1292362639

Eni’s support for Natural Climate Solutions

In our decarbonization strategy, nature-based solutions play an important role in offsetting residual GHG emissions.

7 min read
7 min read

An additional tool for the Net Zero target

Natural Climate Solutions (NCS) are initiatives for the protection, sustainable land management and restoration of natural ecosystems that increase carbon storage and/or prevent greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. They may involve forests as well as natural grasslands and wetlands and, in addition to combating climate change, help to protect biodiversity, increase the resilience and adaptive capacity of environmental systems and promote development for local communities. The role of NCS in achieving Net Zero is also recognized by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which envisages the use of NCS among the actions to be taken to reduce and remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in most of the scenarios compatible with the goal of containing the temperature to within 1.5°C compared to pre-industrial times.

Potential for GHG emission abatement
At a global level, analyses by the United Nations (United Nations Environment Programme and International Union for Conservation of Nature 2021 - Nature-based solutions for climate change mitigation - Nairobi and Gland) estimate that NCS have an overall potential to reduce GHG emissions by between 5 and 12 billion tonnes (Gtons) of CO₂ by 2030, on average 30% of the reduction needed to align the global emission trajectory to a scenario compatible with limiting global warming to within 1.5°C compared to the pre-industrial period.

Eni’s NCS initiatives

Eni’s decarbonization strategy envisages the use of NCS to offset residual GHG emissions, i.e. those that cannot be reduced at reasonable cost with current technologies. In these cases, NCS becomes the main driver of decarbonization and GHG emission compensation is achieved through the acquisition of high-quality carbon credits. NCS also include initiatives for the conservation, restoration and sustainable management of forests, mainly in developing countries, which are considered among the most internationally relevant in the context of climate change mitigation strategies.

Eni’s first activities in the field of NCS were initiated in the area of forest protection, working alongside governments, local communities and UN agencies, in line with NDCs (Nationally Determined Contributions), National Development Plans and the Sustainable Development Goals  (SDGs). In addition to projects to combat deforestation, Eni is continuing to evaluate further NCS initiatives such as those related to the sustainable management of forest resources or the restoration of ecosystems (including wetland and coastal ecosystems such as mangroves) in Africa, Latin America and Asia. In the medium to long term, the aim is to gradually increase the Carbon Dioxide Removal component of carbon credits used to offset residual emissions.

PDF 844.76 KB

Eni’s commitment to forest protection and conservation

In an international context characterized by a high rate of deforestation, particularly of primary forests in tropical and subtropical areas, which compromises biodiversity and causes the emission of billions of tonnes of CO₂ and other greenhouse gases, combating forest destruction and degradation is an essential element in the fight against climate change in the short term. The conservation, restoration and sustainable forest management initiatives supported by Eni are part of the REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) scheme, defined and promoted by the United Nations (in particular under the UNFCCC - United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change). In addition to forest conservation activities to reduce emissions and improve the natural storage capacity of CO₂, the projects foster an alternative development model for local communities by promoting socio-economic activities in line with sustainable forest management, forest improvement and biodiversity conservation. In full respect of the communities and with their active participation, Eni proposes economic diversification initiatives (e.g. sustainable agricultural projects), energy access and clean cooking initiatives, along with education and vocational training programmes.

 

1193572530
1193572530

Over time, Eni has built a solid network of agreements with recognized international developers such as BioCarbon Partners, Terra Global, Peace Parks Foundation, First Climate, Carbonsink and Carbon Credits Consulting. These partnerships allow us to monitor the development and implementation of projects to verify their adherence to the principles of the REDD+ scheme, a prerequisite for obtaining the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) certification. Thanks to these partnerships, Eni can also measure social and environmental impacts (e.g. Climate Community & Biodiversity Standards - CCB) according to the highest internationally recognized standards.

 

REDD+ projects supported in Zambia, Tanzania and Mexico

Here are the main forest protection and conservation initiatives supported by Eni:

  • Luangwa Community Forests Project (LCFP) in Zambia: in 2019 we signed an agreement with BioCarbon Partners whereby Eni commits to purchasing the carbon credits generated until 2038 and acquires a role in the governance of the project. It covers about 1 million hectares and involves about 200,000 beneficiaries also with economic diversification initiatives. It is currently one of the largest REDD+ projects in Africa to have been awarded CCB "Triple Gold" validation for its outstanding social and environmental impact by VERRA, a leading non-profit organization in carbon credit certification.
  • Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project (LZRP) in Zambia: credit purchase agreement finalized in 2021. In addition to funding project implementation, Eni promotes the local communities' access to health services and education.
  • Ntakata Mountains in Tanzania: credit purchase agreement finalized in 2021. Eni's purchase of the credits is funding the annual implementation costs of this nature-based project, as well as allowing the forest communities to pay for important social services such as health and education.
  • Amigos de Calakmul in Mexico: we signed an agreement with Terra Global and First Climate in 2021. Eni finances the start-up of the project and has committed to the long-term forward purchase of credits to support the conservation of the Ejido’s forests as well as participating in an ongoing oversight role.

In total, credits generated by REDD+ initiatives amounted to more than 2 million tonnes of CO₂ equivalent in 2021, mainly from the LCFP, Ntakata and LZRP projects.