REDD-Monitor’s round-up of the week’s news on forests, climate change, and REDD. For regular updates, follow @reddmonitor on Twitter.
4 September 2017
Four radical plans to save civilization from climate change
By Anna Vlasits, Wired, 4 September 2017
Smug ecowarriors may think they’re curbing global warming with their vegan diets, charged-up Teslas, and rooftop solar panels. But according to Peter Wadhams, head of the Polar Ocean Physics Group at the University of Cambridge, we’re barely staving off disaster. He should know: The pessimistic professor has been studying sea ice for nearly 50 years. “Reducing our emissions is not going to be enough to prevent catastrophic consequences,” he says. In his scorching new book, A Farewell to Ice, he presents a slew of radical—and sometimes theoretical—ways to save civilization.
Proper carbon tax could wipe billions from polluters’ profits
By Richard Partington, The Guardian, 4 September 2017
More than $1.5tn (£1.2tn) in company profits worldwide could be erased by taxes required to meet the Paris climate agreement, according to analysis by Schroders.
In a stark warning to investors to back more sustainable companies, the fund management group said total earnings of 12,500 global companies could fall by 20% were the world to limit itself to the 2C temperature rise target agreed in Paris through higher taxes. Schroders found prices in emissions trading would need to rise to “well over” $100 a tonne of CO2e from current levels, about $5, to encourage the move away from fossil fuels on the scale that was needed.
[Brazil] Only local Amazonians can bring true sustainable development to their forest
By Jos Barlow, Alexander C. Lees, Erika Berenguer, James Angus Fraser, and Joice Ferreira, The Conversation, 4 September 2017
The Brazilian government has earmarked a vast tract of Amazonian land for mining. The so-called “Renca” reserve sits in the last great wilderness area in the eastern Amazon and contains lots of unique rainforest wildlife. The controversial decision to allow mining has since been rewritten to clarify that development cannot take place on indigenous lands that lie within the “Renca”, and then put on hold by a federal judge, pending support from congress.
France and Germany seek agreement on EU carbon market reform by November
Reuters, 4 September 2017
France and Germany will work together on measures to reinforce carbon pricing in the European electricity sector and want an agreement on the European Union’s carbon market reform by November, France’s ecology ministry said on Monday.
The two countries have renewed their commitment to jointly promote Europe’s energy transition to more renewable power, the ministry said in a statement after a visit by French junior Ecology Minister Brune Poirson to her German counterparts.
‘We’d rather die than lose’: villagers in Indonesia fight for a land rights revolution
By Vincent Bevins, The Guardian, 4 September 2017
It is cold and late on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Huddled around a map, a group of elders are planning their battle strategy. In a milestone victory last year, they were promised rights to the land their village has controlled for generations, but today they have had bad news. The local inspector wants to slice off a piece of the forest where they harvest benzoin – a substance like frankincense – and give it to a large pulp company. They see this as a betrayal.
The elders debate in a mix of languages – Batak and bahasa Indonesia – while sipping tea and planning how they will resume the fight the next day. For years now, almost every day has involved this kind of planning.
Pakistan aims to increase depleting forest cover
By Sana Jamal, Gulf News, 4 September 2017
Pakistan was once home to beautiful and endless stretches of lush green trees but now most of its regions have a deserted look as the country has one of the highest deforestation rates in Asia. The forest cover of Pakistan has diminished to 5 per cent per cent as against the expected minimum of 25 per cent.
To restore the green cover and minimise the effects of climate change, Pakistan joined REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) in 2015, which has 47 developing countries in its pool.
5 September 2017
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, ZNet, 5 September 2017
Climate breakdown, as George Monbiot calls it, is happening before our eyes at the same time the science on climate change grows stronger and has wider acceptance. Hurricane Harvey, which struck at the center of the petroleum industry – the heart of climate denialism – provided a glimpse of the new normal of climate crisis-induced events. In Asia, this week the climate message was even stronger where at least 1,200 people died and 41 million were impacted. By 2050, one billion people could be displaced by climate crises.
Those 3% of scientific papers that deny climate change? A review found them all flawed
By Katherine Ellen Foley, Quartz, 5 September 2017
It’s often said that of all the published scientific research on climate change, 97% of the papers conclude that global warming is real, problematic for the planet, and has been exacerbated by human activity.
But what about those 3% of papers that reach contrary conclusions? Some skeptics have suggested that the authors of studies indicating that climate change is not real, not harmful, or not man-made are bravely standing up for the truth, like maverick thinkers of the past. (Galileo is often invoked, though his fellow scientists mostly agreed with his conclusions—it was church leaders who tried to suppress them.)
Climate Anxiety Doesn’t Have to Ruin your Life. Here’s How to Manage It.
By Eve Andrews, Grist, 5 September 2017
A reader recently wrote me to say she has given up. She is done.
Our reader is a relentless recycler — beyond that, a recycling evangelist. She removes her coworkers’ recyclables from the trash, an action that has earned her a reputation as the office’s “passive-aggressive bitch.” She’s infuriated by grocery stores’ cavalier attitude toward reusing plastic bags. And she is struggling, she writes, to keep from plunging into a pit of deep despair.
Electric cars and renewables not enough to meet Paris climate goal: consultant
By Karoline Schaps, Reuters, 5 September 2017
The cost of electric vehicles (EVs) will fall to match those running on combustion engines by 2022, a key trigger that will mean by 2035 half of all passenger vehicles sold globally will be electric, according to the head of a top energy consultancy.
But this expected exponential rise in cleaner vehicles, coupled with booming renewable energy production, will not be enough to meet the Paris Agreement goal of limiting climate warming, Ditlev Engel, chief executive of DNV GL’s energy consulting business, told Reuters in an interview.
Big Energy Backs Hydrogen Power Storage
By Anna Hirtenstein, Bloomberg, 5 September 2017
The secret to switching the global energy system entirely to renewables may lay in the universe’s most abundant substance.
Hydrogen has drawn backing from big energy companies from Royal Dutch Shell Plc to Uniper SE in addition to carmakers BMW AG and Audi AG. They’re supporting research into how the element can be used to store energy for weeks or even months beyond what lithium-ion batteries can manage.
Advancing the Human Rights of Rural People
Rainforest Alliance, 5 September 2017
For the Rainforest Alliance, the advancement of basic human rights is intrinsic to sustainable land management and forest conservation. When our earliest staff members set out for Central America 30 years ago to fight deforestation, they observed that the dignity and rights of rural and indigenous people were crucial to the health of the land. They established an office in Costa Rica and joined forces with local nongovernmental organizations across Central America to develop a conservation approach that emphasizes the well-being of rural people — including the advancement of their political, economic, social, and cultural rights — as a critical component of sustainability. We have carried forward this commitment for three decades in our training and certification programs.
Changing landscapes: From forests to food
By Suzanna Dayne, CIFOR Forests News, 5 September 2017
The growing demand for food — demand that is expected to double by 2050 — has led to widespread agricultural expansion, primarily at the expense of forests. It is estimated that between 1980 and 2000, more than half of new agricultural land across the tropics was developed on forested land and a further 28 percent opened up on secondary forestland. Despite this expansion and significant progress made to reduce hunger, the UN estimates that more than 840 million people worldwide remain hungry and undernourished.
[Brazil] International Mission To Measure Human Rights Impact Of Land Grabbing Kicks Off
Action Aid, 5 September 2017
An international delegation will travel across the Brazilian region of MATOPIBA to document the social, economic, environmental and human rights impact of large-scale land acquisitions.
This week, a group of 30 human rights, development and rural experts started a 10-day fact-finding mission (FFM) in northeastern Brazil. Spurred on by existing evidence of human rights violations and environmental destruction, the mission will further document and analyze the structural impacts of large-scale acquisition and shed light on the scheming of land-based business in the region.
China boosts green efforts around world
The Nation, 5 September 2017
China will promote cross-border green bond flows and green finance investment as part of efforts to fulfill its commitment to ensure sustainable growth, a top central bank official said on Monday.Chen Yulu, deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China, said the nation will stay faithful to its green pledges through building clear roadmaps and enhancing co-operation with countries sharing similar visions as China on tackling climate change challenges.Some efforts include launching a carbon market by the end of this year and promoting green infrastructure construction related to the Belt and Road Initiative, according to Chen.
Sri Lankan Tea Farmers Fight Deforestation and Climate Change
Rainforest Alliance, 5 September 2017
Meet Sri Lanka’s evangelists for chemical-free tea farming.
On behalf of the Rainforest Alliance, they are training tea estate workers and smallholder farmers to adopt simple, time-tested methods that safeguard soil health and water quality and protect workers from dangerous chemical exposure. The end result: higher crop yields, cleaner water, and less pressure to expand cropland into the virgin rainforest nearby.
[UK] Battling scams: What role should advisers play?
By Emma Simon, Money Marketing, 5 September 2017
Financial advisers have a “key role” to play in preventing pensions scams and investment fraud, leading sector figures say, as clients find themselves increasingly targeted since the pension freedoms.
According to Government figures published last month, consumers have lost £43m in pension fraud in the last three years. The Government has said it will introduce legislation to ban pension cold calls — but there are concerns that the implementation of any such ban could be delayed thanks to a crowded parliamentary timetable.
[USA] Big Oil defeats California bill to ban new offshore oil drilling
By Dan Bacher, Daily Kos, 5 September 2017
Showing the enormous power of the oil industry in California despite the state’s “green” image, every bill except one opposed by the powerful oil industry has failed to make it out of the state legislature this year and during the 2015-2016 session.
The latest victim of intense lobbying by Big Oil is Senate Bill 188, a bill authored by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) to prohibit new pipelines or other infrastructure needed to support new federal oil and gas development.
Senator Jackson introduced SB 188 in response to President Donald Trump’s recent executive order opening the door to expanded offshore oil and gas drilling in federal waters off the California coast.
“The oil industry killed that bill,” Senator Jackson told the Sacramento Bee on September 1. “They are far too powerful.”
6 September 2017
‘We’re trying to go all in’: Chocolate giant Mars pledges $1 billion to fight climate change
By Oscar Williams-Grut, Business Insider, 6 September 2017
The chocolate giant Mars is promising to spend close to $1 billion over the next few years fighting climate change.
The $35 billion food giant behind brands like M&Ms, Skittles, and Twix on Wednesday launched its “Sustainability in a Generation” plan, aiming to reduce the carbon footprint of its business and supply chain by more than 60% by 2050.
China Recalibrates Carbon-Trading Plan – Analysis
By Michael Lelyveld, Eurasia Review, 6 September 2017
After years of anticipation, China plans to launch a nationwide carbon-trading system in November to help curb greenhouse gas emissions, but full implementation still faces further delays.
The official announcement of the new emissions market, also known as the “cap-and-trade program,” is expected in time for the next United Nations climate conference in Bonn, Germany starting Nov. 6, analysts said.
The program aims to manage carbon emissions by major energy users in eight key industrial sectors, the official English-language China Daily said, citing reports by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the U.S.-based journal Scientific American.
[Indonesia] Jambi land, forest fires continue
By Jon Afrizal, Jakarta Post, 6 September 2017
While the number of hot spots in some areas across Sumatra is declining with the onset of the rainy season, land and forest fires in Jambi continue to break out.
The Jambi administration’s Land and Forest Fire Task Force data shows that fires in the province cover 488 hectares in seven regencies. They comprise Batanghari, Bungo, East Tanjungjabung, Muarojambi, Sarolangun, Tebo and West Tanjungjabung.
[Nigeria] Nasarawa Govt. engages over 1,500 youth to check deforestation
Vanguard, 6 September 2017
Nasarawa State Government has engaged more than 1,500 youths to guard against illegal felling of trees and other activities that can deplete the state’s forest resources, Mr Gabriel Aka’aka, the Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, announced. The commissioner made the announcement at a news conference in Lafia on Wednesday.
Threat to Oil Becomes Real as Climate Crashes Norway Election
By Mikael Holter, Bloomberg, 6 September 2017
Politicians and activists who have been fighting to rein in Norway’s mighty oil industry are eyeing a breakthrough.
Several parties opposed to further oil exploration could emerge as kingmakers in the Sept. 11 election. That will threaten a push to search for about 9 billion barrels in Arctic crude and natural gas, which is necessary to prolong the petroleum age that made Norway one of the world’s richest countries.
[South Africa] Mondi and WWF extend strategic partnership by three years
WWF, 6 September 2017
Mondi Group and WWF International announced today that they have renewed their global partnership for a further three years.
In 2014 Mondi entered into a three-year global partnership with WWF, focusing on promoting environmental stewardship in the packaging and paper sector. This global partnership has now been extended by another three years, becoming the longest standing WWF International partnership of its kind.
Huge Tunisian solar park hopes to provide Saharan power to Europe
By Arthur Neslen, The Guardian, 6 September 2017
An enormous solar park in the Sahara could soon be exporting electricity to Europe if Tunisia’s government approves an energy company’s request to build it.
The 4.5GW mega-project planned by TuNur would pipe electricity to Malta, Italy and France using submarine cables in the grandest energy export project since the abandoned Desertec initiative.
Kevin Sara, TuNur’s chief executive said: “If European governments take the Paris accord seriously and want to meet the less than two degrees target for global warming, we need to start importing renewables.”
7 September 2017
Evaluating REDD+ social safeguards with mobile phones, gas stoves and benefits
By Suzanna Dayne, CIFOR Forests News, 7 September 2017
The UN REDD program was launched in 2008 to “reduce forest emissions and enhance carbon stocks in forests while contributing to national sustainable development”. Three years later the Cancun Safeguards were introduced to provide guidance to national governments on how to protect local people from potential political, social, economic and environmental impacts related to REDD+.
Monitoring and evaluating the impact of REDD+ efforts by governments and NGOs are key to understanding what works. But most of the M&E activities to date have been focused on levels of deforestation and carbon emissions, with little work done to build robust systems for monitoring social impacts on communities that live in these landscapes.
Big Oil must pay for climate change. Now we can calculate how much
By Peter C Frumhoff and Myles Allen, The Guardian, 7 September 2017
As communities in coastal Texas and Louisiana confront the damage wrought by Hurricane Harvey, another hurricane, Irma, fueled by abnormally warm waters, is barreling into the Caribbean and threatening Puerto Rico and Florida.
We know that the costs of both hurricanes will be enormous and that climate change will have made them far larger than they would have been otherwise. How much larger? Careful studies will take time but the evidence that climate change is warming ocean waters, increasing both sea level and the risk of extreme precipitation in these regions is well established.
CARBON FORWARD: The buyer’s dilemma – what makes a good carbon credit?
Carbon Pulse, 7 September 2017
Governments, companies and investors take different approaches to weed out carbon credits they deem lacking in environmental integrity, making it tricky for airlines to anticipate buying options in what will become the world’s biggest offsetting scheme.
Carbon Pulse is gathering a range of carbon offset buyers and other experts in London on Sep. 26-28 for the second annual Carbon Forward conference, aimed at collecting critical insights into how buying decisions are made and identifying patterns than can be used to anticipate future trends and regulations across carbon markets worldwide.
EU and others to fill UN climate science funding gap left by Trump
By Megan Darby, Climate Home, 7 September 2017
The UN’s climate science panel is soliciting donations from member governments to fill a big funding shortfall at a meeting in Montreal, Canada.
The financial situation reached crisis point after Donald Trump this year announced he would halt US contributions to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The US has supplied nearly a third of the panel’s income since its inception and 45% of its funds in 2016.
“Germany’s 2020 climate target further off than previously thought”
By Agora Energiewende, Clean Energy Wire, 7 September 2017
Germany is likely to miss its 2020 emissions reduction target by nearly 120 million tonnes of CO2-equivalent – a far greater margin than previously thought, think tank Agora Energiewende* said in a new study. The country should quickly implement an ambitious set of measures to avoid “probably irreparable damage” to its international reputation as a climate protection frontrunner, the organisation added. “The next government immediately has to step up its efforts to at least get the country somewhere near its target,” Agora Energiewende head Patrick Graichen said in a press release.
[Poland] Why I am defending this forest with my body and soul
By Anna-Maria Renner, Greenpeace, 7 September 2017
I am writing this from Białowieża, an extremely beautiful forest between Poland and Belarus. It’s the very last remaining fragment of the ancient natural lowland forests in Europe. This forest once covered Europe. But it’s now almost entirely lost.
It is painful to see how this unique forest is being threatened by illegal logging.
US senate committee votes to reinstate funding to UN climate treaty
By Karl Mathiesen, Climate Home, 7 September 2017
The US senate appropriations committee, which is led by Republicans, has voted to contribute $10 million to the UN treaty organisation that oversees the Paris climate agreement.
An amendment by Democrat senator Jeff Merkley would restore the funding stripped from the overseas budget for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its science wing, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
In March, president Donald Trump’s budget proposal stripped funding from the state department’s contribution to the UN’s climate process.
[USA] Native American Venture Fund Joins Climate Change Leaders to Discuss Offsets and Carbon Credit Transactions Within the California Market
Native American Venture Fund press release, 7 September 2017
Global climate change is a widespread and growing concern that has led to extensive international discussions and negotiations. Responses to this concern have focused on reducing emissions of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide, and on measuring carbon absorbed by and stored in forests, soils, and oceans. With President Mr. Trump’s decision to abandon the Paris agreement for environmental action is a remarkable rebuke in the world community’s efforts in battling rising temperatures in concert. Standing resolute, the California Governor Jerry Brown, the Legislature and Attorney General continue their resolve to make progress towards California’s ambitious climate and energy goals.
[USA] Has Climate Change Intensified 2017’s Western Wildfires?
By Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, 7 September 2017
This wasn’t supposed to be a bad year for Western wildfires.
Last winter, a weak La Niña bloomed across the Pacific. It sent flume after flume of rain to North America and irrigated half the continent. Water penetrated deep into the soil of Western forests, and mammoth snowdrifts stacked up across the Sierra Nevadas. California’s drought ended in the washout.
8 September 2017
ClimateCoin, the new CO2 token for climate change action
ClimateCoin press release, 8 September 2017
CLIMATECOIN CO2 token is a new cryptocurrency that we created for Climate change action. With our “CO2” Token, users will perceive a percentage of the profits of our Organization for its participation in companies that fight Climate Change and also for the carbon credits being sold for these companies.
We are a Foundation based in Zug, Switzerland and we have recently become Corporate Members of the CryptoValley Association.
Carbon offsetting can play an important role in achieving airlines’ climate goals, says study, but finds low level of understanding
Green Air Online, 8 September 2017
With the growth in air travel demand forecast to outstrip fuel efficiency improvements, the aviation industry’s CO2 emissions goals can only be achieved through the purchase of carbon offsets. However, says a new study, there is considerable misunderstanding about offsetting and the difference between scientific and policy perspectives. Through their customer carbon offsetting schemes, airlines have already built partnerships with offset providers but it is important they correctly communicate the climate change benefits, say researchers from Griffith University in Australia. A total of 139 airlines were analysed in a study to investigate what information they provided on their role in carbon offsetting and whether the option was offered to their customers, with 44 airlines found to be actively involved. The researchers provide a number of best-practice principles to help airlines improve the reporting of their offsetting schemes.
Recommended reading for those interested in global development
UNDP, 8 September 2017
In the world of global sustainable development, on any given day, we talk about the need for “thought leadership,” and “innovative solutions” to address 21st century challenges. So what books do the people behind the UN’s development network read to keep their minds nimble?
For International Literacy Day, we asked our colleagues to share their favourite reads. Here’s what’s on the nightstands of these global development pros.
REDD+ Africa: looking past Trump’s U.N. proposed climate budget cuts
By Sophie Mbugua, Mongabay, 8 September 2017
In July, a community-led Kenyan conservation organization called Mikoko Pamoja, Mangroves Together, was among the 2017 Equator Prize winners. The program was singled out as an exceptional REDD+ project, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, a global United Nations initiative to combat climate change.
Mikoko Pamoja’s effort, carried out on the southern coast of Kenya about 50 kilometers from Mombasa, is the first community-run REDD+ project of its kind in the world. It has been validated to generate and sell mangrove carbon credits to companies and individuals globally.
Asia must lead charge for pollution-free planet: UN environment head
By Thin Lei Win, Thomson Reuters Foundation, 8 September 2017
Asia-Pacific – home to more than half the world’s population and some of its fastest-growing economies – is a key battleground in the fight against pollution, one of the biggest threats to the planet and its people, the U.N. environment chief said.
An estimated 12 million people die prematurely each year because of unhealthy environments, 7 million of them due to air pollution alone, making pollution “the biggest killer of humanity”, Erik Solheim told the first Asia-Pacific Ministerial Summit on the Environment in Bangkok this week.
Opinion: Land ruling threatens Brazil’s indigenous peoples ― and its climate commitments
By Rachel Biderman, Devex, 8 September 2017
As Brazilian President Michel Temer fought for his political life over the past three months, he sought support from powerful interests to keep from being impeached. His efforts paid off: On August 2, Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies voted against having Temer stand trial for corruption in the country’s Supreme Court. But this victory for the president brought a threat to his nation’s indigenous peoples and to Brazil’s climate commitments under the Paris agreement.
China shares pioneering environmental finance experience with the world
Ecns.cn, 8 September 2017
Experts from around the world attended the 2017 International Green Finance Forum in Beijing Tuesday, at which they discussed how to make green finance mainstream around the globe to help deal with climate change.
The forum was co-sponsored, among others, by the Green Finance Committee (GFC) of the China Society for Finance and Banking, the United Nations Environment Program and many Chinese financial enterprises and organizations were in attendance.
[Nepal] A promising (but uncertain) future for tenure rights devolution
By Catriona Croft-Cusworth, CIFOR Forests News, 8 September 2017
Over the past two decades, communities across the developing world have secured stronger rights to manage their forests, carried by the hope of better outcomes for governance, conservation and livelihoods.
So far, research results have been promising – studies by the Equity, Gender and Tenure research program at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) have found evidence of significant environmental, social and economic benefits associated with devolution of tenure rights in many settings.
[USA] Climate change and hurricanes: Is Irma a sign of things to come?
By Tom Cheshire, Sky News, 8 September 2017
Did climate change make it more deadly? Maybe a little but not as much as it will future storms.
A warning, though: it’s very hard to apply general models of climate change to a specific hurricane like Irma. And we don’t have any evidence yet that climate change has caused an increase in activity.
9 September 2017
Roadblock for ICOs?
By Cecilia Kok, The Star, 9 September 2017
The growth of cryptocurrencies may have just hit a wall, as governments around the world are increasing their scrutiny of initial coin offerings, or ICOs.
China, for one, has over the week issued an all-out ban on ICOs, declaring these digital coins illegal, while South Korea is now considering a possible ban on ICOs and stricter regulation on other digital currencies such as bitcoin and ethereum.
Other countries that have in recent months increased scrutiny on ICOs, potentially subjecting the industry to regulatory purview, include the United States, Canada, Russia, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Cracking Down On Boiler Room Fraud – Self Defense Tactics To Fight Off The Crooks
By Bart Astor, Forbes, 9 September 2017
Victims of investment fraud are often labelled as gullible or greedy. But the truth is, most are intelligent people who simply want to take advantage of what sounds like a good deal. Many victims are also older, senior citizens. Sadly, when they realize they’ve been taken in, they often keep it a secret out of shame for having been duped.
Boiler room fraudsters, as they are called, are masters in the art of manipulation and persuasion. Unless you’ve been made aware of what to look for, it’s not easy to determine a real deal from one concocted by fraudsters. Most of the time the investment appears to be perfectly legitimate.
[Indonesia] Five named suspects in Jambi land, forest fires
By Jon Afrizal, Jakarta Post, 9 September 2017
The Jambi Police have named five people as suspects during their investigation into seven land and forest fire cases, which occurred from January to August.
Jambi Police spokesperson Comr. Wirmanto Dinata said three out of the seven cases were handled by the Tebo Police while two cases were investigated by the Batanghari Police. The East Tanjungjabung Police and the Muarojambi Police handled one case each.
10 September 2017
‘Uncontacted’ Amazon Tribe Members Reported Killed in Brazil
By Shasta Darlington, The New York Times, 10 September 2017
They were members of an uncontacted tribe gathering eggs along the river in a remote part of the Amazon. Then, it appears, they had the bad luck of running into gold miners.
Now, federal prosecutors in Brazil have opened an investigation into the reported massacre of about 10 members of the tribe, the latest evidence that threats to endangered indigenous groups are on the rise in the country.
The Brazilian agency on indigenous affairs, Funai, said it had lodged a complaint with the prosecutor’s office in the state of Amazonas after the gold miners went to a bar near the border with Colombia, and bragged about the killings. They brandished a hand-carved paddle that they said had come from the tribe, the agency said.
[Brazil] Land grab in Amazon jungle threatens dispossession, violence and murder
By Alan Tormaid Campbell, The Guardian, 10 September 2017
On 23 August it emerged that the president of Brazil, Michel Temer, had issued a decree abolishing the protected status of an immense area of the Amazon forest. The area is in the north of the country, beyond the Amazon river, going up to the frontiers with French Guiana and Suriname (formerly Dutch Guiana). The estimated size is 4.5 million hectares, the size of Denmark or Switzerland.
EU Drafts Measures to Brexit-Proof Emissions Market
By Ewa Krukowska, Bloomberg, 10 September 2017
The European Union is preparing to make its emissions-trading system immune to a supply turmoil that may happen if Brexit talks fail and the U.K. leaves the world’s largest carbon market.
The European Parliament will vote on Wednesday on a proposal that would prevent companies and airlines in the EU Emissions Trading System using carbon allowances issued by the U.K. from 2018 if the country falls out of the cap-and-trade program, according to a draft document obtained by Bloomberg News. The provision, to be sponsored by four political groups, will be submitted as part of a revision of the bloc’s carbon market law to update rules on aviation.
Norway’s right-wing government wins re-election fought on oil, tax
By Henrik Stolen and Joachim Dagenborg, Reuters, 10 September 2017
Norway’s tax-cutting Conservative Prime Minister Erna Solberg declared victory on Tuesday after a parliamentary election, narrowly defeating a Labour-led opposition with her promises of steady management of the oil-dependent economy.
The win is historic for Solberg, whose supporters compare her firm management style to that of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, because no Conservative-led government has retained power in an election in Norway since 1985.
[UK] The Guardian view on climate change: see you in court
The Guardian, 10 September 2017
Recent days have seen Houston, Texas literally sunk under sheer weight of rain, Carribbean islands battered by powerful storms barrelling across the Gulf and now Florida homes blasted by Irma, the largest of three hurricanes churning in the Atlantic basin. It seems almost certain that man-made climate change has a role in such events. Scientists used to be circumspect at attributing any single extreme event to global warming. No longer. Now scientists make the link between climate change and droughts in Kenya, record winter sun in Britain and torrential downpours in south-west China.
[USA] The heat is on: How climate change is making Western wildfires worse
By Sher Watts Spooner, Daily Kos, 10 September 2017
Let’s look at the other set of natural disasters that is being exacerbated by climate change.
Major wildfires are burning in British Columbia in western Canada and in at least nine states throughout the American West: California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. California, Montana, and Oregon are bearing the worst of it. So far in 2017, more than 8 million acres have burned. More than 26,000 firefighters are working on controlling the roughly 80 major fires still burning. Homes are being evacuated or burned to the ground. It often rains in Seattle; it does not, however, usually rain ash.
[USA] Officials warn of 15-foot storm surge as Irma moves up Florida’s west coast
By Samantha Page, ThinkProgress, 10 September 2017
Storm surge is the primary concern for Florida officials, as Hurricane Irma works its way up the western coast of the state.
Irma arrived in the Florida Keys on Sunday morning, knocking out power lines and pushing cars off the roads with 130-mile-an-hour winds. But it is Irma’s potential for driving storm surge that is most concerning.