Dr James R. Smith is Manager for Natural Climate Solutions (NCS) at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) where he works with member companies to integrate natural climate solutions into net zero strategies, and increase investment in NCS for climate mitigation and adaptation outcomes. As part of this role James leads the Secretariat of the Natural Climate Solutions Alliance (link here; co-convened with WEF), a multistakeholder coalition of over 45 organisations sharing a vision to enable Natural Climate Solutions to contribute their full potential towards the Paris climate goals as well as help solve some of the world’s most pressing and intractable environmental and social challenges. The Alliance develops guidance for companies on how to invest in high-quality NCS with integrity, and on scaling-up private sector investment in NCS through a demand signal campaign.
Prior to joining WBCSD, James worked for Mirova Natural Capital investing in NCS projects generating carbon credits for sale in both voluntary and compliance carbon markets, building upon experience developing avoided deforestation and forest restoration projects for Fauna & Flora International. From these experiences James has developed a deep technical understanding of Nature-based Solutions and voluntary carbon markets, working on both the supply and demand sides of the market.
James holds a PhD in tropical forest ecology and conservation from the ETH Zürich and has conducted field research in all three major tropical forest regions.