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.
28 March 2016
Baba Brinkman Unleashes Rap’s Fury on Climate Change Deniers
By Adam Toobin, Inverse, 28 March 2016
For Baba Brinkman, the world’s only peer-reviewed rapper, the term “climate change sounds so benign.” The world is not facing a smooth transition to warmer, longer summers. We’re looking at the destruction of our planet as we know it; this is climate chaos.
And maybe if we can’t convey the drama in a name, we need a whole new set of tactics. Baba’s suggestion: how about rap? His Rap Guide to Climate Chaos just hit its funding goal on Indiegogo. And coming off performances at those 2015 UN climate talks in Paris, Baba is ready to spread the gospel of climatology and incite a global response.
With songs like “Laudato Si,” based on Pope Francis’ encyclical on our environmental crisis, and “Make It Hot,” Baba’s unrelenting flow focusses on understanding and criticizing our current inaction.
Baby steps for Japan’s JCM as it seeks to break new ground
By Stian Reklev, Carbon Pulse, 28 March 2016
Japan’s Joint Crediting Mechanism is inching forward by registering a handful of new projects, but progress is slow with no firm demand and as regulators take a firm line in tackling issues not previously faced in international carbon markets.
Shinzo Abe’s administration hopes the JCM will contribute some 50-100 million tonnes of CO2e cuts by 2030 and has signed bilateral agreements with 16 countries, including big emitters such as Indonesia, Mexico, and Saudi Arabia.
But the offset mechanism, which has been developing since 2010, has so far not managed to attract much investment from domestic companies.
Two energy efficiency projects in Indonesia were registered last week, taking the total amount of approved JCM projects to 10. But the total emission cuts expected from those projects amount to less than 2,000 tonnes of CO2e per year.
[USA] Todd Stern on Paris, the future and learning from the past
By Jean Chemnick, eenews.net, 28 March 2016
Todd Stern says struggling through Kyoto, Japan, and Copenhagen, Denmark, helped teach him what a climate deal would need to succeed.
The State Department’s top climate diplomat entered the world of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change as a negotiator in 1997 — the same year the world reached its first deal to contain global warming.
He remembers the summit in the ancient Japanese capital that year and the next in Buenos Aires, Argentina, focused on implementation, as “sprawling” and “quite political” affairs — even more so than when he returned to the process a decade later. It produced an agreement with what Stern described as a “sharp, bright line” running through the middle of it — dividing the legally binding commitments demanded of a few wealthy nations from the voluntary actions the vast majority of countries were invited to take.
29 March 2016
Developing nations urged to boycott Paris Agreement signing
By Ed King, Climate Home, 29 March 2016
Developing countries should refuse to sign the Paris climate agreement until they receive stronger assurances on finance, technology and compensation for damage from extreme weather.
That’s the key recommendation in a five-page briefing from an influential Malaysia-based think tank sent to members of the Arab Group of nations last week.
“It will be more advantageous to developing countries to wait this year and not rush into signing of the PA [Paris Agreement],” says the note, written by Meena Raman from Third World Network.
“Otherwise, as indicated above, we lose the political leverage that is critical to secure the necessary conditions that will enable developing countries to meet their obligations.”
Now is the time to fast-track climate action
By Achim Steiner and Christiana Figueres, The Japan Times, 29 March 2016
Last December in Paris, world leaders came together to agree on a set of goals and pathways for decarbonizing the global economy and increasing our capacity to adapt to climate change. It was a landmark achievement, but it was just the beginning. Every country — with the support of cities, the private sector, and citizens — must now move swiftly to fulfill its promises and bring climate change under control.
The need for urgent, concerted action cannot be emphasized enough. Any delay will cause negative consequences to continue to accumulate. This will not only cause tremendous suffering, especially to the world’s most vulnerable people; it will reverberate for decades to come, making the key goal of keeping the increase in global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius (relative to pre-industrial levels) increasingly costly.
[Australia] Carbon farming: is it worth the added paper work?
By Fiona Pepper, ABC Rural, 29 March 2016
Farmers looking to plant trees on their farms may be eligible for carbon credits, but is the financial reward worth the added work?
Last year the Federal Government introduced the Emission Reduction Fund, which aims to reward farmers who remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by planting trees on their properties.
Forestry Consultant, Dr Peter Ritson said there was a financial incentive for getting involved in the program but warned farmers of the amount of paper work involved in the scheme.
“There is a fair amount of bureaucracy and paperwork to deal with I would have to say.
“In most cases that would be beyond an individual farmer, particularly if they’ve only got a small area of planting, perhaps 10 or a 100 hectares,” Dr Ritson said.
DiCaprio visits Indonesian jungle to support environmentalists
AFP 29 March 2016
Oscar-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio has visited the Indonesian jungle to help protect a biodiverse area from deforestation.
Fresh from clinching his long-awaited first Oscar last month, DiCaprio spent the weekend in the Leuser ecosystem, on Indonesia’s main western island of Sumatra.
The actor, an ardent supporter of environmental causes, was pictured accompanied by local environmentalists and flanked by two critically endangered Sumatran elephants.
The elephants are among a dizzying array of rare animals who live in Leuser’s dense rainforests.
DiCaprio said on his Instagram account that his foundation, which supports numerous environmental projects, was backing local groups to establish a “mega-fauna sanctuary” in the area.
30 March 2016
Clearer Skies Await
By Katie Cramer, RegBlog, 30 March 2016
Despite advancements in international climate governance, including the recent Paris Agreement, regulation of one increasingly significant contributor of carbon emissions has lagged: the aviation industry. This will most likely change soon, however, as an agreement sponsored by the United Nations (UN) moves closer to adoption.
A specialized UN agency called the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is overseeing the effort to set the first-ever, international binding fuel efficiency standards for new aircraft. The standards, which call for fuel cuts of about four percent, cleared a major hurdle in February of this year when all 170 international aviation experts on an ICAO committee agreed to send the proposal to the agency’s governing board for formal adoption. Following the pattern with other energy-saving rules, the new aircraft efficiency requirements would take effect gradually; new airplane designs would be required to incorporate the fuel efficiency standards by 2020, and manufacturers could not produce non-compliant aircraft after 2028.
The ICAO emphasized the flexibility built into the proposed standards, noting structural changes to aircraft designs could help cut emissions. Winglets– curved tips at the end of each wing – offer one example of a design change that some airlines, including Southwest, have already adopted. Winglets can lower an aircraft’s fuel consumption by three to five percent. Opting for more efficient engines is another design change that would help cut an aircraft’s emissions.
Papua New Guinea becomes first country to file offical national climate action plan
By James Murray, BusinessGreen, 30 March 2016
UN launches new website to track lodging of crucial National Determined Contribution climate action plans
The Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) that enabled the successful finalisation of last year’s historic Paris Agreement climate change deal are turning into Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and Papua New Guinea has this week been named as the first country to officially file its new climate action plan with the UN.
The Paris Agreement was underpinned by a series of voluntary INDCs from national governments, which set out how they intended to curb emissions and enhance climate resilience.
Mapping the Peruvian Amazon, with MAAP
Planet Labs, 30 March 2016
Planet Labs recently imaged the leading edge of a large mine in Southern Peru, with the camp of workers plainly visible. But when we showed the imagery to our colleague, Matt Finer, from the Amazon Conservation Association, he looked south. Finer recognized immediately that the activity below the main stem of the river was illegal encroachment into Tambopata National Reserve.
How? He’d seen it just a few weeks before, in one of his own deforestation alerts.
31 March 2016
The Brave New World of Carbon Pricing
By Katie Sullivan (IETA), EcoWatch, 31 March 2016
Worldwide, carbon pricing has become a cornerstone policy tool for tackling climate change. Regions pricing carbon have grown exponentially since 2009—with the majority of this “bottom-up” growth taking the form of greenhouse gas cap-and-trade programs.
According to the International Carbon Action Partnership’s Status Report 2016, 40 percent of global GDP is covered by an emissions trading system (ETS)—a figure projected to increase to 49 percent in 2017. By this time next year, some 16 percent of global emissions will be covered by ETS, up from only 4 percent in 2004. Eyes are especially glued to emerging market developments across the Pacific Rim, including the world’s largest GHG emitter, China, which plans to launch a national cap-and-trade program in 2017.
MEP Duncan calls EU ETS “an irritant” amid current low prices
By Ben Garside, Carbon Pulse, 31 March 2016
The EU’s carbon market is “at best an irritant right now” with its current low prices and therefore must change, wrote Ian Duncan, the UK MEP steering ETS reforms through the bloc’s parliament, in a glossy feature for Parliament Magazine.
He spoke of the “widespread acknowledgement” among EU lawmakers of the need for free allowances to be better targeted at those businesses that needed them most, noting that the debate over the reforms had so far afforded little attention to the proposed Innovation Fund.
“I don’t want to see a new regional development fund, but rather a fund led by excellence,” he wrote, adding that bureaucracy and red tape had hindered the projects under the current NER 300 fund from going ahead.
Duncan also suggested that serious consideration be given to an bloc-wide exclusion clause for small emitters that face disproportionately large administration costs. Currently only a handful of member states offer this exit opportunity.
[UK] Steel crisis: they do not give a shit
By Paul Mason, Medium, 31 March 2016
There’s a meme that keeps resurfacing in the genteel world of rightwing financial thought: that the term “neoliberalism” is in some way just a term of abuse, or a catch-all phrase invented by the left.
Well, as the UK steel industry faces instant closure — and let’s be clear that’s what Tata would do if it had to — we about to get a textbook lesson in what neoliberalism actually means. It means, when market logic clashes with human logic, the market must prevail and you must not give a shit about the social consequences.
1 April 2016
[Indonesia] Govt Threatens to Deport Leonardo DiCaprio Over Mount Leuser Visit
By Ratrii M Siniwi, Jakarta Globe, 1 April 2016
The immigration service has threatened on Thursday (31/03) to deport Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio over his visit to the Mount Leuser National Park in Aceh during the weekend.
The actor and activist is accused of running a so-called “black campaign” against palm oil plantations in Aceh in an effort to discredit the Indonesian government and the country’s palm oil industry, according to immigration service director general Ronny F. Sompi.
“If there are statements that discredit the government and the interests of Indonesia, he could be deported,” warned Ronny, whose department is closely monitoring DiCaprio’s activities in Indonesia.
Immigration authorities could deport the Oscar winner and his team, who are in the country on tourist visas, if they violate the terms of their visas, Ronny added.
“If [DiCaprio] is in Indonesia for other purposes, such as creating a public disturbance and harming the state’s interests, immigration is ready to deport him,” Ronny said.
Indonesia ‘may blacklist Leonardo DiCaprio over palm oil comments’
BBC News, 1 April 2016
Indonesia says it may ban Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio from returning over his comments on rainforests being cleared for palm oil plantations.
Mr DiCaprio entered Indonesia on a tourist visa and on Sunday visited Gunung Leuser National Park in Aceh.
“A world-class biodiversity hotspot… but palm oil expansion is destroying this unique place,” he posted.
If the comments were judged as “incitement”, he would be banned in future, a top official told the BBC.
”In terms of [his] visa and immigration permit, Leonardo DiCaprio did not do anything wrong: He entered and left Indonesia legally. But, we still investigate,” Heru Santoso, spokesperson for the director general of immigration department, said.
[Peru] REDD+ and other imperfect solutions
By Barbara Fraser, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 1 April 2016
For Carolina Barbarán, leader of an indigenous Shipibo Konibo community near the Ucayali River, protecting local forests is a major concern – because here, in the heart of the Peruvian Amazon, the future of forests is the future of the people.
“A big threat comes from illegal loggers who steal our timber,” says Barbarán, as she enumerates the challenges she and her community face.
“They can sneak in because the managed forest is too far from the village for us to monitor closely.”
Such illegal activity undermines not only the local environment but also the local economy, which depends on forests and forest products.
Which is why villagers and supporting organizations are always looking for new approaches for conserving the forests and increasing their incomes – including the mechanism known as REDD+, or Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation.
2 April 2016
Greenpeace reveals Indonesia’s forests at risk as multiple companies claim rights to same land
By Karl Matheisen, The Guardian, 2 April 2016
Indonesia’s palm oil, mining and logging industries are enmeshed in a cat’s cradle of overlapping land claims and corruption that are hampering attempts to stop deforestation and fires, newly released maps reveal.
Compiled over almost a decade by Greenpeace using data from provincial governments, resource companies and others, the interactive maps highlight the vast scale of the concession overlap. Across more than 7m hectares – an area equivalent to the Republic of Ireland – licences for the same concessions have been allocated to as many as four palm, pulpwood, logging or coal mining companies at a time.
With no central land registry in Indonesia, campaigners say the result is a mess of competing claims. Companies may end up thinking they have the right to clear land that another company or government body has pledged to protect from deforestation.
3 April 2016
PHOTO credit: Image created using wordle.net.