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REDD in the news: 10-16 October 2016

REDD in the newsREDD-Monitor’s round-up of the week’s news on forests, climate change, and REDD. For regular updates, follow @reddmonitor on Twitter.

10 October 2016

The new UN deal on aviation emissions leaves much to be desired
By David Hodkinson and Rebecca Johnston, The Conversation, 10 October 2016
Emissions fron international flights – a bugbear of efforts to combat climate change – will finally be regulated under a scheme agreed by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) on Thursday last week.
It’s a problem that had remained largely unaddressed by states – and airlines – since 1997, the year when essentially all nations, through the Kyoto Protocol, determined that ICAO – a United Nations agency – should deal with it.
Governments all took the view that, given jurisdictional and aircraft ownership and control issues, and the nature of the problem, ICAO was the appropriate forum to address the emissions problem. It was also a reflection of how difficult the problem was – and still is – to solve.

Airlines are to cough up for cross-border flight pollution
The Economist, 10 October 2016
Civil aviation accounts for perhaps only 2% of man-made carbon emissions. Add in other pollutants, such as contrails and nitrous oxide, and the industry’s overall contribution to climate change might be twice that figure. That may not seem much. But the sector is growing rapidly. Since the 1970s, global air traffic has doubled in size about every 15 years. Rising prosperity in developing countries and massive backlogs of aircraft orders means that the growth will continue for decades. Without regulation, the world’s airlines could quickly choke the skies.
Last week, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), a United Nations agency, announced a framework for mandatory carbon-offsetting on all international flights. The agreement was backed by 65 countries, which between them account for 86.5% of international flight operations.

First ever global regime for aviation emissions: ICAO adopts Global Market-Based Measure to combat aircraft CO2 emissions
By Nicholas Rock, Adam Hedley, Peter Zaman and Shariq Gilani (Reed Smith LLP), Lexology, 10 October 2016
On Friday, 7th October the General Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) passed a resolution (the ICAO Resolution), resolving to implement the world’s first global regime for combatting CO2 emissions from aircraft. This marks the airline industry the first industry sector ever to adopt a global carbon market. This article explains what has been agreed, and not agreed, its implications for airlines, financiers, carbon traders and others and the impact on the EU’s aviation emissions trading scheme.
Much of the detail of the so-called ‘Global Market-Based Measure’ (GMBM) is yet to be worked out in what is, given the amount of work to be done, a very short space of time before it formally takes effect in 2021.

Boeing supports carbon-offset system adoption by ICAO
By Gulli Arnason, Financial News, 10 October 2016
Boeing (NYSE: BA) has commended the International Civil Aviation Organization´s adoption of a carbon-offset system that will help the industry achieve its goal of reducing emissions, the company said.
This company said the agreement represents a sector-based, global market mechanism to address climate change and is complementary to the CO2 standard for airplane emissions that ICAO adopted earlier this year. These two agreements result from several years of collaboration by international experts from ICAO member states, the aviation industry and non-governmental organizations.

How I Tweaked My Diet to Cut its Environmental Footprint in Half
By Richard Waite, World Resources Institute, 10 October 2016
There’s a lot of information out there about how meat and dairy have high environmental impacts, as well as campaigns to go vegetarian or vegan.
WRI’s research confirms that, for those of us who eat a lot of meat and dairy, shifting to diets with a greater share of plant-based foods can alleviate pressure on scarce land and water resources, reduce GHG emissions, and help sustainably feed a population expected to approach 10 billion by 2050.

In fact: Kigali could add new win in climate change battle
By Amitabh Sinha, The Indian Express, 10 October 2016
Last week has been of great significance in the fight against climate change. The Paris Agreement received the required number of ratifications, and will become international law from November 4, three days before the annual climate change conference begins in Marrakech. Countries will get down to finalising the rules and institutions that will govern its implementation.
In Montreal on Thursday, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) carved out an agreement to curb the rise of emissions from international aviation after 2020, despite reservations from some countries, including India. The deal, approved by all 191 members, asks countries to offset, voluntarily to begin with, any rise in their aviation emissions through activities like planting of trees or funding activities that reduce carbon emissions elsewhere. As of now, only 65 countries have decided to join the programme that will initially run from 2020 to 2026, but most observers have welcomed it as a good beginning.

[India] Kill-Hill plan will leave state in water crisis
By Deepthi Sanjiv, Bangalore Mirror, 10 October 2016
With rivers in Western Ghats running dry, and the next monsoon a long way off, experts warn of tough times ahead.
There may be uncertainty over what becomes of the Cauvery conundrum, but environmentalists are certain of one thing: This is going to be one difficult summer for Karnataka. In fact, environmentalist Dinesh Holla says we could be facing one of the worst water crises ever because rivers in the Western Ghats are already running dry.
Holla, who is the convener of Sahyadri Sanchaya that works for the conservation of the Western Ghats, says he was shocked to see how little was left of the Netravathi and its tributaries.

NZ Youth Delegation seeks evidence of government’s plan to meet weak commitments to Paris Agreement
By Vittorio Hernandez, International Business Times, 10 October 2016
The New Zealand government ratified on Oct 4 the Paris Agreement which targets to address climate change. However, the New Zealand Youth Delegation (NZYD) to the UN climate negotiation to be held in November, while it welcomes the move, is seeking evidence of Wellington’s plan to meet the country’s weak commitments to the agreement.
The agreement is between nations which contribute to 90 percent of global emissions below 2 degrees Celsius, and if possible, below 1.5 Celsius, until 2100. The ratification is a show of commitment by the New Zealand government to global action on climate change, Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett says.

[UK] Fraud police raid ‘boiler room’ in office next to Bank of England
By Justin Davenport, Evening Standard, 10 October 2016
Police have smashed a suspected investment fraud scam being run from a tiny office in the shadow of the Bank of England in the City.
Fraudsters were allegedly selling fake bonds from the office in Lothbury, next to the Bank in Threadneedle Street.
Officers from City of London Police’s money laundering team raided the premises last Thursday and recovered £130,000 of cheques. They also searched an address in Fleet, Hampshire but no arrests were made.

[UK] Investment fraud targets are men in their 60s in urban areas, say police
By Patrick Collinson, The Guardian, 10 October 2016
Men aged 65 living in metropolitan areas, who have more than £30,000 in savings, are the chief target for investment fraudsters, according to detailed profiling by the City of London police.
Most victims are duped by “boiler rooms”, which use high-pressure tactics to sell shares to people who are persuaded that they are about to soar in value. Only later does the victim find that the shares are worthless and the sellers have disappeared.
Figures released by Action Fraud and the City of London police show that 77% of people reporting investment fraud are men, with an average age of 65. The average loss is more than £32,000 and most victims live in metropolitan areas.

The Western US Is In The Process Of Burning Itself Out
By Eric Mack, Forbes, 10 October 2016
Take a drive through my neck of the woods here in northern New Mexico, and it’s pretty easy to spot evidence of the uptick in wildfires over the past few decades.
There’s the fire break and scarring above town here in Taos, and then there’s another one on the side of the Sangre de Cristo range 20 miles or so north of town. Head to Los Alamos and you can see where two major fires above the city made headlines this century, including the Las Conchas fire that burned to within sight of where low-level nuclear waste was being stored outside at Los Alamos National Labs in “temporary cloth buildings.” Take a drive to Sipapu Ski Area and you’ll pass through where a fire hopped across the highway, shutting down traffic. I personally helped with an evacuation of a nearby monastery that was threatened by that blaze.

11 October 2016

A global climate deal for aviation! So what next?
By James Beard (WWF), Climate Home, 11 October 2016
The 191 countries in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) have agreed a carbon offsetting scheme for international aviation.
It has drawn self-congratulatory bluster from some quarters and caustic criticism from others.
Let’s take a look at what has actually been achieved, how we got here, and where we need to go next.

EU airline pollution curbs stay in the air until next year
By Julia Fioretti, Reuters, 11 October 2016
A European Union decision on whether to include international flights in its scheme to curb airline pollution will not come until next year at the earliest after the bloc’s executive has assessed a global deal which was finally approved last week.
International flights have been exempted from the EU’s emissions trading system (ETS) since 2013 in an effort to avoid a trade war and give the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) time to craft its agreement.
Europe wants a tougher regime than that agreed by ICAO members, and has reserved the right to impose its own rules rather than adopting the ICAO measures which curb pollution from flights at 2020 levels.

In The Fight Against Climate Change Finance Remains The Weak Link
Blue & Green Tomorrow, 11 October 2016
Climate finance was on the agenda as finance ministers met today in Luxembourg, one month ahead of the next international climate summit COP22 in Marrakech.
Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe welcomes the re-iteration by finance ministers to continue to provide public finance to tackle both the causes and impacts of climate change. But despite the rehashed pledge, EU Member States must provide much more clarity on how support for international climate action will be scaled up.
In reaction to today’s ECOFIN council, Maeve McLynn, CAN Europe Finance and Subsidies Policy Coordinator, said:
“It is good to see that efforts are made to better integrate climate across financial institutions and that there is a re-commitment to provide public money in the fight against climate change.”

Denmark develops ‘super grass’ to cut cow burp emissions
BBC News, 11 October 2016
Scientists in Denmark are developing a new type of grass that’s designed to reduce methane emissions from belching cows.
Researchers at Aarhus University have used DNA technology to make the grass easier to digest, meaning less gas builds up in the bovines’ stomachs, the Berlingske website reports. “It is simply a better diet for the cow, which can utilise the feed more efficiently and therefore doesn’t release as much methane when it burps,” says senior researcher Torben Asp from the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics.

Germany takes steps to roll back renewable energy revolution
By Philip Oltermann, The Guardian, 11 October 2016
Germany is taking steps to curb its booming windfarm sector in what it claims is a necessary move to stop the renewables revolution from undermining its own success.
Critics, however, say the step will deal a blow to the country’s reputation as a leader in green energy.
According to leaked plans from the German federal network agency, published on Tuesday in the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the government has had to halve its original target for expanding its windfarms in the gale-beaten northern flatlands because it cannot extend its power grid quickly enough to the energy-hungry south.

[Guyana] Bulkan, manufacturers differ on sustainable management of greenheart
Stabroek News, 11 October 2016
Forestry expert Janette Bulkan has backed the United Kingdom’s decision to ban the importation of greenheart from Guyana for government projects since it was not from a sustainable source, although the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) said that the forests are well managed and the timber is from legal sources.
In May last year, a technical note released by the UK to contractors for government-funded projects, among others, stated that they will apply the timber agreement policy rigorously and they will only buy timber from legal and sustainable sources… [R-M: Subscription needed.]

[Indonesia] Island focus: Chopper to douse forest fires in W. Sumatra
The Jakarta Post, 11 October 2016
A helicopter that the West Sumatra provincial administration had waited four days for finally arrived on Saturday to extinguish forest fires that had been razing two conservation areas in Limapuluh Kota regency for almost two weeks.
West Sumatra Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) Forest Police Unit head Zulmi Gusrul told The Jakarta Post the helicopter, deployed by the Environment and Forestry Ministry, landed in Padang on Saturday afternoon and resumed its journey to Limapuluh Kota.
“Tonight, we will hold a briefing in Limapuluh Kota to start fire extinguishing on Sunday,” he said on Saturday.

UK minister dismisses threat of climate court battle
By Megan Darby, Climate Home, 11 October 2016
The UK’s world-leading Climate Change Act has been “dangerously neglected”, leaving the government open to lawsuits.
That is the view of environmental lawyers at Client Earth, in a report published on Tuesday.
Climate minister Nick Hurd disagreed, saying that an emissions reduction plan due out in the first quarter of 2017 would put the country on track to meet its targets.
“Any talk of a legal challenge is very premature,” he told Climate Home on the sidelines of a conference organised by Chatham House in London.

[UK] Shocking moment heartless fraudsters film themselves conning an elderly man out of £82,500 in a boiler room scam
By Holly Christodoulou, The Sun, 11 October 2016
This is the shocking moment heartless fraudsters celebrate after conning an elderly man out of £82,500 in a boiler room scam.
A lad in a pink shirt can be seen using aggressive tactics to con the victim out of the staggering amount of money despite knowing the scheme is worthless.

[USA] Clinton dedicates an entire speech to climate change
By Natasha Geiling, Think Progress, 11 October 2016
In the past few months, the two presidential candidates have shared the national stage for a total of 180 minutes during the first two presidential debates. During that time, climate change — an issue that will literally decide the fate of the planet — has been given passing mention, at best.
Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton decided to change that on Tuesday, dedicating almost an entire speech in Miami to the subject of climate change. At Clinton’s side was former Vice President Al Gore, who has, in the past decade, become one of the most recognizable voices for climate action.

12 October 2016

Cutting carbon pollution from aviation: A major breakthrough years in the making
By Nat Keohane, EDF, 12 October 2016
Five years ago, I had one of the hardest tasks in government for someone who cares about climate action: running an interagency process in the White House on addressing carbon dioxide emissions from international aviation.
To put it mildly, climate action in the aviation sector was at an impasse.
The European Union was seeking to extend its greenhouse gas emission trading system to include international flights to and from Europe. The EU was well within its legal rights, and a range of studies showed that despite significant emission reductions the costs to passengers would be slight.
But the political opposition was widespread and fierce.

$90tn Infrastructure Investment Could Combat Climate Change: Report
By Lyndal Rowlands, IPS, 12 October 2016
The world will need to more than double its current infrastructure stock over the next 15 years – a massive undertaking which could either contribute to or combat catastrophic climate change – according to a new report.
Two thirds of the 90 trillion dollar infrastructure investment needed will be in developing countries, the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate noted in the Sustainable Infrastructure Imperative Report.
“The types of infrastructure we build – coal power plants vs. wind farms and solar arrays, for example, or mega-highways vs. public transit systems – will determine whether we stay on a high-carbon growth path or move towards a climate-smart future,” the report said.

Coffee And Climate Change: In Brazil, A Disaster Is Brewing
By Lulu Garcia-Navarro, NPR, 12 October 2016
Coffee lovers, alert! A new report says that the world’s coffee supply may be in danger owing to climate change. In the world’s biggest coffee-producing nation, Brazil, the effects of warming temperatures are already being felt in some communities.
You can see the effects in places like Naygney Assu’s farm, tucked on a quiet hillside in Espirito Santo state in eastern Brazil. Walking over his coffee field is a noisy experience, because it’s desiccated. The leaves from the plants are curled up all over the floor, in rust-colored piles. The plants themselves are completely denuded.
“We’ve had no rain since last December,” Assu tells me in Portuguese, “and my well dried up. There was nothing we can do, except wait for rain.”
But the rain doesn’t come.

[Ecuador] Yasuni Man film is an intimate portrait of a beautiful land under siege for its oil
By Jonathan Watts, The Guardian, 12 October 2016
Watching a film-maker use tweezers to extract wriggling, inch-long Amazonian parasites from his bloody leg would normally rank among the more stomach-churning of cinematic experiences, but it is a mere sideshow in a new documentary that shows Ecuador’s most famous nature reserve faces far graver threats than it poses.
Over the past seven years, US biologist Ryan Killackey has endured bot fly larvae, dysentery, bullet ant stings and malignant melanoma in order to film an intimate and polemical account of a remote forest community under pressure from US and Chinese oil companies.
The result is Yasuni Man, a 90-minute record of a stunningly beautiful region believed to be one of the most biodiverse on the planet at a particularly troubled time in its history.

[UK] Why banning cold calling can stop the pension scammers
By Darren Cooke, New Model Adviser, 12 October 2016
In July the BBC’s Panorama programme ran a feature on ‘pension rip-offs’. It focused on one particular operation based in Derby, where ordinary people were persuaded to transfer their pensions into a Sipp to then be ‘invested’ into a hotel and leisure complex in Cape Verde.
The programme piqued interest for a couple of reasons. Derby is only down the road from me and I had reported this scheme to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) over two years earlier. Online comments showed others too had reported this particular firm to the FCA.

13 October 2016

[USA] Could “Carbon Neutral” Biomass Amendment Cripple Climate Progress?
By Christine Parrish, The Free Press, 13 October 2016
The bipartisan federal energy bill marching its way forward to passage — perhaps as soon as November — contains a controversial biomass provision that could slow U.S. progress on addressing climate change, according to some energy analysts.
The biomass amendment, which was initially introduced by Senators Susan Collins and Angus King, assumes that the tree limbs, tree tops, and small trees chipped for fuel and burned to create electricity add no carbon dioxide into the air even though smoke coming out of the pipe is at least as dirty as coal, according to Environmental Protection Agency data.

The world’s most stable currency is backed by carbon
By Jeremy Deaton, Popular Science, 13 October 2016
Even casual viewers of Fox News have seen commercials for companies like You send them money. They send you gold. It’s a smart pitch to the network’s core daytime audience of people who worry that currency has no intrinsic value.
To be fair, inflation anxiety sells. Who among us hasn’t wondered what gives money its worth? At one time, every dollar in circulation represented a fragment of gold or silver stored in a federal vault. Today, the dollar is backed not by precious metals, but by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. Whether our currency should derive its value from gold, silver or something more abstract is a question that has vexed capitalists of every stripe.
“It’s like a rabbit hole,” said Stan Stalnaker, an American entrepreneur. “You go down the idea of ‘What is money? What is currency?’”

Africa the new palm frontier: can we avoid the mistakes of the past? – event
By Tess Riley, The Guardian supported by RSPO, 13 October 2016
The environmental and social problems arising from the aggressive expansion of palm oil in south-east Asia have been well documented, from the allegations of forest and peatland destruction in Indonesia made against palm oil giant IOI, to reports of vulnerable migrant workers being exploited.
Less discussed are the impacts that the palm oil industry is having in Africa. While palm oil is native to west Africa, the dynamics of the continent’s relationship with the commodity are changing as foreign investors turn their attention to opportunities in countries such as Liberia and Cameroon.

Cancellation of illegal logging concessions in the DRC a critical first step, but not enough says Greenpeace Africa
Greenpeace, 13 October 2016
Greenpeace Africa welcomes the formal cancellation of three concessions illegally awarded in 2015, published in the “Journal Official” (official state journal of the DRC) on 15 September 2016.
The cancellation of the concessions had been announced by the Minister of Environment, Robert Bopolo, on July 13, a day after Greenpeace Africa exposed the secret and illegal awarding of the concessions in the report “How the DRC government has secretly breached its own logging moratorium”.
“The formal cancellation of the concessions was a priority, but this is not enough, given the involvement of officials at the highest level in concealing these violations of the moratorium on the allocation of new industrial logging titles implemented by the DRC in 2002”, said Irene Wabiwa Betoko, Senior Forest Campaign Manager at Greenpeace Africa.

EU Parliament committee backs carbon market reform compromise
By Nina Chestney, Reuters, 13 October 2016
The European Parliament’s industry committee voted on Thursday to back a compromise for reforming the European Union’s carbon market, favoring a Commission proposal on the speed for removing permits from the market.
The committee voted 45 to 13 for a package of measures aimed at tightening the amount of carbon permits overall as part of the EU’s policy of implementing a landmark global climate deal, the Paris Agreement.
The EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS) is designed to make big polluters in Europe, such as power companies and industry, pay for their emissions. However, a surplus of carbon credits following the economic crisis has weakened prices.

[Indonesia] Orang Rimba Request Government Protection
Kompas, 13 October 2016
The multiple evictions suffered by the Orang Rimba community imposed by a number of plantation and industrial forest concession holders in Jambi demonstrates weak state protection for indigenous people. In the last five months, the Orang Rimba people have been forcefully evicted twice by companies.
As of Wednesday (12/10/2016), around 600 Orang Rimba were living in makeshift shelters after they were evicted by employees of PT Wana Perintis from its industrial rubber forest work area. The residents now live in sudung (simple shelters with tarp roofs and woven tree branches as floors, with no walls) in the forest at the edge of the Bukit Duabelas National Park, which has sustained heavy damage from illegal logging.

Why agricultural productivity is key in saving Uganda’s forests
By Morrison Rwakakamba, New Vision, 13 October 2016
On October 6, 2016, a group of concerned and furious NGOs led by Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE) petitioned the Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, on the state of Uganda’s forest resources and what they call ‘increasing forest crimes and illegalities’.
NGOs are deeply concerned that in spite of Government’s commitment to increase the percentage of forest cover from 14% in FY2012/13 to 18% in FY2019/2020, Uganda’s forest cover loss has since increased from 90,000 hectares to an estimated 200,000 hectares annually (Onyango G.2015).

CCC: UK ‘needs negative emissions’ to comply with Paris climate deal
By Simon Evans, Carbon Brief, 13 October 2016
The UK will have to use negative emissions to comply with the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to its official climate advisers.
Plans to start using greenhouse gas removal technologies by 2050 should be drawn up immediately, says the government’s Committee on Climate Change (CCC). It adds that global use of these technologies “will be central” to meeting the Paris goal of net-zero emissions.
However, the CCC warns that they are not a substitute for reducing emissions now. It says the UK must “vigorously pursue” efforts “with urgency” to meet its existing carbon budgets to 2030.

14 October 2016

Important global warming pollutants excluded from ‘historic’ aviation pact
By Christopher Adams, National Observer, 14 October 2016
Something important is missing from an “historic” climate change pact reached last week in Montreal to cap carbon pollution from airplanes.
All 191 member states of the International Civil Aviation Organization — the United Nations agency that oversees global air traffic — agreed that airlines will be allowed to increase CO2 emissions until 2020 but must offset any growth beyond that date. But World Wildlife Fund Deputy Director of International Climate Cooperation Brad Schallert said there are other climate-warming factors that the agreement failed to address.
“We’ve needed policy options in order to address non-CO2 impacts [since] yesterday,” Schallert said. “We cannot assume the market-based measure is the panacea and that it’s the deal that will save us. It is a single policy.”

Green Climate Fund approves $745 million for projects, lags 2016 goal
By Alister Doyle and Megan Rowling, Reuters, 14 October 2016
An international fund set up to help developing nations tackle global warming approved $745 million for projects on Friday, but a senior official said a goal of signing off on $2.5 billion by the end of 2016 may slip out of reach.
The Green Climate Fund (GCF) board, meeting at its headquarters in South Korea, approved funds for 10 projects including geothermal energy in Caribbean nations, controlling flood risks from melting glaciers in Pakistan, and green energy in sub-Saharan Africa.
The new funding raised the GCF total of approved projects so far in 2016 to about $1 billion, well behind schedule to realize the $2.5 billion target for its first full year of operation.

The trouble with negative emissions
By Kevin Anderson and Glen Peters, Science, 14 October 2016
In December 2015, member states of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) adopted the Paris Agreement, which aims to hold the increase in the global average temperature to below 2°C and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C. The Paris Agreement requires that anthropogenic greenhouse gas emission sources and sinks are balanced by the second half of this century. Because some nonzero sources are unavoidable, this leads to the abstract concept of “negative emissions,” the removal of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere through technical means. The Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs) informing policy-makers assume the large-scale use of negative-emission technologies. If we rely on these and they are not deployed or are unsuccessful at removing CO2 from the atmosphere at the levels assumed, society will be locked into a high-temperature pathway.

Historic Agreement Reached on Global Deal to Cut HFCs, Super Pollutant Greenhouse Gases
EIA, 14 October 2016
Parties to the Montreal Protocol are expected to adopt an historic global agreement mandating controls on hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) consumption and production after eight years of protracted negotiations.
The agreement, expected to be approved within hours, will avoid more than 70 billion tonnes of CO2-equivalent HFC emissions.
The Kigali amendment will cap and phase down HFC consumption starting 2019, with developed countries taking action first and developing countries beginning the phase down in 2024.

Carbon market reform backed by EU Parliament
Climate Action (UNEP), 14 October 2016
Yesterday, the industry committee of the European Parliament voted 45 to 13 in favour of a compromise for reforming the EU’s carbon market.
The aim of the reform is to reduce the amount of carbon permits overall, within the context of the Paris Agreement.
The surplus of carbon credits that followed the economic crisis has lowered the prices, which goes against the principle of the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS) – a policy put in place to make European power companies and big polluters pay for their emissions.

India to ban release of potent greenhouse gas
By Jacob Koshy, The Hindu, 14 October 2016
Environment Minister Anil Dave has said India will no longer permit the release of HFC-23, a family of potent greenhouse gases, released when local companies produce the refrigerant HCFC-22.
Mr. Dave is at Kigali, Rwanda, in the midst of thrashing out a deal with the developed countries to amend the Montreal Protocol, a 1987 agreement whereby countries have agreed to limit the emission of gases that destroy the ozone layer.
The latest amendment is to discuss the phasing out of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs, of which HFC-23 is one), only beginning to be used in India and still used in the developed countries and once a replacement for the ozone-destroying gases. Over the years, HFCs were found to be exacerbating global warming.

[Indonesia] Peatland fires rage across dozens of hectares in Riau
By Rizal Harahap, The Jakarta Post, 14 October 2016
Dozens of hectares of peatland in the Rangsang Timur district of Meranti Islands regency, Riau, are on fire despite the recent onset of the rainy season.
Meranti Islands Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) head Edy Afrizal said the fires had been raging for four days and did not only burn the bushes but also damaged rubber and coconut plantations belonging to local farmers. “We estimate the burned area is about 50 hectares,” he said Friday.
Edy could not confirm the cause of the disaster but said the police had begun an investigation.

[Indonesia] Encroachment on Gunung Leuser National Park Out of Control
Kompas, 14 October 2016
Deforestationat the GunungLeuser National Park (TNGL) in Besitang district, Langkat regency, North Sumatra, is out of control. People from various regions, private companies, former evacuees and government officials are all clearing forests to take control of thousands of hectares of land.
In Pir ADB village, Besitang district, thousands of hectares of deforested land have been cultivated by residents with seasonal plants, including banana, corn, eggplant, cassava, papaya and plantation crops like oil palm and rubber.
As far as the eye can see from atop the hill at the border of TNGL in Pir ADB village, the national park has been deforested and its landcovered with seasonal crops and houses for the locals.

European-Parliament: CO2 emissions from shipping should be regulated internationally
Hellenic Shipping News, 14 October 2016
Yesterday, the Industry Committee of the European Parliament adopted its report on the EU’s emissions trading scheme (ETS) and stressed that the climate impact of shipping should be regulated at UN level. The Committee therefore rejected the inclusion of shipping in the EU ETS. Conservative MEP Bendt Bendtsen firmly believes that this is a clear step in the right direction.
Ahead of today’s important vote, several Members of the European Parliament had presented amendments which would have included shipping in the regional CO2 emission’s trading scheme of the EU. However, it was clear following the vote, that a large majority of the Committee believes shipping should be regulated globally.

15 October 2016

[Indonesia] Poor Law Enforcement Against Encroachers
Kompas, 15 October 2016
Law enforcement against encroachers at Mt. Leuser National Park is poor. Since 2012, the government has frequently has discussed in inter-ministerial meetings how to deal with encroachers either in North Sumatra or in Jakarta. But there is no concrete and coordinated action to deal with them.
Last August, representatives from the Coordinating Human Development and Culture Ministry and related ministries surveyed to the locations of encroachment. Until today, there has been no recommendations about what to do.

[Indonesia] Let There Be No More Eviction on Them
By Irma Tambunan, Kompas, 15 October 2016
The cloudy sky hangs over a worn out tarpaulin by the foot of Mount Duabelas in Jambi. The somber color reflects the sadness of Induk Betapa (35). Anxiously, she continues to carry her baby, Merida, whose body temperature has gone up and down for almost a week because Induk is not able to get her treatment.
“I’m scared. There are a lot of people up there, blocking me, carrying axes and machetes,” she said on Thursday.
Since she was driven out of the PT Wana Perintis rubber concession, last weekend, Induk Betapa, along with 600 members of the Orang Rimba (nomadic Anak Dalam tribe) community, fled to the side of Mount Duabelas National Park in Jelutih village, Bathin XXIV, Batanghari regency. It is around 10 kilometers away from their initial residential area, crossing through a steep footpath. After finding a safe location, they built a sudung, a makeshift house without walls and with a plastic tarp as its roof and tree bark as its flooring. There, they found it difficult to get food.

16 October 2016

[Guyana] Political fallout, mismanagement of forest among reasons for greenheart ban
Kaieteur News, 16 October 2016
Daily, the APNU+AFC government has to deal with the consequences of actions taken by the previous administration. The current ban on the exportation of greenheart woods from Guyana to the United Kingdom is one such example of unwanted inheritance.
At a press conference he hosted on Friday, Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman said that the ban on greenheart is a matter of serious concern to the government. He said that the Cabinet has been apprised and several ministers are working assiduously to resolve the matter.

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