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REDD in the news: 15-21 October 2018

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

Missing Pathways to 1.5°C
CLARA, October 2018
This report provides an alternate response to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’s request to the IPCC to analyse impacts of warming to 1.5°C and related greenhouse gas emission pathways. Prepared by representatives of the Climate Land Ambition and Rights Alliance (CLARA), a consortium of advocates, faith-based organizations and scientists concerned with climate mitigation and adaptation, the report responds specifically to the concern that many IPCC pathways rely heavily on untested mitigation approaches such as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS). CLARA supports the IPCC’s objective of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change while meeting sustainable development goals and reducing poverty.

15 October 2018

Ecosphere+: Forest conservation, carbon credits, and the path to net zero
By Michael Holder, BusinessGreen, 15 October 2018
The world’s top climate scientists may have delivered a raft of terrifying warnings in the IPCC’s long-awaited 1.5C report last week, but – bolstered by analysis of deliverable solutions – the overall message remained loud and clear: drastic action is needed, and it is needed quickly.
Specifically, they said, we have around 12 years to cut global greenhouse gas emissions in half if we are to have a chance of stopping average global warming of more than 1.5C by the end of the century, and therefore avert dangerous sea level rise, escalating drought risks, the mass loss of species, and hundreds of millions more people falling into poverty.

Land rights, forests, food systems central to limiting global warming: report
By Justin Catanoso, Mongabay, 15 October 2018
A group of climate advocates released detailed findings today, saying that significant climate change mitigation can be achieved via a heavy emphasis on the land sector, and without reliance on costly or largely untested technologies such as bioenergy, carbon capture-and-storage and geoengineering.
The report, called Missing Pathways to 1.5 degrees C: The role of the land sector in ambitious climate action, was released by the Climate, Land, Ambition and Rights Alliance (CLARA). The 53-page document recommends a combination of land-based strategies: secure land rights for indigenous peoples, restore forest ecosystems, and transform agriculture and dietary habits.

Securing rights of indigenous peoples and local communities may curb global warming
By Juan Pablo Sarmiento Barletti, CIFOR Forests News, 15 October 2018
Implementing a coordinated global response to curb demand for energy and eliminate further deforestation would reduce the need to deploy artificial carbon dioxide removal technologies, according to a decisive report from the U.N. scientific panel on climate change.
The report released this week by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), serves to inform global efforts on commitments made under the 2015 Paris Agreement to keep temperatures in check. It states that human activities are likely to push global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels between 2030 and 2052, and urges rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in human activity toward the environment.

The Center of Coal Demand Keeps Shifting
By Nikos Tsafos, Center for Strategic & International Studies, 15 October 2018
Coal accounted for 44 percent of energy-related CO2 emissions in 2016, even though it provided 27 percent of the world’s primary energy. The world needs to either curb coal use or develop technologies that limit carbon emissions from coal to meet its climate goals. In policy circles, this challenge is often framed around specific countries—the need for Germany, China, or the United States, for example, to reduce coal use. But this conversation, while essential, tends to underrate how much of the world’s coal challenge is now an Asian challenge. Unless Asia can find other energy sources to meet its needs, our efforts to curb CO2 emissions from coal will likely fail.

Taxing carbon may sound like a good idea but does it work?
By Paul Griffin, The Conversation, 15 October 2018
Exxon Mobil is backing a proposal to tax oil, gas and coal companies for the carbon they emit and redistribute the money raised that way to all Americans. It’s also giving a group urging Washington to enact a tax on carbon US$1 million to advocate for this policy.
The carbon dividends plan, named after the former U.S. officials who conceived it – James Baker and George Shultz – reflects the research of Yale economist William Nordhaus, one of the two winners of the 2018 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.

EU carbon market update, 15 October 2018
By Louis Redshaw, Environmental Finance, 15 October 2018
EUA prices fell more than 8% last week as mild weather weighed heavily on carbon and the wider energy complex. Carbon was facing larger losses intra-week, but long-term trend support held, enabling EUAs to claw back some of the losses. It was a week of two halves as prices slid in the first half of the week and recovered in the second half.

[Indonesia] Forest fire season in Bali: Fire breaks out at Mount Abang
Coconuts Bali, 15 October 2018
Forest fires have been popping up left and right in Bali as the dry season persists, the latest on the island’s Mount Abang in Bangli Regency.
The flames in a protected forest area above Trunyan Village was reportedly put out on Sunday, but land further out is still smoking, according to Bangli Regional Police.

[New Zealand] Salt Funds to open up carbon trading to retail investors
By Paul McBeth, Scoop, 15 October 2018
Salt Funds Management plans to list a dedicated carbon fund, opening up the green commodity directly for retail investors.
Salt’s Carbon Fund is expected to be 98 percent invested in carbon commodities, with 2 percent held in cash and equivalents. The fund will buy credits in New Zealand’s emissions trading scheme and also in international schemes. It may use swaps, futures and other derivatives to get exposure to those markets.

[New Zealand] Salt launches new carbon investment fund
By Tamsyn Parker, New Zealand Herald, 15 October 2018
Feeling bad about driving around that petrol-guzzling car or a recent long-haul flight?
There could soon be an easy way to off-set your carbon usage – and make money from it.
A New Zealand investment company is set to launch what it says is the first carbon fund in the world and hopes to list it on the local stock market next month, opening it up to mum and dad investors.
The fund, which is being set up and managed by Salt Funds Management, intends to buy carbon credits in emissions trading schemes in New Zealand and offshore.

16 October 2018

Seeing the Forest for the Trees
By Martin Noponen, Rainforest Alliance, 16 October 2018
The world is reeling from the publication of a new report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on Tuesday. The Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C has sounded the alarm with greater urgency than ever before: we are at a critical point for the future of the planet.
For the first time, and in contrast to the customarily moderated tone of the panel, the authors warn that the impacts of a global temperature rise of 1.5°C will be much higher than anticipated in previous reports — and that the upper temperature goal of 2.0°C set out in the Paris Climate Agreement would result in catastrophic consequences for people and nature. The report was authored by 133 scientists and draws upon more than 6,000 peer-reviewed scientific articles on climate change.

Political deadlock has put $1bn in green projects on hold
By Megan Darby, Climate Home News, 16 October 2018
Project developers bidding for $1.1 billion from the Green Climate Fund are looking anxiously for board approval in Bahrain this week.
The fund’s last board meeting in July collapsed with no agreement on 11 project proposals, worth nearly $1bn, nor on how to raise a fresh round of contributions from rich countries. Since then, 10 project bids have been added to a packed agenda, and one deferred.

Forest and Farm Producers Organize to Fight Hunger, Climate Change
By Jeffrey Y. Campbell, IISD, 16 October 2018
Climate change. Hunger. Poverty. These enormous global challenges and our search for solutions dominate the headlines daily. In countries from Ecuador to Ghana to Viet Nam, smallholder forest and farm producers, including women, youth and indigenous people, are organizing themselves to find practical answers to these challenges.
And it is working. Small-scale farmers and foresters are demonstrating how, by organizing themselves into producer groups, collectives and cooperatives, they are getting more and better results. This means not only sufficient food on the table, but guidance in sustainable use of forests and farms that will help to ensure their children’s futures.

African Forest Restoration Pledges Exceed 2030 Target, Boost Bonn Challenge Achievements
By Wangu Mwangi, IISD, 16 October 2018
In just three years since its launch, pledges by 27 countries under the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100) have surpassed the regional target of restoring 100 million hectares of degraded land by 2030.
With commitments totaling 111 million hectares, Africa currently accounts for nearly 75% of the 2020 global forest restoration target under the Bonn Challenge, which aims to bring 150 million hectares of land into restoration by 2020.

UK government puts forward EU ETS contingency planning for no deal scenario
By Marcus Ferdinand, ICIS, 16 October 2018
The UK has brought forward a series of technical notes on various topics regarding the implications of Brexit. On Friday (12 October), the UK government published a technical notice on on climate-related topics in case of a “no deal” scenario. The note is of technical nature and does not have legal character.
The UK’s Climate Change Act is domestic legislation and will be unaffected by exiting the EU – consequently, the UK is further committed to reach their domestic CO2 reduction targets.
The UK will remain a party to international climate change agreements and its commitment to them will be unaffected by EU exit.

Expansion of oil palm plantations into forests appears to be changing local diets in Indonesia
By Julie Mollins, CIFOR Forests News, 16 October 2018
When Rosalina Heni is not working in the rice paddy fields in Ribang Kadeng village in the Indonesian province of West Kalimantan, she gathers vegetables in the surrounding forest for her family to eat.
By contrast, in nearby Sekadu Village, local resident Maria Ludiana can no longer collect enough ferns, bamboo shoots and other vegetables to feed her family because an oil palm plantation has supplanted the natural growth forest.

17 October 2018

It’s time for flying to become the new smoking
By Dorothea Hilhorst, ISS Blog, 17 October 2018
Flying is an important contributor to global warming, and by far one of the most complicated. There are no signs that flying will be reduced and technical solutions to reduce carbon emissions are a long way off and not very feasible. Unlike cars, electric planes are not an option—flying a plane would require its entire space to be filled with batteries.

11 Africa countries exchange knowledge on Jurisdictional REDD+ during the 2018 UN-REDD Regional Exchange
By Griet Ingrid Dierckxsens & Michael Muratha, UN-REDD Programme, 17 October 2018
UN-REDD Africa convened its yearly Regional Knowledge Exchange on the 02-03 October 2018 at the UN Headquarters, Nairobi with the topic “ REDD+ Implementation at Scale: emerging lessons on Jurisdictional Approaches & linkages with National Policy Frameworks”.
11 UN-REDD partner countries in the region as well as regional representatives from civil society organizations and indigenous peoples participated.

Meet the next generation of Congolese forest experts
By Ahtziri Gonzalez, CIFOR Forests News, 17 October 2018
To foment lasting change, tackling the challenges facing forests in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) requires addressing root causes.
When researchers with the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and the University of Kisangani (UNIKIS) first began working together over a decade ago, a pressing problem was identified: the country lacked highly educated professionals and trained experts to properly manage its vast forests.

[India] When drought and extreme heat strike forests at the same time
By Sandhya Sekar, Mongabay, 17 October 2018
The frequency of extreme weather events is going up around the world, and droughts and heatwaves are no exception. When the globe warms by 3-4 degrees – a possibility during this century under a ‘business as usual’ scenario – about 40 percent of the world’s land surface is predicted to experience drought. The tropics are all set to experience high temperatures as the new normal.
With drought and heat posing individual threats, there is also the looming threat of frequent ‘double whammies’ of drought and heat: concurrent drought and heatwaves, across India and the globe.

[India] Kashmir Witnesses Spike In Forest Fires
Kashmir Observer, 17 October 2018
The Kashmir Valley has witnessed frequent incidents of fires which have left vast swathes of forests damaged.
Early this year fire broke out in the upper reaches of Brein and Nishat which later spread to Dachigam National Park and continued till several weeks. In January this year fire erupted in Zabarwan mountain range which engulfed 50-60 hectares of the forest cover and damaged its vast stretches. Incidents of fire have been also reported from north Kashmir’s Bandipora district.

[USA] Dems damp down hopes for climate change agenda
By Timothy Cama and Mike Lillis, The Hill, 17 October 2018
Democrats are unlikely to pursue major climate change legislation if they win the House majority, despite a growing body of evidence suggesting time is running out to address the issue.
This represents a shift in strategy from when House Democrats last controlled the chamber. In 2009, they passed cap-and-trade legislation, which subsequently died in the Democratic-controlled Senate. The game plan for next year, House Democrats say, is more incremental steps and hearings.

18 October 2018

‘Bad news’ and ‘despair’: Global carbon emissions to hit new record in 2018, IEA says
By Frédéric Simon, Euractiv, 18 October 2018
Global carbon emissions will rise to a new record level in 2018, making the chances of reaching a target to keep temperature increases to 1.5 or 2°C “weaker and weaker every year, every month,” the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA) has said.
IEA’s Fatih Birol told a conference in Paris that data for the first nine months of the years was already pointing to a record increase in carbon emissions.

New Report, WRI Platform and … Wu-Tang Clan Make Case for Plant-Based Diets
Sustainable Brads, 18 October 2018
Meat-heavy diets have been under increased scrutiny of late, spawning a host of research and campaigns linking them to the accelerating impacts of climate change around the world.
Now, a new report from the Changing Markets Foundation, Mighty Earth and Compassion in World Farming points the finger at governments, which they say are failing to tackle meat over-consumption to meet climate targets.
In many EU countries and in the US, meat consumption is more than double the recommended levels for healthy diets. Growing the Good: The Case for Low-carbon Transition in the Food Sector highlights government policies that universally support unsustainable agricultural production systems dominated by intensive meat and dairy farmers and producers.

Tropical deforestation now emits more CO2 than the EU
By Rachel Fritts, Mongabay, 18 October 2018
To stay under 2 degrees Celsius of warming and thereby stave off the worst effects of climate change, more funding must be allocated to forest-focused global warming mitigation strategies. That’s the takeaway from a new analysis by Global Forest Watch (GFW) this month. The numbers suggest that forests, harnessed effectively, could be a powerful climate mitigation tool, but “forests have long been overlooked as a climate change solution,” said Nancy Harris, Research Manager for GFW.

PwC pledges to offset air travel emissions and source 100% renewable electricity
By Sarah George,, 18 October 2018
Professional services giant PwC has this week pledged to source 100% renewable electricity for its global operations and to offset all emissions accounted for by flights taken by employees for business purposes.
The multinational this week joined The Climate Group’s RE100 initiative to source 100% clean power for its global operations – an aim it has committed to achieve by 2022 across its 21 main territories, which account for 88% of its revenue streams. Other smaller markets will follow suit in subsequent years. The firm notably has operations in 158 countries and more than 236,000 employees.

Delays to aviation carbon rules a cause for concern
By Alessandro Vitelli, S&P Global, 18 October 2018
Carbon offset criteria expected next year Some nations disagree over eligibility, time limit Efforts to launch the world’s first global carbon market for aviation are running into delays, as the UN body tasked with implementing the system still wrestles with key rules that will govern the market, causing problems for potential market participants.
The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), which is developing the industry-wide market, is not expected to agree the criteria for eligible carbon credits for another year, according to Rob Stevens, chair of the aviation task force at the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA).

[Benin] Can a cooker help save the rainforest?
By Raïssa Ioussouf, BBC, 18 October 2018
Cooking pots in Benin usually need a lot of charcoal, which is made from trees. But this new one doesn’t need any.

In a first, DRC communities gain legal rights to forests
Mongabay, 18 October 2018
Five communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and the more than 10,000 residents who call them home, now have legal control of the forests on which they depend.
This month, government officials in DRC’s Equateur province signed off on applications by communities to manage sections of the country’s forests, covering about 300 square kilometers (116 square miles).

[Peru] A new leaf: the hardy trees reforesting the Amazon
By Dan Collyns, The Guardian, 18 October 2018
Flying above the Tambopata River in a single-engine Cessna turboprop, the panorama is desolate. Jungle rivers are ripped open into a delta of sand dunes and stagnant, discoloured ponds. Ant-sized bulldozers roll down mud paths on the soggy moonscape dotted with glinting corrugated iron rooftops.
Amid the roar of the propellers, Cesar Ascorra eagerly points to a cluster of newly planted saplings in the sand. They are evenly spaced, like a polka dot pattern, but the area they cover is dwarfed by the swathe of destruction carved by illegal gold miners.

19 October 2018

Tropical Deforestation Is the Third-Biggest Carbon Emitter in the World
By Rachel Fritts, Pacific Standard, 19 October 2018
To stay under two degrees Celsius of warming and thereby stave off the worst effects of climate change, more funding must be allocated to forest-focused global warming mitigation strategies. That’s the takeaway from a new analysis by Global Forest Watch this month. The numbers suggest that forests, harnessed effectively, could be a powerful climate mitigation tool, but “forests have long been overlooked as a climate change solution,” said Nancy Harris, research manager for GFW.

Unlocking the carbon storage potential of forests through better data
FAO, 19 October 2018
A UN program that is helping developing countries cut greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation has scored a number of successes by boosting their forest monitoring capacities, a new assessment says.
Technical support from FAO provided through the UN Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (UN-REDD) has helped countries make significant advances in their national forest monitoring systems, allowing them to collect an unprecedented wealth of data on forests and generate detailed maps, statistics and studies on forest-use that were not possible previously, the assessment reports.

Why Climate Change and Other Global Problems Are Pushing Some Business Leaders to Embrace Regulation
By Matt Gitsham, Harvard Business Review, 19 October 2018
Global carbon emissions need to be reduced to net zero by 2050 to have a good chance of holding global average temperature rises to no more than 1.5oC, a level that would be disastrous, but not catastrophic for human civilization.
So states a new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which sets out the policy choices governments around the world need to make over the next 12 years to 2030 if they want to limit global temperature rises to 1.5oC rather than 2oC.

Finland helps Vietnam build forestry database 19 October 2018
Vietnam has set up a fully integrated forestry information database under a project funded by the Finnish Government, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) said at a recent conference in Hanoi.
Data from forests across the country and more than 1.4 million forest owners have been integrated in the Management Information System (MIS) for sustainable management of forest resources. Forest owners are organisations, households, individuals and communities that are assigned or leased forests by the State.

Guyana deforestation rate hits 7-year low, officials say
By Carinya Sharples, Mongabay, 19 October 2018
Guyana recorded its lowest rate of deforestation last year since 2010, when the South American country established a national Monitoring Reporting and Verification (MRV) program.
According to Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) data, released on Oct. 5, the deforestation rate in 2017 was 0.048 percent — down from the 0.050 percent recorded in 2015-2016.

[Pakistan] REDD Plus Innovative Idea To Conserve Rain Forests: Malik Amin Aslam
By Rukshan Mir, Urdu Point, 19 October 2018
Advisor to Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam said that REDD plus (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) is an innovative idea to conserve the rain forests.
He said that climate change is a serious global challenge and if concrete steps would not taken on time, the coming decades would be more disastrous.
He was speaking at the ‘consultative meeting with the parliamentarians on Climate Change and National REDD+ Strategy’, organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and CHIP Training and Consulting CTC (Private Limited).

6,000 Evacuated After Tibet Landslide
By Olivia Rosane, EcoWatch, 19 October 2018
Six thousand people have been evacuated after a landslide in Tibet Wednesday blocked a river that flows downstream into India, creating a lake that could cause major flooding in the subcontinent once the debris is cleared, The Associated Press reported.
Chinese emergency officials announced the evacuations Thursday. The landslide impacted a village in Menling County, but no one was killed or injured, Chinese officials said.

[USA] Supreme Court Grants Government’s Extraordinary Appeal, Pauses Kids Climate Case
By Karen Savage, Climate Liability News, 19 October 2018
The U.S. Supreme Court has put the brakes on the landmark youth-led climate lawsuit, Juliana v. United States.
In a one-page order issued Friday by Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr., the court granted a request made earlier this week by the Trump administration to stay discovery and trial pending review of its newly filed petition for writ of mandamus.
Roberts also ordered the plaintiffs to respond to the government’s mandamus petition no later than Wed. Oct. 24.
Trial in the case was previously set to begin on Oct. 29 in U.S. District Court in Eugene, Ore.
The Trump administration has repeatedly asked both the Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to stop the trial via writ of mandamus, a rarely used and even more rarely granted appeal in which a higher court overrules a lower court before a verdict has been issued. The Ninth Circuit has twice turned down the request for mandamus (and a third is pending) and the Supreme Court turned down a previous one as well.

[USA] Fact check: Trump thinks California fires cost taxpayers ‘hundreds of billions.’ Here’s the real number
By Dale Kasler, The Sacramento Bee, 19 October 2018
President Donald Trump, pointing a finger at a persistent political nemesis, said this week that California’s wildfires are costing American taxpayers “hundreds of billions of dollars.”
The true cost is a sliver of that.
Although a full accounting won’t be available for months, a review of federal data shows that the U.S. government has spent about $1.4 billion the past two years dealing with wildfires in California.

20 October 2018

Norwegian Royals Witness VeChain and DNV GL Agreement
By Carlos Terenzi, Use The Bitcoin, 20 October 2018
VeChain has signed a partnership with DNV GL in order to reduce carbon emissions. The signing ceremony has been witnessed by King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway. The information has been released by the VeChain Foundation in a blog post a few days ago.
Both companies decided to sign an agreement related to a reduction in carbon emissions. The signing ceremony took place at the Norway-China Business Summit 2018. Additionally, the event was co-sponsored by ‘Innovation Norway’ and the ‘Chinese Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT).’

[Pakistan] REDD plus innovative idea to conserve rain forests: Amin
Pakistan Observer, 20 October 2018
Advisor to Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam said that REDD plus (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) is an innovative idea to conserve the rain forests.
He said that climate change is a serious global challenge and if concrete steps would not taken on time, the coming decades would be more disastrous.
He was speaking at the ‘consultative meeting with the parliamentarians on Climate Change and National REDD+ Strategy’, organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and CHIP Training and Consulting – CTC (Private Limited).
More than twenty five parliamentarians and many civil society members attended the consultative meeting.

Arunachal, Assam On Alert As Tibet Landslide Causes Siang River To Swell
By Abhishek Chakroborty, NDTV, 20 October 2018
Assam and Arunachal Pradesh are on high alert after China informed India about a possible flood situation because of a landslide in Tibet. Beijing, under the ‘Emergency Information Sharing Mechanism’ with India, informed New Delhi that a landslide has blocked one of the major rivers in Tibet leading to the formation of an artificial lake.
The landslide happened on the Yarlung Tsangpo river in Tibet. The river is known as the Siang after it enters India at Arunachal Pradesh. In Assam it is called the Brahmaputra. “Water in the Siang river breached the danger mark on Friday night,” officials in Arunachal Pradesh said.

21 October 2018


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