The Policy & Practice of Climate Change & Water

Nature-based solutions

Conservation Finance Takes Off as the Netherlands Issues One of the Largest Green Bonds Ever

Conservation Finance Takes Off as the Netherlands Issues One of the Largest Green Bonds Ever
by James Anderson 1, Todd Gartner 1, Alex Mauroner 2, and John Matthews 2
1 World Resources Institute (WRI)
2 Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA)
---

The conservation finance market hit a new high-water mark in recent weeks as the Dutch government issued one of the largest green bonds ever: 5.98 billion euros (roughly $6.8 billion). This bond for low-carbon development and sustainable water management will finance, among other things, natural infrastructure solutions in the Netherlands that are crucial for protecting one of the world's lowest-lying countries from floods and sea-level rise.

The enthusiasm for the bond also signals a bigger trend: the shift in conservation finance from a niche market to a mainstream, large-scale investment strategy.
Read More...
Comments

Netherlands Invests €5.98 billion in Ecosystems to Cope with Climate Change Impacts

Netherlands Invests €5.98 billion in Ecosystems to Cope with Climate Change Impacts


LONDON (27 May 2019) — Global investors have enthusiastically embraced a national Netherlands 5.98 billion euro green bond designed to fund projects to cope with current and future climate change impacts and an advanced low-carbon economy. Much of the bond focuses on using coastal and river ecosystems as a safeguard for negative climate impacts such as high flood risk. Investors responded to the bond immediately, oversubscribing the issuance by more than 15.2 billion euros.

This green bond is the first globally to employ resilient nature-based solutions certified using the Water Infrastructure Criteria of the Climate Bonds Standard. A consortium of organizations led by the Climate Bonds Initiative, the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA), the World Resources Institute (WRI), CDP, and Ceres launched water resilience bonds criteria in May 2018 to inform investors about the climate risks and solutions embedded in the green bonds market. Globally, the green bonds market reached about 168 billion USD in 2018.

Niels Vlaanderen, Policy Advisor for International Affairs at the Department of Infrastructure and Water Management for the Netherlands, commented: “We realized that we needed new solutions — automatically building flood dykes higher was no longer a sustainable solution. We had to change a system we had worked with for centuries and broaden our goals. We must future-proof our country by incorporating cultural and ecological values into our adaptive decision making.”

According to John Matthews, Executive Director of the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation and lead author of the Water Infrastructure Green Bonds Criteria, “For the past thousand years, the Dutch have reclaimed land from the sea. Today, the sea and their rivers are growing higher in a country where half of the country is already below sea level. With this bond issuance, the national government is signaling to investors the scope of the financing needed to adjust to climate change — and how we must link economies and ecosystems together to secure a joint future in a shifting climate.”

The bond also plays a role in sustainable development according to Henk Ovink, Special Envoy for International Water Affairs, Kingdom of The Netherlands Sherpa to the UN/WB High Level Panel on Water, adding, “This green bond is spot on, aimed at creating added values across the board of the sustainable development goals, leveraging investments for social, cultural, economic and environmental needs and challenges. Using water as leverage to catalyze transformative climate action.”

Justine Leigh-Bell, Deputy CEO at Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI) in London, stated, “Resilience is a powerful new target for investment. The Netherlands has just shown that investors are eager to see policymakers investing in long-term resilience and in working with rather than against nature. Using the Water Infrastructure Criteria rewards issuers and investors together, providing market and citizen confidence for innovative approaches such as nature-based solutions to flood risks.”

Niels Vlaanderen continued, “In Dutch, we say, ‘Als er één schaap over de dam is, volgen er meer,’ or ‘We need only a few to lead.’ Indeed, this bond is the beginning of a very promising area where we expect large funding requirements in the near future. We have proven that the Netherlands can shift strategies to prepare for a changing climate. With our room for the river projects, we have shown that we can combine flood protection and social values through nature-based solutions.”

The benefits of this bond are not limited to at-risk communities and ecosystems. The Netherlands’ Minister of Finance, Wopke Hoekstra, stated, “Our aim is to give an extra boost to the Dutch green capital market through the issuance of the Green Bond.”

The green bond finances low-carbon projects (renewable energy, energy efficiency, clean transportation). Perhaps the most innovative aspects of the bond, however, are projects designed to help the Netherlands adjust to climate change adaptation through sustainable water management, particularly the use of nature-based solutions and green infrastructure approaches for reducing increasing flood risks in coastal and low-lying areas.


Background
Link to the criteria: https://www.climatebonds.net/standard/water
Link to more detail on the bond itself: http://bit.ly/dutch-bond
Green Bonds State of the Market report: https://www.climatebonds.net/resources/reports/green-bonds-state-market-2018
Link to additional coverage: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-netherlands-bonds-green/the-netherlands-becomes-first-triple-a-rated-sovereign-to-launch-green-bond-idUSKCN1SR16W

Media contacts - For additional information about the issuance or the various organizations involved, please contact:
AGWA - Alex Mauroner (amauroner@alliance4water.org), John Matthews (johoma@alliance4water.org)
Dutch State Treasury Agency - sbr@minfin.nl
Niels Vlaanderen, Policy Advisor for International Affairs, Department of Infrastructure and Water Management (niels.Vlaanderen@minienw.nl)
CBI - Justine Leigh-Bell (justine@climatebonds.net), press enquiries Andrew Whiley (andrew.whiley@climatebonds.net)
WRI - Todd Gartner (todd.Gartner@wri.org)

Images
https://pixabay.com/photos/the-windmills-kinderdijk-river-555944/
https://pixabay.com/photos/landscape-river-nature-water-3565856/
Read More...
Comments

New Episode of #ClimateReady Podcast | Ensuring Adaptation: Nature-Based Solutions to Reducing Risk

Infrastructure or ecosystems? Nature or economic development? Historically, those have been the tensions expressed about investing how we innovate, grow economies, reduce the impact of disasters, and alleviate poverty relative to preserving natural systems and ecological integrity.

Climate adaptation has shifted the terms of this long-standing debate. Traditional gray infrastructure is harder to design and maintain to be resilient. Nature-based solutions (NbS) work better in some situations, such as when we need more flexibility or face higher levels of uncertainty. Is a middle ground appearing?

In this episode of the ClimateReady Podcast, we bring in Dr. Elena Lopez Gunn to discuss her leadership to study, demonstrate, and ultimately quantify the insurance value of nature through a project she is leading known as NAIAD. This EU-funded project aims to expand the evidence base around NbS for reducing flood and drought risk while creating the business and financial frameworks necessary for operationalizing these approaches.

After our main interview Al Meghji, an MPA candidate at Cornell University, sends us a “Postcard from the Future” for a glimpse into the world of 2070 and some advice on how we can focus our efforts now to create a more equitable and livable society in the future. Stick around until the end for next year’s winning lotto numbers!
Read More...
Comments

Water we doing about water?

This article was written by Susanna Tol (Wetlands International) and Ingrid Timboe (AGWA).
---

Did you know that the answer can be found in nature? Nature-based solutions such as restoring mangrove buffers in degraded coastal areas or preserving peatlands have the potential to solve many of our climate and water challenges, reduce vulnerability and help us adapt to a changing climate. Commemorated this year with the theme ‘Nature for Water’, World Water Day 2018 urged people to explore nature-based solutions to contemporary water problems. And UN Water focused its World Water Development Report on Nature Based Solutions for Water stating that today, more than ever, we must work with nature, instead of against it. We highlight this topic at the ‘Talanoa Dialogue’ (6 May, Bonn) to enhance ambitions on water and wetlands under the Paris Agreement through Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and other long-term strategies which provide key entry-points to discuss national targets, set policies and create cross-sectoral collaboration.
Read More...
Comments

Forests and Wetlands Are Water Infrastructure. New Green Bond Helps Finance Their Protection

This article was written by Todd Gartner, Manager of WRI's Natural Infrastructure for Water, and John Matthews, AGWA's Coordinator.
---

East Africa’s Kariba Dam is almost empty due to diminishing rains. In Brazil, Sao Paulo’s reservoirs were reduced to dried mud three years ago, and experts say the city is heading toward another dry spell. Catastrophic floods recently wreaked havoc in southern England, Texas and Bangkok.

These are not simply one-off events; they represent systemic failures in water infrastructure development — failures that are increasing in frequency and severity as Earth’s climate shifts.

A new financial mechanism—“green bonds” that pay for using ecosystems as “natural infrastructure” for clean, ample water—can help.

To find out more about the Water Infrastructure Criteria of the Climate Bonds Standard, read the
Joint Press Release in the AGWA Blog or visit CBI's website. From there you can download the Standard and other helpful documents. Read More...
Comments

Natural Hazards & Nature-based Solutions Platform

A new website has been launched to provide support and resources for those working around nature-based solutions and disaster risk reduction. The Natural Hazards – Nature-based Solutions platform is a hub for projects, investments, guidance and studies making use of nature to reduce the risks associated with natural hazards. Its objective is to host and facilitate the exchange of knowledge, experiences and lessons learned from a range of stakeholders, to provide guidance on the planning and implementation of nature-based solutions, and to champion these solutions in the arenas of policy-making and investment for disaster risk reduction.
Read More...
Comments

Call for comments: Primer on Nature-Based Solutions for Water Management

UN Environment – DHI, UN Environment, and IUCN invite comments on an upcoming publication on Nature Based Solutions (NBS) for Water Management.

A follow up to the UNEP’s Green Infrastructure Guide, this ‘Quick Guide’ is a primer for understanding the multiple benefits of NBS in water management, and identifying entry points to scaling up implementation, based on existing integrated approaches to stakeholder participation.

All feedback on the advanced draft (download here) is welcome, including relevant case study submissions.

The deadline for comments is 15 May, 2018. Feedback and comments can be sent directly to UN-DHI. Read More...
Comments

NAIAD Project Presenting at European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2018

AGWA and SIWI are part of an ongoing EU project called Nature Insurance Value: Assessment and Demonstration (NAIAD). The project is coordinated by the Duero River Basin Authority and funded under the European Horizon 2020 Program. The goal of the project is to operationalize the insurance value of ecosystems to reduce the human and economic cost of risks associated with water (floods and droughts) by developing and testing - with key insurers and municipalities - the concepts, tools, applications and instruments (business models) necessary for its mainstreaming.

NAIAD will be presenting at the EGU General Assembly this April in Vienna, Austria. Representatives of the NAIAD project will give a presentation and answer questions as part of Session HS5.4 - "Nature Based Solutions for hydrological extremes and water resource management."

For more information about EGU General Assembly 2018, visit https://www.egu2018.eu/. To learn more about NAIAD, visit http://www.naiad2020.eu/ or check them out on Facebook. Read More...
Comments

Implementing nature based flood protection: Principles and implementation guidance

Earlier this year Deltares held a workshop entitled "Scaling Up Nature-Based Flood Risk Reduction." The goal of the workshop was to explore principles and guidance for planning, design, and implementation of nature-based solutions for flood risk management as an alternative to or complementary to conventional engineering measures.

Following the workshop in April, the World Bank has now published a full report (in English) outlining the principles and implementation steps that will lead to more effective flood risk management. You can access this open-source guidance document for free from the World Bank's website here.
Read More...
Comments

Water Criteria Phase 2 "Nature-based and Hybrid Water Infrastructure" Opens for Public Consultation

LONDON: 19/10/2017: 16:00 BST
WaterCriteriaFlyer


Water Consortium Moves to Next Phase in Water Standards Development

The Climate Bonds Initiative on behalf of the Water Consortium has released Water Criteria Phase 2 Nature-based and Hybrid Water infrastructure for public consultation.

The Water Criteria is part of the overarching Climate Bonds Standard which provides investors with a verifiable, science-based screening process to evaluate bond investments bringing climate mitigation, vulnerability assessment and adaptation planning to the fixed income investment space.

The Water Criteria lay out the requirements that water infrastructure assets and/or projects must meet to be eligible for inclusion as a Certified Climate Bond. They provide a means for investors to easily categorise and prioritise water infrastructure projects against climate impacts and climate resilience factors.

The Criteria have been developed in two phases:

Phase 1 Criteria, covering engineered water infrastructure, were released by the Water Consortium to the market in October 2016.

Phase 2 Criteria have a focus on nature-based and hybrid water infrastructure, such as wetlands and watersheds including for purposes as water collection, storage, treatment and distribution, flood protection and drought resilience.

The Phase 2 Criteria aim to:
I. Certify water infrastructure that are compatible with a 2°C trajectory
II. Ensure these assets and the surrounding ecosystem are adaptive and resilient to a changing climate

Water Phase 2 Criteria have been developed throughout 2016 and 2017 by a Technical Working Group (TWG) and Industry Working Group (IWG), convened by the Climate Bonds Initiative, Ceres, CDP, the World Resources Institute (WRI) & the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA) acting in collaboration as a Water Consortium. AGWA is supported by the Stockholm International Water Institute.

Read More...
Comments

Harnessing Nature to Manage Rising Flood Risk

Press Release from WWF

WASHINGTON, D.C. (24, May 2017 - 8:00am ET) – Worldwide, flood risk will continue to rise as cities grow larger and rainstorms become more intense, making conventional engineering insufficient as the sole approach to flood management. “Natural and Nature-Based Flood Management: A Green Guide” released today by WWF, introduces an integrated framework for flood management, drawing on policy, green infrastructure and conventional engineering to help communities adapt and better manage growing flood risk.
Read More...
Comments

AGWA and SIWI Join EU Horizon 2020 Project on Nature Insurance Value: Assessment and Demonstration (NAIAD)

Earlier this month, AGWA and SIWI participated in a series of kick-off meetings in Valladolid, Spain for a new three-year EU project called Nature Insurance Value: Assessment and Demonstration (NAIAD). The project is coordinated by the Duero River Basin Authority and funded under the European Horizon 2020 Program. The goal of the project is to operationalize the insurance value of ecosystems to reduce the human and economic cost of risks associated with water (floods and droughts) by developing and testing - with key insurers and municipalities - the concepts, tools, applications and instruments (business models) necessary for its mainstreaming. Over 25 organizations from around 13 countries took part in the kick-off meetings.

AGWA and SIWI will contribute to the policy & mainstreaming, communications & dissemination, and basins models & financing instruments components of the project over the coming months and years.
Read More...
Comments