Recently, British journalist George Monbiot launched a Natural Climate Solutions campaign. In the spirit of encouraging debate about the dangers of offsetting emissions from fossil fuels against the carbon temporarily stored in ecosystems, I wrote a post asking the question, “Is the new Natural Climate Solutions campaign a distraction from the need to leave fossil fuels in the ground?”
Oil giants Eni and Shell have both recently announced plans to use trees to offset some of their ever increasing carbon emissions. Yesterday, NGOs put out a statement opposing the oil industry’s attempts to avoid its responsibility for climate breakdown. The statement is signed by six organisations (Friends of the Earth Mozambique and South Africa; Centre for Natural Resource Governance, Zimbabwe; No REDD in Africa Network; Re:Common, Italy; and Friends of the Earth International). The statement is endorsed by a further 109 organisations.
California’s cap-and-trade scheme has resulted in payments of hundreds of millions of dollars to forest owners. But a recent policy brief by Barbara Haya at the University of California, Berkeley argues that California may have exaggerated the emissions reductions of these forestry projects by as much as 80 million tons of carbon dioxide.
In 2009, the Jane Goodall Institute received US$2.76 million from the Norwegian Embassy in Tanzania. The money was to run a REDD project in the Masito Ugalla Ecosystem. Under the REDD project, farmers were violently evicted. The farmers received no compensation, and have had no help since the evictions.
The Harapan Rainforest Project covers an area of 100,000 hectares of lowland forest in South Sumatra and Jambi provinces, Indonesia. That’s about one-fifth of the lowland rainforest remaining in Sumatra. The forest was a state-run logging concession and was logged intensively in the past, but since 2008 it has been managed by Resotrasi Ekosistem Indonesia (PT Reki), as an ecosystem restoration project.
Last week, six Members of the European Parliament wrote to the California Air Resources Board urging the ARB to reject the proposed California Tropical Forest Standard. In November 2018, the ARB held a public meeting about the proposed Tropical Forest Standard. But the Board failed to reach a decision at that meeting.
Last week, the Climate Change Round-Table in El Salvador, a group of civil society organisations, handed over an open letter to the country’s president-elect Nayib Bukele. The letter is critical of the environmental and climate policies of the previous government, which focussed heavily on REDD.