REDD-Monitor’s round-up of the week’s news on forests, the climate crisis, REDD, and natural climate solutions. For regular updates, follow @reddmonitor on Twitter.
25 November 2019
Oil, Forests and Climate Change
By Esperanza Martínez, WRM Bulletin 246, 25 November 2019
The importance of oil for analyses of climate change, and even the crisis of civilization, cannot be ignored. Oil is the driving force behind climate change along with unequal trade, globalization and new landscapes of colonization. It explains the metabolism of production and the market inherent to globalization.
“Forest-Smart Mining”: The World Bank’s Strategy to Greenwash Destruction from Mining in Forests
By Jutta Kill, WRM Bulletin 246, 25 November 2019
An oxymoron describes “a phrase or statement that seems to say two opposite things.” The World Bank has a lot of experience with oxymorons and oxymoronic initiatives related to forests. With a report titled “Making Mining Forest-Smart” and the launch of a “Climate-Smart Mining Facility” in 2019, it is adding two more to its collection.
A Green Transition or an Expansion of Extraction?
WRM Bulletin 246, 25 November 2019
Much has been said about the so-called “energy transition” towards zero-carbon emissions. Mounting pressure for addressing the very serious climate impacts of burning petroleum, coal and natural gas has led to more than 70 cities and countless companies and corporate networks pledging “carbon neutrality.” But what does this mean?
Comment: The ethics of violent conservation
By Dan Brockington and Rosaleen Duffy, BIOSEC, 25 November 2019
Conservation practices and decisions have repercussions for people, and different repercussions for different people. Conservation is inevitably a human enterprise. Conservation itself – if ever there was any foundational form of it – has always been embedded in problems of social justice. Arguments about conservation that try to separate out ecojustice from social justice are very misguided and could have far reaching negative consequences for people and for wildlife.
Meat: A Threat to Our Planet? review – guaranteed to put you off your chicken nuggets
By Lucy Mangan, The Guardian, 25 November 2019
You can mentally delete the question mark from Meat: A Threat to Our Planet? (BBC One) pretty early on. You may have felt confident enough to do so after the news that we eat 65bn animals a year, figuring that not much good can come from consumption that vast. Or you may have waited for the scenes in Texas, where beef is considered such a basic commodity that eateries abound that offer free 5lb steaks (just over two kilos) if you can down all of yours in one sitting. Or perhaps your growing feeling of disquiet did not resolve into certainty until you heard a few figures – such as that methane is a greenhouse gas 30 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. This means that each one of the 1.5bn cows on Earth heats it as much every year as the CO2 produced by burning 600 litres of petrol.
Climate-heating greenhouse gases hit new high, UN reports
By Damian Carrington, The Guardian, 25 November 2019
The concentration of climate-heating greenhouse gases has hit a record high, according to a report from the UN’s World Meteorological Organization.
The jumps in the key gases measured in 2018 were all above the average for the last decade, showing action on the climate emergency to date is having no effect in the atmosphere. The WMO said the gap between targets and reality were both “glaring and growing”.
Got flight shame? Would you pay more to make it up to the climate?
By Rainer Romero-Canyas, Environmental Defense Fund, 25 November 2019
Flight shame — that guilty feeling for traveling by air because of its large impact on the climate — is making some customers think twice before flying.
Ridiculing people for traveling by plane has even gone mainstream: Celebrities like Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have faced public scorn for their jet-setting.
Asian pulp giants pressed to paper over rivalry to save rainforest
By Michel Taylor, Reuters, 25 November 2019
Asia’s pulp and paper giants – which supply materials for stationery, tissues and toilet roll – are being urged by environmentalists to follow the palm oil industry in stepping up collaboration to tackle forest loss and fires in Indonesia.
Singapore’s APRIL Group and its main rival Indonesia’s Asia Pulp & Paper Group (APP), both with operations largely on Sumatra island, are working with local communities and using technologies like satellite imagery to protect forests on their concessions and prevent fires.
[Cameroon] “We were told not to go into the forest anymore” – Greenpeace investigation exposes human rights violations by Halcyon Agri
Greenpeace press release, 25 November 2019
Following last year’s Ruinous Rubber report, exposing the Congo Basin’s most devastating new forest clearance for industrial agriculture, Greenpeace Africa released today a brief describing human rights violations of Indigenous Baka communities in the South of Cameroon. The brief reveals how the operations of Sudcam – a subsidiary of Singapore-based rubber giant Halcyon Agri – have led to destruction of Baka people’s camps, restricted their access to land used for farming, fishing, and hunting, and contributed to loss of their language and culture.
DR Congo palm-oil firm Feronia accused of abuses
By Catherine Byaruhanga, BBC News, 25 November 2019
Feronia, a company 38% owned by the UK government’s development bank, has been accused of a series of environmental and human rights abuses in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Workers complain of poor working conditions, low pay and exposure to health hazards which the company ignores.
Human Rights Watch say that the company has been dumping toxic waste into the Congo River, allegations that Feronia disputes.
Towards zero-deforestation commodities in Ghana’s Atiwa forest
By Ahtziri Gonzalez, CIFOR Forests News, 25 November 2019
Located just a couple of hours drive from Ghana’s bustling capital city Accra, the Atewa forest range is a unique ecosystem. It is home to endangered and endemic species of birds, mammals, reptiles, butterflies and amphibians.
It is also the source of three of the country’s main rivers: the Ayensu, Densu and Birim, which supply drinking water to the greater Accra region and beyond.
Guyana refutes findings that deforestation skyrocketed after REDD+ payments stopped
By Gabriel Popkin, Mongabay, 25 November 2019
A landmark five-year, $250-million pay-for-performance agreement between wealthy, oil-rich Norway and heavily forested Guyana was supposed to keep the South American nation’s biodiverse and carbon-rich forests standing and their carbon out of the atmosphere.
The scheme worked for a while, say the authors of a study published last week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Tree loss during the five-year program period was substantially less than what it would have been without the payments, the paper’s authors report, resulting in millions of tons of avoided carbon emissions. But they found that once the money stopped flowing, tree loss spiked. The more recent numbers, however, contradict official statistics produced by the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC).
Indonesia fires emitted double the carbon of Amazon fires, research shows
By Hans Nicholas Jong, Mongabay, 25 November 2019
Fires from land and forest fires across Indonesia this year have pumped at least 708 million tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere — almost double the emissions from the fires that swept through the Brazilian Amazon this year.
That was the finding from researchers at the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS), who noted that the Indonesian fires were one of the most intense in nearly two decades, unleashing far more than the 366 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) churned out by the higher-profile fires in the Brazilian Amazon.
[UK] Sorry easyJet, tackling the climate crisis ain’t that easy
By Ben Essen, campaign, 25 November 2019
“At 05:20 this morning, easyJet flight EJU5841 took to the skies and made history.”
So began easyJet’s announcement that it will now offset the carbon emissions from the fuel used for every one of its flights.
As a headline grabber, it has clearly worked. Press and consumers around the world have picked up on the story as a symbol of easyJet’s climate leadership.
On many levels, we have to applaud the commitment. Investing £25m in tree-planting and fuel-saving initiatives is indisputably a good thing. Taking a climate leadership position in an industry in desperate need of it is a good thing. But that hasn’t stopped an array of scientists and NGOs from quickly calling the news out as “jumbo-size greenwashing”.
26 November 2019
UNEP: 1.5C climate target ‘slipping out of reach’
By Zeke Hausfather, CarbonBrief, 26 November 2019
Unless the world begins to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions the 1.5C goal of the Paris Agreement “will slip out of reach,” according to the latest UN Environment Programme (UNEP) emissions gap report.
Climate crisis: Why the carbon numbers mean new airports do not add up
By Steve Tompkins and Michael Pawlyn, Architects Journal, 26 November 2019
The late David MacKay [the government’s former chief scientific adviser] argued that sustainability was about ‘numbers, not adjectives’ and that – to paraphrase slightly – ‘if we’re planning for the future of humanity, we’d better have a plan with numbers that add up’.
Nowhere is this advice more relevant than in the heated debate among design professionals about ‘sustainable new airports’.
Can carbon credits offset the fuel burned in vacation travel? Well, it’s complicated
By Nikki Ekstein, Los Angeles, 26 November 2019
Greta Thunberg has once again been sailing across the Atlantic, and travelers everywhere are being reminded: There’s never been a more depressing time to fly.
That’s not just because of shrinking seats. With air transit accounting for 2% to 2.5% of global carbon dioxide emissions, travelers are having to weigh their consciences against their desire to see the planet in all its (thawing) glory.
Cut global emissions by 7.6 percent every year for next decade to meet 1.5°C Paris target – UN report
UN environment programme, 26 November 2019
Carbon offsets are all the rage again. But can they be used to raise global climate ambitions?
By Derik Broekhoff, GHG Management Institute, 26 November 2019
The global landscape for voluntary carbon offsetting is about to get much more complicated. SEI’s Derik Broekhoff explains the importance of COP 25 to offsets — and how Paris Agreement rules could drive significant mitigation.
Carbon offsets are all the rage again. As recently as two years ago, one might have written off the voluntary carbon market as yesterday’s answer to climate change. Today, evidence suggests a 180 degree turnaround.
A brief explainer on carbon markets
By Sandr Cordon, CIFOR Landscape News, 26 November 2019
Talk of carbon markets and carbon taxes, emission trading, and cap-and-trade schemes as ways to lower emissions is on the rise, but what do these terms mean? The following explainer might help.
Very basically, carbon markets were devised by economists as a means for “trading the right to pollute, (thus) creating a financial incentive to curb emissions,” says the World Economic Forum.
Our nature crisis is also a human crisis.
By Gavin Edwards, Carlos Sanvee, Gopal Patel, and Silvia Magnoni, WWF, 26 November 2019
Our natural world is in crisis. It is no overstatement to say that human activity and consumption is pushing nature to the brink. We are cutting down forests, overfishing the seas, polluting rivers, and degrading soil. Globally, wildlife populations have declined by 60% on average since 1970, while extinction rates have risen to such an extent that many scientists now believe we have entered a sixth mass extinction.
Carbon pioneer bets big on aviation emissions trading
By Anna Gross, Financial Times, 26 November 2019
A pioneering Brazilian carbon trader is buying back a boutique he founded more than 20 years ago, betting that a new offsetting scheme for the airline sector will trigger copycat initiatives around the world.
Pedro Moura Costa, who has a multi-decade career developing carbon offsetting schemes, has agreed to buy back UK-based EcoSecurities, an early developer of greenhouse gas emissions schemes which he founded in 1997. It listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2005, and was taken private by JPMorgan in 2009.
Police raid office of Brazil NGO linked to brigade that helped battle Amazon fires
By Dom Phillips, The Guardian, 26 November 2019
The headquarters of an award-winning Brazilian NGO that works with remote communities in the Amazon has been raided by police, who also arrested four volunteer firefighters and accused them of starting wildfires to raise international funding.
At dawn on Tuesday, heavily armed police raided the offices of the Health and Happiness Project, (known by its Portuguese initials PSA) in Alter do Chão in the Amazon state of Pará, seizing computers and documents.
How Europe’s steel industry made millions from the climate crisis
By Chris Bryant, ThePrint, 26 November 2019
Europe’s steel industry is in crisis again and there’s no shortage of reasons for all the financial losses and job cuts. Stagnating demand, surplus production capacity, higher iron ore prices and a surge in imports caused by trade conflicts are just some of them. But when Tata Steel Ltd. announced 3,000 job losses at its European arm this week, the company also pointed to a “significant increase” in the cost of carbon emission permits.
Forest Fire Emissions From Indonesia Worse Than Amazon, EU Says
By Yoga Rusmana, Bloomberg, 26 November 2019
Fires that destroyed Indonesian rainforests pumped out more carbon dioxide than the blazes in the Amazon this year, according to the European Union’s atmosphere observation program.
The fires, which covered parts of Southeast Asia with thick clouds of ash and smoke, may have released the equivalent of 709 million tons of carbon dioxide through Nov. 15, or about the same as the annual emissions of Canada. That’s 22% more than the estimated 579 megatons ejected from burning Amazon forest, according to the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service, a program run on behalf of the European Commission.
27 November 2019
E-consultation on Phase ll of Community Based REDD+ (CBR+): Highlights
UN-REDD, 27 November 2019
In 2013, the UN-REDD Programme established the Community-based REDD+ initiative (CBR+) as a pioneering scheme for community action in the REDD+ domain. Its main objective was to enhance the engagement and inclusion of indigenous peoples and forest communities in national REDD+ processes, thus providing grassroots experiences and perspectives for REDD+ national policies. The pilot phase of CBR+ was implemented from 2014 to 2017 and has received praise from a wide-range of stakeholders, from indigenous organizations to national governments and the UN-REDD Executive Board whose members have proposed and discussed a potential new phase.
The climate crisis is here, get used to it
By Marlowe Hood, Phys.org, 27 November 2019
When teen climate activist Greta Thunberg, nominated for the Peace Nobel this year, scolded titans of industry in Davos and heads of state at the United Nations, she told them to look at the science.
Excellent advice, but not for the faint of heart. If economics is the “dismal science”, research on global warming has become the science of our dismal future.
As climate crisis deepens, UN talks shift into low gear
AFP, 27 November 2019
The disastrous impacts of global warming have never been so visible, nor the worldwide public outcry so audible, but most of the nearly 200 nations gathering in Madrid next week to tackle the problem are taking their sweet time — the one thing the world doesn’t have.
Ikea steps up drive to become carbon neutral with extra €200m
By Sarah Butler, The Guardian, 27 November 2019
Ikea’s parent company is to invest an additional €200m (£171m) in green energy and forest planting as part of a plan by the world’s largest furniture retailer to become carbon neutral by 2030.
The investment is being made by Inter Ikea Group, the owner of the Ikea brand which is operated by a string of franchise businesses, the largest of which is Ingka Group.
Explainer: Going green? Does offsetting carbon emissions count?
By Susanna Twidale, Reuters, 27 November 2019
Among the most hotly contested topics at international climate change talks in Madrid on December 2-13 will be the role of market-based mechanisms for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases, such as carbon offsets.
Is climate finance for cookstove and charcoal projects helping communities, forests or the climate?
Deutsche Klimafinanzierung, 27 November 2019
International climate and forest-related finance has always been one of the stickiest issues in multilateral efforts to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change, and the urgency of action means that it must be properly monitored and scrutinized. The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is a case in point, and the German government is one of the main contributors to this multi-lateral climate finance mechanism.
World Bank makes repayment of bonds for emission reductions under PAF
World Bank, 27 November 2019
The World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, IBRD, Aaa/AAA) has made the fourth repayment of bonds issued under the Pilot Auction Facility for Methane and Climate Change Mitigation (PAF) in exchange for eligible emission reductions.
UEFA’s pledge towards an environmentally conscious UEFA EURO 2020
UEFA, 27 November 2019
Organising a UEFA EURO across 12 different countries, spanning four time zones and numerous different languages, is a challenge in itself, not least in regard to its impact on the environment.
However, UEFA is committed to ensuring the sustainability of next summer’s tournament will be its most environmentally conscious yet, by compensating for the carbon flight emissions of all spectators travelling to and from matches, alongside other environmental issues.
Philip Morris: Offsetting isn’t the ‘credible’ long-term solution to carbon-neutrality
Edie, 27 November 2019
As it strives to achieve carbon-neutrality across all factories by 2030, cigarette giant Phillip Morris International (PMI) will continue to “do the hard work first” and only use offsetting as the last piece of the puzzle, the firm’s director of operational sustainability has said.
This week in aviation
By Alex Macheras, Gulf Times, 27 November 2019
At ICAO, the United Nations agency for civil aviation, Salvatore Sciacchitano has won the election to become the next president of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Council. Sciacchitano was elected by the overwhelming majority of ICAO’s 36-member governing body on Monday (November 25) and will lead the organisation on a three-year mandate, effective January 1. He succeeds Dr Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, who has held the post since 2014.
Climate ambition must be the centrepiece of decision-making at COP25
By Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, WWF, 27 November 2019
COP25 — hurriedly relocated to Madrid, as Santiago, Chile is convulsed by protests — is taking place in the context of an accelerating climate crisis, yet also in an increasingly complicated political backdrop. This political complexity makes responding to the environmental crisis more difficult, but also more urgent.
What outcomes should we seek from COP25 that might be equal to the challenge? Below, I suggest six elements that the COP needs to deliver.
Orangutans may face extinction over forest fires linked to palm oil producers
By Nada Farhoud, Mirror, 27 November 2019
Orangutans face extinction because fires linked to palm oil producers are destroying the trees they live in, experts warn.
Wildfires have been raging in Sumatra and Borneo’s rainforests since July.
Officials said about 80% were started to make room for palm plantations, reportedly destroying 800,000 acres.
3 firms with ties to Singapore linked to this year’s forest fires & haze
By Anna Maria, The Independent News, 27 November 2019
In late September, at the height of the haze that affected South East Asia, including parts of Singapore, news emerged that there were three companies with ties to Singapore that were linked to the forest fires that caused the haze.
Back then, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said that while it was monitoring the haze condition in the country closely, the Agency had yet to take action against any of the businesses, though it was within its jurisdiction to do so, under the Transboundary Haze Pollution Act.
[USA] SEC to seek $1.5m in disgorgement from co-conspirator of Ponzi scammer Renwick Haddow
By Maria Nikolova, FinanceFeeds, 27 November 2019
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has provided clarity on its course of action in the lawsuit targeting James Moore, a co-conspirator of Ponzi scammer Renwick Haddow.
A letter filed with the New York Southern District Court on November 26, 2019, includes the SEC’s computation of damages in the case against Moore. The SEC estimates that Moore and Universal Voicetech, Inc. helped to raise over $5 million from approximately 100 investors. Moore received at least $1.5 million in commissions. The Commission requests this latter amount in disgorgement, plus prejudgment interest and civil penalties.
28 November 2019
Earth nears irreversible tipping points
By Tim Radford, Climate News Network, 28 November 2019
On the eve of a global climate summit in Madrid, seven distinguished climate scientists have issued an urgent warning of approaching planetary tipping points: within a few years, they say, humankind could enter a state of potentially catastrophic climate change on a new “hothouse” Earth.
Greening the blue: championing coastal climate solutions
UN environment programme, 28 November 2019
They call them ‘blue forests’—and they are among the most productive and valuable habitats on Earth.
Mangroves might not look like much to some, but these humble salt-loving species are vital to coastal ecosystems and communities the world over. They are a crucial breeding habitat for aquatic wildlife—with some 75 per cent of commercially fished species either spending part of their life cycle in mangrove ecosystems or depending on the habitat for food. They also protect the coasts themselves, with their dense root systems acting as natural buffers against storm surges.
Alleged human rights abuses at Cameroon rubber plantation pile pressure on Sudcam
Illegal Deforestation Monitor, 28 November 2019
Sudcam is facing renewed scrutiny after a Greenpeace Africa report detailed fresh allegations of human rights abuses and the flouting of indigenous rights at its rubber plantation in Cameroon.
Owned by UK firm Corrie MacColl, a subsidiary of rubber processing giant Halycon Agri, Sudcam has faced repeated allegations of corruption, environmental malpractice and sidestepping community rights since 2011 when it started clearing forest in the West African country.
[UK] Labour unveils plan to plant 2bn trees in next 20 years
By Peter Walker and Caroline Davies, The Guardian, 28 November 2019
Labour has announced plans to plant 2bn trees over the next 20 years and create 10 new national parks, as part of a rewilding policy intended to tackle the climate emergency and help natural habitats.
The proposals also include an investment of £1.2bn to restore habitats such as woodlands and peat bogs in England, and extra funding for national park authorities.
[UK] We’ve toured the world for years. To help save the planet we’ll have to change
By Robert Del Naja (Massive Attack), The Guardian, 28 November 2019
The imprinting of climate emergency into the public consciousness, achieved by the school strikes and mass activist arrests, seems to have generated more introspection than positive action. The debate around personal sacrifice, hypocrisy and lifestyle change is playing at high volume and, as recently highlighted by the climate expert Michael Mann, this presents a danger that popular demand for catastrophe-avoiding systemic change could get lost in the mix.
29 November 2019
In-depth Q&A: How ‘Article 6’ carbon markets could ‘make or break’ the Paris Agreement
CarbonBrief, 29 November 2019
A little-known and highly technical section of the Paris Agreement could “make or break” the regime – and its aim of avoiding dangerous climate change.
These “Article 6” rules, for carbon markets and other forms of international cooperation, are the last piece of the Paris regime to be resolved, after the rest of its “rulebook” was agreed in late 2018.
U.S. to Negotiate Carbon Trades Under Climate Pact Shunned by Trump
By Jennifer A Dlouhy, Bloomberg, 29 November 2019
President Donald Trump may be withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement, but the U.S. is still going to be a force at the negotiating table as international leaders gather in Madrid next week to map out rules for carbon trading as a way to limit greenhouse gas emissions.
Despite Trump’s rejection of the global agreement to cut carbon emissions, U.S. officials have long advocated emissions-trading schemes on the world stage and the government wants a say in the structure of those carbon markets — a key issue before delegates at the annual United Nations climate summit that begins Monday.
Countries from Siberia to Australia are burning: the age of fire is the bleakest warning yet
By Julian Cribb, The Guardian, 29 November 2019
On any day, between 10,000 and 30,000 bushfires burn around the planet.
Realms as diverse and distant as Siberia, Amazonia, Indonesia, Australia and California are aflame. The advent of “the age of fire” is the bleakest warning yet that humans have breached boundaries we were never meant to cross.
It is time not only to think the unthinkable, but to speak it: that the world economy, civilisation, and maybe our very survival as a species are on the line. And it is past time to act.
Private jet savior: why Michael Bloomberg is not the answer to the climate crisis
By Aarong White, openDemocracy, 29 November 2019
Several months ago, I asked Naomi Klein what the establishment response would be to a surging candidate who endorses a bold Green New Deal and vows to aggressively take on corporate power. She responded with: “they’re going to do something… perhaps even run a Mike Bloomberg.”
[Brazil] Sônia Guajajara: “Agribusiness today really is a plague”
Illegal Deforestation Monitor, 29 November 2019
For Sônia Guajajara, the government of Jair Bolsonaro is now a “declared enemy” of indigenous peoples in Brazil.
The far-right president’s “institutionalisation of genocide” against indigenous groups is, she warns, leaving communities like hers in the Amazon fearing for their lives and their land.
As executive coordinator of the Association of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB), Guajajara is a prominent voice for Brazil’s minority groups.
Amazon rainforest fires melting glaciers more than 1,250 miles away, research finds
By Conrad Duncan, Independent, 29 November 2019
Fires in the Amazon rainforest are melting glaciers in the Andes more than 1,000 miles away, according to new research.
A study has found soot from fires in the jungles of Brazil, Peru and Bolivia has increased melting in the Andes by up to 14 per cent a year.
The process is caused by the main wind direction between August and October, when most fires occur, during which soot is blown towards the northern area of the mountain ranges where it lands as snow.
Brazil frees volunteer firefighters accused of setting Amazon blazes
By Jake Spring, Reuters, 29 November 2019
A Brazilian judge on Thursday ruled to free four volunteer firefighters jailed this week on accusations they had set fires in the Amazon rainforest to drum up donations, according to court documents.
Michell Durans, a lawyer representing the four men, confirmed to Reuters that they had already walked free on Thursday after the judge’s order.
“Justice has been restored,” Durans said.
[Indonesia] Minister: Direct comparisons of forest fire emissions misguided
foresthints.news, 29 November 2019
Indonesian Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya has suggested that concerned parties don’t force themselves to conclude that the emissions emanating from forest and land fires in Indonesia are almost twice as bad as those from the Brazilian Amazon.
If these conclusions are forced and framed in this way, the minister explained, it makes them invalid, irresponsible and misleading to the public.
30 November 2019
At the Madrid climate talks, carbon offsets—and the future of the planet—are on the table
By Zoë Schlanger, Quartz, 30 November 2019
Delegates from around the world will gather Monday in Madrid for the start of a week of climate change summitry. This follows a major UN report showing that the goal of holding climate change at 1.5°C above pre-industrial average temperatures—the threshold at which climate change becomes catastrophic—is nearly impossible.
Tackling climate crisis is what we should be doing, says new IMF boss
By Larry Elliott, The Guardian, 30 November 2019
Kristalina Georgieva is very keen to talk about the research one of her International Monetary Fund economists is doing. Surprisingly, this is not about any of the issues that have gripped the organisation in the past 75 years: balance of payments crises or global recessions. It is about whales and the part they play in the fight against climate change.
“Whales act like giant pumps,” says Georgieva, noting that in its lifetime each of these mammals sequesters 33 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, while an average tree absorbs about 20kg a year.
Brazil’s Bolsonaro claims DiCaprio paid for Amazon forest fires
AlJazeera, 30 November 2019
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has accused, without providing evidence, Hollywood actor and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio of financing nonprofit groups that he claimed are partly responsible for fires in the Amazon rainforest this year.
The far-right leader appeared to be commenting on social media postings claiming that the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) environmental organisation had paid for images taken by volunteer firefighters that it then used to solicit donations, including a $500,000 contribution from DiCaprio.
1 December 2019
Leonardo DiCaprio responds after Brazil’s President blames actor for Amazon forest fires
By Leah Asmelash, CNN, 1 December 2019
Brazil’s President blamed an unusual candidate this week as a cause of the Amazon forest fires: actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio.
President Jair Bolsonaro made the claim Thursday on a webcast, arguing that nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) contributed to the forest fires that ravaged the Amazon rainforest earlier this year.