Climate Week NYC: 3 key takeaways

Monday, 25 Sep 2023

What do you get when you saturate New York City with sustainability and ESG professionals, entrepreneurs, investors, carbon traders, NGOs and policy makers for a week? You get a flurry of ideas to create a more sustainable future called Climate Week NYC. The Calyx Global team was onsite for the week, speaking at both the Clinton Global Initiative Meeting and a Nature 4 Climate event and co-hosting our own breakfast on managing legacy carbon credits with There were many important points of discussion at the intersection of these events and groups, but three stood out to us.

     1. Sharing the benefits

While Calyx Global’s Chief Science Officer, Deborah Lawrence was speaking on a panel at a Clinton Global Initiative Meeting, Laura Corb of Mckinsey said one of the biggest hurdles to ensuring the financial benefits of carbon projects reach local communities is information disparity, “One of the things you can do is to provide support, such as legal or technical.” She followed with, “We have to think about them not as stakeholders, but as rights holders.” Deborah can attest to this with first-hand knowledge from her work in West Kalimantan, on the Indonesian island of Borneo. People everywhere need to understand the rules of the game in order to play and win. So if you’re looking to help these communities and make progress on Sustainable Development Goals, helping indigenous and local communities find legal support could be an option.

     2. Look beyond the headlines

We’ve all seen the flurry of carbon market headlines and the article from the Guardian that dropped during Climate Week is just the latest. Many Voluntary Carbon Market (VCM) stakeholders recognize that the industry hasn't always gotten it right, but they haven’t always gotten it wrong either. Everyone acknowledged the need for accountability that the media can bring but also expressed a desire to move beyond the single narrative to one that gives a full picture, including the positive work taking place. 

     3. Improving upon the imperfect
As a climate industry, we finally have the tools to effectively check our work and we’re learning a lot about how things can improve. Whether it is a standards body, an entrepreneur or a project developer, we saw individuals and organizations of all backgrounds rethinking approaches and innovating new solutions to lift the quality of the carbon market. During a speaking session with Deborah at the Nature 4 Climate Session on “Delivering integrity in the VCM,” we heard Erin Sills, Head of Forestry at North Carolina State University sharing with Julianne Baroody of Verra how to develop “Impact Assessments” to help evaluate the effectiveness of entire methodologies. Calyx Global and also shared their approach to accelerating quality at our co-hosted breakfast and discussion with a packed room of climate leaders seeking ways to improve upon legacy credits. We discussed our recently announced Adjusted Portfolio Ratings and how companies are handling legacy credits today.

The discussions that happened at Climate Week NYC will shape the future of the VCM. We were personally excited by the innovative and determined spirit from industry leaders and look forward to more collaboration. 

If you want to keep up the conversation on lifting the quality of the voluntary carbon market, join us for our “Hunt for quality” Webinar with JPMorgan Chase & Co. on October 10.

About the author

Calyx Global

This article includes insights and input from multiple experts in Calyx Global.