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REDD in the news: 22-28 April 2019

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

22 April 2019

Big Oil doing its bit with voluntary carbon offset schemes
By Jillian Ambrose, The Telegraph, 22 April 2019
Big Oil’s bid to go green has never been more literal. In the coming years, major oil companies are expected to invest billions of dollars planting forests, rolling out grasslands and establishing natural wetlands.
Italian oil giant Eni will create millions of hectares of forests across Africa, Royal Dutch Shell is eying Europe and BP is investing in forests across the US and China.

[Brazil] Behind the battle against deforestation in the Amazon rainforest
CBS News, 22 April 2019
Tanguro Ranch, a 200,000-acre industrial farm in the remote Mato Grosso region of Brazil, may not be what you imagine as the Amazon, but it sits right up against massive walls of dense rainforest. In essence, it’s the last line of civilization, and the frontline in the battle against deforestation.
Mike Coe is a soldier in that battle: “This is a perfect laboratory to work. It’s a very large farm, it’s half-forest, and half-farmland, so we’re able to set up different experiments in both farmland and forest to see what the differences are.”

[Colombia] Apple: Save the mangroves, save the humans
By Rene Ritchie, iMore, 22 April 2019
The earth is fine. The earth is swell. If we humans aren’t careful, it’ll just start over with the bugs the way it did with mamals when things didn’t work out soo well for the dinosaurs. The earth is old. Ancient. It cares nothing for tiny, brief things like us or our survival. All we have is each other.
So, in that spirit, Apple, Conservation International, and Colombian Communities are partnering to protect earth’s carbon-trapping coastal mangroves.

[Indonesia] Can Sumatran elephants and people coexist?
By Christi Hang and Dominique Lyons, CIFOR Forests News, 22 April 2019
Present day South Sumatra looks a lot different from its heyday as seat of the powerful Srivijaya Dynasty – the first unified kingdom to dominate much of the Indonesian archipelago. Lasting from the 7th to the 12th century, the jungle was thick and loaded with the sounds and stomps of giants, the Sumatran elephants (Elephas maximus sumatranus).
A vital asset to the Srivijaya reign, tens of thousands of “war elephants” accompanied kings and soldiers into battle to prove the might and wealth of the dynasty.

Peat protection rule may be a double-edged sword for Indonesia’s forests
By Hans Nicholas Jong, Mongabay, 22 April 2019
A logging prohibition in Indonesia aimed at protecting peatlands threatens a supply crunch for two of the world’s biggest paper producers that could drive them to source wood from as-yet-untouched forests elsewhere in the country, a recent study indicates.
Suppliers of pulpwood, typically acacia, to Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) and Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) are subject to an Indonesian government regulation that prohibits them from clearing peat forests with protected status, such as those with peat layers deeper than 3 meters (10 feet) and those that contain high biodiversity. The regulation, issued in 2016, also stipulates the conservation of at least 30 percent of all peat domes — landscapes where the peat is so deep that the center is topographically higher than the edges. Newly conducted spatial analysis shows that this type of peatland accounts for a combined 12,000 square kilometers (4,600 square miles) of these suppliers’ concessions — an area half the size of Vermont — located mostly in Sumatra.

[Thailand] Air pollution rises as fires continue to burn in North
By Tossapol Boonpat and Pannawich Yoodee, The Nation, 22 April 2019
Following a huge drop in the number of hotspots in Mae Hong Son during Songkran, fires have once again taken hold, prompting officials and volunteers to work around the clock on putting out the flames. Particulate dust in the area on Monday was still slightly under the safe limit of 50 micrograms per cubic metre of air.
Mae Sariang district chief Thanakrit Chanthajamrassilpa instructed kamnans to have volunteers patrol fire-prone spots in the forest, build firebreaks and join officials in putting out the flames.

[USA] NHL to purchase carbon offsets to counter playoff air travel
By Rory Carroll, Reuters, 22 April 2019
The National Hockey League said on Monday it would purchase carbon credits to offset airline emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases during the Stanley Cup playoffs.
For the first round of the playoffs, which has the highest number of teams traveling and is currently underway, the NHL will offset more than 465 metric tons of carbon emissions, equivalent to taking 99 cars off the road for one year.

[USA] Natural Habitat Adventures to Offset Carbon Emissions for All Travelers
Travel Pusle, 22 April 2019
In honor of Earth Day on April 22, 2019, Natural Habitat Adventures, the world’s first 100-percent carbon-neutral travel company, will now offset the carbon emissions stemming from all its guests’ air travel as of 2019 – effectively counteracting approximately 20,000 metric tons (roughly 40 million pounds) of CO2 in a single year.
The decision is expected to boost the company’s total offsets by approximately 300-400 percent annually – and decrease the carbon footprint of nearly 8,000 travelers each year.

[USA] On Earth Day, Delta offsets most carbon emissions in single day for over 300K customers
By Olivia Mayes, Delta News Hub, 22 April 2019
In celebration of Earth Day today, Delta is offsetting the emissions of all domestic leisure and business travel into and out of New York, Boston, Seattle, Los Angeles, Raleigh-Durham and Atlanta for over 300,000 customers across the country.
Plantable seed paper cutouts shaped like airplanes will be distributed on these selected flights to let customers know the environmental impact of their flight has been offset and inspire them to offset additional travel on Once planted, this special paper airplane will sprout non-invasive wildflowers.

[USA] University of San Francisco Achieves Carbon Neutrality More Than 30 Years Ahead of Goal
University of San Francisco press release, 22 April 2019
The University of San Francisco (USF) has met its goal of zero net carbon emissions more than 30 years ahead of its 2050 target date set in 2014 with a series of large and small steps, including reducing campus water use by 30 percent and switching to green cleaning supplies, to installing micro turbines that produce heat and electricity right on campus and purchasing mission-driven carbon offsets.

[USA] Cap and trade migrates south
By Benjamin Storrow, E&E News, 22 April 2019
Carbon cap-and-trade programs in America have long been limited to the Northeast and California. Now, they’re headed south.
Virginia regulators voted 5-2 Friday to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cap-and-trade regime covering the power sector in nine East Coast states. The only step remaining: a decision from Gov. Ralph Northam (D).
Republican lawmakers inserted language in the state budget barring the commonwealth from participating in the program, meaning a veto from Northam is needed for Virginia to move forward.

23 April 2019

The Tragedy of the Tragedy of the Commons
By Matto Mildenberger, Scientific American, 23 April 2019
Fifty years ago, University of California professor Garrett Hardin penned an influential essay in the journal Science. Hardin saw all humans as selfish herders: we worry that our neighbors’ cattle will graze the best grass. So, we send more of our cows out to consume that grass first. We take it first, before someone else steals our share. This creates a vicious cycle of environmental degradation that Hardin described as the “tragedy of the commons.”
It’s hard to overstate Hardin’s impact on modern environmentalism. His views are taught across ecology, economics, political science and environmental studies. His essay remains an academic blockbuster, with almost 40,000 citations. It still gets republished in prominent environmental anthologies.
But here are some inconvenient truths: Hardin was a racist, eugenicist, nativist and Islamophobe. He is listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a known white nationalist. His writings and political activism helped inspire the anti-immigrant hatred spilling across America today.

Collaborative Partnership on Forests Launches Process to Scale Up Forest and Landscape Restoration in the Tropics
By Wangu Mwangi, IISD, 23 April 2019
A report, published under the auspices of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), sets out key elements to be considered by programmes working to scale up forest landscape restoration (FLR) in tropical regions. The report summarizes the outcomes of the First Expert Group Meeting for FLR in the Tropics, which launched a process to develop comprehensive guidance for harnessing the productive, environmental and social capacities of restored degraded tropical forests, taking into consideration emerging global issues and priorities.

‘You did not act in time’: Greta Thunberg’s full speech to MPs
By Greta Thunberg, The Guardian, 23 April 2019
My name is Greta Thunberg. I am 16 years old. I come from Sweden. And I speak on behalf of future generations.
I know many of you don’t want to listen to us – you say we are just children. But we’re only repeating the message of the united climate science.
Many of you appear concerned that we are wasting valuable lesson time, but I assure you we will go back to school the moment you start listening to science and give us a future. Is that really too much to ask?

Overexposed: The IPCC’s report on 1.5°C and the risks of overinvestment in oil and gas
Global Witness, 23 April 2019
Overinvestment in oil and gas creates risks for investors, regardless of whether the world is effective in tackling climate change. Either investors face assets being stranded as demand for fossil fuels falls in a transition to a low carbon economy, or the overinvestment contributes to excess emissions from fossil fuels, the failure to transition and the financial costs of a dramatically changed climate.

True Story: China Is Using Artillery And Tanks to Put Out Forest Fires
By Michael Peck, National Interest, 23 April 2019
Talk about fighting fire with firepower.
China is using artillery and tanks to put out fires.
Chinese arms manufacturer Norinco has modified field artillery to shoot fire-suppressing cannon shells, according to China Daily. The guns are being used to put down forest fires that often erupt in springtime in China.
“Eight long-range fire-extinguishing guns designed and built by the company arrived in Guojiaping village in Changzhi, Shanxi province, at the request of provincial authorities to help quench the fire that had raged on a nearby mountain for several days,” the newspaper said.

[India] Forest fires pose grave threat to green cover in Uttarakhand
By Neeraj Santoshi, Hindustan Times, 23 April 2019
Over 44,554 hectares of forest area or roughly 61,000 football grounds worth forest area have been destroyed in forest fires ever since the formation of the state in 2000, leading to a total loss of over Rs 185 lakh. An average football ground is around 0.72 hectares.
The information was provided in response to an RTI (right to information) query filed by Haldwani-based activist Hemant Gauniya. Gauniya had sought year-wise details of the damage caused by forest fires and the loss incurred since the formation of the state.

[Indonesia] A time for healing
By HS Dillon, Jakarta Post, 23 April 2019
Now that the elections are over, both camps should bear equal responsibility for reuniting the polarized populace. During the seven-month-long campaign we appeared to have forsaken our values and exhibited no qualms about spreading hoaxes and inciting hatred. Brethren became enemies; Indonesia a nation torn.
One camp extolled virtues of their candidate’s leadership, despite the unaddressed current account deficit and our lagging far behind in matters of major substance — including the very quality of our people. The other camp stood in stark denial of the number of steps being taken to redress historical inequalities, highlighting instead the indebtedness incurred and the improper sequence of placing roads ahead of people. [R-M: Subscription needed.]

Most New Zealanders accept purchase of overseas carbon credits
By Eric Frykberg, Radio New Zealand, 23 April 2019
Only a tiny minority of people submitting to the government on climate change think that New Zealand should do all the hard work by itself.
The vast majority want this country to be able to buy carbon credits from other countries that do the heavy lifting on our behalf.
This has become evident from a summary of submissions on proposed changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme.
That scheme is up for review and a summary of submissions to that review has just been published by the Ministry for the Environment.

The UK has already had more wildfires in 2019 than any year on record
By Adam Vaughan, New Scientist, 23 April 2019
The UK has been hit by nearly a hundred large wildfires in 2019, making it the worst year on record already.
The hot spell in February and the recent Easter heatwave have contributed to a total of 96 major wildfires of 25 hectares or larger, eclipsing the previous high of 79 across the whole of 2018.
Researchers told New Scientist that the figures, collated by the European Forest Fire Information System, were evidence that climate change had already heightened the risk of wildfires in the UK.

24 April 2019

Indigenous peoples lives and their rights increasingly at risk
IWGIA, 24 April 2019
On 24 April 2019, at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York, IWGIA will release The Indigenous World 2019, an extensive, one-of-a-kind yearbook presenting a comprehensive, global overview of the developments indigenous peoples’ experience.
The book documents an increasing trend towards the harassment and criminalisation of indigenous peoples and communities. It also highlights the rising tensions between states and indigenous peoples, shrinking civil society space, loss of land rights and lack of access to justice for indigenous peoples to enjoy their rights.

Maples Group, 24 April 2019
Since 2012, greenhouse gas emissions from all flights operating in the European Economic Area (“EEA”) (domestic and international) have been subject to EU rules. Under the EU Emissions Trading System (“EU ETS”), airlines are required to monitor, report and verify their emissions and to surrender allowances against those emissions. Airlines receive annual tradable allowances covering a certain level of emissions. Any shortfall between the allocated sum of free emissions allowances and their actual emissions require the purchase of additional allowances.

Brazil: indigenous people rally in capital to protest against Bolsonaro onslaught
By Dom Phillips, The Guardian, 24 April 2019
Thousands of indigenous people have descended on Brazil’s capital Brasília to protest against a widespread assault on indigenous rights and territories by the government of the far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro.
Up to 4,000 indigenous people from all over the country are expected to join the annual demonstration, which organizers say has taken on new significance after Bolsonaro – who has repeatedly called into question the existence of indigenous reserves – took power in January.

Forest fires pose threat across Germany
Xinhua, 24 April 2019
The highest level of warning has been issued in several regions across Germany as forest fires broke out in a number of federal states on Tuesday.
A 10,000-square-meter wooded area was on fire at Baldeneysee near Essen on Tuesday morning, affecting a popular viewing platform in the Schellenberger Forest.
Forest fires also broke out in several regions of Brandenburg. South of the city of Neustadt, a 3,000- square-meter wooded area was on fire, and a 2-hectare area was also burning near the Felixsee in the Spree-Neisse district.

In Indonesia, a paper giant shuffles a litany of land conflicts
By Hans Nicholas Jong, Mongabay, 24 April 2019
One of the world’s biggest paper producers has left a trail of conflicts in its two-decade pursuit to develop pulpwood plantations on land also claimed by local communities in Indonesia, activists say.
Twenty-two of 38 suppliers to Asia Pulp & Paper are mired in 122 social conflicts centering on land rights, according to the analysis by a coalition of activists campaigning for the protection of peat forests in Indonesia. Barring any drastic measures or policy changes, the group says at least 602 additional conflicts are looming, adding to what it calls APP’s long legacy of land grabs, rights violations and social harm.

Europe wildfires: Norway police evacuate hundreds in Sokndal
BBC News, 24 April 2019
Hundreds of people have had to leave their homes in Norway as emergency services try to extinguish forest fires raging in the south of the country.
Some 148 homes were evacuated around the town of Sokndal, where fires have been burning since Tuesday.
Police say the fires are still out of control and warn that heavy winds could help them to spread.
April is very early for forest fires in Norway, and experts have warned of a dramatic increase across the continent.

[Norway] Oil firm Equinor agrees climate change targets with investors
By Nerijus Adomaitis and Simon Jessop, Reuters, 24 April 2019
Norwegian oil and gas company Equinor will revise its climate targets next year and assess its investments against U.N.-backed goals following talks with major investors.
Oil companies, among the largest emitters of greenhouse gases, are coming under increased shareholder pressure to have strategies compatible with the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

25 April 2019

Alarming Rate of Forest Loss Threatens a Crucial Climate Solution
By Georgina Gustin, Inside Climate News, 25 April 2019
The world’s forests continue to disappear at an alarming rate, threatening a resource that scientists say is a crucial “natural solution” for controlling climate change on an urgently short timescale.
Last year, the planet saw its fourth-highest level of tropical tree loss since the early 2000s—about 30 million acres, according to a new analysis published Thursday.
Those losses have continued even as more corporations and countries made commitments to preserve forests, and as scientists emphasized that maintaining forests must be a global priority—as crucial to staving off the worst risks of climate change as cutting fossil fuel use.

Dare to declare capitalism dead – before it takes us all down with it
By George Monbiot, The Guardian, 25 April 2019
For most of my adult life I’ve railed against “corporate capitalism”, “consumer capitalism” and “crony capitalism”. It took me a long time to see that the problem is not the adjective but the noun. While some people have rejected capitalism gladly and swiftly, I’ve done so slowly and reluctantly. Part of the reason was that I could see no clear alternative: unlike some anti-capitalists, I have never been an enthusiast for state communism. I was also inhibited by its religious status. To say “capitalism is failing” in the 21st century is like saying “God is dead” in the 19th: it is secular blasphemy. It requires a degree of self-confidence I did not possess.

World’s forests ‘in emergency room’ after years of losses
Al Jazeera, 25 April 2019
The world lost 12 million hectares of tropical tree cover in 2018 – the equivalent of 30 football pitches a minute – researchers said on Thursday, warning the planet’s health was at stake.
It was the fourth-highest annual decline since records began in 2001, according to new data from Global Forest Watch, which uses satellite imagery and remote sensing to monitor tree cover losses from Brazil to Ghana.

‘Death by a thousand cuts’: vast expanse of rainforest lost in 2018
By Damian Carrington, The Guardian, 25 April 2019
Millions of hectares of pristine tropical rainforest were destroyed in 2018, according to satellite analysis, with beef, chocolate and palm oil among the main causes.
The forests store huge amounts of carbon and are teeming with wildlife, making their protection critical to stopping runaway climate change and halting a sixth mass extinction. But deforestation is still on an upward trend, the researchers said. Although 2018 losses were lower than in 2016 and 2017, when dry conditions led to large fires, last year was the next worst since 2002, when such records began.

Alarming Rate of Forest Loss Threatens a Crucial Climate Solution
By Georgina Gustin, Inside Climate News, 25 April 2019
The world’s forests continue to disappear at an alarming rate, threatening a resource that scientists say is a crucial “natural solution” for controlling climate change on an urgently short timescale.
Last year, the planet saw its fourth-highest level of tropical tree loss since the early 2000s—about 30 million acres, according to a new analysis published Thursday.

The World Lost a Belgium-sized Area of Primary Rainforests Last Year
By Mikaela Weisse and Liz Goldman, Global Forest Watch, 25 April 2019
The tropics lost 12 million hectares of tree cover in 2018, the fourth-highest annual loss since record-keeping began in 2001. Of greatest concern is the disappearance of 3.6 million hectares of primary rainforest, an area the size of Belgium. The figures come from updated data from the University of Maryland, released today on Global Forest Watch.
Old growth, or “primary” tropical rainforests are a crucially important forest ecosystem, containing trees that can be hundreds or even thousands of years old. They store more carbon than other forests and are irreplaceable when it comes to sustaining biodiversity. Primary rainforests provide habitat for animals ranging from orangutans and mountain gorillas to jaguars and tigers. Once these forests are cut down, they may never return to their original state.

Technical Blog: Global Forest Watch’s 018 Data Update Explained
By Liz Goldman and Mikaela Weisse, Global Forest Watch, 25 April 2019
New data shows that tropical forest loss continued at a high rate in 2018. Below we answer several frequently asked questions related to the annual tree cover loss dataset on Global Forest Watch that are important to understanding the nuances of the data.
What does tree cover loss measure?
The University of Maryland’s (UMD) annual tree cover loss dataset measures the complete removal (also known as stand replacement disturbance) of tree cover canopy in 30 by 30 meter pixels. This measurement does not determine between permanent land cover change (deforestation) or temporary loss (in which forests will recover), or between natural or human causes of loss. Forest degradation, caused by dynamics like selective logging and fires, is also sometimes captured within the annual tree cover loss dataset if it has a large enough impact on the tree canopy.

The natural comeback of tropical rainforests in the savanna region
Ghent University press release, 25 April 2019
Artificial savanna naturally turns into tropical rainforest when annual burning regimes are discontinued. This is the conclusion of a natural experiment carried out by researchers from the RMCA, UGent, the WWF and INERA in the Manzonzi Savanna in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Together with the rainforest, it not only restores carbon storage capacity but also improves biodiversity. A model example for natural reforestation programmes in the region.

Shell’s salad years are over
Carbon Market Watch, 25 April 2019
Shell declared that it would invest $300 million in “natural ecosystems”, a move to deliver on its objective of reducing the company’s net carbon footprint by 2-3% over the next three years. This follows from a series of recent climate-related announcements by the oil giant. These include tying its executives’ pay to its climate targets, ending its support to certain industry lobby groups over “misaligned” positions on climate policies, and producing a long-term climate scenario aiming for net decarbonization in 2070 (the so-called “Sky scenario”).

Collaborative monitoring from the get-go
By Natasha Vizcarra, CIFOR Forests News, 25 April 2019
Imagine you’re a forester spearheading a restoration project. Let’s say it covers multiple, separate sites in diverse biomes—a rainforest, arid pastures, and a mountain watershed. You need to involve local stakeholders, like nearby residents, some ranchers, local water resource managers, and national officials. Where do you even start?
Researchers at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) believe they have helped develop a solution, with the launch of a new diagnostic tool specifically for forest landscape restoration practitioners. Its aimed at those who are ready to adopt a widely lauded project monitoring style, but previously felt somewhat daunted by its scale.

China’s Pork Crisis May Lead to Deeper Trading Ties With Brazil, Deforestation Risks
Chain Reaction Research, 25 April 2019
China’s meat industry is now facing major challenges with African swine fever poised to cut the country’s pig population by a third. The impact of this sharp decline will likely have widespread ramifications, including higher global meat prices and stronger Chinese imports from Latin American countries, particularly Brazil, where rising deforestation is being fueled by agriculture expansion. China’s stronger demand for pork from Brazil may indirectly lead to higher deforestation by paving the way for a parallel surge in imports of Brazilian beef.

China promotes ‘green’ belt and road, but is pressured over coal investments
By Megan Darby, Climate Home News, 25 April 2019
China launched an “international green development coalition” on Thursday, in the face of growing concern about its coal investments.
The environment ministry hosted an event on the “green belt and road” as part of a leaders’ summit in Beijing to promote Chinese investment in partner countries.
According to the official progress report on president Xi Jinping’s flagship foreign policy: “The Belt and Road Initiative pursues the vision of green development and a way of life and work that is green, low-carbon, circular and sustainable. The initiative is committed to strengthening cooperation on environmental protection and defusing environmental risks.”

Cheap gas stalls EU’s carbon price revival
By Alessandro Vitelli, Petroleum Economist, 25 April 2019
European carbon allowances rose three-fold in 2018 as traders bought in anticipation of tighter supply due to drastic reforms to the EU’s emissions trading system (EU ETS). However, the rally has stalled this year, with the unexpectedly mild winter and Brexit uncertainties depressing demand.
European carbon prices endured a seven-year slump after the global economic crisis of 2009 dampened industrial production, which led to a glut of EU ETS allowances. Carbon prices dropped from the high €20s/t in 2008 to a low of €2.75/t in 2013 and were still languishing below €5/t in 2017.

[Indonesia] Oil palm plantation’s partnership with farmers under scrutiny
By Stefanno Reinard Sulaiman, Jakarta Post, 25 April 2019
Palm oil companies are currently under scrutiny from Indonesia’s independent business watchdog for their lack of commitment to comply with the partnership regulation that requires them to allocate 20 percent of their plantation area to plasma farmers.
This partnership was enforced 12 years ago under Agriculture Ministerial Regulation No. 26/2007 on the guidelines for plantation business licensing, but farmer associations and environmental groups say the regulation has not been fully enforced.
Business Competition Supervisory Commission (KPPU) commissioner Guntur Saragih said at a press conference on Tuesday that it was investigating violations of the regulation by large palm oil plantations.
“We are not talking about a monopoly or unhealthy business practices, our focus in this matter is on how the government can ensure fair welfare distribution in the palm oil sector by allocating 20 percent of the land to communities,” he added.
[R-M: Subscription needed.]

[Mozambique] Three Ways to Maximize Benefits from Natural Resources for Local Communities
By Celine Lim (World Bank), DGM Global, 25 April 2019
In Mozambique, the majority of people live in rural areas and their livelihood relies heavily on the country’s substantial natural capital. Forests, wildlife and agriculture contribute significantly to the income and food supply of rural communities. Ensuring the sustainability and resilience of the natural resource base while ensuring communities benefit from those resources is critical for rural development. To accomplish this goal, the Mozambique Dedicated Grant Mechanism for Local Communities project (MozDGM) is employing a value chain development approach.
In an effort to ensure maximum community benefit, the Dedicated Grant Mechanism’s Africa Regional Exchange was held in February of 2019 to increase dialogue around this topic amongst partners and stakeholders.

[UK] How to stop climate change? Nationalise the oil companies
By Owen Jones, The Guardian, 25 April 2019
If only the Daily Express was right. That is not a sentence I ever expected to type. “Extinction Rebellion protests have WORKED as MPs succumb to calls for change”, bellowed the rightwing rag. Alas, the government has not capitulated to demands to declare a climate emergency, let alone to decarbonise the British economy by 2025. But Extinction Rebellion has retaught a lesson every generation must learn: that civil disobedience works. Amid the spluttering of obnoxious news presenters, it has forced the existential threat of climate change on to the airwaves and into newsprint.
But as this phase of protest winds down, the demands must radicalise. With capitalism itself rightly being challenged, the focus must shift to the fossil fuel companies and the banks. As long as they remain under private ownership on a global scale, humanity’s future will be threatened.

UK’s ‘creative carbon accounting’ breaches climate deal, say critics
By Sandra Laville, The Guardian, 25 April 2019
The UK is breaching the Paris agreement on climate change by excluding international aviation and shipping figures from carbon budgets, according to a leading NGO.
The Swedish campaigner Greta Thunberg accused the British government this week of “very creative carbon accounting” after the government defended its work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The UK government does not include emissions from global flights or shipping when it states it has reduced emissions by more than 40% since 1990.

26 April 2019

U.N. to launch global campaign against criminalization of Indigenous peoples
By Julie Mollins, CIFOR Landscape News, 26 April 2019
A new campaign to stop the criminalization of Indigenous peoples for protesting against governments and corporations in defense of their traditional lands aims to protect them from persecution, murder and imprisonment on falsified charges, said the U.N. special rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous Peoples on Thursday.
Vicky Tauli-Corpuz said the idea for the Global Campaign Against the Criminalization and Impunity of Indigenous Peoples was inspired by research and interviews she conducted during the preparation of her 2018 report on attacks and criminalization of Indigenous Peoples.

Ecuador’s Waorani tribe vows to protect life in Amazon
By Santiago Piedra Silva,, 26 April 2019
Spears and poisoned blowguns at hand, the Waorani people say they are ready to strike down invaders of their Amazon homelands, just like their forefathers did.
But now their battle is in court, and their enemies—Ecuador’s government and oil multinationals—are faceless.
The prize is their corner of Ecuador’s Amazon rainforest, ancestral lands where exploration licenses are up for grabs under a government plan to sell lucrative land concessions to oil companies.

[UK] Fraudster jailed for 7 years for £3m ‘boiler room’ fraud of elderly and vulnerable
CPS, 26 April 2019
A fraudster has been jailed today for seven years for conning elderly and vulnerable victims out of nearly £3m in a ‘boiler room’ fraud operation.
Mohammed Tanveer, 30, led an operation which cold-called potential victims and offered them the chance to invest in corporate bonds that were supposedly only available to private investors.
Victims were persuaded to invest huge sums of money – with one losing life savings of nearly £1m.

Satellite image shows huge scale of devastating wildfire in Scotland
By Jen Mills, Metro, 26 April 2019
The scale of wildfires in Scotland can be seen from satellite images showing the huge area of the blaze. Firefighters thought they had dealt with the fire yesterday, but were sent back to the scene in Moray today after it reignited. Six fire engines were sent back to the area around Knockando to try and put it out – making the fifth day of the fire burning after it started around 3pm on Easter Monday. Dry conditions and high winds caused the flames to spread aggressively, affecting an estimated 50 square kilometres of gorse, grass and forestry, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) said.

27 April 2019

Is it worth carbon offsetting flights – and how should I do it?
The Guardian, 27 April 2019
Every week a Guardian Money reader submits a question, and it’s up to you to help him or her out – a selection of the best answers will appear in next Saturday’s paper.
Like Emma Thompson, I take flights but am worried about the impact on the environment. I see various “carbon offset” schemes but never know what it is I’m really paying for, and which companies or sites I should really trust. Is it a good thing to spend money on, and which is best?

[UK] Corbyn launches bid to declare a national climate emergency
By Toby Helm, The Guardian, 27 April 2019
Labour will this week force a vote in parliament to declare a national environmental and climate change emergency as confidential documents show the government has spent only a fraction of a £100m fund allocated in 2015 to support clean air projects.
Jeremy Corbyn’s party will demand on Wednesday that the country wakes up to the threat and acts with urgency to avoid more than 1.5°C of warming, which will require global emissions to fall by about 45% from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching “net zero” before 2050.

28 April 2019

Tropical forests are dying. Seed-slinging drones can save them
By Peter Guest, Wired, 28 April 2019
A storm that has been lurking all morning finally breaks as Win Maung steps off his puttering motor launch into ankle-deep mud that gives off a heavy stink of ammonia. It is August 2018, the middle of the monsoon season, and under the downpour, the silver-grey channels of Myanmar’s coastal wetlands fade into a murk of spray and low mist. On the bankside, spindly mangroves dip their roots into water.

Ireland accused over carbon credit ‘cheating’
By Valerie Flynn, The Times, 28 April 2018
The government will try to hit emission reduction targets by using more than €70m of carbon credits from a scheme that EU-backed research has concluded has “fundamental flaws in terms of environmental integrity”.
Purchasing carbon credits forms part of its strategy to comply with Ireland’s 2020 EU emissions reduction target. [R-M: Subscription needed.]

[New Zealand] Kaikōura farmer’s standoff over Emissions Trading Scheme fines for cleared pines
By Jennifer Eder, Stuff, 28 April 2019
A farmer who was fined $85,000 for chopping down trees subject to the Emissions Trading Scheme says he was caught completely unawares.
Harold Inch bought the farm near Kaikōura about five years ago and cut down “probably half the trees on the farm”, intending to let the land return to native bush, which bordered the Inland Rd property.
But last year officials from the Ministry for Primary Industries turned up, telling Inch if he did not replant the trees within 10 days, he would have to pay $15,000 as the trees were covered by the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).
“They never, ever told me about all this when I bought the place … the whole bloody thing is just a total crock,” Inch said.

[UK] Nicola Sturgeon says world is facing a climate emergency
By Severin Carrell, The Guardian, 28 April 2019
Nicola Sturgeon has said she believes the world is facing a climate emergency and pledged to speed up efforts to achieve zero carbon emissions.
Following similar moves by the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, this weekend, the Scottish first minister said she was declaring the emergency because the science showed global warming was worsening.


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