Transnational Network: The Climate Community and Biodiversity Alliance

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The Climate Community and Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA) is a transnational network involved in climate change governance through an intersectional approach involving a diverse range of actors. Conservation International and a collection of five non-governmental organizations comprising its membership, including CARE and the Rainforest Alliance, founded the network in 2003.[i] In addition to these members the CCBA has an advising group of international research institutions (three in total, including the World Agroforestry Center) and the donors to the network (including philanthropic foundations and corporations such as the Rockefeller Foundation and British Petroleum).[ii],[iii] The goal of this alliance is to validate and verify projects that attempt to mitigate climate change through land management while positively serving the native population of that area, from the project’s conception throughout its implementation.[iv] CCBA does this through creating a set of Climate Community and Biodiversity (CCB) standards that generates reliable carbon credits. The CCBA acts as a transnational governing force rather effectively by setting a reputable and premium standard to assist in the regulation of the global carbon market.

In the international climate change discussion, ideas of equity and justice are often raised, and so is the case when discussing issues of land use. The way land is used has huge implications for global climate change; it can be a large contributing factor to emissions through activities such as deforestation or can aid in mitigation through activities such as conservation of biodiversity. Plans of mitigation through “carbon forestry” raised concerns that these projects would inevitably be unjust to native communities because of the high potential of consequences such as displacement of communities.[v] The foundation of CCBA and the CCB standards was to address these concerns in a meaningful way. The creation of CCBA dealt with this issue by not only creating a set of standards that would prohibit adverse effects of land use mitigation projects on native peoples but would also promote and require positive gains or, “co-benefits” for both the community and the environment in projects they validated.[vi]

The CCBA is able to promote and instigate these net positive projects through its CCB label. This is a process that involves a certification of “validation” that is an acknowledgment that the project has been heavily analyzed, reviewed and decidedly fulfills the CCB standards.[vii] Validation builds support for the project that then makes implementation and success of the project more likely. After a project has been validated it is then “verified,” which enforces accountability to follow through on promises for co-benefits.[viii] When carbon credits have the CCB label, it signifies they have passed validation and verification and is a high quality credit to the buyer.[ix] A study by the Ecosystem Marketplace’s State of the Forest Carbon Market showed that the investors and offset buyers were more likely to pay extra for the CCB label due to its multilateral approach and diverse range of benefits.[x] This positive reputation has gone hand in hard with increasing number of projects voluntarily seeking approval of CCB standards. In 2010 there were 19 validated projects and 21 in the process, however, over the course of the next three years there 70 projects total were validated, 19 undergoing validation, and 12 projects receiving the CCB label.[xi],[xii] The success of this process of transnational governance is illustrated by the estimated 8 million hectares of land conserved, 180,000 hectares of land restored, totaling roughly 40 million tons of CO2 emissions sequestered.[xiii] Presently, the number of CCB standards approved projects is, in the global picture, minimal. However, the fact these numbers have been increasing rapidly over the past few years eludes to a growing capacity of governing global climate change


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Overall, the Climate Community and Biodiversity Alliance and the resulting standards appears to be quite effective in achieving its goal of filling a governance function to regulate land use projects that claim to be equitable to communities, have net positive mitigation benefits for the climate and increase the biodiversity and ecology of the land. It has done so by establishing its network and certifications as a reputable marker of governance through its enforcement of accountability and transparency, while engaging market based solutions to global climate change.


This video is an example of the types of projects CCBA deals with.



Work Cited:

“About the CCBA” CCBA: The Climate Community and Biodiversity Alliance. N.p., n.d.                        Web. 30 Sept. 2014.


Bulkeley, Harriet, and Peter Newell. Governing climate change. London: Routledge,             2010. Print.


“CCBA Fact Sheet” CCBA: The Climate Community and Biodiversity Alliance. N.p., n.d.             Web. 30 Sept. 2014.                                                                                                              


“CCBA Standards.” CCBA: The Climate Community and Biodiversity Alliance. N.p., n.d.                        Web. 30 Sept. 2014.


Melo, Isabel, Esther Turnhout, and Bas Arts. “Integrating multiple benefits in             market-based climate mitigation schemes: The case of the Climate, Community             and Biodiversity certification scheme.” Environmental Science & Policy 35 (2014):             49-56. Web.


Wood, Rachel Godfrey. Carbon finance and pro-poor co-benefits: the gold standard                        and climate, community and biodiversity standards. London: Sustainable Markets             Group, International Institute for Environment and Development, 2011. Web.



[i] Bulkeley, Harriet, and Peter Newell. Governing climate change. London: Routledge,             2010. Print. Pg 65.

[ii] Bulkeley, Harriet, and Peter Newell.

[iii] “About the CCBA” CCBA: The Climate Community and Biodiversity Alliance. N.p., n.d.                        Web. 30 Sept. 2014.

[iv] “CCBA Standards.” CCBA: The Climate Community and Biodiversity Alliance. N.p., n.d.                        Web. 30 Sept. 2014.

[v] Wood, Rachel Godfrey. Carbon finance and pro-poor co-benefits: the gold standard                        and climate, community and biodiversity standards. London: Sustainable Markets             Group, International Institute for Environment and Development, 2011. Web.

[vi] Wood, Rachel Godfrey.

[vii] “CCBA Standards.”

[viii] “CCBA Standards.”

[ix] “CCBA Fact Sheet” CCBA: The Climate Community and Biodiversity Alliance. N.p., n.d.             Web. 30 Sept. 2014.                                                                                                              

[x] “CCBA Fact Sheet”

[xi] Wood, Rachel Godfrey.

[xii] “CCBA Fact Sheet”

[xiii] “CCBA Fact Sheet”

The Carbon Disclosure Project: One Carbon Atom Closer to Change

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By Elizabeth Plascencia

The Carbon Disclosure Project Logo
The Carbon Disclosure Project Logo

The term climate accounts for the prevailing trends in weather for a given area overtime. Accordingly, how does this projection suddenly become “global”? It is disseminated at the very nature of it all – greenhouse gases (GHG) are not held liable under any physical boundaries. Consequently, all emissions are subject to one atmosphere and repercussions are therefore global in that respect. Ranging from small local movements to large international agreements, efficiently and effectively addressing global climate change entails action on all levels. Through the work of cooperative transnational networks there is an active movement towards widespread involvement. With specific attention to the second most abundant GHG in the atmosphere, carbon dioxide (CO2), the transnational organization of the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) is an international, non-profit body that provides the “…only system for companies and cities to measure, disclose, manage, and share vital environmental information” (CDP, 2014). CDP effectively advances its objectives with respect to governing climate change by providing a public platform for global emissions information sharing which directly drives market forces to sustainable economies.

Historically, international agreements requesting a reduction in national GHG emissions (i.e. Kyoto Protocol) have gained minimal widespread momentum. The Carbon Disclosure Project’s success may be due to the fact that it works in such a way that creates a market force pressure on firms and businesses to invest in renewable rather than carbon intensive fuel in order to reduce emissions. As per its public platform on emissions, “The CDP now covers US $57 trillion worth of assists from over 3,000 companies. The scope of private regulation is, therefore, impressive and reaches key actors not subject to other forms of governance” (Bulkeley, p. 99). It is clear that the CDP is actively working towards a long-term sustainable global economy by providing widespread evidence and management of environmental impact.

Though frequently seen as separate within international negotiations, climate change and business are fused together and “The CDP provides a secretariat for the world’s largest institutional investor collaboration on the business implications of climate change” (Bulkeley, p. 99). CDP’s approach to climate change is directly linked to a transformation in the global economic system. As opposed to the convectional separation of business from the realm of climate change, CDP provides a platform for cities and companies to evaluate their respective emissions and make progress into a more energy efficient agenda which would not only benefit their company but also the welfare of the planet and its inhabitants. The CDP’s main goals are listed below (CDP, 2014):

  • Request information n greenhouse gas emissions, energy use and the risks and opportunities from climate change from thousands of the world’s largest companies. Through measurement and transparency companies are better placed to manage and protect themselves from climate change risk.
  • Use the power of the shareholder to drive greenhouse gas emissions reduction. We coordinate a request from a group of investors asking the world’s largest companies in high emitting sectors to implement cost-effective emissions reductions. This expands on our climate change disclosure request to accelerate greater action by companies around the world.
  • Provide companies with carbon management support services. We have developed a services package that helps companies take a rigorous approach to carbon management, benchmark business performance, and learn best practices.

Nearly eleven years from the first carbon data request to corporations, the Carbon Disclosure Project continues to inform large corporations and stakeholders about emissions. Continued expansion within new sectors such as forestry and water rights drive CDP towards the creation of a sustainable future.

Check out this interview of Paul Simpson, Chief Executive Officer at CDP, from COP19 in Warsaw, Poland.



Bulkeley, Harriet, and Newell, Peter. Governing Climate Change. Routledge, 2010.

CDP – Driving Sustainable Economies. “About CDP – Catalyzing business and government action” 2014

CDP – Driving Sustainable Economies. “Alliances” 2014

CDP – Driving Sustainable Economies. “Our Climate Change Work” 2014

CDP – Driving Sustainable Economies. “What we do – CDP Worldwide” 2014

Lee, Taedong. “Global Cities and Transnational Climate Change Networks.” Global Environmental Politics. Vol. 13.1 (2013) pp. 108-128.

Climate Action Network: Progressing Climate Action


The Climate Action Network (CAN) contains over 900 non-governmental organizations (NGO) from more than 100 countries (CAN, 2014A). The CAN’s mission is “to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels…through information exchange and the coordinated development of NGO strategy” (CAN, 2014A). The CAN does an effective job of coordinating NGOs to submit comments to the UNFCCC on a broad range of topics. They are able to successfully orchestrate climate oriented NGOs to advocate for immediate and meaningful climate action as well as the advancement of human rights. By creating a network of organizations around the world, the CAN has been able to affect the negotiation by directly providing inputs on the negotiations through paper submissions, rallying NGOs around common talking points, and by convincing negotiators of their position.

Since its start in 1989, CAN has been part of the climate negotiation process and conversations (Duwe, 2001). Since then, CAN has continuously grown and become one of two lead parties within the ENGOs (Environmental NGOs) (Dryzek and Stevenson, 2014). They have submitted a large range of papers during and after each COP. CAN has several themes in their position statements, which advocate for greater climate action and for upholding human rights (CAN, 2012). Some of their themes include:

  • Strong mitigation measures, including reducing the use of fossil fuels (Voorhar, 2014) and ending subsidies for fossil fuels (CAN, 2009) while increasing investments in renewable energies (CAN, 2014C).
  • Quick action on climate change to keep warming to a minimum (CAN, 2012; CAN, 2014C; CAN, 2013B)
  • Developed countries need to have public financing in place to help promote renewable energy projects for developing countries (CAN, 2014C) such as the Green Climate Fund (CAN, 2014B; CAN, 2011)

These themes are strong positions for climate action and represent the way in which CAN is attempting to project their views and give input on the negotiations.

The CAN has played a crucial role in bringing together voices to push negotiators towards climate action. CAN works extensively with other network NGOs to develop joint positions on relevant issues to present a strong front to the negotiations (CAN, 2013A). The CAN was critical in aligning multiple voices to speak on behalf of ENGOs to push the Kyoto Protocol forward (Dryzek and Stevenson, 2014). The NGOs within CAN helped shape the Kyoto Protocol by persuading the EU to hold their emissions reductions as well persuading the US to be flexible with target-setting (Bulkeley and Newell, 2010). The CAN has been effective within the negotiations because they have been able to unify their network of NGOs under their statements and positions, giving power and voice to the submissions and ideas.

Additionally, the CAN works to promote greater understand of the negotiations for individuals as well as delegates. The Eco-Newsletter, produced by CAN, provides a daily report about what is happen within the negotiations (CAN, 2014C). This allows outsiders to understand what is going on and gain an ENGO perspective into the negotiations. Many delegates will also read Eco-newsletters because they provide a summary of the on going negotiations (Duwe, 2001). Side events, of which CAN is only a small part, further help attendees and developing nations better understand all of the complexities of climate change and the negotiations (Hjerpe and Linnér, 2010). Being part of negotiation education is a crucial role filled by CAN and allows them to be a more effective transnational network by incorporating more people, organizations and ideas.

CAN has not only been successful as a larger organization, but many of the 900 daughter NGOs have helped them succeed in their mission. Yet, that many constituents can lead to a weaker message from the organization due to differing opinions. While that many stakeholders signify power and voice in numbers, they can also present an obstacle to efficient and bold decisions. Additionally, CAN-International is not well funded nor have they historically planned well as an organization, only releasing their first multi-year plan in 2013 (CAN, 2013). By engaging policy makers in the negotiation process, CAN has been able to impact negotiations in advocating for stronger climate action and can continue to improve these efforts with better funding, planning and consensus building.



Bulkeley, Harriet, and Newell, Peter. Governing climate change. Routledge, 2010.

Climate Action Network International. “About CAN” 2014A.

Climate Action Network International. “Eco-newsletters” 2014C.

Climate Action Network International. Adaptation and Loss & Damage Under the ADP. June 2, 2014B.

Climate Action Network International. Annual Report 2013. 2013A.

Climate Action Network International. CAN-I Submission on New Market-based Mechanism. March, 2012.

Climate Action Network International. Climate Action Network – International Submission to Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex 1 Parties under the Kyoto Protocol Regarding Response Measures. April 24, 2009.

Climate Action Network International. Climate Finance under the ADP. June 2, 2014C.

Climate Action Network International. Submission on 2013-2015 Review. April 1, 2013B.

Climate Action Network International. Submission to the Transitional Committee for the Green Climate Fund. July 29, 2011.

Dryzek, John S., and Hayley Stevenson. Democratizing global climate governance. Cambridge University Press, 2014.

Duwe, Matthias. “The climate action network: A glance behind the curtains of a transnational NGO network.” Review of European Community & International Environmental Law 10.2 (2001): 177-189.

Hjerpe, Mattias, and Björn-Ola Linnér. “Functions of COP side-events in climate-change governance.” Climate Policy 10.2 (2010): 167-180.

Voorhar, Ria. Climate Action Network International. Statement on UNSG’s Climate Summit by Climate Action Network and the Global Call for Climate Action. September 23, 2014.

The WBCSD: Private Solutions to a Global Problem

Sustainable Business

There is not a colloquial “silver-bullet” solution that can immediately stem the impending effects of climate change; similarly, there is not a single layer on which the governance of climate change occurs.  The work to mitigate and adapt to climate change and global warming does not rest only with sovereign national governments and international institutions like the United Nations Framework for Climate Change (UNFCCC), but it also occurs across sectors and borders.  Private transnational networks are an effective avenue for executing action in the manner that businesses across the world function on both a day-to-day and strategic basis.  One stellar case study of such an effective network is the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), an international association of businesses such as General Motors, DuPont, Deutsche Bank, Coca-Cola, Sony, BP, and Shell, among others.  The Council has been at the forefront of the private sector on private greenhouse gas accounting and reporting, and initiated the discussion on the role businesses across the world can play in a future, low-carbon, sustainable economy and society.

The mission of the WBCSD is to “provide business leadership as a catalyst for change toward sustainable development, and to support the business license to operate, innovate and grow in a world increasingly shaped by sustainable development issues.”[1]  This has placed the Council as a leading figure throughout the private sector for sustainable business practices in the shadow of what the global economy may look like in the future.  The WBCSD aims to “be a leading business advocate on sustainable development, participate in policy development to create the right framework conditions for business to make an effective contribution to sustainable human progress, develop and promote the business case for sustainable development, demonstrate the business contribution to sustainable development solutions and share leading-edge practices among members, and contribute to a sustainable future for developing nations and nations in transition…[in the focus areas of] energy and climate, development, the business role, and ecosystems.”[2]  Thus, these objectives position the Council in both the information-sharing and regulation categories outlined by Bulkeley and Newell,[3] because there is a sharing and pooling of best practices and knowledge among the member companies through reports and publications, and those companies commit themselves, as members, to conduct business sustainably and within the objectives and mission of the Council.

The foundational belief that rests underneath the WBCSD’s work is that “stable and sustainable societies cannot and must not tolerate poverty among their citizens and…businesses, economies, governments, and societies must work together to ensure open and fair access to all markets and opportunities.”[4]  This is what motivates these companies to become members and to follow through on their commitments; there is a universal recognition among the companies involved that cooperation, coordination, and consideration are in the best interests of all, especially themselves, because these companies would not be able to exist in a society that is failing and crumbling due to a more volatile climate.  And this initiative has “helped create a paradigm shift in the way in which business does business”[5]  away from purely self-interested, short-sighted parameters that focus solely on dollars and cents and towards a more holistic framing of business’s role in the climate debate.  The discussion amidst the private sector has been elevated, the knowledge base has grown exponentially and has become more fluid among nations and companies, and sector-wide standards are installed and being followed because of the work that the WBCSD has done and is continuing to do around the world, and the association serves as a sterling example of a driven and effective transnational network.


[1] What-when-how. “World Business Council for Sustainable Development (Global Warming).” Accessed September 29, 2014.

[2] What-when-how.

[3] Harriet Bulkeley and Peter Newell, Governing Climate Change (New York: The CUNY Graduate Center, 2010), 57.

[4] What-when-how.

[5] Credo Reference.  “WBCSD (World Business Council for Sustainable Development).” Accessed September 29, 2014.