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.
4 April 2016
ICAO faces opposition over aviation offsets
By Simon Roach, ENDS Europe, 4 April 2016
A new mechanism to limit aviation emissions beyond 2020 has been attacked over the environmental credibility of using international forestry offsets.
NGOs criticised the market-based measure (MBM), currently being brokered by the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), as ICAO members including Germany, Italy and Poland met in Utrecht today.
More than 80 NGOs sent a joint letter to negotiators arguing that ICAO’s own sustainability criteria precludes many international carbon offsets, forestry included. Experience with the world’s largest voluntary carbon market, the Clean Development Mechanism, has proven that issues like double counting are unlikely to be resolved by many offsets, the letter argues.
REDD+ on the radar for airlines as green groups urge ICAO to steer clear of offsets
By Ben Garside, Carbon Pulse, 4 April 2016
Interest groups are sharply divided over whether a global deal to rein in aviation emissions should feature offsets as officials gathered to study the latest proposals for a global market-based measure.
While investors and some NGOs said an offset-based agreement could plug a shortfall in funds for tropical forest protection and kickstart a global REDD+ market, dozens of environmental campaign groups warned that any use of offsets would be a dangerous distraction from curbing the sector’s rapid emissions growth.
The groups brought out position papers as government officials gathered in Utrecht, Netherlands, for an update on the deal’s progress by UN airline body ICAO.
The meeting is one of several so-called Global Aviation Dialogues (GLADs) being held this spring as the body approaches the conclusion of three-year talks on a global market-based mechanism at its September assembly in Montreal.
Forests Can Play an Essential Role in Reducing Climate Change Impacts of Aviation
The Nature Conservancy, 4 April 2016
Today, leading international non-governmental organizations released a briefing paper, “Linking Flights and Forests,” which highlights the vital role forests can play in fighting climate change and recommends that countries include REDD+, a policy framework for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, as a means for the international aviation sector to meet its commitments to cap and reduce its carbon pollution.
International Day of Forests 2016: The CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry
CIFOR Forests News Blog, 4 April 2016
To mark the Day’s sixth anniversary, Peter Holmgren, Director General of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and Tony Simons, Director General of the World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF), sit down together in a special three-part video interview series to discuss the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for forests and for our planet.
In November 2012 the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21 March the International Day of Forests. The Day provides an annual platform to raise awareness on the importance of forests and trees and the myriad ways in which they sustain our livelihoods.
Below is a transcript of Part 3 in our special three-part TV interview series.
[Malaysia] How 1MDB’s Stolen Money Funded Top UK Private Schools
Sarawak Report, 4 April 2016
One of the clients of the off-shore incorporations firm Mossack Fonseca, exposed in the so-called Panama Papers this week was PetroSaudi’s Tarek Obaid.
Using a web of off-shore vehicles, he and fellow director Patrick Mahony secretly invested some of the millions they obtained in illegal backhanders from Malaysia’s Development fund in a private education company that bought up some of the UK’s poshest private schools.
Documents acquired by Sarawak Report reveal that the two men are the secret funders behind the self proclaimed entrepreneur, Marwan Naja, who acts as Chairman of Bellevue Education, a fast growing business, which has acquired 12 lucrative schools since 2010.
5 April 2016
Could timber plantations boost forest conservation?
By Romain Pirard, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 5 April 2016
Large-scale mono-culture plantations have been criticized for a bevy of reasons: land grabbing, forest destruction, poor environmental services, unfair distribution of benefits, and the list goes on.
So it might sound counter-intuitive, and even provocative, to suggest timber plantations as a prime solution to promote forest conservation. Yet this forms the basis of a theory derived during the early 20th century, which this article will refer to as the ‘plantation conservation benefit’ theory. It stipulates that generating value out of wood production is actually an effective way to protect a given tract of forest.
To examine this theory, let’s go back to its origin. The starting point sounds reasonable enough: by planting trees at scale to be managed intensively in order to achieve higher productivity, one can produce enough timber to spare the remaining natural forests. In other words, one can substitute wood derived from the forests with wood produced from the timber plantations.
To further test this theory, we reviewed evidence in a recently published study.
[Brazil] Amazonas Florestal Ltd. Announces Completion of Audits for 2015
Amazonas Florestal press release, 5 April 2016
Amazonas Florestal, Ltd. (http://www.azflusa.com/) (OTC PINK: AZFL), a natural resources company dedicated to innovative, sustainable forest management, the certification and sales of carbon credits, and Industrial Hemp (the “Company”), today announced that the Company’s PCAOB registered auditor, Monte Waldman, has completed the final audit report for the Company’s 2015 Year End Annual Report.
With the acquisition of Earth Pass Inc. in February, 2016, and the reverse stock split that was effective March 2, 2016, the Company is successfully completing its path towards its recapitalization requirements. The Company intends to file an S-1 registration and its financial reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) by April 30, 2016. Once the Company becomes fully reporting to the SEC it will then apply to the OTC Markets to be an OTCQB quoted company.
Indonesia’s Orangutans Suffer as Fires Rage and Businesses Grow
By Joe Cochrane, The New York Times, 5 April 2016
Katty, a docile, orange-haired preschooler, fell from a tree with a thump. Her teacher quickly picked her up, dusted off her bottom, refastened her white disposable diaper and placed her back on a branch more than seven feet off the ground.
Katty is an orangutan, about 9 months old, whose family is believed to have been killed by the huge fires last fall in the Indonesian regions of Borneo and Sumatra. The blazes are an annual occurrence, when farmers clear land by burning it, often for palm oil plantations. But last year’s fires were the worst on record, and scientists blamed a prolonged drought and the effects of El Niño.
The blazes destroyed more than 10,000 square miles of forests, blanketing large parts of Southeast Asia in a toxic haze for weeks, sickening hundreds of thousands of people and, according to the World Bank, causing $16 billion in economic losses.
[Indonesia] New study finds insufficient degraded land for further strong oil palm expansion in Kalimantan
By Azarja Harmanny, mongabay.com, 5 April 2016
If demand for palm oil keeps growing the way it has been in Indonesia’s eastern Kalimantan region, there might not be enough degraded land available in 2020 to prevent further deforestation by the industry, a new study suggests. A team of researchers from two universities in the Netherlands published their findings today in the online journal GCB Bioenergy (open access).
In their research, the team aimed to analyze whether the production of palm oil can be reconciled with the production of other commodities, while limiting the loss of primary forest and local food production. Their research focused on the Indonesian provinces of North and East Kalimantan on the island of Borneo. Because of logging, forest fires and peatland conversion, the provinces together comprise the third-largest greenhouse gas emitting region in the archipelago.
The authors concluded it would only be possible to accommodate for growth of palm oil and other commodities (pulpwood, rubber and rice) under a low-growth projection, and only if mitigation measures on land sparing —the setting aside of land for biodiversity conservation — land zoning and usage of degraded lands are implemented. However, the authors find it “questionable” whether low-growth rates are “realistic for this study region,” given, for example, the expected increase of palm oil production for biodiesel, and increasing global demand for natural rubber.
6 April 2016
How the global aviation industry could help save the world’s forests
By James Murray, BusinessGreen, 6 April 2016
As officials from the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) meet in Europe and Mexico this week as part of efforts to lay the groundwork for a new global aviation emissions deal, a group of carbon trading experts have proposed a new solution for tackling airlines’ soaring carbon footprints: require the aviation industry to purchase carbon allowances from the REDD+ forest protection scheme.
The Climate Markets and Investment Association (CMIA) put forward the proposals yesterday in a new policy paper entitled ‘REDD+ as a win-win solution for international aviation’ detailing “how connecting demand from the aviation sector to achieve its goal of carbon neutral growth with high-quality REDD+ projects and jurisdictions could plug a major financing gap, thereby creating a win-win solution for climate, forests and local forest dwelling communities”.
Groups want forests to help mitigate the climate damage from your next flight
By Mike Gaworecki, mongabay.com, 6 April 2016
If the global aviation industry was its own country, it would rank amongst the top 10 emitters of climate pollution in the world. But nine environmental organizations say that the UN’s program for reducing emissions from deforestation could help change that.
The groups, which include Conservation International, Environmental Defense Fund, Forest Trends, Global Canopy Programme, and Wildlife Conservation Society, among others, have released a report detailing how the UN’s REDD+ initiative, which aims to channel international financing to programs that protect forests and their role as a vital carbon sink, could help the aviation industry meet its emissions reduction targets.
The report was timed to coincide with a meeting in the Netherlands of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the UN body that sets standards for international flights.
Aviation talks face headwinds on rich-poor compromise
By Alex Pashley, Climate Home, 6 April 2016
A deal to slash aviation emissions later this year risks being blown off course unless it overcomes major differences between wealthy and developing countries, according to NGOs.
Regional meetings are taking place ahead of a September assembly of UN aviation authority, ICAO, tasked with delivering a goal to cap the industry’s emissions at 2020 levels.
Aviation was a significant omission from last year’s Paris climate deal. If left unchecked, the sector’s share of global emissions could jump from 3% to over 20% by 2050.
ICAO has committed to get all its 191 members to agree to a market-based mechanism to tackle that at its first assembly in three years.
“The deal of the year is ICAO,” said Annie Petsonk, international counsel at the US-based Environmental Defense Fund. “I think it will be challenging as there are still significant differences between countries … it will take some work to bridge.”
Ecosystem Marketplace’s Carbon Newsletter
Ecosystem Marketplace, 6 April 2016
Could companies in California soon be financing tropical forest preservation in the Amazon and the Lacandon Jungle? More than two years after the REDD Offsets Working Group (ROW) released its recommendations for incorporating international avoided deforestation offsets into California’s cap-and-trade program, the state’s Air Resources Board (ARB) seems to be getting serious about the potential addition.
At a public workshop on April 5, representatives from the ARB presented on some of the technical and legal issues the state would need to consider were it to move forward with what would be the first inclusion of REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation of forests) in a compliance carbon market. Because California already has memoranda of understanding in place with Acre, Brazil and Chiapas, Mexico, much of the discussion focused on how risks such as reversal (the chance that credited carbon could later be emitted) and leakage (the chance that reducing deforestation in one place could push it elsewhere) could be addressed in a jurisdictional REDD program. The ARB is considering including an offsets buffer pool (how big should it be?), insurance (who else has tried this?), and discounting issuances in future years.
Tigers declared extinct in Cambodia
AFP, 6 April 2016
Tigers are “functionally extinct” in Cambodia, conservationists conceded for the first time on Wednesday, as they launched a bold action plan to reintroduce the big cats to the kingdom’s forests.
Cambodia’s dry forests used to be home to scores of Indochinese tigers but the WWF said intensive poaching of both tigers and their prey had devastated the numbers of the big cats.
The last tiger was seen on camera trap in the eastern Mondulkiri province in 2007, it said.
“Today, there are no longer any breeding populations of tigers left in Cambodia, and they are therefore considered functionally extinct,” the conservation group said in a statement.
Thailand confirms plans to develop national carbon market
By Stian Reklev, Carbon Pulse, 6 April 2016
Thailand will start the process of developing the foundations for a national carbon price using World Bank funds, a climate official said, a process which will culminate in a mandatory emissions trading scheme.
The South East Asian nation recently received a $3 million grant from the World Bank’s Partnership for Market Readiness (PMR), which helps emerging countries develop market-based mechanisms to combat climate change.
“The World Bank Group’s support is critical to starting the process of introducing carbon pricing and other innovative instruments in Thailand,” Prasertsuk Chamornmarn, executive director of the Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organization (TGO), said in a statement.
Thailand has estimated its greenhouse gas emissions would soar to 555 million tonnes of CO2e in 2030 under a business-as-usual scenario, up from 230 million tonnes in 2000.
Under the Paris Agreement, it has pledged to keep its 2030 emissions at 20% below BAU levels, or 25% if it receives international financial support.
[USA] California’s REDD move could outpace Paris Agreement, justice groups press for delays
By Ben Garside, Carbon Pulse, 6 April 2016
California may not need to wait for UNFCCC endorsement to use foreign REDD credits in its cap-and-trade programme because the US state may transfer units before the Paris Agreement takes effect from 2020, officials told a workshop on Tuesday.
The explanation came after environmental justice groups had called for a delay to the state’s informal consultations on the issue because the “rushed timing” might prevent effective scrutiny of the plans.
California is mulling the move after officials last year tentatively recommended to allow for the limited use of REDD offsets in its cap-and-trade system as soon as 2018. If approved, it would become the world’s first mandatory carbon market to use credits from the UN-led programme.
This timeline could potentially side-step any issues arising from Brazil’s INDC under the Paris Agreement, which appeared to tie any potential trade of offsets from its territory to requiring global endorsement under the UNFCCC.
7 April 2016
BASIC countries express concern over ICAO proposal on aviation
India Today, 7 April 2016
BASIC countries, including India, today expressed concern over the draft proposal of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) on emission reduction in aviation sector, saying it will impose additional “burden” on developing countries.
The Ministers, attending a two-day BASIC ministerial meeting on climate change which concluded here, also asked industrialised nations to develop climate change measures in a manner that is consistent with the principles of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR).
“The BASIC countries expressed concern that the draft proposal on Global Market Based Measures (GMBM) under the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) may impose inappropriate economic burden on developing countries where the international aviation market is still maturing.
“They urged the ICAO to develop climate change measures in a manner that is consistent with the principles of CBDR and RC, and to align the GMBM with the relevant provisions of the Paris Agreement,” according to a joint statement by BASIC countries China, India, South Africa and Brazil, read out by Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar.
BRIEFING: The challenges of linking Asia-Pacific carbon markets
By Stian Reklev, Carbon Pulse, 7 April 2016
Asia-Pacific nations are building carbon markets at an unprecedented pace, but their vastly different circumstances could mean they risk hampering future efforts to link the schemes.
Thailand earlier this week became the latest nation in the region to reiterate plans to set up a domestic emissions trading scheme, building on a trend that could see some form of carbon pricing mechanism emerge in nearly a dozen countries within a few years.
In a report out this week, the Asian Development Bank urged that these governments should design their markets in a way that makes linking possible in the future.
“As we look to more concerted and ambitious actions to cut GHG emissions, the linking of ETSs will be an important approach. It encourages emissions savings where they are cost effective, and minimizes the impact of carbon costs on competing industries through a common carbon pricing mechanism,” said Carmela Locsin, director general at the ADB’s Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department.
[Cameroon] How smartphones can help track illegal deforestation
By Edward Mitchard, The Guardian, 7 April 2016
When I first visited Cameroon in 2007, mobile networks had just spread outside the cities, beginning a revolution in how remote villages could connect with each other and the wider world. Very few people owned their own phone, but homemade wooden stands renting them out by the minute could be found at almost every road junction. A few years later the micro-entrepreneurs are still there, but they now sell SIM cards and phone credit vouchers, as almost every adult has access to a phone (World Bank figures show Cameroon went from 17 phones per 100 adults in 2006 to 76 in 2014).
It is hard to overstate the transformational effect the rapid proliferation of mobile phones has had on rural societies in the developing world. Villages and towns that never received fixed line phones, and are only slowly being connected to electricity grids, now have a cheap means of communication with friends, family and business partners. Further, mobile phones have given the world’s poorest people access to the internet, connecting them to a wealth of information and opportunities unimaginable just a decade ago.
[Indonesia] Timber laws set to shake up local industry
By Lucy McHugh, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 7 April 2016
Like many areas in Indonesia, the Regency of Berau in East Kalimantan is rich in natural resources. So naturally, development in the region is accelerating at breakneck pace.
Every day, coal trucks weave their way from open pit mines to fill open barges for shipping. Land is being cleared to make way for rows of oil palms. As a result, deforestation rates since 2000 have almost doubled (from 12,833 ha in 2000 to 20,760 ha in 2012).
Fifteen years ago, its regional airport was nothing more than a single runway shared by itinerant goats and locals who would use the tarmac to practice driving.
But today, passengers are welcomed by a multi-story steel, glass and chrome building—a testament to the national government’s regional development plan, in which Berau is touted as a future major coal and gas source.
Yet despite these changes, 75 percent of Berau’s 2.2 million hectares still consists of primary and secondary forests. These forests are home to one of the largest orangutan populations in the world, as well as to 80 threatened tree species.
8 April 2016
Forests can help aviation be carbon neutral: NGOs
By Vaidehi Shah, Eco-Business, 8 April 2016
Environmental groups and investors on Monday called on the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to formally recognise carbon credits from protecting forests as a way to fulfill its emissions cuts, saying this will also simultaneously address another climate threat: deforestation.
In a briefing paper titled ‘Linking Flights and Forests’, nine non-government organisations said that energy efficiency improvements alone will not be enough to halt the aviation industry’s emissions by 2020 and achieve carbon neutral growth from then onwards, as it pledged to do in 2009.
UN: Ratify Paris climate deal or face exclusion from decisions
By Ed King, Climate Home, 8 April 2016
Countries should move fast to sign and ratify the Paris climate agreement or could lose the power to determine how the new deal works, a UN legal official has warned.
An eight-page advisory published on the UN climate body’s website says governments who have joined the deal “will enjoy certain rights and privileges” including the right to approve decisions.
“Parties to the Agreement are responsible for governance, oversight, leadership and decision-making over the Agreement,” says the document, authored by UNFCCC legal chief Dan Bondi Ogolla.
Those who have not completed the process of ratification “cannot, however, participate in decision-making” it warns, although they can make “interventions and submit textual proposals”.
World Bank launches ambitious Climate Change Action Plan
gktoday.in, 8 April 2016
The World Bank has unveiled an ambitious Climate Change Action Plan (CCP) to accelerate efforts to tackle climate change over the next five years i.e. by 2020.
It seeks to help developing countries to deliver their targets set in the national climate plans submitted for the historic climate agreement reached at COP21 in Paris in December 2015.
The Action Plan mainly seeks to help developing countries make major transitions to increase sources of renewable energy, develop green transport systems, decrease high-carbon energy sources and build sustainable, livable cities for growing urban populations.
Top EU court rejects LafargeHolcim’s appeal over stolen EUAs
By Mike Szabo, Carbon Pulse, 8 April 2016
Europe’s top court has dismissed an appeal by cement giant LafargeHolcim in its lawsuit against the European Commission over the 2010 theft of 1.6 million EU Allowances.
Holcim Romania, a subsidiary of what is now LafargeHolcim, filed the appeal nearly a year ago after the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Sep. 2014 rejected the company’s case that the commission should compensate it for some €18 million after its account at Romania’s emissions trading registry was hacked.
Holcim filed the lawsuit against the EC in 2012 for failing to freeze the online accounts containing the stolen allowances, for not returning the units to the company, and for allowing other firms to surrender them for compliance.
In its ruling released Thursday, the ECJ rejected all 13 grounds of Holcim’s appeal, which was comprised of arguments again mainly targeting the commission’s refusal to help recover the permits.
The ECJ also ordered Holcim Romania to pay the European Commission’s legal costs.
At the time of writing, LafargeHolcim had not responded to questions from Carbon Pulse seeking comment.
EU Market: EUAs hit fresh six-week high after oil spike
By Ben Garside, Carbon Pulse, 8 April 2016
EU carbon prices extended the previous session’s six-week high on Friday to ride afternoon gains in oil and notch a 4.6% weekly gain.
The Dec-16 EUAs hit an intraday peak of €5.46, just a few cents shy of technical resistance identified around €5.49.
The benchmark contract eventually settled up 14 cents at €5.42 on ICE, though turnover was modest at 9.5 million.
More than a third of that came in the hour following 1430 GMT, when the Dec-16s broke the €5.35-37 level that it had bumped against all week.
The move was sparked by a jump in oil prices on the back of US data showing the country’s output has slid for the tenth time in 11 weeks and that crude stockpiles had fallen.
Front-month Brent crude was up around 6% amid an already nervous oil market looking ahead to an Apr. 17 meeting of key producers to discuss a freeze in output.
The crude spike helped boost other key energy markets, but this translated into a bearish signal for carbon by narrowing German clean darks.
Green revolution aims to stem deforestation in Liberia
By John Aglionby, Financial Times, 8 April 2016
Revolution is in the air in Liberia. Or, more accurately, in the forests, which cover more than 40 per cent of the country and are considered one of west Africa’s most important carbon sinks and biodiversity hotspots.
The movement is not seeking to topple the government. Indeed it is the administration, backed by more than $150m of international aid, that is driving the policy upheaval. The aim is to enable the country and communities to make money — possibly tens of millions of dollars a year — from reduced carbon emissions.
[UK] Tata Steel benefited from EU climate policies, studies show
By Arthur Neslen, The Guardian, 8 April 2016
No other British company has benefited from the EU’s emissions trading scheme as much as Tata Steel, according to a recent report by consultants CTDelft. And it’s not alone — only firms in one country, Germany, received more than the €3bn pocketed by British businesses through the ETS between 2008 and 2014.
Yet Tata Steel’s chairman, Theo Henrar, argued that the ETS put its Port Talbot steelworks at “a competitive disadvantage”, because foreign rivals were not burdened by such tough environmental rules.
Enraged environmentalists have countered with studies by independent consultancies and market analysts showing that since 2008, Tata has taken more than £700m from the ETS in free allowances, offsets and windfall profits passed through to consumers.
[UK] Tata Steel windfall from carbon emissions permits
By Roger Harrabin, BBC News, 8 April 2016
Tata Steel is refusing to comment on claims it has made £700m windfall profits from a policy designed to protect the climate.
Three separate experts say Tata made the cash by selling carbon emissions permits it was given for free.
They say Tata was allocated more carbon allowances under the EU emissions trading scheme (EUETS) than it needed.
There is no suggestion Tata broke the rules, and the firm said its permits were a “matter of public record”.
Reports say Tata profited more than any other firm in the UK from the much-criticised trading scheme, which allowed it to sell the surplus to other firms wanting permits to pollute.
Other windfalls allegedly went to Lafarge, Hanson, and Total UK.
But the analysis is controversial because some climate sceptics blamed EU climate policies for the demise of Tata.
[UK] Brochure con crooks jailed
By Sarah Cosgrove, Print Week, 8 April 2016
A print boss and his business partner convicted of overseeing the production of brochures which formed an integral part of a boiler room fraud have been jailed for 40 months each.
Co-owner and director of East Sussex printer Zeta Colour, Stuart Still from Newhaven, East Sussex and Marianne Van Santé, from South Ascot, Berkshire were sentenced at Blackfriars Crown Court, London, on Tuesday.
They were found guilty of charges of making or supplying articles for use in fraud on 11 March.
The brochures, produced under Still’s direction at Seaford-based Zeta Colour, helped to con investors who were lured by the professional print work into believing the investment opportunity was genuine. But it was, in fact, a con run out of three overseas boiler rooms.
9 April 2016
[Indonesia] Unilever palm oil supplier must suspend all plantation expansion to save reputation
By Kiki Taufik, The Guardian, 9 April 2016
In what is arguably the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil’s (RSPO) most significant intervention in its 12-year history, the organisation has suspended the certification of one of its founding members, IOI, a Malaysian palm oil company which supplies palm oil to more than 300 companies. This means that IOI and its trading division IOI Loders Croklaan will be temporarily prevented from selling palm oil certified as sustainable.
Greenpeace first documented IOI’s alleged destruction of orangutan habitat and peatland forest in our 2008 report Burning up Borneo. Since then, IOI has been in the spotlight over accusations of deforestation, including repeated outbreaks of fires in and around its concessions last year.
It also faced allegations in 2014 from Finnish NGO Finnwatch of serious labour issues on its Malaysian plantations, including confiscating workers’ passports, providing contracts in a language workers could not understand, restricting freedom of association and paying salaries below the minimum wage. An RSPO statement in April 2015 recognised Finnwatch’s concerns were “legitimate”, while IOI said it had “taken measures to improve the working conditions on its estates” in response to the allegations.
10 April 2016
Nations seek rapid ratification of Paris climate deal, four-year lock
By Alistair Doyle, Reuters, 10 April 2016
Many nations are pushing for swift ratification of a Paris agreement to slow climate change and lock it in place for four years before a change in the White House next year that might bring a weakening of Washington’s long-term commitment.
More than 130 nations with 60 leaders including French President Francois Hollande are due to sign December’s pact at a U.N. ceremony in New York on April 22, the most ever for a U.N. agreement on an opening day, the United Nations said.
Both China and the United States, the world’s top emitters accounting together for 38 percent of emissions, have promised to sign then. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to attend.
But signing is only a step in a tortuous U.N. process for the deal to enter into force, which requires formal approval by at least 55 nations representing 55 percent of man-made greenhouse gas emissions.
In many countries, that needs a parliamentary vote.
‘Boiler Room’ scam: Kiwi could face further charges when deported home
By Bevan Hurley, Stuff.co.nz, 10 April 2016
A Kiwi fraudster who was jailed for stealing millions from mum and dad investors in a “staggeringly audacious” so-called “Boiler Room” scam in Australia could face jail when he returns to New Zealand.
New Zealanders Liam Joseph Carlisle, 32, and Matthew Paul Crouch were jailed for ten years after pleading guilty to a $6.2 million fraud racket on the Gold Coast in 2015.
Their operation was apparently inspired by the Ben Affleck movie Boiler Room, where hustlers cold-call investors to make a lucrative share offer having obtained their numbers from publicly available shareholder lists.
They typically persuade victims to sell underperforming shares in their portfolios, sending out legitimate-looking payment instructions, refund documents offering ‘protection’ if the sale falls through and create a clone website of the actual company.
[USA] Boiler Room Scheme Leads To Six Years In Prison
Karen Demesters, Financial Advisor, 10 April 2016
An organizer of a “boiler room” stock scheme that victimized senior citizens has been sentenced to six years in prison, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced Thursday.
Jonathan Fraiman, formerly of Lantana, Fla., and Boston, Mass., also was ordered to pay restitution of $3.8 million for his part in a scheme, which the sentencing judge described as coldhearted.
Fraiman was convicted of mail fraud and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. He was marketing officer and chief compliance officer for a series of entities all of which had the name Envit in them, the SEC says.
More than 150 investors, many of them senior citizens investing their retirement savings, were defrauded in the scheme, which took place between 2008 and 2009, the SEC says. The boiler room operation used false promises and pressurized sales tactics to sell securities over the telephone.
PHOTO credit: Image created using wordle.net.