Standard

The Climate Bonds Standard and Certification Scheme is a labelling scheme for Entities, Assets and Debt Instruments. Rigorous scientific criteria ensure that Certified investments in climate mitigation are consistent with the 1.5owarming limit in the Paris Agreement. The Scheme is used globally by bond issuers, governments, investors and the financial markets to prioritise investments which genuinely contribute to addressing climate change.

Agri-Food Deforestation and Conversion Free Sourcing

Status: A first look Webinar Climate Bonds 'Agri-Food Deforestation and Conversion Free Sourcing (Agri-Food DCF)' Criteria will be on 25 April 2024, register now!

Resources:
Timeline of Development:

Sep 2023: Technical Working Group (TWG) Launch

Nov 2023: Industry Working Group (IWG) Launch

Dec 2023: Feb 2024: Public Consultation 

April 2024: Criteria available

May 2024: Agri-food Entity Certification and New Label available

News: A First Look Webinar for Climate Bonds 'Agri-Food Deforestation and Conversion Free Sourcing (DCF Sourcing)' Criteria will be on 25 April 2024, register now!

 

Overview:

Deforestation and Conversion of Natural Ecosystems represents a key source of climate emissions and biodiversity loss driven by the current agri-food systems. Ensuring food supply chains free of deforestation and conversion of natural ecosystems is an imperative to achieve a climate-secure future and to put a stop to the loss of biodiversity worldwide.  

The agri-food supply chain is behind close to 90% of the deforestation taking place in the last decades, particularly in tropical habitats that are being destroyed to satisfy a growing demand for commodity crops, in particular beef, soya, palm-oil, cocoa and coffee.  

It is essential that any investment aiming to address climate change and environmental integrity consider deforestation and conversion of natural habitats. This new criteria will provide procurement guidelines for assessing the alignment of all food commodity procurement and sourcing strategies with 1.5°C transition for the land sector, to enable food retailers and other relevant stakeholders to issue credible green finance. 

What's Included: This criteria will include the establishment of clear dates to limit the timeframe of deforested-links products entering global supply chains and strong guidance on traceability and disclosure requirements, in coherence with new policy regulations driving changes in the market. In particular, the new criteria will ensure consistency with EU Regulation on Deforestation-Free Products (EUDR) and guide those aiming for the EU market for early awareness and adherence.  

The criteria will have a clear focus on climate and biodiversity impacts, but it will also include guidelines to ensure just transitions, including human rights and the rights of indigenous peoples. The criteria will be informed by other standards in the market and recent policy developments, with an aim to facilitate much needed progress towards food supply chains protective of climate and biodiversity.  

Why It Matters: Deforestation and ecosystem conversion significantly impact climate and biodiversity. Our new criteria will serve as a procurement guide for aligning food sourcing strategies with 1.5°C climate goals, helping to green the financial sector.

Focus Areas: The criteria emphasise climate and biodiversity, but also address social considerations like human and indigenous peoples' rights.

Applicability: The Agri-Food DCF Sourcing Criteria is targeted at entities: Companies operating within the food value chain which source agriculture commodities that are land-based and whose production might involve land use change from natural ecosystems (e.g. forests, peatlands, savannas). Assets, Use of Proceeds, Entities and Sustainability-Linked Debt instruments that enable or service the goal of deforestation and natural ecosystem conversion free sourcing (e.g. entities operating in the land-use change monitoring or traceability system space) can be certified under Climate Bonds Standard as 1.5ºC Aligned for eligible activities.

New Agri-Food DCF Sourcing Label: Concurrent with the initiation of the Agri-Food DCF Sourcing Criteria, Climate Bonds is introducing a new label for agri-food entities achieving certification, representing their compliance with deforestation and conversion free practices. This label, set to be released for public consultation alongside the criteria's introduction, is designed to signify sustainable practices within the agri-food sector. The label signifies an agri-food entity's adherence to best practice standards and offers assurance of the credibility and integrity of their DCF Sourcing practices for agri-foods.

Climate Bonds Team:

Technical Working Group:

Each TWG member contributes to the criteria development in their personal capacity and as a content experts in the field. This contribution does not imply endorsement either from Climate Bonds Initiative to the organisation the member is currently employed with, nor of the organisation to this work.


Supply Chain Expert Consultant:


Industry Working Group:


If you have technical or industry expertise in the sector and would like to collaborate in this work, reach out at agrifoodstandards@climatebonds.net.

The Agriculture Criteria are already available for use in certifications. Bonds and loans linked to eligible assets and projects will be aligned with the Paris Agreement 1.5°C limit. Get in contact with certification@climatebonds.net to start the certification process for your agriculture green bond.