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Bionic Planet: Reversing Climate Change by Restoring Nature

May 1, 2024

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In Episode 100 of Bionic Planet, part of the Tribes of the Climate Realm vertical, we delve into the origins of the voluntary carbon market -- a story that has never been told before.

Today's show is the first of many offering a truer, completer, and more accurate glimpse into the origins of the Voluntary Carbon Market than you've probably ever heard before.

The episode draws on a 2022 discussion with environmental economists Marc Stuart and Mark Kenber, who were instrumental in creating the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) in 2005 to meet two core objectives: first, to accelerate emission reductions in the wake of failed government policy and, second, to test new approaches to meeting the climate challenge.

We offer a brief history of climate negotiations leading up to 2005 and the exclusion of forest protection and sustainable farming from the Kyoto Protocol and the Marrakesh Accords. The discussion touches on the complexities of integrating these crucial elements into the market, emphasizing the importance of balancing environmental integrity with development-focused activities.

Join me, Steve Zwick, in this insightful journey through the history and evolution of the voluntary carbon market, as we strive to create a more sustainable future for our planet. Thank you for tuning in to Episode 100 of Bionic Planet.

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  • Introduction to the History of the Voluntary Carbon Market

  • The Origins of the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS)

  • The Role of Carbon Markets in Addressing Climate Change

  • The Failure of Governments to Address Climate Change

  • The Evolution of Voluntary Carbon Standards

  • The Importance of Ending Deforestation

  • The Emergence of Voluntary Carbon Markets in the 1980s

  • The Kyoto Protocol and the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)

  • The Exclusion of Forest Protection from the Kyoto Protocol

  • The Creation of the Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS)

  • Challenges in Implementing Standards for Forest Protection

  • The Need for Unified Rules in Carbon Markets

  • The Involvement of NGOs, Businesses, and Organizations in Developing Standards

  • The Controversy Surrounding Inclusion of Forest Conservation

  • The Importance of Addressing Permanence and Fungibility

  • The Collaboration Between NGOs and Businesses in Developing Standards

  • The Importance of Including Forest Conservation in Carbon Markets

  • The Role of NGOs in Advocating for Inclusion of Forest Conservation

  • The Significance of Learning from Past Lessons

  • Call to Action for Support and Sponsorship