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REDD in the news: 8-14 February 2016

REDD in the newsREDD-Monitor’s weekly round up of the news on REDD, forests and climate change. The links are organised by date (click on the title for the full article). REDD-Monitor’s news links on are updated regularly. For past REDD in the news posts, click here.

CAD Productions wins ambitious project to film several documentaries in African countries to document the fight against deforestation (REDD+)
CAD Blog, February 2016
CAD Productions, the documentary production branch of GlobalCAD, has been awarded an ambitious project by the World Bank Group in order to document human impact stories of communities fighting against deforestation through REDD+ programs. The videos will be aimed to raise wider awareness of the positive outcomes, the human dimension, and the economic, ecological, social and governance improvements resulting from these efforts… The documentaries common narrative produced by CAD Productions will aim to support and document countries initiatives in turning their contributions to global climate mitigation targets into reality. Documentaries will be filmed in Cameroon, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Liberia, Madagascar, Mozambique and Uganda. The videos will present successful stories that implement activities that reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.

8 February 2016

Beyond Paris: avoiding the trap of carbon metrics
By Camila Moreno, Lili Fuhr and Daniel Speich Chassé, Open Democracy, 8 February 2016
Until recently terms like “carbon accounting,” “carbon footprint,” and “carbon offsetting” would have raised some quizzical eyebrows among the general public. Today, such carbon-based metrics are everywhere, but are they helpful or unhelpful in motivating the necessary action on climate change? Although the case for metrics may seem incontrovertible, what is measured is always a political choice, and such choices favor certain interests and approaches over others. In that sense the trajectory of global environmental policy over the last 30 years is a history of forgotten alternatives. Our worry is that transformational approaches will be ignored if carbon-based metrics become the only indicators that are used to guide investment decisions and set priorities for public policy.

ICAO strikes deal on aviation CO2 standards, focus turns to market mechanism
By Ben Garside, Carbon Pulse, 8 February 2016
Government negotiators at a two-week ICAO meeting on Monday agreed to global CO2 standards for newly-built planes from 2020, but they included loopholes that mean it will take until 2028 before all manufacturers’ models are forced to comply. The agreement on CO2 standards is the first in the UN aviation body’s twin-track approach to climate action, with a deal on a 2020 cap on all aviation emissions and a market-based mitigation measure aiming to be agreed later this year. Standards for planes of all sizes were unanimously recommended by the 170 officials on ICAO’s technical-level Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection, and they must now be approved by its 36-state Governing Council, ICAO said a statement. For large planes representing the bulk of emissions, ICAO said the new standards would apply to new aircraft designs from 2020 and for new deliveries of current designs from 2023 and staggered over five years.

EU Market: Carbon hits fresh 20-mth low amid weaker power prices
By Ben Garside, Carbon Pulse, 8 February 2016
EU carbon prices hit a fresh 20-month low of €5.15 on Monday, extending January’s massive losses that have now sliced almost 38% off the price to emit in Europe so far in 2016. The Dec-16 EUA contract eventually settled down 32 cents or 5.7% on ICE at €5.25, having broken below last week’s bottom of €5.46 earlier in the morning. Turnover on the benchmark futures was brisk at 19.7 million. Next-year German power prices also suffered heavy losses and were down 42 cents or 1.8% to a record low settlement of €21.94/MWh on EEX. Declines in both power and carbon, with coal prices and the euro’s value little changed, largely cancelled each other out to leave German clean dark spreads only a touch lower than Friday. “The signs from the energy mix, the abundant [EUA] auction supply and the overall declining trend suggest that further declines might be in the cards this week,” wrote analyst Bernadett Papp at brokers Vertis in a weekly blog post.

9 February 2016

A critical juncture for forests: Will the World Bank rise to meet the global challenge?
By Beatriz Zavariz, Paulina Deschamps, and Rachel Baker, Bretton Woods Project, 9 February 2016
The World Bank’s investment in Mexico is frequently cited as an exceptional example of success in fostering long-lasting advances in national forest management. The Bank investment in the forest sector has by no means been as positive or successful in other countries, such as the Bank’s highly problematic policy lending in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s forest sector (see Observer Spring 2015). However, the case of Mexico demonstrates the Bank’s potential to be a positive force in national conservation and poverty alleviation through strategic, long-term engagement in the forest sector, focused on community forestry. To position itself as a global leader on forests, the Bank must make a commitment to forest conservation at the highest level, coupled with a strengthening of its institutional capacity, policies, and forest strategy.

Critics fear RSPO’s stricter palm oil standards will create two-tier system
By Emma Howard, The Guardian, 9 February 2016
The world’s leading body for the certification of sustainable palm oil has created new standards to tackle deforestation, human rights violations and greenhouse gas emissions on certified plantations. The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) published the RSPO Next standards on 9 February following rising pressure from industry and campaigners who claim that certified firms are still participating in deforestation, land-grabbing and the destruction of biodiversity, such as the loss of habitat for orangutans… RSPO Next is, however, voluntary for members. The RSPO believes it would be impossible for some firms to implement the standards if they were compulsory.

[Australia] More meat, less methane: Beef cashes in on carbon economy
By Shan Goodwin, Farm Weekly, 9 February 2016
[N]ew methods for livestock producers to use to apply for Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) under the scheme are now coming online and they are even more aligned with lifting the profitability of beef businesses. The whole beef herd management method approved by the government late last year was developed by Meat and Livestock Australia in partnership with the Australian Agricultural Company . It is consistent with long-standing beef industry productivity messages such as reducing the number of unproductive animals, higher weaning rates, younger joining ages, higher average daily weight gains and reduced turn-off ages at the same weights. Dr Tom Davison, MLA project manager for the sustainable feedbase project, outlined the challenges and opportunities of the ERF at an MLA-organised beef industry breakfast in Brisbane, Queensland, this week.

Norway utilities float idea to tap ETS to meet non-ETS goals, as EU climate chief reveals struggles
By Ben Garside, Carbon Pulse, 9 February 2016
European nations should be allowed to pay for additional emissions reductions in ETS sectors to put towards targets in non-ETS sectors from 2020, according to a proposal floated by Norway’s power industry body Energy Norway on Monday. Energy Norway called for an assessment of its project-based flexibility mechanism idea as part of the European Commission’s post-2020 proposal to revise the so-called Effort Sharing Decision (ESD) for non-ETS sectors such as transport, buildings, agriculture and waste, which is due before August. The move would be bullish for EUA prices as ETS caps would effectively be tightened. It would also lower non-ETS costs for richer European states while potentially denying clean investment to poorer EU nations with cheaper abatement options.

[USA] Climate deal success in Paris just the beginning for Virginia Tech researcher
Augusta Free Press, 9 February 2016
Carol Franco, a senior research associate in the College of Natural Resources and Environment’s Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, has provided technical support for the Dominican Republic’s delegation to international climate talks since the 2009 U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen and has been attending such meetings as a delegation member since the 2012 conference in Doha, Qatar. Franco’s focus has been on REDD+ and the financial mechanisms to support its implementation. “The Paris conference was a huge success because there is an article that specifically focuses on forests and REDD+ in the new climate agreement,” Franco said. Forests, which cover about 31 percent of the Earth, absorb carbon from the atmosphere, but the conversion of forests to other land uses is responsible for about 10 percent of net global carbon emissions. The adoption of the Paris agreement was an extremely important step…

10 February 2016

‘No evidence’ that EU’s illegal timber policy is working
By Arthur Neslen, The Guardian, 10 February 2016
There is “no solid evidence” that an EU law has done anything to prevent the illegal timber trade or even that it has been implemented, according to a draft commission review seen by the Guardian. Nine EU countries have still not imposed penalties or taken action against timber traffickers and six others have yet to carry out checks on importers as required by the EU’s timber regulation. The review finds that “only a fraction” of private sector firms use independent monitoring groups to source their timber, and that loopholes anyway exempt many types of timber import from scrutiny. Alexandra Pardal, a spokeswoman for the campaign group Global Witness, said that the EU’s law had been a landmark in the fight against deforestation “but almost three years after its introduction, we haven’t seen a single prosecution in Europe.”

BP stresses need for global carbon pricing as world faces 25% rise in CO2 emissions to 2035
By Ben Garside, Carbon Pulse, 10 February 2016
Policymakers must accelerate moves to global carbon pricing to help rein in energy-related CO2 emissions projected to rise 25% between 2013-2035, oil giant BP said on Wednesday in its long-term energy outlook. BP projected that annual emissions growth will slow from 2.5% over the past decade to 0.7% by 2030, but recognised that “the profile for emissions is well above that recommended by the scientific community”. The projections came in BP’s Energy Outlook to 2035, the company’s influential annual report updating its view of global energy markets. BP CEO Bob Dudley said no single change or policy is likely to be sufficient on its own to tackle the “most likely” unsustainable path for carbon emissions, and that identifying which changes are likely to be most effective is fraught with difficulty.

Ecosystem Marketplace’s Carbon Newsletter
Ecosystem Marketplace, 10 February 2016
Here in Washington D.C., ‘tis the season of a melting blizzard, (American) football, presidential posturing, and… the Ecosystem Marketplace carbon survey. Many Carbon Chronicle subscribers already know the drill: organizations active in the carbon market receive a username and password in their inbox, they enter information about 2015 activities in our online survey platform, and a couple of months later we produce the only market-wide, freely available quantitative reports tracking corporate trends in voluntary offsetting and results-based payments for forest conservation. Last year’s State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets report has been downloaded more than 300,000 times since it’s release in June and the State of Forest Carbon Finance report has reached 100,000 downloads since November…

11 February 2016

The solution to climate change that has nothing to do with cars or coal
By Chris Mooney, The Washington Post, 11 February 2016
Of all the components of the recent Paris accord on climate change, the one that probably got the least attention but could have the most immediate potential involves the world’s forests. In a section some hailed as historic, the document endorsed a United Nations mechanism for wealthier nations to pay developing countries like Brazil for reducing deforestation… alls for saving rainforests have a long history, but including forests as a core part of the global climate solution is “very very recent,” said Naoko Ishii, CEO of the Global Environment Facility, an international body that invests in restoring tropical forests. “Without taking care of the forests, it’s going to be just impossible to achieve the Paris agreement.”

Forest monitoring skills on the rise
By Laura Dattaro, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 11 February 2016
Most countries have included forest and land use in their efforts to reduce emissions of carbon dioxides and other greenhouse gases—but as those in the carbon-accounting world will tell you, countries can’t manage what they can’t measure and monitor. And, in the past, many developing countries simply didn’t have the capacity to monitor their forests and related carbon emissions. Now research shows that the past decade has seen a marked improvement, driven largely by the struggle against climate change. “If there is forest monitoring capacity in a country, it’s there for a reason,” said Martin Herold, senior research associate at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and a co-author of a new paper assessing 99 countries’ monitoring capacity.

12 February 2016

Nothing left as PPP gov’t distributed 100% of Guyana’s productive forest
By Abena Rockcliffe, Kaieteur News, 12 February 2016
The new government was horrified to learn that its predecessor had distributed all of Guyana’s productive forest. There is literally nothing left. While previous revelations about the operations of certain logging companies – that are also into gold mining – had raised suspicions that this was the case, the disquieting suspicion was only confirmed last evening when Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman took the floor of the National Assembly to make his contribution to the ongoing Budget debate. Trotman told the House that there has to be a revision of National Forest Policy. He said that in 2016, the Ministry of Natural Resources will continue to update and rationalize policies and laws relating to the conservation, management, protection and sustainable development of the nation’s patrimony, its forest resources.

Norway seeks 20 mln more CERs to meet 2020 Kyoto goal
By Ben Garside, Carbon Pulse, 12 February 2016
Norway still needs to buy around 20 million CERs to put it on track to meeting its 2020 Kyoto Protocol emissions target after contracting a little over 10 million over the past year via an open tender. The country is one of the few remaining buyers of the UN-backed carbon credits and is negotiating deals with developers on a case-by-case basis to ensure it will have enough. “We are looking at contracting around 80 million CERs for calculation purposes,” said Sigurd Klakeg, an official in Norway’s environment ministry who oversees the programme. He said this would ensure the country gets the expected 60 million CERs it needs to hit its target under Kyoto’s second commitment period (2013-2020).

[USA] Best Way to Effect Change in Energy Markets: Markets or Government?
By Ken Silverstein, Environmental Leader, 12 February 2016
During last night’s Democratic presidential debate, Senator Bernie Sanders remarked that the reason climate change has not become an issue at least among many Republican candidates is that they are recipients of large fossil fuel donations. Is there a correlation? What separates the candidates’ positions? While it has become a more partisan issue in recent years, the oil, gas and coal lobbies have given the preponderance of their political donations to Republicans and the green lobby has given much of their monies to Democrats. But there are plenty of Republicans at both the state and national levels who support renewable energy and whose local economies depend on such development. Ditto for Democrats and fossil fuels. At its most essential level, though, it is a question of whether markets or governments are best equipped to address the matter.

13 February 2016

Forest funding for Fiji
By Felix Chaudhary, Fiji Times, 13 February 2016
Fiji received a $7.75million forest carbon partnership facility grant last year to assist the Forestry Department make the necessary preparations for possible funding under REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) programs. While speaking at the Regional Inception Workshop on REDD+ and Forestry Conservation on Wednesday in Nadi, Forestry Minister Osea Naiqamu said through the grant, progress had been made in obtaining the necessary data needed to meet further funding criteria. “We are hoping to be ready to receive potential emission reduction result-based incentive after the preparation phase which will end by 2019,” Mr Naiqamu said. “Fiji is hoping that by 2020, we are in the position to receive result-based payment through the carbon fund mechanisms.” Mr Naiqamu told Pacific forestry stakeholders that Fiji was selected, along with 20 other countries into the Carbon Fund pipeline in October last year.

[Nepal] Government begins efforts to help people cope with climate change
The Himalayan Times, 13 February 2016
The government has initiated activities to help climate vulnerable communities cope with climate change impacts, and reduce its impacts on its people, property and natural resources. According to a report titled ‘Intended Nationally Determined Contribution’ drafted by the Ministry of Population and Environment to submit it to the Germany-based United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Secretariat, the Government of Nepal is strengthening its institutions on climate change and REDD-plus programmes. The Climate Change Management Division at the MoPE, and REDD Implementation Centre under the Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation are developing necessary prerequisites for effective implementation of the convention provisions.

14 February 2016


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