REDD-Monitor’s links to news on forests, climate change and REDD. Links are organised by date with the most recent first. For regular updates, visit REDD-Monitor’s “REDD in the news” page, or follow @reddmonitor on Twitter.
The institutional complex for REDD+: A ‘benevolent jigsaw’?
Stockholm Environmental Institute, 2016
This book chapter examines the multiple international legal instruments and transnational governance arrangements both influence, and are affected by, rule development on REDD+ under the UNFCCC, and the extent to which they may conflict or be synergetic.
16 May 2016
Paris Agreement goals impossible without decisive action to protect forests rights
By Helen Clark (UNDP), Thomson Reuters Foundation, 16 May 2016
When indigenous rights are recognised and enforced, communities successfully manage their forests – and make crucial contributions to climate change mitigation.
For indigenous and forest communities, insecurity of land rights perpetuates poverty, inequality and environmental degradation.
Strengthening land rights for those communities is essential but will also be critical to the fight against climate change.
Climate change puts 1.3bn people and $158tn at risk, says World Bank
By Larry Elliott, The Guardian, 16 May 2016
The global community is badly prepared for a rapid increase in climate change-related natural disasters that by 2050 will put 1.3 billion people at risk, according to the World Bank.
Urging better planning of cities before it was too late, a report published on Monday from a Bank-run body that focuses on disaster mitigation, said assets worth $158tn – double the total annual output of the global economy – would be in jeopardy by 2050 without preventative action.
Why won’t environmentalists go after meat?
By Marc Gunther, Medium, 16 May 2016
Coal plants, fracking, pipelines, plastic bags, SUVs, coffee pods — all are targets of environmental organizations. Why not meat?
Eating less meat — chicken, pork and especially beef — may well be the most important thing an individual can do to reduce climate change.
Yet, even as animal-welfare groups like the Humane Society of the US, PETA, The Humane League and Mercy for Animals campaign against meat consumption and factory farms, environmental foundations and nonprofits are mostly quiet.
‘Break Free’ fossil fuel protests deemed ‘largest ever’ global disobedience
By Oliver Milman, The Guardian, 16 May 2016
Thousands of people have taken part in what organizers have called the largest ever global civil disobedience against fossil fuels, with dozens of activists arrested during protests that shut down coalmines, rail infrastructure and a port.
The protests, held over the past two weeks in countries including the US, UK, Australia, South Africa and Indonesia, saw activists call for oil, coal and gas to be kept in the ground. A coalition of environment groups, which called the actions “Break Free”, are pushing for a complete shift away from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
Rich and poor divided over UN aviation emissions deal
By Megan Darby, Climate Home, 16 May 2016
Details of a global carbon offsetting scheme for planes are up in the air after an inconclusive meeting in Montreal last week.
With four months until the International Civil Aviation Organization aims to finalise a deal, major uncertainties remain on its environmental integrity.
A proposal by Singapore to introduce a “pre-implementation phase” had campaigners worried action on a growing source of greenhouse gas emissions could be delayed.
It is “injecting a lot of confusion”, Brad Schallert of WWF told Climate Home.
The industry had previously agreed to aim for carbon neutral growth from 2020, paying other sectors to cut emissions equivalent to any increase.
A Vision for Article 6 of the Paris Agreement
By David Hone (Shell), Energy Collective, 16 May 2016
Within the Paris Agreement sits Article 6, a carefully crafted set of provisions to foster, in the parlance of the UNFCCC and the Parties to the Agreement, cooperative approaches. This includes a provision for cross border transfer of mitigation outcomes and a mechanism to contribute to the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions and support sustainable development. But for those outside the negotiating process (and hopefully those inside as well), this Article is seen as the foundation for carbon market development. There was a great deal of advocacy effort behind the Article, particularly from the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) who argued strongly that such a construction within the Paris Agreement was essential to see accelerated adoption of government implemented carbon pricing; widely recognised as a critical policy instrument for managing carbon dioxide emissions.
New dams on the Madeira River in Brazil cause forest flooding
MAAP Project, 16 May 2016
The Amazon lowlands have been connected to the Andes Mountains for millions of years by only six major rivers: the Caqueta, Madeira, Maranon, Napo, Putumayo, and Ucayali* (see Image 34a). This intimate connection allows rich Andean nutrients to fuel the Amazon floodplain and enables long-distance catfish migration between feeding grounds in the lowlands spawning grounds in the highlands.
However, one of these six major Andean tributaries has recently been dammed on its main channel: the Madeira River in western Brazil (See Inset A). The Santo Antônio dam was completed in 2011, followed by the upstream Jirau dam in 2013.
CARBON MARKETS: Carbon trading in a non-market economy: China dives in
By John Fialka, eenews.net, 16 May 2016
When it comes to learning about emissions trading, China has had a leg up.
The world’s leading emitter of greenhouse gases has spent 15 years scouting the globe to learn from the mistakes of other nations and find the best ways to build a trading system of its own, which could become the world’s largest.
One of China’s earliest mentors was Dan Dudek, an agricultural economist and vice president of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) who, early in his career, got into an argument with its president, Fred Krupp, over whether China might be a big piece of the puzzle the group was exploring: Was there a way to use economics, rather than politics and regulations, to shift the world’s businesses away from polluting the environment toward protecting it and to reward low-cost innovations that do that?
Norway awards new Arctic oil licences days after drilling pledge
By Megan Darby, Climate Home, 16 May 2016
The US and five Nordic states will take a “precautionary approach” to oil and gas drilling in the Arctic, they agreed on Friday.
A joint statement emphasised their commitment to international climate goals, which analysts warn are incompatible with costly Arctic exploration.
Following a similar commitment by Canada in April, it leaves Russia as the only Arctic nation not signed up to science-based standards.
17 May 2016
Glaring gap: Countries are overlooking how the private sector can help meet national climate goals
By Steven Lawry, CIFOR Forest News Blog, 17 May 2016
The Paris Agreement was built on countries’ Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) – national roadmaps towards limiting global warming to 1.5°C. In Asia, preventing emissions from land use change is the clearest path to delivering on national commitments.
Major private sector actors, in response to pressure from consumers and civil society, are taking the lead in the region. Dozens of companies are making efforts to meet zero deforestation and sustainable palm oil targets. And many banks are reassessing the risks associated with investments that don’t meet certain social and environmental standards.
Indigenous groups fighting for the planet
By Enrique Gili, Deutsche Welle, 17 May 2016
Preserving the earth’s forests, oceans, plants and animals is a noble goal in and of itself. But making sure the planet retains its many species of flora and fauna is also crucial for human well-being.
This year’s International Day for Biological Diversity highlights how biodiversity is the “foundation for life and for the essential services provided by ecosystems.” The livelihoods of billions of people depend directly or indirectly on biodiversity. Rapid economic growth and rampant exploitation of the planet’s resources is causing huge species loss, and in turn negatively impacting quality of life for human beings.
Carbon Pricing – Coming To A Country Near You
Tax-News.com, 17 May 2016
As governments set about attempting to avert climate change, there is, according to World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim a “growing sense of inevitability” about putting a price on carbon, either in the form of taxes, or through market-based mechanisms. This feature looks at some of the carbon pricing schemes already in place, as well as recent developments in the area of carbon taxation.
What Sir David King gets wrong about carbon pricing
By Judy Hindley and Brian Utton, The Guardian, 17 May 2016
Sir David King, UK Special Representative for Climate Change, recently took to The Guardian to throw cold water on the prospects of carbon pricing as an effective tool for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. He instead advocated for increased government research funding to develop ‘competitive’ clean alternatives to fossil fuels.
There can be little argument that swift, effective action on the climate is essential. In the UK alone, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ most recent Climate Change Risk Assessment projects a potential doubling of people at significant flood risk between 2012 and the 2020s, and industry experts warned that the economic costs of this last winter’s storms was over £5 billion.
Negotiators Try to Figure Out What the Paris Climate Agreement Means
By Jean Chemnick, Scientific American, 17 May 2016
Climate negotiators from around the world met yesterday for the first time since brokering the Paris climate deal to start filling in some of the gaps left in that landmark agreement.
The midyear U.N. meeting in Bonn, Germany, was much lower-profile than the confab on the outskirts of the French capital in December. And the agenda was more mundane.
“It’s going to be a very weird session,” outgoing U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change chief Christiana Figueres told ClimateWire last week on the margins of another international meeting in the Rhine River city. “It’s going to be a lot of housekeeping and planning … not much of interest to the outside world.”
How Ending Offshore Oil Drilling Would Help Fight Climate Change
By Tim Donaghy, Medium, 17 May 2016
Over his two terms in office, President Obama has enacted strong climate policies, but his proposal to expand offshore oil drilling threatens to undermine these advances.
Policies such as the Clean Power Plan and stronger fuel economy standards will help the United States make progress towards the climate goals Obama agreed to in Paris — but by themselves they won’t be enough to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius. Obama seems to understand this. He has listened to the demands of climate justice activists by rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline and imposing a moratorium on federal coal leasing. He even said that “we’re going to have to keep some fossil fuels in the ground” unless we want large parts of the planet to become uninhabitable.
CARBON MARKETS: Can trading save the Amazon?
By John Fialka, eenews.net, 17 May 2016
One morning two days before Christmas in 1988, Chico Mendes, the leader of a group of rubber tree tappers, walked into his backyard to take a shower. That was his routine. Two gunmen were waiting for him there, and when he appeared, they stitched his tall body with bullets. That was their routine.
Assassinations were common then in Acre, an almost lawless state in Brazil’s western Amazon. Think of it as a New York-sized state where 87 percent of the land is tropical forests. Environmental groups talk about the Amazon’s vast jungle as being highly valuable. They describe it as the “lungs of the planet” because its trees ingest much CO2 from the atmosphere and store it.
In the aftermath of the Paris Agreement, nature and humanity lose
By Mary Louise Malig, Global Forest Coalition, 17 May 2016
The Paris Agreement has been signed in New York with much fanfare, a lot of shaking hands and patting each other on the back, and claims that “we did it” – that is, agreed a historic climate agreement that would save the planet from climate chaos.
This week, government delegates and civil society are getting back to work in Bonn, in meetings of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 44), the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 44), and the new Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA 1). Their job is to hammer out practical next steps, including how to interpret what the Paris Agreement actually means and then how to implement it.
But in the aftermath of Paris, as the dust settles, what exactly is there to clap about? And what does it mean?
‘Brazil is not a democracy’: Cannes contender’s cast stage red carpet protest
By Catherine Shoard, The Guardian, 17 May 2016
The cast and crew of Aquarius, an acclaimed Brazilian drama in competition at Cannes have used the film’s official premiere to mount a protest as what they see as a coup in their country.
Writer-director Kleber Mendonca Filho, along with his cast and crew, climbed the steps to the Palais in Cannes before revealing a selection of banners apparently objecting to the recent impeachment of president Dilma Rousseff.
The protest was met by ecstatic applause inside the cinema. Audience members then joined in by holding aloft similar banners.
Watch it now – ‘Threatened forests’ the hidden truth behind EU ‘green energy’
EU Bioenergy, 17 May 2016
Filmmaker Benoit Grimont made this documentary because he was struck by the regional opposition, socio-economic and environmental impacts caused by the development of a large scale biomass electricity installation in Gardanne, southern France. He investigated and discovered the implications of using wood for the production of bioenergy as a “green energy”. Speaking to academics, politicians, communities and activists in France and the UK, he then found his way to the United States, where much of the wood that is used for electricity production in the EU is imported.
In this film, he shows that the renewable energy heavily supported by EU countries, is everything but ‘green’ or good for the climate.
[UK] Ombudsman stands firm on Sipp due diligence
By Damian Fantato, FT Adviser, 17 May 2016
The Pensions Ombudsman has cemented its position Sipp providers should not be expected to carry out comprehensive due diligence on pension investments, finding in favour of Stadia Trustees in a complaint.
Ombudsman Anthony Arter ruled against a complaint lodged by ‘Mr N’, deciding it was not Stadia’s role to undertake the level of due diligence suggested.
Mr Arter’s position in this case reflects his previous ruling in a complaint against Berkeley Burke where he also ruled it was not the Sipp provider’s responsibility to conduct extensive investigations into the suitability of investments….
Mr N completely the application to establish the Sipp in April 2012 and confirmed at the time that he had not sought or received financial advice.
In July 2012 he completed a member investment instruction form, opting for what he acknowledged was a non-regulated investment of £144,000 in Australian Carbon Credits and £3,900 in African Land.
18 May 2016
Stuck on hot: Earth breaks 12th straight monthly record
By Seth Borenstein, Associated Press, 18 May 2016
Thanks to a combination of global warming and an El Nino, the planet shattered monthly heat records for an unprecedented 12th straight month, as April smashed the old record by half a degree, according to federal scientists.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s monthly climate calculation said Earth’s average temperature in April was 58.7 degrees (14.8 degrees Celsius). That’s 2 degrees (1. 1 degrees Celsius) warmer than the 20th century average and well past the old record set in 2010. The Southern Hemisphere led the way, with Africa, South America and Asia all having their warmest Aprils on record, NOAA climate scientist Ahira Sanchez-Lugo said. NASA was among other organizations that said April was the hottest on record.
Indigenous Peoples denounce at United Nations; Demand Cancellation of REDD+
Indigenous Environmental Network, 18 May 2016
A false solution to climate change known as REDD+ causes conflict and is a new form of colonialism and must be immediately canceled, Indigenous Peoples denounced at the United Nations. REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) is a carbon offset mechanism that uses Nature as a sponge for greenhouse gas pollution instead of cutting emissions at source.
“The sacred air we breathe is being sold to the highest bidder. We implore the UN to have compassion for humanity and Mother Earth by immediately canceling carbon trading, carbon offsets, and REDD+ projects in or near Indigenous Peoples’ lands and territories” said Calfin Lafkenche of the Mapuche Nation in Chile.
“We are here today in the UN to stop the offensive of the Green Economy and its market systems of carbon trading, carbon offsets, the Clean Development Mechanism, and REDD+, which constitute a new form of colonialism and have caused conflicts, forced relocation, threats to the cultural survival and violations of the rights of Indigenous peoples, especially the rights to life, to lands and territories, and to free, prior and informed consent,” said the Mapuche leader.
The landscape approach: How did we get here and where do we want to go? Just ask Darwin!
By Terry Sunderland, CIFOR Forest News Blog, 18 May 2016
Charles Darwin’s theories of natural selection and survival of the fittest were initially derided and rejected, leading Darwin himself to delay the publication of his seminal text, On the Origin of Species. Yet today, his theories are commonly accepted as principles that explain the diversity of life on Earth as the product of millions of years of evolution.
To draw a modest comparison, it might be argued that the ‘landscape approach’ has undergone a process of evolution itself to become the guiding principle on multiple use management today. It might also be argued that, much like evolution, the process is still ongoing – while the landscape approach has been central to development discourse for many years, it has yet to fully realize its potential in practice.
Experts Say Shipping, Aviation Emissions Must Peak Soon to Achieve Paris Goals
UN Climate Change Newsroom, 18 May 2016
International shipping and aviation will have to cap their greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) soon for the world to meet the ambitious goals laid down in the Paris Climate Change Agreement, participants at a side event at the Bonn climate change conference heard today.
Emissions of carbon dioxide from aviation and shipping are growing at a combined rate of 3-5 percent annually. Efforts by the United Nations bodies overseeing these sectors to agree and adopt strategies to address climate change have moved forward but critical action areas remain to be fully addressed, panelists in the session said.
There is “recognition that all countries need to tackle emissions from international transport,” said Martin Cames, Head of Energy and Climate at Öko-Institut. “Setting a target is key . . . and targets need to be reviewed and periodically strengthened.”
UN negotiators spar over draft global aviation emissions reduction scheme
International Center for Trade and Sustainable Development, 18 May 2016
The 191 members of the UN International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) tussled last week over a draft resolution to establish a global market-based measure (GMBM) to help meet the sector’s goal of carbon neutral growth from 2020 during a meeting held in Montreal, Canada, from 11-13 May.
According to media reports, divisions emerged over how to share responsibilities between nations, a tension that has long plagued separate UN climate talks.
“We express concern that the draft proposal on GMBM may impose an inappropriate economic burden on developing countries, where the international aviation market is still maturing,” read a joint statement issued ahead of the meeting on behalf of Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Panama, Russia, and Saudi Arabia.
Can Airlines Save the World From Deforestation?
By Katie Gilbert, Institutional Investor, 18 May 2016
As global deforestation continues, threatening biodiversity and spewing carbon into the atmosphere, an unlikely potential savior has emerged. Fearing that governments aren’t moving fast enough, environmental nonprofits and project development firms hope the aviation industry will fly to the rescue by purchasing carbon credits.
“This is potentially the deal of the century,” contends zoologist Andrew Mitchell, founder and director of Global Canopy Programme, an Oxford, England-based think tank devoted to preserving tropical forests. Not so fast, say some other environmentalists, who worry that the big polluters in air transportation will get off the hook too easily.
CARBON MARKETS: What will it take to build a global emissions trading system?
By John Fialka, eenews.net, 18 May 2016
According to the World Bank, which has pioneered many types of emissions trading, there are 40 nations and 20 states, provinces and cities that have implemented emissions trading systems, a number that has tripled over the last 10 years.
Together these jurisdictions now produce about 12 percent of the planet’s man-made greenhouse gas emissions. Their reach is expected to grow quickly as China embarks on building what could become the world’s largest cap-and-trade system and as more nations and sub-nations link their systems with one another to create markets with unified rules, more liquidity and a broader reach.
Environmental groups demand end to logging of Australia’s native forests
By Michael Slezak, The Guardian, 18 May 2016
More than 30 environmental groups have signed a statement demanding that agreements allowing the logging of Australian native forests not be renewed.
Australia’s 10 regional forestry agreements (RFAs) were signed between 1997 and 2001, each running for 20 years, with the first two expiring in 2017.
The agreements between state and federal governments mean proposals to log in designated native forests aren’t required to be approved through the usual federal process, under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC).
[Australia] Junk sculpture festival supports back-burning Indigenous rangers with higher carbon credit price
By Emilia Terzon, ABC Darwin, 18 May 2016
An Indigenous ranger group pushed out of the Federal Government’s carbon market by dwindling prices has started selling carbon credits to Top End businesses at a better price.
Earlier this month the Government’s latest Emission Reduction Fund (ERF) auction set the carbon credit price at a new low of just over $10 per tonne.
For the Jawoyn Association, which uses its rangers’ savannah burning projects to offset carbon emissions, that price was simply too low to sustain operations.
Brazil’s Guarani Indians killing themselves over loss of ancestral land
By John Vidal, The Guardian, 18 May 2016
The small Apy Ka’y community of around 150 Guarani Indians has lived in squalor by the side of Highway BR 463 in southern Brazil since 2009. Since then, they have been forced out three times by unknown gunmen, had their makeshift camp burned down twice by arsonists and three young people from the group have killed themselves.
Each time they were intimidated they returned and reoccupied their last patch of land but last month a Brazilian judge ordered the Apy Ka’y community to permanently move off the land that was theirs for hundreds of years but was seized without compensation by wealthy plantation owners in the 1970s.
Last stand for Europe’s remaining ancient forest as loggers prepare to move in
By Arthur Neslen, The Guardian, 18 May 2016
Europe’s last primeval forest is facing what campaigners call its last stand as loggers prepare to start clear-cutting trees, following the dismissal of dozens of scientists and conservation experts opposed to the plan.
Poland’s new far right government says logging is needed because more than 10% of spruce trees in the Unesco world heritage site of Białowieża are suffering from a bark beetle outbreak. But nearly half the logging will be of other species, according to its only published inventory.
Oak trees as high as 150 feet that have grown for 450 years could be reduced to stumps under the planned threefold increase in tree fells. Białowieża hosts Europe’s largest bison population and wolves and lynx still roam freely across its sun-mottled interior. Its foliage stretches for nearly 1,000 square miles across the border between Poland and Belarus.
Baishanlin says seizure of vehicles violates Guyana-China pact
Stabroek News, 18 May 2016
Attorneys for controversial Chinese logging firm Baishanlin have written to the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) seeking the return of vehicles seized in April and have accused Georgetown of breaching treaty obligations with China.
The company has accused the David Granger administration of seeking to “cripple” its investment in Guyana and said its actions were “unlawful.” Baishanlin wants Georgetown and Beijing to open discussions with a view to resolving the issue under the ‘Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Guyana and the Government of China on the Promotion and Protection of Investments’ which was inked between the two countries in March 2003. Up to press time, there was no reaction from the Granger administration on the Baishanlin letters. [R-M: Subscription needed.]
[Nigeria] CRSG Assures On Forest Conservation
The Tide, 18 May 2016
The Cross River State Commissioner for Climate Change and Forestry, Dr. Alice Ekwu, said that the Governor Ben Ayade-led administration was to better the lives of Cross Riverians through sustainable development.
The commissioner stated this when she led a team of UN-REDD Consultants on a visit to Ekuri community in Akamkpa Local Government Area.
Addressing the people of Ekuri, Dr. Ekwu lauded their efforts for the preservation of their forest over the years, adding that their passion for forest conservation would be rewarded.
Fielding questions from the Ekuri people on the Super Highway Project, the commissioner disclosed that a dialogue between the state government and the Federal Ministry of Environment was on-going, expressing confidence that the outcome of the dialogue would not be detrimental to Ekuri Community.
[UK] Green company boss disqualified for carbon credits scam
By Jacqueline Echevarria, Energy Live News, 18 May 2016
An acting director of a green company has been disqualified for 13 years for his actions.
He sold duplicated carbon credits and tried to cover it up, according to the Insolvency Service.
John Coates, although not formally appointed a director of Green Deal Advice 247 Limited in Lancashire, was the dominant driving force. He was involved in negotiations with energy companies to supply carbon credits in order for them to comply with the government’s Energy Company Obligations.
Mr Coates sold 2,000 tonnes of carbon measures to one energy company for which it received £222,145.
Unbeknown to the customer, these measures had already been supplied to another energy firm so were therefore duplicated.
[UK] Forestry scheme highlights growing role of introducers
By Jack Gilbert, New Model Adviser, 18 May 2016
Details have emerged about Avacade Limited, an unregulated introducer firm linked to the controversial investment scheme Ethical Forestry which has left 3,000 investors uncertain over the value of their investments.
An investigation by New Model Adviser® has revealed that:
Avacade Limited has gone into liquidation but one of the principals is still offering to introduce overseas investments under a similar named company.
Some investors in Ethical Forestry were initially targeted with a free non-advised pension report. This then led Avacade Limited to get in touch with them.
Complaints have been made to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) about Ethical Forestry and Avacade Limited. The FCA has declined to say whether it has launched a formal investigation. Avacade Limited maintains that it has done nothing wrong.
Claims management firms are now representing some of the investors in Ethical Forestry who invested via regulated firms. This includes at least one firm which has been declared in default by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
19 May 2016
Far From Turning a Corner, Global CO2 Emissions Still Accelerating
By Bob Berwyn, Inside Climate News, 19 May 2016
The level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is not just rising, it’s accelerating, and another potent greenhouse gas, methane showed a big spike last year, according to the latest annual greenhouse gas index released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
CO2 emissions totaled between 35 and 40 billion tons in 2015, according to several agencies. Some of that is absorbed by forests and oceans, but those natural systems are being overwhelmed by the sheer volume of new CO2. As a result, the inventory shows, the average global concentration increased to 399 parts per million in 2015, a record jump of almost 3 ppm from the year before.
Advancing REDD+ in practice through knowledge sharing and learning
By Maria Fernanda Jaramillo and Emelin Gasparrini, WWF, 19 May 2016
As an evolving mechanism, REDD+ has grown over the years through trial and error, as people try to put together the complex puzzle pieces that make up this forest and climate work. As we feel our way through the process, it is so important to assess the effectiveness of our actions, to ensure we are maximizing the positive impacts of our work.
However, rushed agendas often leave little time for donors and practitioners to reflect on their REDD+ efforts. Setting aside time and resources for this is rarely included in work plans or budgets. In many cases, work has been done in silos, and the lessons learned from real world efforts have not been shared in a way that helps us take into account real time events or permits us to deliver a “new way to do things.”
Aboriginal Minister accused of betraying First Nations
By Alan S. Hale, Timmins Press, 19 May 2016
Discussion during the final day of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation’s Spring Chiefs Assembly got quite heated after provincial Aboriginal Affairs Minister David Zimmer was the only one out of the three expected government ministers to come and field questions from the chiefs and other delegates.
When it came to his turn to ask a question, Mushkegowuk Council Grand Chief Jonathon Solomon tore into Zimmer about the Liberal government’s climate change legislation which was announced on Wednesday. Solomon called the legislation a “betrayal” and a continuation of the practice of considering the interests of First Nations as an afterthought…
Solomon’s criticism is not of anything in the proposed bill specifically, but the fact that the legislation is being introduced without coming to an agreement with First Nations, including the Mushkegowuk Council, about how their communities will participate in the new green economy the bill wants to establish.
The government’s press release asserts that “the final design (of the cap and trade program) was also informed by extensive consultation with businesses, industry, the public, environmental organizations and Indigenous communities.”
Solomon said that last point was a falsehood.
Proposed Amazon dam attracts illegal loggers, threatens local farmers
By Tatiana Farah, mongabay.com, 19 May 2016
As night falls on the Areia Homestead Project, forty kilometers from the town of Trairão, in the western portion of Pará state, the silence is cut short by the roar of approaching motorcycles.
Armed men wearing hoods to conceal their identities ride up and circle Osvalinda and Daniel Pereira’s home. The couple grows fruit for a living, but now they have a price on their heads for not cooperating with illegal loggers who have ordered them out of their remote Amazon home. They’ve faced escalating threats since 2012.
Forestry emissions and the EU’s risky LULUCF debate
By Hannah Mowat (FERN), Euractiv, 19 May 2016
Healthy forests are crucial to achieving the Paris Agreement’s goals. There is not a single peer-reviewed scenario proposing how to limit global average temperatures to 1.5°C that does not include the need to sequester quite large amounts of CO2. If we need to do this, while avoiding dangerous geo-engineering, then we need a long-term target and vision for how to increase removals of greenhouse gases from forests.
But this does not take an ounce of pressure away from the need to decarbonise our energy sectors and significantly reduce emissions from fertilisers, meat production and industry processes. Even a casual glance at the carbon cycle shows that removals from forests do not cancel out these emissions.
Time For Retailers To Turn Attention To Deforestation Risk In Cattle Products
By Christina MacFarquhar, Environmental Marketplace, 19 May 2016
Many retailers are at risk of stocking products sourced from cattle raised on recently deforested tropical forest lands. However, some retailers have relatively greater exposure to this problem – as well as greater power to address it.
Twenty-nine retailers selling cattle-derived products – ranging from steaks and burgers to shoes and handbags – are currently listed as ‘powerbrokers’ on the Forest 500 – the global rainforest ratings agency, run by the Global Canopy Programme (GCP), that identifies and ranks the most influential companies, investors and governments in the race towards a deforestation-free global economy. Based on the Forest 500 identification process, these twenty-nine companies constitute the most important retailers in the world when it comes to addressing tropical deforestation in global cattle supply chains.
And there is much to be done.
After Paris pact bonhomie, gloves come off at Bonn
By Nitin Sethi, Business Standard, 19 May 2016
Governments across the world paused after the Paris climate agreement in December, couching sighs of relief behind self-congratulatory notes. A deceptive bonhomie marked the pact’s signing in New York in April this year.
However, less than five months after the pact was sealed, the gloves came off at Bonn, Germany, when mid-year negotiations to implement the Paris agreement began on Monday.
Arguments began even before the negotiations could. Negotiators from 196 countries could not come to a consensus on the full agenda of the inter-sessional meeting for two consecutive days. The broad divide between developed and developing countries resurfaced. Rich nations asked that work begin only on capturing what countries are going to do to reduce emissions. Others, including China and India, asked that work should also begin on capturing details of how countries are adapting to climate change and on how funds are being provided by rich countries – a demand for balance, in negotiation jargon.
Analysis: Only five years left before 1.5C carbon budget is blown
Carbon Brief, 19 May 2016
In its most recent synthesis report, published in early 2014, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) laid out estimates of how much CO2 we can emit and still keep global average temperature rise to no more than 1.5C, 2C or 3C above pre-industrial levels.
That same year, Carbon Brief used these estimates to calculate how many years of current emissions were left before blowing these budgets.
Updating this analysis for 2016, our figures suggest that just five years of CO2 emissions at current levels would be enough to use up the carbon budget for a good chance – a 66% probability – of keeping global temperature rise below 1.5C.
[Guyana] Minister Allicock meets with UN Special Rapporteur on Indigenous peoples rights
Government Information Agency, 19 May 2016
Following the delivery of Guyana’s third official statement to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues UNPFII today, Honourable Sydney Allicock M.S, M.P Vice president and Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs met with United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Ms Victoria Tauli-Corpuz. Vice President Allicock was accompanied by His Excellency George Talbot – Guyana’s Ambassador to the US, Mr Shiraz Arif-Mohamed –First Secretary of Guyana’s Permanent Mission to the UN, Mr Mervyn Williams – Ministerial Adviser, Toshao Joel Fredericks – Chairman of the National Toshaos’ Council and Ms Jude Da Silva – Project Coordinator.
Indo Govt urged to act on timber firms violating the law
Environmental Investigation Agency, 19 May 2016
Last week, in an unprecedented show of political will, four Indonesian Ministers – from Environment and Forestry, Trade, Foreign Affairs and Industry – issued a joint press release on the importance of the timber legality system and the preparations that need to be concluded before issuance of FLEGT licences can start.
In response, independent forest monitors based in Bogor, Indonesia, want to see the Government of Indonesia demonstrate greater commitment to the legal timber trade by investigating and sanctioning companies demonstrably skirting the system.
In a recent report – Loopholes in Legality – a network of forest monitors uncovered multiple violations by timber companies masquerading as small and medium enterprises to gain favourable market conditions.
20 May 2016
Activists row over bioenergy role in meeting 1.5C climate target
By Megan Darby, Climate Home, 20 May 2016
Deep rifts have emerged between climate campaigners over how the world can best limit warming to a newly agreed goal of 1.5C above pre industrial levels.
At issue are the assumptions in climate models that large-scale use of energy crops will be needed to prevent dangerous climate disruption.
In a media briefing at UN climate talks in Bonn on Thursday ActionAid warned this raised the risk of land grabs and food insecurity, hurting the world’s vulnerable.
The international charity’s Teresa Anderson argued there had to be other ways to meet the aspirational goal agreed at last December’s Paris summit.
Climate scientist Bill Hare, who spoke before Anderson on the panel and did not have a chance to respond directly to the claims, described that as “bullshit” as he walked out.
African aviation warms to carbon reduction – Iata
Engineering News, 20 May 2016
African countries seem to be coming around to a global scheme to offset carbon emissions in the aviation industry, Tony Tyler, CEO of the International Air Transport Association (Iata), told Fin24 on Wednesday. “In the past a lot of African countries were anxious and concerned about such a carbon reduction scheme, but it appears that they are seeing the merits it could bring,” Tyler said at the global summit of the International Transport Forum taking place in Leipzig, Germany this week. “Of course they realise this would not be an easy process, but I am positive about the momentum I am seeing among African states in this regard. There is a sort of a consensus starting to emerge, while areas where there are no consensus are also becoming clearer.”
Justice delayed is justice denied in Guatemala’s palm oil-driven human rights crisis
By Jeff Conant, FoE USA, 20 May 2016
One year after one of the biggest environmental disasters in Latin America — the massive spill of malathion-laden palm oil effluent into Guatemala’s Pasión River — none of the companies involved have been held accountable.
It was June 6, 2015 when palm oil effluent ponds belonging to Guatemalan palm oil company REPSA overflowed into the Pasión River, causing massive fish kills and impacting the lives of 120,000 people that rely on a 100-mile stretch of the river in the municipality of Sayaxché.
India records its hottest day ever as temperature hits 51C (that’s 123.8F)
Agence France Presse, 20 May 2016
A city in northern India has shattered the national heat record, registering a searing 51C – the highest since records began – amid a nationwide heatwave.
The new record was set in Phalodi, a city in the desert state of Rajasthan, and is the equivalent of 123.8F.
It tops a previous record of 50.6C set in 1956.
[Indonesia] National awakening and gnawing doubt
By HS Dillon, Jakarta Post, 20 May 2016
Leading up to May 20, I’m tempted to try and reignite the spirit of our national awakening. The rising awareness of the elite at that time, personified by Wahidin Soedirohoesodo and Soetomo, that education is a powerful weapon against colonization.
By funding the education of the less fortunate, our elite chose a moral and ethical life, placing the dignity of the nation ahead of their own interests.
The Indonesia envisioned then was to be free from all forms of colonialism, with full sovereignty residing with the people, a just and civilized humanity characterized by social justice for all.
But what has surfaced this year is a gnawing doubt: Does the beloved Indonesia imagined and fought for by the founders still exist? It has been over a century since the awakening, but ignorance is still pervasive. It’s been seven decades since Sukarno and Hatta declared independence, but sovereignty and social justice are still out of reach.
[New Zealand] ‘Commercial common sense’ in contractual interpretation
By Buddle Finlay, Lexology, 20 May 2016
Carbon Farming concerned an emissions reduction purchase agreement between New Zealand Carbon Farming Ltd (NZCF) (as seller) and Mighty River Power Limited (MRP) (as buyer). The agreement contemplated that NZCF might be obliged to sell (and MRP to buy) a different number of carbon credits than those fixed by the agreement at the date of execution. Under the agreement, that turned on whether there had been a change in the accounting mechanism approach in operation under the Climate Change Response Act 2002. NZCF claimed there was such a change – in the vicinity of double the amounts of carbon credits to be sold. MRP, predictably, denied such a change.
The Court rejected NZCF’s argument: “we consider it cannot have been the common intention of the parties to contract on a basis that would almost double the number of units…well beyond the expected capacity of the forest”.
Caution and optimism in Zambia as forest scheme scales up
By Susan Kirimania, Transparency International, 20 May 2016
In an effort to protect the trees and preserve carbon-reducing forests, projects are underway in Zambia as part of REDD+. The United Nations’ REDD+ programme – Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation – creates financial incentives for developing countries to preserve their forests….
REDD+ has the potential to incentivise preservation, but so far it hasn’t. The most advanced project – by a Lusaka-based company called BioCarbon Partners, with investment from the World Bank and others – is in pilot stage, and it is confronted with many of the challenges REDD+ projects have encountered in other countries. Some members of the local community living in close proximity to the project area claim that BioCarbon Partners usually deals directly with traditional leaders, leaving them in the dark. In the information vacuum, rumours flourished: “Look at the headman. He even has a TV now in his house,” implying that the headman had been bribed and did not represent their interests. In the worst case, in 2015 villagers accused a REDD+ project implementer of setting fire to the homes of people encroaching on REDD+ forests. TI Zambia has submitted questions to the state about the incident, but we have not received a response.
21 May 2016
[UK] These people claiming to be from the Postcode Lottery are fraudsters – and stupid ones
By Tony Hetherington, Daily Mail, 21 May 2016
A boss of a corrupt carbon credits investment company has been banned from acting as the director of any business for the next 14 years after the Government’s Insolvency Service found his firm had raked in £2.9 million through misselling.
Stephen Michael Leary, 32, from North London, was a director of World Carbon Limited. It sold carbon credit certificates to the public, claiming they would increase in value and could be sold for a profit.
In fact, there was no market through which they could be turned back into cash, and investors face a total loss. I investigated World Carbon in 2012. After I put some awkward questions to the company, it hired lawyer Anthony Field, of Rosenblatt Solicitors, to assure me clients were told that it could take a year or two to resell their carbon credits.
Field warned me that World Carbon would be ‘considering very carefully’ anything I wrote, and that if I defamed his client, he would advise the company to take action ‘to protect its reputation.’
Well, I did publish a warning, in March 2012. I never heard from Field again, and the company changed its name to Worldwide Commodity Partners Limited and carried on selling its dud bits of paper.
It was finally killed off by a High Court order in 2014. Some reputation.
22 May 2016
Carbon trading fails to take root in Korea
The Korea Herald, 22 May 2016
Korean companies have rarely traded their carbon emission rights on the South Korean main bourse this year due to a weak supply, data showed Sunday.
According to the Korea Exchange, the total volume of traded emission rights stood at 1.08 million tons as of Thursday, a combined figure of 113,000 Korean allowance units and 968,000 Korean credit units.