires bringing together the best ideas with practical insights about how the world works. To do that, we work to advance policy and politics simultaneously. We craft innovative policy and conduct transformative analysis. We reenergize static conversations with breakthrough communications, and create strategies to produce high-impact results.

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