REDD-Monitor’s round-up of the week’s news on forests, climate change, and REDD. For regular updates, follow @reddmonitor on Twitter.
12 September 2016
Senior Oil & Gas Executive Lisa Walker joins Althelia Ecosphere to head up new environment and climate venture
Althelia press release, 12 September 2016
Althelia Ecosphere – the asset management platform established to demonstrate that competitive financial returns can be fully aligned with the preservation of natural capital and social development, is delighted to announce today the addition of Lisa Walker to the Group’s senior team. Lisa has left her role as Vice President for Environment & Climate Change at BG group (now a part of Royal Dutch Shell) to head up a new venture, Ecosphere+, established with the founding mission of building scale in the marketplace for environmental assets, such as those created through Althelia Ecosphere’s Althelia Climate Fund 1. The Climate Fund was launched in June 2013 backed by notable institutions from the public and private sector with a mission to align economy with ecology by financing integrated rural landscapes that support conservation of natural ecosystems alongside ecologically sustainable commercial activities.
Indonesian environment ministry shoots down geothermal plan in Mount Leuser National Park
By Fidelis E. Satriastani, mongabay.com, 12 September 2016
The Indonesian environment ministry has denied the Aceh provincial government’s proposal to rezone part of Mount Leuser National Park for geothermal development, reacting to opposition from conservationists who argued the project would threaten key orangutan and rhino populations.
The ministry’s director for protected areas told Mongabay that the ministry had rejected a letter from Aceh Governor Zaini Abdullah asking that a section of the park’s “core zone” be changed to a “utilization zone” so that a Turkish company, Hitay Holdings, could develop geothermal there.
“The minister received the letter but from socialization and [public] consultation, the result was disagreement with the rezoning, so that’s that. [The plan] stops there,” Tachrir Fathoni told Mongabay last week on the sidelines of the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Honolulu.
Ireland could face €5.5bn climate bill by 2030, says expert
By Eoin Burke-Kennedy, The Irish Times, 12 September 2016
Ireland could face fines of up to €5.5 billion by 2030 if it fails to bring forward measures to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions in line with European Union targets.
According to an analysis by Joseph Curtin of the Institute of International and European Affairs, the cost of inaction on climate change could have serious implications for the fiscal space of future governments.
He estimated Ireland is likely to be hit with a compliance bill of up to €610 million by 2020 for breaching its current renewable-energy and emissions targets.
[USA] California governor signs landmark climate and clean energy bills into law
By Mike Gaworecki, mongabay.com, 12 September 2016
California’s Senate Bill 32 (SB 32) and a second, related bill that has also been signed into law, Assembly Bill 197 (AB 197), require the state to cut emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, create a committee to oversee the state’s climate programs, and take stronger action to cut pollution from refineries and other facilities.
Zimbabwe’s Doma children on the margins of society
By Godfrey Mutizwa, CNBC Africa, 12 September 2016
If headman Givas Chinobaiwa had his way, his three boys and daughter would all be in school.
Instead, all four, like the other three hundred or so children of Zimbabwe’s Doma people, spend their days in the villages and forests around Kanyemba, in Mashonaland Central province, foraging for food and looking for any work they can get.
“We are poor people,” Chinobaiwa, 45, says matter of factly at his homestead. Home is three simple grass and pole structures built on the Zambezi River plains on the border with Zambia and Mozambique. “I cannot afford the school fees and so we are all sitting at home.”
13 September 2016
This Year’s Surge in Global Warming Is So Off the Charts, a Comic Is the Best Way to Explain It
By Eric Holthaus, Pacific Standard, 13 September 2016
On Monday, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration announced that August 2016 has probably set a new record for the warmest absolute month ever measured, though it’s so close to July 2016 as to be in a statistically indistinguishable tie. That’s saying something, because Earth’s globally averaged temperature normally peaks in July — this year, that didn’t happen. Whichever month is a hair warmer, the conclusion is the same: When it comes to global warming, 2016 is something very special.
Why XKCD’s Earth Temperature Timeline is Such a Good Online Graphic
By Aaron Huertas, Medium, 13 September 2016
Randall Munroe of XKCD has produced another creative visual representation of climate data. I made a quick video walkthrough of what it does well, including:
Flipping the axis and taking advantage of a purely online data representation.
Defying the audience’s expectations by scrolling down to go forward in time instead of going from left to right.
Emphasizing just how stable our climate has been over the millennia before modern, industrially-driven climate change started dominating the system.
Nice integration of an important footnote.
Representing climate choices at the end by focusing on varying emissions pathways and how far they take us off this relatively stable path we’ve been on for so long as a species.
World Bank Tries to Revive Projects for Reducing Methane Emissions
By Nicole Friedman, The Wall Street Journal, 13 September 2016
The World Bank has a novel plan to jump-start projects aimed at cutting emissions of methane and other greenhouse gases: It is auctioning off financial contracts that give investors the right to sell a certain amount of emission reductions—known as carbon credits—to the bank at a fixed price over the next four years.
The bank has conducted two auctions focused on methane emissions already and is reviewing plans for a third auction focused on nitrous-oxide emissions.
Can forest concessions in tropical countries deliver sustainability?
By Thais Linhares-Juvenal (FAO), LinkedIn, 13 September 2016
76% of world forests are public. In Russia and many African and Asian countries the entire forest area is public property. Where a share of public forests is designated for production, contracts between governments and third parts (mostly with private companies, but also with community associations) have been adopted to assign harvesting permits or licenses or management of the forest area. Forest concessions are adopted in all parts of the world in boreal, temperate and tropical forests, although information on the extension of forests under this type of contractual arrangement is still scarce and unreliable in most of the developing world. Recent studies commissioned by FAO in selected countries in West and Central Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia reported at least 122 million hectares of forest concessions. In 20 selected countries, industrial forest concessions respond for 14% of public forests and 60% of public forests designated for production.
Coming Together on Climate Solutions
American Climate Leadership Summit (The Nature Conservancy), 13 September 2016
Over the past few years we have witnessed two watershed trends in the movement for effective climate solutions: on one hand, historic progress has been made at the international level with multinational pacts such as the Paris Agreement and the binational agreements between the United States and China. On the other hand, we’ve seen action for climate solutions crop up in across America in unexpected places, like doctor’s offices, churches and local communities. Some might say a church can’t make a difference, but collectively these unexpected actions may have as big of an impact as the international ones.
Brazil formally joins the Paris Agreement
By Jake Schmidt, NRDC, 13 September 2016
During the 2016 Summer Olympics Brazil took the opportunity to highlight the severity of climate change with a video played during the opening ceremony. The Olympics may have concluded, but Brazil is not ready to end their global leadership. Brazil formally joined the Paris Agreement, signaling that they want to be a leader on the gravest challenge facing humanity. As one of the world’s largest emitters Brazil is sending a powerful signal to the other big economies — time to formally join this historic agreement.
[Guyana] Baishanlin needs three more years to make good on promises, CEO says
Starbroek News, 13 September 2016
Following seizures of property during Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) raids on its operations at Providence and Coomacka, the Chief Executive Officer of Baishalin yesterday appealed to government and the people to show patience and give the Chinese logging company at least three years to deliver on its commitments to value-added output and job creation.
“We need three more years. Say, up to 2019. We would appreciate if the Guyanese people and government show patience with us. They will see the returns on their investment,” Chief Executive Officer Hungbo Chu told Stabroek News in an interview at the company’s Region 10 operation yesterday… [R-M: Subscription needed]
[Guyana] Where is BaiShanLin’s millions? … Chinese bank says no evidence BaiShanLin diverted monies
Kaieteur News, 13 September 2016
The Government of China had gone out its way to assist BaiShanLin International Forest Developments Inc. in its expansion throughout Guyana.
According to a report of the China Development Bank (CDB) prepared in November 2014 and shared with the Government of Guyana, the Chinese government had granted the BaiShanlin’s wood processing plant project a 10% sea freight subsidy and a loan discount.
The company also benefitted from export tax rebate for its materials to Guyana.
In turn, the Government of Guyana implemented duty-free concessions for the imported equipment.
The report would signal how high an interest that Chinese had in the operations of BaiShanLin.
Paraguay: Government defies order to protect uncontacted tribe
Survival International, 13 September 2016
The Paraguayan government has failed to act to protect a group of uncontacted tribal people, despite having been ordered to do so in February of this year.
Six months ago the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights demanded that the government stop the deforestation of the Chaco, which suffers the highest rate of deforestation in the world, and protect the vulnerable uncontacted Ayoreo Indians who live there.
However, the government has failed to stop the continuing clearance of the area’s forest, raising concerns that the uncontacted Ayoreo Indians face annihilation.
14 September 2016
El Niño, global warming combine to cause extreme drought in Amazon rainforest
Science Daily, 14 September 2016
A study led by researchers at the Global Change Unit at the Universitat de València (UV) shows the impact the current 2015/2016 El Niño is having in Amazonia. Areas of extreme drought and changes to their typical distribution in the region are among the most evident consequences.
The El Niño effect is part of a cycle of global heating and cooling associated with the changing temperatures of a band of ocean water in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific ocean. Repeating every three to five years, it is one of the main drivers of climate variability. Although its consequences are felt at the global level, its impact on tropical forests — particularly the Amazon rainforests — are considered particularly significant, since this ecosystem is considered one of the planet’s main carbon sinks.
[Canada] Cap-and-Trade Versus Carbon Tax: Which Works Better?
Bloomberg, 14 September 2016
Earlier this month, Ontario, Quebec and Mexico struck the first international climate change deal since the United Nations summit in Paris last year. The three have agreed to develop carbon markets together, whereby emissions are capped, and companies can trade carbon credits. It has further fueled the debate — does the cap-and-trade approach work or is a carbon tax more effective like the one adopted in British Columbia and soon Alberta, or are both just first steps to a more aggressive framework for mitigating the potentially devastating effects of climate change? Bloomberg TV Canada’s Amanda Lang moderates a heated debate between Rick Smith, executive director of the Broadbent Institute, and Ken Green, senior director for Natural Resources of the Fraser Institute.
[Ethiopia] Using remote sensing to empower local communities in forestry management
By Samuel McGlennon, CIFOR Forest News Blog, 14 September 2016
The forests of Ethiopia are famous for producing the world’s best coffee. But something else is about to emerge from these forests: an innovative system for the local monitoring and management of forest change.
“The story of this research is basically the integration of a bottom-up, participatory component of forest monitoring with a top-down, remote sensing component,” says Martin Herold, a Senior Associate at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and a professor at Wageningen University in the Netherlands.
“This is the first time that such an interactive monitoring technique has been developed.”
Steering Climate policy through the EU
By Ian Duncan, Reaction, 14 September 2016
Standing before the European Parliament, raised above the grassy square at the heart of Place du Luxembourg, is a statue that few will have noted. Resplendent in regency dress, gazing wistfully toward the setting sun, stands John Cockerell, Lancastrian by birth, Belgian by adoption. Few will have heard of Cockerell which is a shame because by the time he shuffled off this mortal coil, he had all but single-handedly fuelled the Belgian industrial revolution building an industrial empire that embraced steel, iron and engineering and which survives in part to this day within ArcelorMittal.
President Juncker’s State of the Union Speech: ratification of Paris Agreement top priority for EU and its Member States
European Commission, 14 September 2016
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker urged the EU to ratify the Paris Agreement without delay in his State of the Union Speech to the European Parliament today.
He highlighted the critical role the EU played in Paris in brokering the first universal and legally binding deal to tackle global warming stressing how the EU − together with its partners in the High Ambition Coalition – fought to secure the most ambitious agreement possible. The two biggest emitters, China and the US, have already ratified the Paris Agreement.
James Nix: Brexit could pave the way for EU-wide carbon tax
By Jan Vitásek, EurActive, 14 September 2016
Originally, the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) only came into place because the UK was opposed to using taxation as a policy instrument to reduce global warming. With Brexit, there is now an opportunity to look again at an EU-wide carbon tax, according to James Nix.
James Nix is the director of Green Budget Europe, a Brussels-based non-profit expert platform on environmental fiscal reform.
Nix spoke to EurActiv Czech Republic’s publisher Jan Vitásek at the T2gE conference in Bratislava.
Can upscale chocolate turn the tide on Haiti’s devastating deforestation?
By Meg Wilcox, Ensia, 14 September 2016
When a tiny Quebec chocolate maker won a gold prize at this year’s premier International Chocolate Awards for a bar made with Haitian cocoa beans, it rocked the specialty chocolate world. The cocoa beans had been on the market for less than a year, and a Haitian chocolate bar had never before received the award.
Haiti produces less than 1 percent of the world’s cocoa. But today, cocoa industry players are aiming to put the Caribbean nation on the craft quality chocolate map, while providing some of the world’s poorest farmers with a better life and stemming the forces that have left Haiti a near moonscape. Stunningly 98 percent deforested, Haiti is an environmental mess, vulnerable to devastating floods and mudslides.
Indonesian Islamic council issues fatwa on forest fires
Reuters, 14 September 2016
Indonesia’s highest Islamic council has issued a fatwa on burning land and forests, a government official said on Wednesday, in an effort to halt the toxic smog that blankets the region each year.
The fatwa is not legally binding but is aimed at discouraging plantation companies and farmers from clearing land using slash-and-burn methods in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy.
“There was a meeting between the environment minister and the Indonesian Clerics’ Council, which issued fatwa no 30/2016 about forest and land burning law,” said ministry spokesman Novrizal Tahar.
“The point is that an act (of burning) that causes environmental damage, according to (the council) decision, is illegitimate.”
[Indonesia] Haze-free Riau after 18 years
Channel News Asia, 14 September 2016
For the first time in 18 years, the Indonesian province of Riau in Sumatra has managed to prevent haze caused by raging forest fires, from choking the province.
Last year was especially bad – Riau and five other provinces in Indonesia declared states of emergency because of the haze, and schools and airports were shut down.
The region was also affected with the haze spreading to Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.
But early intervention this year, has helped prevent a repeat of the situation.
Residents of Pekanbaru in Riau are enjoying the outdoors once again after years of being choked by haze from forest fires this time of year.
Indonesia forest fires: has this Sumatran village got the solution?
By Laura Villadiego, The Guardian (Supported by RSPO), 14 September 2016
Fires have returned once again to the forests and peatlands of Riau province on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The annual environmental disaster devastates millions of hectares (pdf) in the archipelago and has been linked to the clearing of forest and peatland for oil palm and paper pulp plantations.
Last year south-east Asia experienced one of the worst forest fire outbreaks in the region’s history. A thick, acrid smoke covered large areas of Indonesia and neighbouring countries, and more than 500,000 cases of acute respiratory tract infections were reported between July and October 2015.
15 September 2016
As 2020 Deadline Looms, Companies Must Step Up To Meet Deforestation Commitments
By Steve Zwick, Ecosystem Marketplace, 15 September 2016
In 2009, Paul Polman took the helm at Unilever PLC – an Anglo-Dutch consumer-goods giant that gathers raw materials like palm oil, soybeans, and milk from hundreds of thousands of farms around the world and turns them into soaps and soups and other creations as diverse as Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, Hellmann’s mayonnaise, and Axe body wash.
Unfortunately, many of the farmers that feed the combine are chopping forests to do so, and that destroys habitat for endangered species, contaminates rivers and lakes, disrupts indigenous culture, and accelerates climate change. So Polman, in one of his first official acts as CEO, stopped using quarterly earnings to drive strategy and shifted instead to the nebulous concept of long-term “sustainability”.
ICAO’s Carbon-Offsetting Scheme Not Adequate, Groups Say
By Bill Carey, AINonline, 15 September 2016
The global market-based measure (GMBM) scheme the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) will take up later this month is not aggressive enough to achieve emissions reduction goals, according to a coalition of environmental organizations. The group called for revisions to the scheme, among them requiring that major aviation countries “publicly commit” to participating.
At its 39th triennial assembly, which will take place September 27 through October 7 in Montreal, ICAO’s 191 member states will vote on the GMBM scheme as part of a “basket of measures” the aviation sector will undertake to achieve “carbon-neutral growth,” or capping net carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, by 2020. The ICAO executive committee released a draft of the carbon offsetting scheme in the form of a working paper earlier this month.
The International Coalition for Sustainable Aviation (ICSA) contends that the GMBM scheme as proposed does not adequately address the projected increase in air travel and is not strong enough to help achieve carbon-neutral growth. “Unfortunately, the text that we have now shows that aviation is well off course to meet this target and ICAO’s deadline to adopt this measure is rapidly approaching,” advised Kelsey Perlman, policy officer for land use and aviation with Brussels-based Carbon Market Watch.
Brazil Will Wait to Join Airline Emissions Deal, Official Says
By Vanessa Dezem and Joe Ryan, Bloomberg, 15 September 2016
Brazil is unlikely to join the initial phases of a proposed United Nations accord being brokered this month to limit emissions from international air travel, a senior government official said.
Brazil, one of the fastest-growing aviation markets, doesn’t produce enough emissions to justify joining the accord in the initial voluntary phases, beginning in 2021, said Brazilian National Civil Aviation Agency director Ricardo Fenelon Jr.
The country will wait to join the agreement when it’s expected to become mandatory in 2027, and other developing nations in the region should follow Brazil’s example, he said.
[Ghana] GII launches report on corruption risk in forestry sector
Ghana News Agency, 15 September 2016
The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) on Thursday launched a report on corruption risk and governance assessment research under a crafted policy dubbed: “Reducing emissions from deforestations and forest degradation (REDD+).
The report which was studied in three districts and Greater Accra, Ashanti and Northern Regions seeks to bring to bare some of the key indicators that influence corruption in the forestry sector.
EU Hopes Licensing System Will Help Save Indonesian Forests
Associated Press, 15 September 2016
he European Union has admitted Indonesia to a special licensing system it hopes will prevent the illegally felled tropical timber that makes up a substantial part of the country’s wood production from being shipped to the 28-nation bloc.
The EU said Thursday that Indonesia is the first country to qualify for the licenses. It will mean that traders of goods such as wooden furniture, plywood and paper that earn the certification will find it easier to do business with Europe.
But some environmental and civil society groups are already concerned the licensing system could become a conduit for illegal timber from a country where tropical forests are being cut down at an epic rate.
[Indonesia] House to summon companies allegedly behind fires
By Marguerite Afra Sapiie, The Jakarta Post, 15 September 2016
The House of Representatives committee investigating forest fires will summon 15 companies alleged to have been responsible for land and forest fires in order to get to the bottom of why terminations of investigation (SP3s) into the companies’ activities were issued by Riau Police.
The committee’s chairperson Benny K. Harman said that lawmakers had found an indication of manipulation during the process of the SP3 issuance. For example, he added, the police did not send notification letters on the investigation orders (SPDP) to the Riau Prosecutor’s Office when they named the companies as suspects, but then unilaterally issued the SP3s, citing reasons such as a lack of evidence.
[Indonesia] The political economy of peatland restoration
By Wimar Witoelar, The Jakarta Post, 15 September 2016
Last week an investigative team from the Environment and Forestry Ministry was ambushed as it investigated fire-ravaged concession lands in Rokan Hulu, Riau.
Later, a team from the Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG) was prevented by security staff from the Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper (RAPP) company from conducting an inspection to collect data on the opening of new peatlands and the construction of canals as reported by the local community.
This confrontational dynamic can be traced back to 2015. At the Paris Climate Summit in December 2015 ( COP21 ), President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo in an important part of his opening address outlined his plan to reduce emissions by revamping the management of forests and land use.
[Indonesia] Govt, palm oil association empower locals to fight fires
The Jakarta Post, 15 September 2016
A number of government institutions and the Indonesian Palm Oil Entrepreneurs Association (Gapki) have teamed up to empower local people living near forests to prevent and fight forest fires, an association official has said.
The program involves 527 villages located near concession areas owned by members of the association, Gapki secretary general Togar Sitanggang said in a statement, adding that in dealing with forest fires, local people would cooperate with the police, the military and Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) branches.
“As a result, there are fewer fires in company concession areas, while fires outside of concession areas can also be controlled. This shows that the involvement of local people in preventing forest fires has been effective,” Togar added.
Thailand to Reduce Harmful Emissions from Deforestation with World Bank Support
The Financial, 15 September 2016
Similar to other developing countries in the region, the forests in Thailand have been disappearing due to massive cutting of trees and lack of care for forests. To help Thailand address this situation, the country will receive a grant of US$3.6 million from the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) to help develop a strategy and build capacities for reducing harmful emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.
“Thailand is an active participant in the global climate change dialogue and a champion for carbon emission reduction,” said Thanya Netithammakun, Director General from the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation. “We are pleased that the FCPF has recognized our efforts and has granted us additional funding to finance specific activities that will help us further protect our forests and slow the pace of climate change.”
[UK] Maximum director disqualification for man who ran ‘alternative investment’ scams
Insolvency Service, 15 September 2016
Ian James Hamilton, aged 37, the director of Industry RE Ltd (IRE), has been disqualified from being a company director for 15 years following a hearing at the High Court.
Under Mr Hamilton’s sole control IRE operated a number of ‘alternative investment’ scams between 2009 and 2013 that have caused losses of at least £13.3 million to members of the public. The main scams were a money circulation scheme and selling interests in land in Dominica that the company never owned.
[UK] Beware of potential ‘boiler room’ cold-callers
By Tim Drew, Worthing Herald, 15 September 2016
Every year in the UK, an estimated £1.2billion is lost to investment fraud and, according to the Financial Conduct Authority, those most likely to be victims of fraud are aged over 65.
But only ten per cent of such crimes are reported, meaning that the number of people affected by investment scams is, in reality, much higher.
Even experienced investors have been known to fall victim to “boiler room” fraudsters, who often come across as being professional, knowledgeable and trustworthy.
[USA] ‘Stewardship warriors’ want to sell you carbon credits
By Brianna Bell, Guelph Today, 15 September 2016
Anwaatin, an Indigenous environmental company that works with Indigenous communities is selling carbon offsets in voluntary markets, and working towards a goal of guiding the Indigenous community towards partnerships within the cap and trade markets.
A carbon offset is a credit for the reduction of greenhouse gas by one organization that is available for purchase by another organization to offset their emissions.
[USA] Washington state’s new cap-and-trade rule tackles global warming
Tri-City Herald, 15 September 2016
Washington state adopted a controversial rule Thursday to limit greenhouse gas emissions from large carbon polluters, joining a handful of other states in capping emissions to address climate change.
State environmental regulators finalized the Clean Air Rule, which requires large industrial emitters to gradually reduce carbon emissions over time. The change affects power plants, oil refineries, fuel distributors, pulp and paper mills, food processors and other industries and will cost millions if not billions of dollars to implement.
[USA] California Doubles Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Targets
By Vic Fazio, Dario Frommer, Kenneth Markowitz, and Arshi Siddiqui, JDSupra Busines Adviser, 15 September 2016
Ten years after adopting the nation’s first program to reduce statewide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, California is doubling its GHG emission reduction goals while adopting new measures to reduce short-lived climate pollutants. However, the future of California’s embattled Cap-and-Trade program remains up in the air.
California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has signed SB 32 legislation mandating deeper cuts in GHG emissions. Gov. Brown is also expected to sign SB 1383 addressing short-lived climate pollutants.
SB 32 directs the California Air Resources Board (ARB) to cut GHG emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. Current state law mandates a 20 percent cut of GHG emissions below 1990 levels by 2020 under the landmark Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32).
Climate change poses major national security risk to US, warn military experts
By Mary Papenfuss, International Business Times, 15 September 2016
Rapidly accelerating climate change will raise sea levels, cause droughts, dry up crops and create “strategically significant risks” to US national — and international — security, warns a bipartisan group of American military experts.
The US “must advance a comprehensive policy for addressing this risk,” said the urgent statement issued by the Climate Security Consensus Project.
The statement, created in collaboration with the Washington-based think tank Centre for Climate and Security, was signed by more than a dozen former senior military and national security officials.
16 September 2016
GSF says aviation needs global climate change deal
aircargonews, 16 September 2016
The aviation sector must agree a global deal to tackle climate change says the Global Shippers’ Forum (GSF) in its new Aviation Emissions Policy Statement.
The sector – a key enabler of economic growth and social development – currently represents 2% of global carbon emissions. However, its projected growth means emissions are expected to increase significantly in the coming decades.
“Within the sector, airfreight is an essential mode of transport for many industries including high-end manufacturing, engineering, pharmaceuticals and retailing,” said the GSF, adding: “It can take a month for goods to travel from Europe to the Far East by ship, but just a day by air. There is also time-sensitive cargo, such as medicines and documents, which cannot travel any other way.”
After Brexit Blow, Wind Parks at Sea Undermine Carbon Prices
by Matthew Carr, Bloomberg, 16 September 2016
In shallow waters off the Dutch coast, you’ll soon see why the world’s biggest carbon market is struggling with slumping prices.
Dong Energy A/S plans to build two offshore wind parks there supplying as many as one million homes. The cost of the projects is about 60 percent cheaper than average rates estimated only a year ago by Bloomberg New Energy Finance in London. If they stick, the tariffs could be a “game changer” because they are showing lawmakers fighting climate change just how quickly energy economics are changing and the range of options they now have beyond the emissions market, according to Barclays Plc.
EU Leaders Pledge Quick Ratification of Paris Climate Accord
By Ewa Krukowska and Helene Fouquet, Bloomberg, 16 September 2016
European Union leaders gave a political nod to the fast ratification of the global climate accord, a step that could enable the pact to come into force less than a year after it was agreed to by more than 190 nations in Paris.
“Not only will the European Parliament vote in October; now all members of the European Union stand ready to ratify the accord as soon as possible,” French President Francois Hollande said Friday after an informal summit of 27 leaders from the bloc in Bratislava. The U.K. didn’t participate in the summit, which was called to debate the future of the region after Brexit.
EU teams up with alliance of developed and developing countries in final push for first-ever global deal to curb international aviation emissions
European Commission, 16 September 2016
In a joint statement published today, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete and Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc call on international partners to join them in securing the first ever global scheme to curb CO₂ emissions from international aviation.
The statement is supported by the Republic of the Marshall Islands and Mexico as participants in the High Ambition Coalition − the alliance of developed and developing countries that helped broker the Paris Agreement. In it, the Commissioners stress the importance of ensuring that the aviation sector contributes to achieving the global emission goals agreed in Paris.
Indigenous communities mobilize to defend Guatemala’s forests from loggers
By Jeff Abbott, Waging Nonviolence, 16 September 2016
Across Guatemala, indigenous communities are organizing to challenge logging in the country’s vast forests. These communities are concerned with the impact that both legal and illegal logging will have on their watersheds and on the environment.
On June 15, concerned residents from the highland Ixil Maya municipality of Nebaj, Quiche staged a protest outside the municipal building to express their concern with the steady increase in trucks leaving town loaded with lumber. The action was organized by residents and members of the Indigenous Authority of Nebaj in order to pressure the state authorities to strip the nine companies of their licenses to exploit timber on private lands. Residents raise concern over the fact that the deforestation affects everyone in the area.
Indonesia dispatches over 22,000 personnel to fight forest fire
Xinhua, 16 September 2016
The Indonesian government has deployed 22,107 soldiers, police and firefighters as well as 24 aircraft to extinguish forest and agriculture fires in western parts of the nation, the disaster agency said here on Thursday.
The attempts are carried out as the country is experiencing the peak of dry season (in September) which provides favorable condition for the spread of fires, said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman of the national disaster management and mitigation agency, Satellite Terra and Aqua from NASA on Thursday detected 260 hotspots in the country with 240 of them in Borneo Island, Sutopo said.
“The activity of slash-and-burn practice during land clearing for new plantation and farming remains rampant,” he told Xinhua via phone.
Special Report:Making Malaysia Better:Soot, sweat and tears
By Lillian Wee, The Edge, 16 September 2016
In September last year, Southeast Asia was struck by arguably the worst haze of the decade. The episode, which saw schools closed, annual marathons cancelled and long lines at neighbourhood clinics, had the public shrouded in panic. Face mask sales soared as the nation experienced frustration and rising cases of asthma.
The haze is a phenomenon we are regrettably familiar with. Skies become a blanket of smog while we painstakingly squint to catch sight of signboards and pedestrians.
With their palms held over their noses and mouths, people scurry to purchase face masks while web searches on the Air Pollution Index go through the roof. The scene is a forlorn one, like a dystopian movie set made for a Stephen King adaptation.
According to an annual report by the Asean Peatland Forests Project (APFP) and Global Environment Centre (GEC), more than 500,000 people in Southeast Asia were affected by respiratory illnesses last year as a result of 1.6 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere in just two months. The staggering figure surpasses Japan’s annual emission from all industrial sources.
17 September 2016
Japan eyes joining global climate deal on aviation emissions; higher costs may be passed on to consumers
The Japan Times, 17 September 2016
The Japanese government plans to sign on to a global deal on curbing emissions of carbon dioxide from commercial aircraft on international routes, officials said Saturday.
The deal, which aims to cap emissions at the levels in 2020, could increase costs for Japanese airlines because they may have to introduce more fuel-efficient aircraft. Some of the costs might be passed on to air travelers.
The deal is being discussed at the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organization and is expected to be adopted at its general meeting late this month. The United States, China and European countries are also expected to sign on to it.
18 September 2016
Leonardo DiCaprio’s concern over climate change is very real in Before the Flood
By Shaq Hosein, The Varsity, 18 September 2016
In Hieronymus Bosch’s triptych “The Garden of Earthly Delights”, the painter depicts humanity’s lust for overindulgence and the consequences of consumption. In its three panels, Bosch illustrates both paradise and its oppositional counterpart — a monstrous landscape bred from life’s tribulations.
In a voiceover, Leonardo DiCaprio expresses how it hung over his crib as a baby and how he ultimately came to realize its meaning.
It is a rather appropriate allegory to bookend his new documentary on climate change, Before the Flood, which held its world premiere at the Princess of Wales Theatre. The film follows DiCaprio in his first motion picture appearance following The Revenant, in which his portrayal in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s tale of survival earned him an Academy Award.
‘No time to waste’: climate changes for films on global warming
By Fiona Harvey, The Guardian, 18 September 2016
Rob Callender is talking about cheese. “My dad loves cheese, really loves it. So I’ve had to persuade him to cut down. Instead of leaping on every two-for-one in the supermarket, buy one really nice cheese once a week. Dairy farming is such a horrible industry.”
Callender’s passionate advocacy of veganism has made him an object of fun and curiosity on film sets, but he is now turning his environmentalism into art. In just over a month’s time, he he will begin shooting a short crowd-funded feature film on climate change.
[Indonesia] East Java Sets Up Special Team to Cope with Forest Fires
TEMPO, 18 September 2016
Head of East Java Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) Sudarmawan said that the agency is staying alert against drought and forest fires during the dry season in the province.
Forest fires usually occur in areas that have dense forests such as Situbondo, Ngawi, and Madiun, he said.
“If a forest fire happens, we should extinguish it quickly,” he said on Saturday.
Sudarmawan added, the East Java provincial government has also established a Forest and Peat Land Fire Control Brigade, whose members are joint personnel of Perhutani (state-owned forestry firm), Forest Police, Police, Army, Forestry AGency and the Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD).