REDD-Monitor’s weekly round-up of the news on REDD, forests and climate. The links are organised by date (click on the title for the full article). REDD-Monitor’s news links on delicious.com are updated regularly. For past REDD in the news posts, click here.
8 September 2014
Why zero deforestation is compatible with a reduction in poverty
By Tony Juniper, The Guardian, 8 September 2014 | Jonathon Porritt, the environmentalist, this week attacked fellow Greens who back the ambition of “zero deforestation”’. He accused colleagues of “absolutism”, holding back development, perpetuating poverty and even colonialism. He suggested that the aim of stopping deforestation is simplistic and unrealistic. His comments help mark an important fork in the road in the 40-year battle to save the tropical rainforests and highlight the choice that companies and countries have as they approach the complex question of sustainability. That fork is seen in two distinct schools of thought: those who back the idea of eliminating forest loss from supply chains and development, and those who see no choice but to trade off environmental goals against development ones. This is not to say that those in the first camp never expect another tree to be cut or that those in the second say all the forests should be sacrificed for economic growth.
NGOs Outline Position on Paris Agreement
Climate Change Policy & Practice (IISD), 8 September 2014 | Christian Aid, Green Alliance, Greenpeace, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) have published a report outlining what needs to be agreed at the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to be held in Paris, France, in December 2015, what has changed since 1992 on the road from Rio to Paris, the prospects for an agreement and why a global agreement is needed. The report, titled ‘Paris 2015: Getting a global agreement on climate change,’ argues that international negotiations are vital for countries to build on national approaches and work together towards a low-carbon future. In order to ensure meaningful action on climate change, the report suggests that the new agreement include the following elements: ambitious action before and after 2020; a strong legal framework with clear rules; a central role for equity; a long-term approach…
Environmental groups call for ‘ambitious’ climate deal
ITV News, 8 September 2014 | A coalition of environmental groups and charities have set out what they want to see from a global climate deal. The group, including Greenpeace, WWF, the RSPB and Christian Aid, said an international agreement should include ambitious plans by countries for taking action both before and after 2020. It should also provide a clear legal framework for delivering and monitoring greenhouse gas emissions cuts. An agreement, which backers want to see signed at the end of 2015, establish a framework with rolling commitments to reduce emissions and support efforts to adapt to a changing climate, they added.
How Peru May Deliver a Global Deal on Climate Change
By Lisa Friedman, ClimateWire, 8 September 2014 | Despite the number of key world leaders expected to be absent from the U.N. secretary-general’s world leaders’ summit on climate change this month, the incoming president of the next round of global warming negotiations predicts success. Peruvian Environment Minister Manuel Pulgar-Vidal told ClimateWire that he is not overly concerned by reports that the leaders of India, China, Australia and Germany are reportedly sending ministers to the Sept. 23 summit in New York. He argued that those countries are nevertheless engaged in the climate talks and said he expects the leaders who do attend to help propel the debate around a new global agreement to be signed in 2015. “We should recognize that the summit is a nonformal room to bring political will to the climate debate, so we should take that as an opportunity to hear the decisionmakers, to hear how much they are going to do,” he said.
How do forests recover after logging? New network seeks to find out
By Kate Evans, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 8 September 2014 | Logged or “disturbed” forests are fast expanding throughout the tropics, though they have not received anywhere near as much attention as so-called primary (“old-growth”) forests — until now. A new global network of institutions — the Tropical Managed Forests Observatory (TMFO) — is for the first time studying managed forests at the regional and global scale, comparing the way forests in the Amazon, the Congo Basin and Southeast Asia recover after selective logging. The idea of the undisturbed, pristine tropical rainforest captures people’s imagination — and the priorities of researchers and donors, says Plinio Sist, a scientist with the Center for International Agricultural Research for Development (CIRAD) who coordinates the network, which includes the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).
Shell Oil’s Jekyll and Hyde Approach to Addressing Climate Change
By Ben Elgin, Bloomberg, 8 September 2014 | In April, Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) headlined a group of 70 companies that called on world governments to cap greenhouse gas emissions at a level that will contain global warming. The “Trillion Tonne Communique,” named for the amount of heat-trapping gases that scientists believe can be added to the atmosphere while keeping warming within 2 degrees Celsius of pre-industrial levels, was described as a “global call to arms from businesses who take the science of climate change seriously and are demanding a proactive policy response.” For all its vaunted language, Shell continues to fund and support several groups pursuing the opposite aim: to stymie climate policies sprouting up around the globe that the Trillion Tonne Communique applauds.
[Indonesia] Draft plantations bill on foreign ownership limit hits presidential hurdle
By Michael Taylor, Reuters, 8 September 2014 | Indonesia’s president is against a draft bill that would retroactively limit foreign ownership of plantations to no more than 30 percent, the country’s investment chief said, on concerns it may expose the government to possible legal action. A new draft bill drawn up by members of Indonesia’s parliament aims to maximise land usage, protect indigenous people and open up the sector to smaller, local players. But the foreign ownership part – currently set at a maximum of 95 percent – has worried foreign investors and domestic plantation firms who may see asset values fall, analysts say. Foreign plantation firms currently operating in Southeast Asia’s largest economy include Singapore-listed Golden Agri-Resources and Wilmar International, Malaysia’s Sime Darby Bhd and Cargill. For the draft bill to become law, both parliamentarians and the government must reach an agreement.
9 September 2014
Before carbon is counted, policy indicators offer way to measure REDD+ progress
By Imogen Badgery-Parker, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 9 September 2014 | Countries can measure their progress in REDD+ by assessing their policy environment, even if supportive governance structures are not in place and they aren’t ready to measure their carbon emission reductions, a recent study shows… [D]espite the emphasis on measuring carbon, keeping trees standing begins with getting governance and policies into shape, argue the study’s authors, and that process can — and should — be measured too. “For a country to succeed with REDD+, it needs to have a suitable governance context and policies in place,” said lead author Kaisa Korhonen-Kurki, of the Helsinki University Centre for Environment and the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). “So it’s important to measure policy indicators to see whether a country has the policy environment that is needed to keep the trees standing and so store the carbon,” she added.
Greenhouse gas levels rising at fastest rate since 1984
By Matt McGrath, BBC News, 9 September 2014 | A surge in atmospheric CO2 saw levels of greenhouse gases reach record levels in 2013, according to new figures. Concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere between 2012 and 2013 grew at their fastest rate since 1984. The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) says that it highlights the need for a global climate treaty. But the UK’s energy secretary Ed Davey said that any such agreement might not contain legally binding emissions cuts, as has been previously envisaged. The WMO’s annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin doesn’t measure emissions from power station smokestacks but instead records how much of the warming gases remain in the atmosphere after the complex interactions that take place between the air, the land and the oceans… The bulletin suggests that in 2013, the increase in CO2 was due not only to increased emissions but also to a reduced carbon uptake by the Earth’s biosphere.
Climate Week NYC Will Help Secure Critical Business and Government Buy-In for a Global Climate Deal Next Year
By Mark Kenber (The Climate Group), The Huffington Post, 9 September 2014 | In a couple of weeks, New York City will be host to more than a hundred events about climate change. From roundtables showcasing the latest low carbon innovation, to mass gatherings demanding climate action, this unprecedented mobilization, under the umbrella of Climate Week NYC, will be critical to the success of the UN Climate Summit convened by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on September 23. With little over a year to go until crucial climate talks in Paris in December 2015, I hope this week will show we’ve moved on from finding excuses not to act and arguing about whose approach is best, to working together and taking decisive action now. This month in New York, the business voice will be heard loud and clear. More companies and investors are committed to bold climate action than ever before.
World Bank to Expand Plan to Buy Emission Project Credits
By Matthew Carr, Bloomberg, 9 September 2014 | The World Bank seeks to expand a plan to buy emission credits from projects including those that capture heat-trapping gas at garbage dumps, underpinning demand in the carbon markets for the first time in nine years. The proposal would initially use options to help spur about $100 million in government donations to a World Bank methane-reducing facility, according to a bank consultation document obtained by Bloomberg News and confirmed as genuine by Robert Bisset, a spokesman for the lender in Washington. The program is designed to create more emission reductions for each dollar spent because only projects offering to cut for the lowest prices would win access to its money, the document shows. World leaders are gathering in New York Sept. 23 to spur climate talks through next year. Cutting methane, which traps 21 times more heat than carbon dioxide, provides the best opportunity to slow global warming through 2050…
Chemical firm gets first loan in China using CO2 permits as collateral
Point Carbon, 9 September 2014 | China’s Industrial Bank said on Tuesday it has lent 40 million yuan ($6.5 mln) to a chemical company using carbon permits as collateral, showing firms are exploring new routes to funding amid a tightening of credit growth in the mainland. [R-M: Subscription needed.]
Illegal loggers blamed for murder of Peru forest campaigner
By Dan Collyns, The Guardian, 9 September 2014 | Illegal loggers are being blamed for the murder of four Asheninka natives including a prominent anti-logging campaigner, Edwin Chota, near the Peruvian frontier with Brazil. Authorities in Peru have confirmed that Chota, the leader of Alto Tamaya-Saweto, a community in Peru’s Amazon Ucayali region, fought for his people’s right to gain titles to their land and expel illegal loggers who raided their forests on the Brazilian border. He featured in reports by National Geographic and the New York Times that detailed how death threats were made against him and members of his community. “This is a terribly sad outcome. And the saddest part is that it was a foreseen event,” said Julia Urrunaga, Peru director for the Environmental Investigation Agency, an international conservation group.
10 September 2014
Trust Me, You’ll Want to Hear George Marshall Talk About “Multivalent” Climate Change
By Carol Linnitt, DeSmogBlog, 10 September 2014 | Eight years ago, climate communications expert George Marshall picked up a copy of The Independent from his doorstep on a Saturday morning. Looking at the front cover of that magazine, he said, got him thinking about the “peculiarities” of climate change. In bold letters the headline read “The Melting Mountains: How Climate Change is Destroying the World’s Most Spectacular Landscapes” and inside it outlined how alpine tourism is at risk with roughly 50 years left before a warmer climate begins to claim the snowpack. Marshall said what really struck him was what he saw next. “It was the Saturday newspaper, so I picked it up and out falls the travel supplement. The travel supplement is dedicated to visiting those spectacular places before they go, entirely by the medium of international flights.”
Green Climate Fund lowers cash demands to $10bn
By Ed King, RTCC, 10 September 2014 | The UN’s flagship Green Climate Fund has scaled back plans to raise US$ 15 billion by the end of 2014, with a new goal of $10bn. Senior government officials from developed countries met in Bonn this week for technical discussions over the fund’s development. So far only Germany has pledged significant backing, with chancellor Angela Merkel offering $1 billion the day after the country won the football world cup.
[EU] Heavy industries renew calls for ‘carbon leakage’ protection
EurActiv, 10 September 2014 | Raising the EU’s emission targets for 2030 would threaten industrial competitiveness if they are not accompanied by supporting measures, according to the chemical industry and other energy-intensive sectors, which stepped up their campaign for protective measures in Brussels on Tuesday (9 September). Existing measures to support industrial sectors at risk of relocating abroad due to the EU’s energy and climate policies, should be revamped to focus “on sectors really affected by leakage risk”, according to the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC). ‘Carbon leakage’ happens when companies reconsider their European investments or relocate their factories outside of Europe, where the cost of compliance with environmental legislation is lower. European industry groups have often invoked the carbon leakage threat, although there is little evidence proving the scale of the problem.
Going green is good for the economy (depending on your economic worldview)
By Simon Evans, Carbon Brief, 10 September 2014 | The UK economy will be larger, its households better off, unemployment lower and its businesses richer if it chooses to cut emissions. Say what? Most studies show tackling climate change will be a drag on the economy, but a new report from Cambridge Econometrics is different. It says the UK economy would be 1.1 per cent bigger in 2030 if it met its carbon targets, despite the costs associated with decarbonisation… The report found that tackling emissions would be beneficial across the UK economy, from households to industry and even the Treasury. Apart from the boost to GDP, it found there would be 190,000 more jobs in 2030 if carbon budgets are met than if no further action to cut emissions is taken. It found that energy bills would go up by £127 per household in 2030 and that each home would have to spend another £155 per year. But the cost savings from using less energy would cancel out almost all of these costs.
[Indonesia] Not everyone benefits from community forest management
By Sébastien de Royer, Agroforestry World Blog, 10 September 2014 | Available land for agriculture is scarce on the island of Java in Indonesia and more than 50% of its forests are controlled by the state-owned forest company, known as Perhutani. In 2001, Perhutani developed a joint forest management system with communities living adjacent to forests, called Pengelolaan Hutan Bersama Masyarakat (PHBM/Community-based Forest Management), to improve communities’ economic and social conditions. However, at one place in West Java it seems that that not everyone is enjoying the benefits of PHBM: only the wealthiest are profiting.
11 September 2014
Stopping climate meltdown needs the political courage that saved the ozone layer
By George Monbiot, The Guardian, 11 September 2014 | This is what’s happening with climate change caused by humans. The obvious solution, in fact the only real and lasting solution, is to decide that most fossil fuel reserves will be left in the ground, while alternative energy sources are rapidly developed to fill the gap. Everything else is talk. But not only will governments not contemplate this step, they won’t even discuss it… The same applies to biodiversity, fisheries, neonicotinoid pesticides and a host of other issues affecting the living planet: negotiators have tried to work their way under, over and through the gate, while ensuring that the barrier remains in place… By the mid-1990s, the doctrine of market fundamentalism – also known as neoliberalism – had almost all governments by the throat. Any politicians who tried to protect the weak from the powerful or the natural world from industrial destruction were punished by the corporate media or the markets.
Ozone layer is healing – but we are now contributing to climate change more than ever
By Rose Troup Buchanan, The Independent, 11 September 2014 | The Earth’s protective ozone layer is slowly recovering, United Nations scientists report, but the unintended knock-on effect is increasing climate change. Successful implementation of the 1987 Montreal Protocol, aimed at reducing Ozone Depleting Substances (ODSs) including many chemicals used in aerosol cans and refrigerators, mean the ozone layer is expected to recover to 1980 levels by the middle of this century. However, certain chemicals used as substitutes for harmful man-made CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) are potent global warming gases, contributing emissions growing at a rate of about seven per cent annually, and can be expected to “very significantly” affect climate change. “There are positive indications that the ozone layer is on track to recovery towards the middle of the century”, said U.N. Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.
Which narrative will prevail at the UN’s climate summit?
By Saleemul Huq, RTCC, 11 September 2014 | The Secretary General of the United Nations Mr Ban Ki Moon has invited heads of government, business and civil society to a Climate Summit at the United Nations in New York on September 23. I have been privileged to be one of the 38 representatives from civil society invited to participate in the event. A few days before the summit, on September 21, civil society will be organizing a massive March for Climate in Manhattan where groups from all over the world will be marching calling for global action to tackle climate change. I will be joining the march with the Bangladesh contingent on September 21 as well the summit at the UN Headquarters two days later.
Development banks pledge to step up climate action
By Alister Doyle, Reuters, 11 September 2014 | The world’s six multilateral development banks promised on Thursday to do more to help emerging nations fight climate change as part of efforts to reinvigorate flagging work on a U.N. deal to limit temperature rises. In a statement before a Sept. 23 summit on global warming to be hosted by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York, the World Bank and other banks said they had delivered $75 billion in financing since they started joint tracking of funds in 2011. “We now pledge to build on our work so far and to enhance our climate finance action, in accordance with our organizations’ respective mandates, expertise, and resources,” the banks said in a statement. They did not give any target for funds.
Illegal tropical deforestation driven globally by “agro-conversion”
By John C. Cannon, mongabay.com, 11 September 2014 | Nearly 50 percent of tropical deforestation to make room for commercial agriculture between 2000 and 2012 was done so illegally. That’s a key finding of a report published by the U.S.-based nonprofit organization Forest Trends looking at the global tide of tropical forest “agro-conversion.” “I don’t think there was sufficient appreciation for the scale of this problem,” said lead author Sam Lawson. The publication systematically documents abuses of national and international laws that resulted in deforestation to satiate the world’s hunger for cheap agricultural products. In Bolivia, for example, land clearing to plant soybeans, three-quarters of which end up being exported, has been the main cause of deforestation. The parliament in New Guinea investigated the country’s process to control agro-conversion in 2012 and discovered that 90 percent of licenses were tainted by corruption or fraud.
Tropical forests illegally destroyed for commercial agriculture
By Sam Jones, The Guardian, 11 September 2014 | Increasing international demand for palm oil, beef, soy and wood is fuelling the illegal destruction of tropical forests at an alarming rate, according to new analysis that suggests nearly half of all recent tropical deforestation is the result of unlawful clearing for commercial agriculture. The report, by the Washington-based NGO Forest Trends, concludes that 71% of tropical deforestation between 2000 and 2012 was due to commercial cultivation. Of that deforestation, 49% was caused by illegal clearing to make way for agricultural products whose largest buyers include the EU, China, India, Russia and the US. The global market for beef, leather, soy, palm oil, tropical timbers, pulp and paper – worth an estimated $61bn (£38bn) a year – resulted in the clearance of more than 200,000 square kilometres of tropical forest in the first decade of the 21st century, the report says.
How the Rise of the Global Middle Class Is Driving Illegal Deforestation – and How We Can Change the Paradigm
By Allie Goldstein, Forest Carbon Portal, 11 September 2014 | A new report released today by Forest Trends finds that deforestation for commercial agriculture has been rampant in tropical forested countries since the turn of the century, and nearly half of all tropical deforestation (49%) has been illegal. Though illegality has not been at the forefront of governments’ discussions on curbing deforestation, addressing it could hold an important key to keeping the world’s remaining tropical forests intact – and keeping the carbon those forests store out of the atmosphere.
[Brazil] Amazon deforestation jumps 29%
Reuters, 11 September 2014 | The destruction of the world’s largest rainforest accelerated last year with a 29% spike in deforestation, according to final figures released by the Brazilian government on Wednesday that confirmed a reversal in gains seen since 2009. Satellite data for the 12 months through the end of July 2013 showed that 5,891 sq km of forest were cleared in the Brazilian Amazon, an area half the size of Puerto Rico. Fighting the destruction of the Amazon is considered crucial for reducing global warming because deforestation worldwide accounts for 15% of annual emissions of heat-trapping gases, more than the entire transportation sector. Besides being a giant carbon sink, the Amazon is a biodiversity sanctuary, holding billions of species yet to be studied.
Brazil confirms Amazon deforestation sped up in 2013
By Marcelo Teixeira, Planet Ark, 11 September 2014 | Satellite data for the 12 months through the end of July 2013 showed that 5,891 square km (3,360 square miles) of forest were cleared in the Brazilian Amazon, an area half the size of Puerto Rico. Fighting the destruction of the Amazon is considered crucial for reducing global warming because deforestation worldwide accounts for 15 percent of annual emissions of heat-trapping gases, more than the entire transportation sector. Besides being a giant carbon sink, the Amazon is a biodiversity sanctuary, holding billions of species yet to be studied. Preliminary data released late last year by Brazil’s space research center INPE had indicated deforestation was on the rise again, as conservationist groups had warned. The largest increases in deforestation were seen in the states of Para and Mato Grosso, where the bulk of Brazil’s agricultural expansion is taking place.
[USA] As Climate Change Hits Home, Americans Call for Action
By Frances Beinecke (NRDC), The Huffington Post, 11 September 2014 | The World Meteorological Organization announced this week that climate change pollution has reached record levels. Carbon pollution alone — one of the most potent greenhouse gases — had its biggest spike in 30 years. These measurements tell an alarming story about what is happening in our atmosphere. To understand what they mean here on earth, we just have to look outside the window… The signs of climate change are visible across the nation, from the drought-stricken fields of Central California to the flooded streets of Michigan. Extreme weather is turning people’s lives upside down and costing communities millions of dollars in damaged infrastructure and added health care costs. That is why Americans of all walks of life are calling for climate action.
12 September 2014
[Liberia] A Feeble Response to Ebola
By Silas Kpanan’Ayoung Siakor and Nora Bowier, New York Times, 12 September 2014 | Liberia has been hardest hit by the epidemic. So far the country has counted 1,224 likely Ebola deaths, of which 508 have been confirmed by laboratory testing. Most of its hospitals have either closed or are barely functioning. In Bong County, in the north, the two largest hospitals have been shuttered, leaving over 330,000 people without health care. As foreign staff depart, borders close and the last planes leave, it seems that the world intends to cut us off and allow us to die.
UN climate summit set for major carbon pricing announcement
By Ed King, RTCC, 12 September 2014 | The huge number of countries and businesses interested in pricing carbon will become clear at the UN’s forthcoming climate summit, according to a senior World Bank official. Rachel Kyte, the bank’s special envoy for climate change, said the meeting will see a number of states, regions and businesses announcing plans to factor in the costs of burning fossil fuels. “We believe by the time we get to the summit we will have a very substantial number of countries, states, cities and companies and we will be able to talk about significant percentages of global GDP, the world’s population and greenhouse gas emissions coming from economies where carbon is being priced,” she told RTCC. “We think that’s news because we think people don’t believe that is really happening.”
Bumitama Pilots High Carbon Stock Assessment
Bumitama Agri press release, 12 September 2014 | In April 2014, Bumitama Agri Limited (“BAL”) and its subsidiaries (collectively referred as the “Group”) commenced work on piloting a Rapid High Carbon Stock Assessment (“the HCS Assessment”). The initiative was in response to the changing global trend on sustainability as well as to provide practical experiences towards reviewing and reformulating the Group’s new environmental and social policies at the end of 2014. The HCS Assessment allows the engagement of multi-stakeholders, some of whom are the Group’s customers, Wilmar International Limited (“Wilmar”) and Golden Agri-Resources Limited (“GAR”); experienced consultant company, PT Ata Marie (Ata Marie); and Aidenvironment.
[USA] CIOMA Requests Attorney General Investigation of Legality of Fuels Under the Cap
CIOMA press release, 12 September 2014 | The California Independent Oil Marketers Association (CIOMA) today requested that the California Attorney General immediately open an investigation into “competition destruction” of the independent oil and fuels industry by the California Air Resources Board as a result of the design of the wholesale fuel market under “Fuels Under the Cap” regulations. In a letter dated September 8, 2014 addressed to California AG Kamala Harris, CIOMA described the impact of AB 32 cap-and-trade regulations on its members, stating that Fuels Under the Cap will create an anti-competitive, high-risk market for independent fuel distributors, which could cause many of its members’ businesses in California to fail. “The typical independent fuel supplier cannot pass along the cost of cap-and-trade to its wholesale fuel customers without absorbing significant financial risk,” said Jay McKeeman, Vice President of Government Affairs and Communication for CIOMA.
13 September 2014
Naomi Klein: the hypocrisy behind the big business climate change battle
By Naomi Klein, The Guardian, 13 September 2014 | I denied climate change for longer than I care to admit. I knew it was happening, sure. But I stayed pretty hazy on the details and only skimmed most news stories. I told myself the science was too complicated and the environmentalists were dealing with it. And I continued to behave as if there was nothing wrong with the shiny card in my wallet attesting to my “elite” frequent-flyer status. A great many of us engage in this kind of denial. We look for a split second and then we look away. Or maybe we do really look, but then we forget. We engage in this odd form of on-again-off-again ecological amnesia for perfectly rational reasons. We deny because we fear that letting in the full reality of this crisis will change everything.
The battle for the rainforest begins now
Rainforest Foundation Norway, 13 September 2014 | In spite of the unprecedented global attention paid to the issue of deforestation, the destruction of tropical forests continues on a dramatic scale, according to the new report State of the rainforest from Rainforest Foundation Norway and GRID-Arendal. “Half of the world’s rainforest has been lost since World War 2, and now the rainforest countries are planning further destruction in the years to come. We do not have much time to turn things around. Fortunately, there are some examples that show that it is possible to change our approach,” says Dag Hareide, executive director of Rainforest Foundation Norway.
Certifying logging concessions certifies social benefits in Congo Basin
By Paolo Cerutti and Joan Baxter, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 13 September 2014 | When it comes to sustaining forests so that they can sustain people, forest certification has been heralded as an important tool for improved forest stewardship. The jury is still out on just how much forest certification schemes can tackle deforestation and forest degradation. But a recent study by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) shows that logging concessions in the Congo Basin that have been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), one of several certification schemes in use around the world, can indeed outperform non-certified concessions on a range of variables used to measure social outcomes. The study was undertaken in 2013 in Cameroon, Gabon and the Republic of Congo on nine certified and nine non-certified Forest Management Units (FMUs), which in 2013 covered the largest area of certified natural tropical forest in the world, with about 5.3 million hectares.
[Indonesia] C. Kalimantan launches 10 green schools to support REDD+
ANTARA News, 13 September 2014 | The Managing Agency of the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation Plus (REDD+) has launched 10 green schools in Central Kalimantan Province. “We hope every stakeholder provides support to the establishment of green schools by REDD+, particularly the first 10 schools to be launched,” Yusurum Jagau, representative of the agency in Central Kalimantan said here on Saturday. The campaign for green schools has been running since 2011 in some 185 schools and has involved more than one thousand participants in Central Kalimantan, he added. In addition to green schools, the agency has also developed green villages, particularly in the location of the former geothermal power plant in Kapuas, South Barito, Pisau Isle, and Palangkaraya.
[Nepal] Clouds of Uncertainty
By Benupraj Bhattarai, myrepublica.com, 13 September 2014 | While the locals, especially the indigenous nationalities, feel threatened, environmentalists in the district, however, try to allay their fear. The Ilam district president for the Federation for Community Forest Users Groups (FECOFUN), Dhurba Shrestha says there is no need to panic. “We are working toward preventing the impact of climate change from affecting the forestlands. There is no particular reason why the people should fear about their livelihood when are so actively involved in protection of the forests,” says he. In the same breath he adds that the right of consumers to use forest products should not be breached at any cost. “Things will get better if we start conserving trees and increase the process of carbon sequestration in the forest areas,” explains Shrestha. “And we have taking steps to that effect, too.”
[South Korea] Carbon plan to increase electric bills by 3,000 won
Korea JoongAng Daily, 13 September 2014 | The government’s decision last Tuesday to start a carbon-emission trading system next year will increase regular households’ monthly electricity bills by about 3,000 won ($2.90) for the next three years, according to data from the Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco). The price will increase because Kepco’s power generating affiliates will have to buy extra carbon credits due to the massive amount of emissions from power plants, according to Kepco data submitted to the National Assembly’s trade, industry and energy committee and released by committee member and Saenuri Party lawmaker Lee Che-ik yesterday. The carbon emission trading system will run a trial period from January through 2017. According to Lee’s statement, Kepco’s affiliates will have to buy carbon credits worth about 400 billion won per year. This will require Kepco to collect about 1.3 trillion won more through its customers’ power bills by 2017.
[UK] Preston men admit to playing part in £6m global credit scam
Lancashire Evening Post, 13 September 2014 | Three Preston men were involved in a multi-million pound carbon credit theft that shut down the European carbon trading market for a week, costing millions to the economy, a court heard. Father-of-three Hanif Patel, 53, of Elgin Street, Deepdale, who was the director of a PPI firm, appeared at Preston Crown Court with Mohammed Hanif Patel, 53, of St Thomas’s Road and a third Preston man. A probe was launched by the National Crime Agency into the theft of 475,000 EU carbon dioxide emissions allowances (EUAs) worth £6m from the Czech Republic’s carbon registry OTE, on January 18, 2011 – following a hoax bomb scare at their base. It formed part of a wider theft of a total of 1.25 million carbon credits – a form of permit allowing organisations to emit a tonne of carbon dioxide, which can be traded between firms. The theft was discovered on January 19, 2011, but thieves had already sold the credits on.
14 September 2014
Naomi Klein: ‘We tried it your way and we don’t have another decade to waste’
By Suzanne Goldberg, The Guardian, 14 September 2014 | With her new book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs The Climate, Klein hopes to set off the kind of powerful mass movement that could – finally – produce the radical changes needed to avoid a global warming catastrophe and fix capitalism at the same time. She argues that we have all been thinking about the climate crisis the wrong way around: it’s about capitalism – not carbon – the extreme anti-regulatory version that has seized global economies since the 1980s and has set us on a course of destruction and deepening inequality. “I think we are on a collision course,” she says. Twenty-five years ago, when the first climate scientist was called to testify to Congress and make global warming a policy challenge, there might have still been time for big industries to shrink their carbon footprints. But governments at the time were seized with the idea that there should be no restraints on industry.
By Jan Rocha, Climate News Network, 14 September 2014 | The unprecedented drought now affecting São Paulo, South America’s giant metropolis, is believed to be caused by the absence of the “flying rivers” − the vapour clouds from the Amazon that normally bring rain to the centre and south of Brazil. Some Brazilian scientists say the absence of rain that has dried up rivers and reservoirs in central and southeast Brazil is not just a quirk of nature, but a change brought about by a combination of the continuing deforestation of the Amazon and global warming. This combination, they say, is reducing the role of the Amazon rainforest as a giant “water pump”, releasing billions of litres of humidity from the trees into the air in the form of vapour.
PHOTO credit: Image created using wordle.net.