Category: Latest News

Acclimatise is hiring

Acclimatise is hiring

At Acclimatise we actively encourage our talented staff to innovate and evolve their roles. With great personal support and opportunities to grow across every field of work we’re involved in. Acclimatise is a thriving, friendly and enjoyable place to be.

We believe that we all must do more to prepare for a climate that is very different from that of today. We’re a team of passionate people working to make a difference out of a deep sense of responsibility to help manage the climate crisis. We’ve done some great things already, but there’s so much more to come. Be a part of our story, and help make our company even more amazing.

Acclimatise’s mission is to make the world more resilient to climate change. We do this by making climate change information useful for our clients, helping them to make the very best decisions in the face of uncertainty. Working with corporates, financial institutions and governments around the world, Acclimatise is committed to achieving the greatest impact in driving action on climate change adaptation. Acclimatise has delivered specialist advisory and analytics services to over 180 clients in more than 80 countries worldwide.

We are currently hiring for three roles:

Graduate Spatial Data Scientist

Climate Risk Analyst

Senior Climate Risk Analyst


Follow the link for more information and for application details: https://acclimatise.homerun.co/

WMO issue new warning as earth approaches 1.5˚C

WMO issue new warning as earth approaches 1.5˚C

By Lydia Messling

Last week, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) announced that there was around a 20% chance that one of the next five years will be at least 1.5 degrees warmer than pre-industrial levels. The earth’s average temperature is already over 1 degree warmer than pre-industrial levels, and continues to rise as more greenhouse gas emissions are released into the atmosphere. The WMO forecast is significant as, in November 2016, countries signed the Paris Agreement, which included a commitment to keep warming “to well below 2°C and pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5°C”.

The WMO’s finding is especially concerning as last year they issued a similar forecast which estimated the chance of exceeding 1.5 degrees in five years to be just 10%. This suggests that the world is still failing to tackle climate change with sufficient urgency and casts further doubt on the possibility of hitting the 1.5-degree target. The clear implication of this is that we must prepare for a highly unstable climate in a world where average temperatures are well above the 1.5- and 2-degree temperature targets.

One swallow does not a summer make

So does the latest WMO forecast mean we’ll miss the Paris Agreement’s 1.5-degree target? Whilst still a cause for concern, even if one of the next five years surpassed 1.5 degrees, we would not have breached the Paris Agreement’s target, because this is calculated as a 30-year moving average.

It’s a bit like measuring your running speed. The qualify time for the men’s marathon in the Tokyo Olympics is 2 hours, 11 minutes, and 30 seconds. That’s an average of about 5 minutes per mile. Just because you managed to run a sub-5-minute mile on your morning run does not necessarily mean that you are now ready to go for gold at the Olympics (no matter how much Strava kudos your friends give you). It could have been a fast mile for a number of reasons. Maybe it was downhill, the wind was behind you, or you were only ever running one single mile full pelt before collapsing. To think you could now run that 5-minute mile 25.219 more times, and keep that pace, might seem a bit of a stretch. Instead, in order to establish your long-term trend, you need to compare your averaged speed across a much longer distance, much closer to a marathon length, in order to fairly judge your marathon potential. One mile is not a fair judge.

The same is true here. Whilst there’s a 20% chance we might hit an annual average of 1.5 degrees warmer in the next 5 years, this is quite different to stating that we’ve crossed the threshold of the Paris Agreement, as this threshold is determined by a 30-year average. This is so that the effects of natural variability can be accounted for. For example, 2015 and 2016 were both affected by El Niño, which meant the underlying human-caused warming was amplified. Indeed, the WMO report says that there is only a small chance – 3% – that the next five-year average will exceed 1.5 degrees.

A worrying direction of travel

In 2020, the Arctic is likely to have warmed by more than twice as much as the global mean. There are also still impacts of climate change to be felt between now and 2024. In 2020, many parts of South America, southern Africa, and Australia are likely to be dryer than the recent past. Between now and 2024, high latitude regions and the Sahel are likely to be wetter. Sea-level pressure anomalies suggest that the northern North Atlantic region could have stronger westerly winds, resulting in western Europe experiencing more storms.

A single year that is 1.5 degrees warmer than pre-industrial levels is not enough to surpass the 1.5-degree threshold as described by the Paris Agreement, but it is an indicator that it is within reach. There is still a lot of climate change to be experienced between now and the Paris Agreement target of 1.5 degrees of warming – more than enough to motivate us in ensuring we do not exceed it. However, it remains unlikely that collectively we will act fast enough to reduce our emissions meet the target. At the moment, we are on track for qualifying for a much warmer world, with an unstable climate unlike anything experienced in human history.


Cover photo by ActionVance on Unsplash.
Acclimatise CEO to moderate an EO4SD-led panel discussion as part of the World Bank’s Innovate4Climate virtual conference

Acclimatise CEO to moderate an EO4SD-led panel discussion as part of the World Bank’s Innovate4Climate virtual conference

On 29th July at 10:00 EDT, Acclimatise CEO John Firth will be moderating an EO4SD-led panel discussion as part of the World Bank’s Innovate4Climate virtual conference. This will take stock of the use of Earth Observation (EO) data in climate resilience, and look to the future in regards to what development practitioners will find useful next in terms of EO products and services.

Objectives include:

  • Introduce and encourage the use of earth observation (EO) products and services for the purposes of building climate resilience, particularly in a development setting
  • Catalyse the innovative deployment EO products and services across the project life cycle and across a range of decision-making contexts, from finance mobilisation to monitoring and evaluation
  • Enable our audience to learn about cost-effective EO climate data and platforms, and how these can be accessed and used.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Samantha Burgess (Copernicus Climate Change Service)
  • Francois Kayitakire (African Risk Capacity)
  • Ana Bucher (World Bank Group)

Register for the webinar here.

Acclimatise removes its company page from Facebook

Acclimatise removes its company page from Facebook


Acclimatise has taken the decision to remove its company page from Facebook. It has come to our attention that Facebook has included a loop-hole in its fact-checking program that allows non-expert staff members to overrule the judgement of climate scientists and make climate disinformation ineligible for fact-checking by classifying it as ‘opinion’. This has undermined the credibility of Facebook’s partnership with Science Feedback, to allow trained climate scientists to evaluate the accuracy of viral content.

We believe that Facebook is facilitating the spread of misinformation about climate change, which directly undermines Acclimatise’s mission to make the world more resilient to climate change and its impacts. As a company driven by its values, Acclimatise has a responsibility to take action on issues that cause harm to our staff, our environment and the wider community. 

Facebook’s continued failure to stop the spread of misinformation and hate speech on its platform is also of great concern to us. This inaction fuels racism, violence, and may undermine democracy and the integrity of elections around the world.

We are deeply concerned that the company has named Breitbart News a “trusted news source” and made The Daily Caller a “fact-checker” despite both publications having deplorable values. In view of the dangerous misinformation about climate change and the conflict with our own values, we have decided to sign up to the Stop Hate for Profit campaign.

Financing resilience in Honduras: final webinar and lessons learnt

Financing resilience in Honduras: final webinar and lessons learnt

By Caroline Fouvet and Laura Canevari

Nine months after its launch, the IDB Invest-funded initiative to support Honduran banks identify climate resilient investments, concluded during a well-attended webinar. Organised by IDB Invest and AHIBA (Asociación Hondureña de Instituciones Bancarias) and facilitated by Acclimatise, the event provided an opportunity to go over the project’s methodology to identify resilient investments and to hear national technology providers’ perspectives on market trends for resilient technologies, their benefits and financing challenges. Further, IDB Invest and Bancolombia also reflected on their experience promoting sustainable finance across Latin America and its benefits. Overall, the ultimate objective was to promote a better understanding of the business opportunities arising from financing technologies and products that can increase climate resilience in at-high-risk sectors.

As 60 people, including over 30 representatives from the banking sector, tuned into the webinar to hear about the initiative’s insights and lessons learnt, speakers went through the following key elements:

Financing resilient solutions requires innovation in how investment opportunities are identified and framed

In order to determine how to finance climate resilient solutions, banks should first analyse their investment portfolio to see what sectors are the most relevant, which of them are the most vulnerable to climate change and what climate change risks they are facing. Grounded on this understanding of climate risks in their portfolios, they can then identify those technologies, products and services that could help avoid, minimise and manage those risks. They can also determine what is the market potential for those technologies and carry assessments of the business environment. This is all the more relevant in a country considered one of the most vulnerable to climate change globally.

It is important also for banks to understand that the mechanisms to finance resilient solutions differs from traditional financing in that:

  • The purpose of the credits must be clear and demonstrate climate resilience benefits;
  • The process for the selection of eligible investments must be transparent and eligibility criteria on the resilience benefits must be incorporated in the credit approval process;
  • Resources are administered to ensure traceability of credits and portfolios dedicated to resilient investments
  • Monitoring and evaluation is undertaken to ensure access to information on climate resilient credits and their achieved benefits

Similarly, banks must be aware that commercialising resilient products and how to incentivise and increase credit demand also differs from traditional financing and the key role played by technical assistance and strategic alliances with solution providers.

Financing resilient solutions is a business opportunity for banks in Honduras

The webinar has also helped to demonstrate that there is already a market for a number of resilient solutions in the country, driven by companies’ need to improve their competitiveness and ensure their survival in the face of climate impacts. To make the case, Acclimatise presented 11 resilient solutions that were identified and characterised following the abovementioned approach, and reflected on the observed demand and market potential and the return on investment profile of these investment opportunities.

Similarly, representatives from  Inelec, Frio Industrial and Durman, which are local providers for some of the resilient solutions identified, took the floor to introduce these technologies, including energy efficient air conditioning, smart cooling solutions and solar irrigation. The providers reflected on the ROI profile of each of these investments, noting a steady increase in the market demand for their products and services; but acknowledging that certain barriers still remain, in particular the high cost of the initial investment and a lack of adequate financial products to support investment in these technologies are obstacles still to be surpassed.

As noted by Sandra Rivera from PESIC (the Energy Efficiency Project in the Industrial and Commercial Sectors (PESIC), a concrete way to push resilient technologies forward is to build up strategic alliances between technology providers, business owners and engineers providing technical assistance and confirming the technologies’ resilience benefits, such as lower energy consumption. PESIC aims both to increase technical and institutional capacities in energy efficiency, and to develop financial instruments that favour investments in energy efficiency equipment and practices.

Another important avenue to promote resilient investments is through the development of strategic alliances between the banks and the different providers and distributors of climate resilient solutions in Honduras. AHIBA, as the national association of commercial banks in the country, has an important role to play in this, as it can support the development of these alliances and the transfer and sharing of experiences promoting resilient investments between the banks.

Practical experiences and lessons learnt in capturing “green” and “resilient” financing opportunities across Latin America

The event also featured reflections from IDB Invest, who described the mechanisms put in place to promote sustainable finance on the region, including green and sustainable bonds. In addition, the Colombia bank Bancolombia share its experience in the development of credit lines to support sustainable and climate resilience investments. Bancolombia highlighted the importance that adhering to international protocols (such as the Equator Principles and CDP) as well as national ones (i.e. the Green Protocol) and the need to have buy in from the board of directors. Moreover, they noted that having an  Environmental and Social Risk Management system significantly facilitated the development of a green strategy, as well as the development of a taxonomy to clearly define what constitutes a green and a resilient investment, to provide banks with an operational framework. Many banks indeed already finance climate resilience, but it is likely they are not yet aware of it, given they lack a proper taxonomy and system to track credits that build climate resilience.

Both presenters agreed on the benefits of sustainable finance in general and climate resilient finance in particular. These benefits include, among others, better access to long-term financing in capital markets, improved value of customer franchise and response to demands for socially responsible investments. When it comes to financing climate resilience, this enables banks to avoid losses arising from climate impacts and potential associated default payments on their loans, while also catering to the financing needs of new market segments, and as such expanding their activity.

In the time of COVID-19, the need to foster a green recovery has clearly emerged. This includes the importance of considering climate change resilience to ensure the new economy is built upon climate-proof foundations. Banks henceforth occupy a centre role in this endeavour, in Honduras and across the world.  


Cover photo of the Honduras Mountains. By Gerardo Predo on Unsplash.
NAP Global Network releases new toolkit on private sector engagement

NAP Global Network releases new toolkit on private sector engagement

A new toolkit has been released to support country efforts to engage the private sector in the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) processes. The toolkit, released by the NAP Global Network, is aimed at national governments and other practitioners who are engaged in developing and implementing NAPs. Featuring examples of best-practice from around the world, and a wide range of tools including several developed by Acclimatise, the toolkit acts as a guide to encourage the appropriate support of the private sector in facilitating countries’ NAPs.

The document Toolkit for Engaging the Private Sector in National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) is designed to accompany the UNFCCC Technical Guidelines for the NAP Process. It includes links to useful tools to engage the private sector, such as a research paper written by Acclimatise’s Virginie Fayolle and Caroline Fouvet, and others for DFID’s Action on Climate Today (ACT) programme. The paper, “Engaging the Private Sector in Financing Adaptation to Climate Change: Learning from Practice”presents a comprehensive framework for identifying the key enabling factors for private sector actors to invest in climate change adaptation, signalling approaches that public policy-makers and donors can take to engage the private sector.

The toolkit also includes links to resources that help governments to integrate climate change into decision-making processes such as the Caribbean Climate Online Risk and Adaptation tooL – CCORAL – an online support system for climate resilient decision making, developed by Acclimatise for the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC).

Webinar

The NAP Global Network and the UNFCCC Adaptation Committee are hosting an interactive webinar about the toolkit this Wednesday 24th June 2020. Learn more and sign up below.

Engaging the Private Sector in National Adaptation Plans: A toolkit to guide effective strategies

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

14.00 – 15.00 CEST (8.00 – 9.00 EST)

Online: Microsoft Teams

Ask yourself, which business should be engaged in your climate change adaptation planning processes: the smallholder farmer or the big banker? Or when should you engage them: in the planning or implementation stage of the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) process?

In this interactive webinar, your decisions will guide the story!

Our policy advisors will ask for your input at five important junctures of a case study. The majority votes made by participants will impact the direction of the story, as you collectively play the role of a government worker responsible for the NAP process in a sunny and totally made-up island nation.

And don’t worry, we have a just the right guiding document to help with your decisions! This webinar is all about demonstrating the applicability of our new toolkit designed to help governments develop strategies to effectively engage private sector actors in their country’s NAP process:

Toolkit for Engaging the Private Sector in National Adaptation Plans (NAPs): Supplement to the UNFCCC Technical Guidelines for the NAP Process

Register online for the webinar now

Financing increased for early warning systems in Small Island Developing States

Financing increased for early warning systems in Small Island Developing States

Key nations have announced US$ 4.8 million in funding for the delivery of early warning systems and services to reduce loss of life from severe weather events in the Pacific region. The announcement was made 10 June 2020 during the 11th Steering Committee Meeting of the Climate Risk & Early Warning Systems (CREWS) initiative by its Member States, the governments of Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

The CREWS initiative was established in 2015 at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) as a financial mechanism to save lives and livelihoods through the expansion of early warning systems and services in Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States. Its three Implementing Partners are the World Meteorological Organization, the World Bank Group / Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction.

Filipe Lucio of WMO indicated at the meeting that the funds would allow the island countries in the region to detect, monitor and forecast severe high-impact weather events. Additional services to be developed include access to longer-term seasonal predictions and operational early warning and response plans that ensure the most vulnerable people in the communities receive warnings.

CREWS Member States also approved the allocation of funds to support countries to monitor the effectiveness of their national early warning systems. Additionally, the preparations of another US$ 4 million project, covering the South West Indian Ocean that includes the countries of Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique and Seychelles was initiated for funding in the near future.

To date, the CREWS Trust Fund has delivered over US$ 43 million in project funding and mobilized an additional US$ 270 million from public funds of other development partners – realizing accelerated life-saving action and maximized finance effectiveness.

In 2019, CREWS support was scaled up to 44 least developed countries and small island developing states. Through this work, more than 10 million people in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities now have access to better early warning services.

  • In Afghanistan, 3D printers are being used to build automatic weather stations, bringing early warning services to rural communities.
  • In Burkina Faso, more than 1,100 rural farmers received 130 weather forecasts in 2019, broadcast via local radio stations.
  • In Fiji, nearly one million people now have advance flash flood warnings, creating increased security and saving lives.
  • In Niger, more than 600 women were trained in early warning services and have now created women-led WhatsApp groups to amplify advance warnings throughout their communities.
  • Across the Caribbean, national emergency management offices, national hydromet offices, national gender bureaux, sectorial ministries, and non-governmental groups including women organizations are now working together to bridge the gender divide in access to early warning systems.

This article was accessed via PreventionWeb. Read the original article here.
Cover photo of Fiji highway from Pexels.
PLACARD project calls for ‘resilient societies’ to rise from COVID-19 crisis

PLACARD project calls for ‘resilient societies’ to rise from COVID-19 crisis

By Will Bugler

A major European Commission-funded project known as PLACARD, called last month for governments to focus on building climate resilience as part of their COVID-19 recovery plans.

In a policy brief, issued in the final weeks of the project, the Platform for Climate Adaptation and Risk Reduction (PLACARD) project said that climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction are vital in order to manage future systemic risks to European societies and economies. The brief had three central recommendations:

  1. Building more resilient societies, including advancing the European Green Deal, should be a central concern as Europe considers its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The COVID-19 recovery must be climate-compatible and focus on building long-term resilience, in addition to responding to short-term priorities.
  2. Climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction are important processes for managing future risks and galvanising cooperation between communities, across sectors and scales and beyond borders. Insights from these areas should be leveraged for the European Green Deal and COVID-19 recovery.
  3. Improving communication, harmonising language, connecting actors, and building structures for cooperation will be essential for a resilient European Green Deal and green COVID-19 recovery. A wealth of tools and approaches are available to take immediate steps. Continued investments are needed to strengthen existing institutions and create new ones to manage risk and promote cooperation in a warming world.

PLACARD was a research programme that brought together leading practitioners in climate resilience and disaster risk reduction to improve response to climate-related shocks and stresses faced by European countries.

The briefing note, Adapting to extremes: Key insights for bridging climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in the European Green Deal, builds on insights developed across the project for bridging adaptation and risk reduction – especially in the context of the European Green Deal. It includes the central idea that recovery from the pandemic must be compatible with climate sustainability and focus on building “long-term resilience as well as short-term priorities”.

Climate adaptation and risk reduction, it says, are important processes for managing future risks and galvanizing cooperation between communities, in all sectors, on all scales, and across borders.

PLACARD was coordinated on behalf of the European Commission by the Portuguese research coalition FCiências.ID.


Cover photo by Stockhold on Unsplash.
Siberia dries out as forests burn and climate heats

Siberia dries out as forests burn and climate heats

By Kieran Cooke

Residents of the small Arctic town of Khatanga have never experienced anything like it: their home is changing at a gallop as Siberia dries out.

Khatanga – population around 3,500 – is well north of the Arctic Circle, with usual daytime temperatures at this time of year hovering round a chilly 0°C. On 22 May the temperature in the town reached 25°C – more than double the record to date.

Global warming is causing profound change across the Arctic, a region which acts like a giant air conditioning system regulating the Earth’s climate.

Temperatures are rising far faster than elsewhere: sea ice cover is rapidly disappearing, valuable fish stocks are moving ever further north in search of colder waters, land around the Arctic perimeter is drying out – particularly across the vast expanse of Siberia.

Permafrost is melting. This week a giant oil tank collapsed and ruptured at a nickel and palladium works near the city of Norilsk in northern Siberia, spilling thousands of tonnes of diesel into the nearby Ambarnaya river.

Worst for years

The storage tank is believed to have been built on permafrost: a state of emergency has been declared for what is being described as one of the worst environmental disasters in recent Russian history. State media say an area stretching over 350 square kilometres is polluted and will take years to clean up.

A series of wildfires, often enveloping hundreds of thousands of hectares of Siberia’s boreal forests, or taiga, have raged in many areas over recent weeks.

In early spring farmers across Siberia often light fires to clear land of dead grass and unwanted vegetation. A combination of high temperatures and strong winds has led to fires blazing out of control. Last year Siberia’s fires are estimated to have destroyed an area of forest the size of Belgium.

“2019 saw a record number of fires over the summer months in Siberia”, says Thomas Smith, an environmental geographer at the London School of Economics (LSE) and a wildfires expert.

“This year, aided by high temperatures and conditions that have promoted growth, the fires started early, though so far their incidence is about average and not as extensive as in 2019.

“Forest fires in this region of the Arctic used to happen about every hundred years and now we’re seeing them every summer”

“But what’s important are the peak summer months: the soils are dry and there’s plenty of fuel, so conditions are favourable for more widespread fires”, Dr Smith told Climate News Network.

One of the regions worst affected is in the south of Siberia, around Lake Baikal, the world’s largest and deepest freshwater lake, where an estimated half a million hectares of forest were destroyed by fire earlier this year.

Evgeny Zinichev, Russia’s emergencies minister, speaks of a critical situation unfolding in Siberia and across Russia’s Far East. “The main reason, of course, is unauthorised and uncontrolled agricultural fires”, he says.

“A less snowy winter, an abnormal winter, and insufficient soil moisture are factors that create the conditions for the transition of landscape fires to settlements.”

Other factors have also led to the spread of wildfires. After weeks of lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, people trapped in often cramped and stiflingly hot apartment blocks have sought freedom in the countryside and forests, camping and lighting barbecues.

Hungry Chinese demand

In Soviet times the taiga was more closely monitored and policed: that system has tended to break down in recent years. The Covid crisis has also drawn attention away from the fires.

Corruption and illegal logging, driven in large part by China’s demand for forest products, is an additional threat to the taiga.

The warming and wildfires are having an impact not only across Siberia but around the world. Its forests act as an enormous carbon sink, storing millions of tonnes of climate-changing greenhouse gases.

Fires and logging release the gases into the atmosphere, creating what scientists call a positive feedback loop – the more gases that are released, the warmer and drier the air becomes, so that more areas of forest are at risk from fire.

“Substantial areas of forest in Siberia are on peat soils”, says Dr Smith. “When these soils dry out, fires go underground, threatening to release large amounts of carbon which can lead to a catastrophic climate event.”

Wide impact

Smoke from the fires is carried by winds to other parts of the globe, trapping warm air near the Earth’s surface. The warm air generated by the fires is also likely to result in a further depletion in ice cover and warming of the Arctic seas.

The temperature rises and the growing incidence of wildfires in Siberia have other effects too.

A recent study published in the journal Scientific Reports says the fires mean that more nutrients, particularly nitrogen, leak into streams and waterways.

“Forest fires in this region of the Arctic used to happen about every hundred years and now we’re seeing them every summer”, says Bianca Rodriguez-Cardona, of the University of New Hampshire, Durham, US, one of the study’s authors.

“This increase in fires leads to more input of inorganic solutes into local streams which can alter the chemistry and trigger issues like increased algal blooms and bacteria that can be harmful to humans who depend on these waterways for drinking water, fishing and their livelihoods.” When these waters reach the Arctic they can also dramatically alter the chemistry of the surrounding seas, says the study. – Climate News Network


This article was originally posted on the Climate News Network.
Cover photo: The Siberian taiga blazes as petroleum gas burns off in a flare. Image: By Copper Kettle, via Wikimedia Commons
Acclimatise releases its latest GCF proposal toolkit

Acclimatise releases its latest GCF proposal toolkit

Three years after producing the first guide of this kind, Acclimatise is releasing today its latest Green Climate Fund (GCF) Proposal Toolkit. This guide integrates the latest GCF policy changes and funding proposal template v2.0 in order to provide the most recent guidance to project proponents, accredited entities and national designated authorities and help them to navigate the ever-changing GCF project requirements.

Our authors have leveraged their experience in assisting countries and organisations access GCF funding and supporting the GCF Secretariat share tips and guidelines to help you work in the most efficient way possible. You can find more information about how Acclimatise can help you mobilise, catalyse, and leverage public and private capital to deliver your climate investment strategies and financing for climate-resilience solutions on our website. Contact the authors: Ms. Virginie Fayolle & Ms. Maya Dhanjal.

Download the toolkit by clicking here.


Cover photo by Joe Saade, UN Women.