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Evaluation of natural capital and certification of environmental goods and services for national and international trade



An eletronic plataform to deploy integrated sustainable cities planning and allow for low carbon strategies and activities pricing. The eletronic environment also allow for trade to occur between sectors in order to provide public-private finance for low carbon development, ending up by building a system for registration and certification of environmental goods and services, a theme being under discussion at the WTO and UNCTAD. By providing an environment for those exchanges to occur, it allows the local natural capital to be accounted for and ecosystem services to be mainstreamed within production and services chains. It also creates an institutional environment for the theme of EGS (environmental goods and services) to be clearly identified, facilitating the process of recognition of them within global trade and creation of benefits which results on really on the field best urban and rural cities management practices incentives.

The Ask

The eletronic platform needs IT personal for development, testing and implementation at cities levels and afterwards to connect all of them into a single global environment allowing programs, projects and activities developed at any city to be identified and leverage financing between cities. We need sector specialists to define MRV methodologies to evaluate and allow mutual recognition between cities.

What actions do you propose?

Fast implementation of the eletronic platform allow cities to start identifying their impacts, the positive and negative ones, and by that created the best strategies to take advantage of their assets and manage the critical points identified. Cities need to start evaluating their natural capital based on its ecosystem services provision - water, carbon, biodiversity, habitat, scenery and so on - and with that produce reports to interested parties which showcase the city potential to provide room for economic development, social inclusion and environmental protection. All sectors (transportation, energy, residues, AFOLU, institutional, residence&commerce, construction, industry) should work on developing - if necessary - MRV methodologies to evaluate and determined fluxes of ecosystem services within their production and services chain and create conditions for those services to be remunerated or incentives to be implemented. Citizens must be aware of activities generating credits and those producing negative impacts and the certification of those would create the necessary conditions to identify and differentiate between what is produced without caring for the environment and those that should be incentivized as reversing the process. nowadays circa of 99% of international trade involved goods and services with no environmental concerns and there is no system that allows citizens to identify them. 

Who will take these actions?

This is to be a public-private partnership, where the public sector regulates and oversees the functioning and private sectors invest and manage the system. Within the public sector, the secretary of industry and commerce should be the focal point, while federations of industry and farmers within the private sector would be focal points, with all sector involved.

Where will these actions be taken?

This can be implemented anywhere, since the world bank is already working on a global knowledge platform, the plaform for business with ecosystem and environmental goods and services could be implemented within this global knowledge one.

How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?

Globally, this would allow citizens to ultimatelly identify goods and services with environmental concerns, looking into carbon neutral ones. by that we can change the 99% no emissions concerns products and services to 100% products and services with no carbon attached to them. with the platform the long term would be to have carbon neutral products and services all over the globe.

What are other key benefits?

Evaluation of natural capital and mainstreaming of ecosystem services at prodction and service chains will create millions of green jobs all over the globe. At city level implemeting of the platform will demand efforts on capacity building to public and private agents, equipment to measure and monitor ecosystem services need to be developed and implemented, and a new tax on natural capital  use should be implemented, benifiting all society.

What are the proposal’s costs?

Natural capital is assumed to reach some US$ 33 trillion value all over the globe, and its insertion within economy will create pressure over city assets, usually over rated against nature. It is assumed that natural and human build capital will converge into similar values and with that the capital holders will loose in terms of power they have over decision makers, since nature will be a new player on global agenda.

Time line

short term implementing of eletronic environment and starting of evaluations within production and services chains impacts and ecosystem services - natural capital - at cities level. medium term taxes and fees to be established in order to regulate de market. On the long run natural capital becomes part of cities` GDP.

Related proposals

mitigation options, materials, shifting behavior and transportation are part of sector integration within the platform. It is an environment destined to accelerate adoption of best integrated planning for cities, including natural capital into decision making.