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Genevieve Bennett, Forest Trends
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Carlene Bahler, AEMI
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More than 250 business leaders, environmental advocates, and government officials from throughout the United States and more than a dozen foreign countries will meet in Washington D.C. this week for the first Environmental Markets and Finance Summit.  The focus of the summit is the acceleration of public and private investments in the environment, according to organizers. It is being held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel October 29-31.

According to a study conducted by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the restoration economy in the United States is a $26 billion-a-year industry that employs more people than mining, logging, or steel, but most people have never heard of it.   “Two nonprofits with complimenting approaches and geographic focus on environmental solutions have partnered to bring this first-of-its-kind event, according to Stuart Haney, one of the organizers.  “Forest Trends, with its strong experience in global conservation finance, is joining forces with the new Alliance for Environmental Markets and Investments, whose founders have been involved in domestic mitigation and environmental markets of species, wetlands and water for nearly 25 years.”

“Investments in environmental restoration, conservation, and sustainable agriculture can give us more than one-third of the emissions reductions we need to control climate change,” explains Forest Trends CEO Michael Jenkins. “But these solutions are currently getting less than three percent of climate funding. We need to identify the financing pathways that can take us to scale quickly.”

Haney said the summit will feature panel discussions on “getting to scale” through an increase in private and public investment in natural infrastructure.  “Each panel will feed into the next, beginning with KKR, Calvert Impact Capital and the former Minister of the Environment of Peru opening with their vision of how to get to scale.  This discussion continues in the next panel with a focus on environmental markets, the restoration economy and challenges of valuing natural assets.

Another panel will discuss the demand side of offsets and mitigation from luxury goods maker Kering, Akridge Development, Federal Highway Administration, Electric Power Research Institute, and North American Coal’s Mitigation Resources.  A panel comprised of the EPA, USDA, FEMA, State Department, the World Bank and the Maryland Secretary of the Environment with focus on the topic of “enabling the environment” while yet another panel – a diverse mix of investors that includes Glenmede, Nature Vest, Quantified Ventures, Conservation Fund, and the New Mexico Educational Retirement Board – will discuss what needs to be done to boost investments.

Insurance gets its own panel with reinsurer Swiss Re, The Nature Conservancy and Rob Galbraith, author of “The End of Insurance as We Know It,” while a technology and innovation panel will offer up insights into observation technology, genetics, blockchain, big data, and mass and cross-laminated timber.

The final day of the summit will showcase successful investment models and next-generation approaches, with representatives from Goldman Sachs, Resource Environmental Solutions, and Norway discussing their reaction to key take-aways from the Summit and their visions for achievable actions moving forward.

Credentialed media are welcomed to register at no charge at