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.
2 December 2019
A look at how the climate crisis has progressed since 1992
By Karen Graham, Digital Journal, 2 December 2019
World leaders held the first United Nations conference to tackle climate change in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. On December 2, COP 25 will take place. Since that first meeting, the world has gotten hotter, spewed more GHG, and seen more extreme weather events.
The challenges of carbon trading
BBC News, World Business Report, 2 December 2019
Carbon trading is seen as a tool to combat climate change, but it has its challenges. As the UN climate change conference gets under way in Madrid, Kaisa Amaral from Carbon Market Watch explains the thinking behind emissions trading. Steffen Boehm of Exeter Business School tells us why a global commitment to developing a new global trading system to cut pollution has been proving contentious. And Kelly Levin of the World Resources Institute argues that no deal in Madrid might be a better outcome than agreeing an ineffective scheme.
COP25 climate summit opens to controversy: Chile presidency & market-based offsets rejected
Global Justice Ecology Project and Biofuelwatch, 2 December 2019
While the annual UN Climate Summit (COP25) commences in Madrid, protesters across Chile, the country in which the COP was originally planned, are demanding that Chile be stripped of the Presidency of COP 25 due to the human rights abuses happening in Chile. At the same time, Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzón has threatened to have Chile’s President Piñera detained if he attempts to enter the country.
Repsol Is First Oil Major to Pledge Zero Emissions by 2050
By James Herron, Bloomberg, 2 December 2019
Repsol SA embarked on the most ambitious attempt yet by an oil major to align itself with the Paris climate goals, saying it will eliminate all greenhouse gas emissions from its own operations and its customers by 2050.
The Spanish giant’s exploration and production unit will focus on value instead of output growth, according to a statement from the company on Monday. It also revised its long-term view of the value of oil and gas assets in a decarbonizing world, resulting in a 4.8 billion-euro ($5.3 billion) accounting charge.
Carbon Offset Programs Are Failing as Climate Solutions
The Real News Network, 2 December 2019
New reports are questioning the effectiveness of cap-and-trade programs against climate change in California and for East Coast states. Emissions in California and globally are projected to skyrocket in the decades ahead unless significant action is taken.
The Paris Agreement has become a joke
By M Ramesh, Business Line, 2 December 2019
There’s too much wriggle room. The rise in emissions shows that funds and tech from developed nations haven’t been sufficient.
Green Groups at COP 25 Warn Against Market-Driven Solutions to Climate Emergency
By Andrea Germanos, Common Dreams, 2 December 2019
As the United Nations climate summit COP 25 kicked off in Madrid, Spain on Monday, environmental advocacy groups warned that market-driven approaches to tackling the global emergency are an obstacle to real solutions to rein in emissions and making those most responsible for the crisis pay.
At issue are international carbon markets, which, as a DW headline put it, will “take center stage.”
What You Need to Know About Article 6 of the Paris Agreement
By Kelley Kizzier, Kelly Levin, and Mandy Rambharos, World Resources Institute, 2 December 2019
As delegates arrive in Madrid for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP25) this week, one issue is top-of-mind: finalizing the rules on how countries can reduce their emissions using international carbon markets, covered under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement on climate change.
What’s COP25 all about?
UN Development Programme, 2 December 2019
COP25 has already made headlines globally.
Social unrest and widespread protests forced Chile to withdraw as host. Spain then offered to host, with Chile still holding the COP presidency. After such turbulence — rather like the climate crisis itself — the conference will take place in Madrid during first two weeks of December.
COP25: Controversial carbon markets take center stage
By Louise Osborne, DW, 2 December 2019
In a rural area of northern Cambodia, rice husks are used as fuel to generate electricity for local communities otherwise dependent on highly polluting diesel generators.
The project is financed by individuals and companies at the other side of the world who buy carbon credits — each worth a ton of carbon dioxide equivalent — to offset CO2 emitted on their home turf.
Natural-Born Climate Commitments
By Sally Jewell (The Nature Conservancy), Project Syndicate, 2 December 2019
When world leaders gather at the 25th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP25) in Madrid from December 2-13, they will discuss concrete steps for meeting and increasing national emissions-reduction targets. But equally important, COP25 offers an opportunity to elevate one of the most powerful tools we have to address climate change: nature.
Carbon markets shape agenda at UN climate summit
By Quirin Schiermeier, Nature, 2 December 2019
Four years after pledging to limit global warming to no more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels, representatives of nearly 200 countries are meeting this week to put the finishing touches to the 2015 Paris climate accord.
Discussions at the annual United Nations’ climate conference, COP25, are expected to focus on international carbon markets, which have the potential to reduce the overall cost of global climate-mitigation efforts.
Their land, our future: To arrest the climate crisis, we need a democratic overhaul
By Musimbi Kanyoro and Beth Roberts, Mongabay, 2 December 2019
The global climate change conference (COP25) kicks off in Madrid today, instead of in Santiago, Chile, where escalating protests pushed the Chilean government to step down as COP25 hosts. The unrest in Chile boiled up from a deep well of resentment over economic inequality.
Ironically and tragically — for Chileans, for COP25, for all of us — the same economic drivers causing protests in Santiago are also driving the planet toward the climate brink.
COP25 may put climate at greater risk by failing to address forests
By Justin Catanoso, Mongabay, 2 December 2019
Never have the stakes been higher, nor perhaps planetary politics or nature more unsettled, as participants gather for the annual United Nations Climate Summit. Indicative of a global sense of urgency, the European parliament just last week declared a “climate and environmental emergency,” urging EU countries to commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
What is Article 6? The issue climate negotiators cannot agree
By Chloé Farand, Climate Home News, 2 December 2019
As two weeks of UN climate talks begin in Madrid on Monday, one contentious issue will occupy diplomats more than any other.
Under the Paris Agreement (the relevant section is Article 6), countries agreed to set up a new global carbon market system to help countries decarbonise their economies at lower cost.
Conservation pays its way handsomely
By Tim Radford, Climate News Network, 2 December 2019
More than 400 scientists in Brazil have once again established that conservation pays: landscapes and people are richer for the native vegetation preserved on rural properties.
They calculate that 270 million hectares (667m acres) of natural forest, scrub, marsh and grassland contained in Brazil’s legal reserves are worth US$1.5 trillion (£1.7tn) a year to the nation.
Natural wilderness pays its way by providing a steady supply of natural crop pollinators and pest controls, by seamlessly managing rainfall and water run-off, and by maintaining soil quality, the researchers argue in a new study in the journal Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation.
Brazil’s climate negotiators in dark on Bolsonaro’s aims: sources
By Jake Spring, Reuters, 2 December 2019
Brazil’s negotiators already face a tough job at United Nations climate talks, given anger at President Jair Bolsonaro’s stance on the Amazon, but it has become doubly difficult as they are in the dark on their own government’s aims.
[Ecuador] MAAP #114: Oil Drilling Pushes Deeper into Yasuni National Park
Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project, 2 December 2019
Yasuni National Park, located in the heart of the Ecuadorian Amazon, is one of the most biodiverse places in the world and forms part of the ancestral territory of the Waorani (see Base Map).
Under the ground of this vast area, however, are large oil fields.
In July 2019, the Waorani won an important legal victory to prevent oil activity in the western part of their territory (Block 22).
Satellites reveal scale of recent fires in Indonesia almost on par with devastating 2015 fires
By David Gaveau, Julie Mollins, Christopher Martius, and Robert Nasi, The Guardian, 2 December 2019
Fires were back in force in 2019. In June and July, they blazed in the Arctic Circle, mostly in Alaska and Siberia. Then they ravaged tropical landscapes, burning vast tracts of land in the Brazilian Amazon and in Indonesia. Elsewhere, firefighters in Sweden, California and Australia have been kept busy trying to douse damaging infernos.
3 December 2019
COP 25: Carbon markets in the spotlight
By Alex Hanafi, Environmental Defense Fund, 3 December 2019
International cooperation on carbon markets, covered in Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, is at the top of the agenda for the COP 25 climate talks in Madrid this week. Since leaving the Article 6 section of the Paris Agreement without agreement at COP 24, negotiators have continued to work over the past year to garner support for a deal, before countries shift focus to preparing their critical next round of NDC pledges, due next year.
Why is UNFCCC COP 25 Important for International Aviation?
By George Anjaparidze, IISD, 3 December 2019
The Puerta del Sol in Madrid is the center of all the roads in Spain. But for the next two weeks, Madrid will also be the center for global climate negotiations. Madrid is hosting the 25th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 25) to the UNFCCC. While international aviation is not within the scope of these negotiations, we can expect the airline industry to closely follow the process. Implementation of the climate agreement on international aviation will be easier if COP 25 finalizes the rules for international cooperation on mitigating climate change, known as Article 6 negotiations.
Shades of REDD+: Should Forest Carbon Credits be Eligible for CORSIA?
By Thiago Chagas, Hilda Galt, and Till Neeff, Ecosystem Marketplace, 3 December 2019
Forest carbon credits have long been perceived as riskier and less robust than carbon credits from other sectors. When operating details of the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) were negotiated from 2001-2003, many voiced concerns about forest carbon credits and their high risk of reversals, potential to displace emissions, and the difficulties in accurately quantifying emission reductions. As a result, only limited types of forest activities became eligible under the CDM. Forests were also kept out of the European Union’s Emission Trading Scheme.
Europe’s Green Deal is a tepid response to the climate crisis
By Riccardo Mastini, Giorgos Kallis, and Jason Hickel, NewStatesman, 3 December 2019
On Sunday, Ursula von der Leyen and her new Commissioners began their five-year term at the helm of the European Union, promising a bold agenda on the climate — a European “Green Deal” — just as the world’s nations began another round of climate talks under the United Nations Climate Change Conference.
4 December 2019
CIFOR at COP 25: A simple idea, REDD+ meets a complex reality
By Monica Evans, CIFOR Forests News, 4 December 2019
A key idea of REDD+ was to pay those who reduce deforestation and help keep carbon in the trees. A simple idea — how difficult could it be? Well, it turns out it has been much harder than imagined.
Last year, Arild Angelsen, a professor of economics at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) and a senior associate at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), and a number of CIFOR colleagues published the fourth book in a series on the topic, Transforming REDD+: Lessons and New Directions.
“What the white people call ‘nature’s protection’ is actually us, the forest people”
Survival International, 4 December 2019
Davi Kopenawa, an Amazonian shaman, is surprised that white people need special words like “ecology” — caring for nature is just part of normal daily life for his tribe, the Yanomami.
In the forest, we human beings are the “ecology”… The words of “ecology” are our ancient words, those Omama [Yanomami creator deity] gave our ancestors at the beginning of time…
Q&A: the inside track on BHP & Conservation International’s unlikely partnership
By Scarlett Evans, Mining Technology, 4 December 2019
In August, BHP and environmental group Conservation International (CI) renewed their unlikely partnership, seeking to tackle climate change through biodiversity conservation. While the deal has seen the protection of some 620,000 hectares of land, as well as several endangered species, the charity has come under fire for its collaboration with the mining company. Marielle Canter Weikel, CI’s senior director for responsible mining and energy, explains what the partnership has achieved.
The world plans to fix climate change with carbon credits. But do they work?
By Zoë Schlanger, Quartz, 4 December 2019
This week in Madrid, delegates from around the world are meeting to nail down the finer points of how to achieve their Paris Agreement commitments. The gloomy backdrop to the UN’s COP25 climate change conference is the fact, repeated in several reports, that current pledges to cut carbon emissions are not enough to curb worst-case-scenario warming.
Swedish Energy Agency and Global Green Growth Institute partner to establish Article 6 Activities
Global Green Growth Institute press release, 4 December 2019
Today, the Swedish Energy Agency (SEA) and the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) signed a cooperation agreement on the sidelines of COP25 to launch the Mobilizing Article 6 Trading Structures (MATS) Program, a pilot project aimed at establishing Article 6 Activities under the Paris Agreement. The objective of this joint collaboration is to catalyze international trading of mitigation outcomes in support of the increased climate ambitions needed under the Paris Agreement.
Spain’s Biggest Polluter is Sponsoring the Latest UN Climate Talks
By Dharna Noor, Gizmodo, 4 December 2019
Endesa is the largest electric utility provider in Spain and the country’s biggest corporate greenhouse gas polluter, emitting some 60 million tonnes of carbon each year. It’s also a sponsor of the United Nations’ international climate conference (known as COP25) that began in Spain on Monday.
Greta’s arrival and carbon offsetting clashes: What happened on days 2 & 3 of COP25?
edie, 4 December 2019
COP25 – the UN’s annual two-week-long climate summit – is now well underway in Madrid. Here, edie rounds up all the key news and views from the second and third days of the event.
If the first day of COP25 was a time for world leaders, business representatives and activists to set the tone and settle in at the Feria De Madrid, days two and three have been whirlwinds of action – at least on the business side.
Don’t pursue economic growth at expense of environment – report
By Fiona Harvey, The Guardian, 4 December 2019
Pursuing economic growth at the expense of the environment is no longer an option as Europe faces “unprecedented” challenges from climate chaos, pollution, biodiversity loss and the overconsumption of natural resources, according to a report from Europe’s environmental watchdog.
Long-term damage from logging hits ability of Canada’s forests to regenerate
By Leyland Cecco, The Guardian, 4 December 2019
Canada’s logging industry has a larger and more damaging impact on forest health than previously thought, a new report has found, casting doubt on the sustainability of forestry management in the country.
The findings also raise questions about Canada’s ability to make good on its international climate commitments, which partly rely on forests for carbon sequestration.
China Adds to Calls Seeking Extended Life for UN Carbon Credits
By Laura Millan Lombrana, Mathew Carr and Jeremy Hodges, Bloomberg, 4 December 2019
China has added its voice to calls seeking a longer life for existing United Nations carbon credits.
China was the biggest generator of emission credits for the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism, a market that helped cut costs for factories and power stations in the European Union after it started the world’s biggest carbon market almost 15 years ago.
ECB’s Lagarde will struggle to fulfill self-imposed climate mission
By Balazs Koranyi and Francesco Canepa, Reuters, 4 December 2019
Christine Lagarde has called the fight against climate change “mission critical” for the European Central Bank but she will struggle to match those words with actions during her eight years leading Europe’s most powerful financial institution.
While the ECB will be able to use its platform to highlight the financial risks associated with climate change, its narrowly defined mandate of fighting inflation will limit what Lagarde can actually do.
Follow the permits: How to identify corruption red flags in Indonesian land deals
Mongabay and The Gecko Project, 4 December 2019
When Rita Widyasari, the former head of Kutai Kartanegara district in Indonesian Borneo, was sentenced to 10 years in prison last year for taking bribes in connection with a string of plantation and mining projects, it exemplified the success of the nation’s anti-corruption agency in closing such cases.
Since its formation in 2004, investigations by the anti-graft agency, known as the KPK, have led to the conviction of a string of politicians for similar offences. But research by the KPK, political scientists, activists and journalists suggests the problem extends far beyond the cases that have gone to court.
Tree initiative in Uganda refugee camps boosts nutrition and incomes
By Julie Mollins, CIFOR Forests News, 4 December 2019
Refugee camps provide crucial safe zones for displaced people fleeing danger, but resource scarcity can lead to social tensions and exacerbate instability. In Uganda, a massive influx of refugees over the past several years has put a strain on humanitarian resources and the environment.
The U.N. refugee agency UNHCR and other humanitarian organizations managing the camps, have their hands full with the provision of lifesaving interventions.
5 December 2019
No excitement at COP25 – Nnimmo Bassey
By Nnimmo Bassey, EnviroNews, 5 December 2019
The Conference of Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) commenced its 25th meeting this week. The conference, which was initially billed to hold in Santiago in Chile, got shifted to Madrid, Spain when popular protests made it impossible for the government to go on with hosting the event at home. The logo of the conference announces it as COP25, Chile, Madrid 2019. Interesting.
UN climate negotiations should pave the way for the global carbon market
By Dean Perkins, AP, 5 December 2019
On a cold afternoon in late November, Jan Gerrit Otterpohl looks at the chimneys of the central heating plant, a modern power plant that supplies the city with heat and electricity. It is not the rising vapor that he is interested in, but the largely invisible carbon dioxide that exhales the power plant when it burns natural gas.
Corruption is destroying the world’s forests
Transparency International, 5 December 2019
Forests are key to life. Covering close to a third of the Earth’s surface, they provide food, shelter and livelihoods for millions. They protect biodiversity and are key to combatting climate change. Still, millions of hectares of forest are lost every year, many of them to corruption.
Demand for Nature-based Solutions for Climate Drives Voluntary Carbon Markets to a Seven-Year High
Forest Trends press release, 5 December 2019
Airlines, oil companies, and individuals are using voluntary carbon markets to achieve net reductions in greenhouse gas emissions at levels not seen in seven years, according to Financing Emissions Reductions for the Future: State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2019, which was published by Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace initiative today at year-end climate talks (COP25) in Madrid, Spain.
“Companies feel an urgency to reduce their emissions, but they can’t eliminate them internally overnight,” said Michael Jenkins, President and CEO of Forest Trends. “Many are now using voluntary carbon markets to offset those emissions they can’t eliminate until they can transition to new technologies.”
Climate crisis is ‘challenge of civilisation’, says pope
By Fiona Harvey, The Guardian, 5 December 2019
The climate emergency is a “challenge of civilisation” requiring sweeping changes to economic systems, but political leaders have not done enough, the pope has said in a message to governments meeting at the annual climate summit in Madrid.
“Quite Divorced From Reality”: Climate Scientist, Activists Call Out Shell Exec at UN Conference
By Christine MacDonald, In These Times, 5 December 2019
A few dozen activists had packed a cramped meeting room at the UN climate negotiations, where executives from Shell Oil, Chevron and BP were to speak about their plans to tackle carbon emissions. Just as Shell executive Duncan van Bergen took the mic, the activists stood up solemnly and put their hands over their ears, slowly filing out of the room in protest of what they saw as false solutions.
Island States Highlight Nature-based Solutions to Combat Climate Change
By Leila Mead, IISD, 5 December 2019
An event held during the 2019 UN Climate Change Conference in Madrid, Spain, focused on the role of nature-based solutions and approaches in protecting seagrass, mangroves and salt marsh ecosystems with multiple co-benefits, including addressing climate change.
The event titled, ‘Nature-Based Solutions: Integrating Coastal Ecosystems in 2020 Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs),’ convened on 3 December and was organized by Pew Charitable Trusts (PCT), Seychelles and The Nature Conservancy (TNC).
Your Frequent Flyer Status Is Part of the Problem
By Harry Cheadle, Vice, 5 December 2019
About once a year, my wife and I fly back to Ireland to visit her family. In doing so, we emit more than our fair share of carbon dioxide, a small act that pushes the climate a little closer to the brink. According to an online calculator from the Guardian, the emissions generated by two people flying round-trip from Los Angeles to Dublin work out to around 3,000 kilograms of carbon.
Investors boycott Brazil over Amazon deforestation concerns
By Michael Stott, Financial Times, 5 December 2019
As global concern about the fires devastating parts of the Amazon rainforest peaked in August, one of Scandinavia’s biggest investors dropped a bombshell.
Nordea Asset Management which controls more than €200bn of funds, announced it was quarantining Brazilian government debt because of political and environmental risks. The fund halted purchases of sovereign debt issued by the world’s ninth-biggest economy and put its existing holdings under review.
[Brazil] ‘The Amazon Is Completely Lawless’: The Rainforest After Bolsonaro’s First Year
By Matt Sandy, New York Times, 5 December 2019
When the smoke cleared, the Amazon could breathe easy again.
For months, black clouds had hung over the rainforest as work crews burned and chain-sawed through it. Now the rainy season had arrived, offering a respite to the jungle and a clearer view of the damage to the world.
The picture that emerged was anything but reassuring: Brazil’s space agency reported that in one year, more than 3,700 square miles of the Amazon had been razed — a swath of jungle nearly the size of Lebanon torn from the world’s largest rainforest.
‘Someone has declared war’: Brazil activists fear crackdown after arrests
By Jonathan Watts, The Guardian, 5 December 2019
For Brazil’s embattled civil society activists, the government’s distortion of truth has taken many forms since the ultra-right militarist Jair Bolsonaro took power at the beginning of this year.
But it has hit a menacing new level after last week’s police raid on an Amazonian NGO and the arrest of four volunteer firefighters who are accused of setting alight the forest they risked their lives to protect.
DRC government suspends logging company after civil society reports illegal rainforest logging
Rainforest Foundation UK, 5 December 2019
A major illegal logging operation has been halted by the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC’s) government following monitoring by local non-governmental organisations and multiple complaints by forest communities.
The DRC environment minister, last Friday (29th November), instructed the governor of the Tshopo Province to suspend the logging permit of the Chinese-owned FODECO in Basoko Territory following reports from local communities, alongside other communities in Equateur Province, who have received training in monitoring and the detection of illegalities from Rainforest Foundation UK (RFUK) and local partner organisation, GASHE.
At least 265 dead in floods, landslides as rains batter East Africa
Phys.org, 5 December 2019
Two months of relentless rains have submergedvillages and farms and sent rivers of mud crashing into houses across East Africa, with at least 265 killed, according to an AFP tally, as meteorologists warn of more to come.
The extreme downpours have affected close to two million people and washed away tens of thousands of livestock in Kenya, Somalia, Burundi, Tanzania, South Sudan, Uganda, Djibouti and Ethiopia.
Carbon prices may exceed EUR 30/t next year – UBS
By Julia Demirdag, Montel, 5 December 2019
European carbon prices have room to rise above EUR 30/t next year mostly based on psychology more than fundamental reasons, UBS analyst Sam Arie said in a note published on Thursday.
“Overall, we believe the carbon scheme is still not structurally tight but instead trades heavily on perceived, psychological anchor points,” Arie said, adding the most important “anchor” might be the price the market believed politicians would tolerate in the future.
Dutch police seizure of allegedly ‘illegal’ Myanmar Teak, a first for European law enforcement and member states cooperation
Environmental Investigation Agency, 5 December 2019
In the first raid of its kind, Dutch police have seized a large quantity of Myanmar Teak in the Netherlands circumvented through the Czech Republic in contravention of EU Law. This follows revelations from the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) one year ago, in its report ‘State of Corruption’, showing how criminals were shipping non-compliant timber into Europe through member states with weaker law enforcement.
6 December 2019
Trading carbon credits from nature sparks fiery debate at UN talks
By Megan Rowling, Reuters, 6 December 2019
Oil and gas companies have teamed up with the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) on a new effort to build a global market for carbon credits generated from projects to conserve forests, soil and wetlands, they said on Thursday.
At the launch of the “Markets for Natural Climate Solutions” initiative at U.N. climate talks in Madrid, IETA said only 3% of total climate finance was going to support such projects.
FAO and the World Bank join forces to make forest monitoring more accessible and accurate
UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, 6 December 2019
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is joining forces with the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) to strengthen the accessibility and accuracy of forest monitoring systems in developing countries around the world. With combined funding of almost USD$1 million, FAO and the FCPF will work together to make FAO’s SEPAL 2.1 more accessible than ever through the creation of professional training and guidance material.
Safeguarding sustainable development through bold climate action: UNDP’s Climate Promise
UN Development Programme, 6 December 2019
Our world is at a crossroads. As the latest World Meteorological Organization data confirms, 2019 concludes a decade of unprecedented global heat, melting ice and rising sea levels, driven by human activities.
Yet, current national climate targets under the Paris Agreement – known as Nationally Determined Contributions, or NDCs – are inadequate to put us on a safe and sustainable path to climate neutrality by 2050. And greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that cause climate change have been on the rise since the landmark decision was reached in 2015.
Corruption and climate action
Transparency International, 6 December 2019
This week we are in Madrid, at the UN Climate Change Conference COP25, where the signatories of the Paris Climate Agreement are trying to agree on ways to reduce emissions and tackle global heating.
While the outcomes are not clear yet, one thing is: Governments have to urgently spend billions of dollars on climate mitigation measures, from flood shelters to reforestation and renewable energy. We can’t afford to lose that money to corruption.
Burping Cows Get the Green Light to Join Carbon-Offset Market
By Agnieszka de Sousa and Mathew Carr, Bloomberg, 6 December 2019
A garlic and citrus feed supplement that lowers the greenhouse gases burped out by cows is giving farmers the chance to become global carbon traders.
Verra, the largest program for voluntary carbon-offset credits, has approved a method to reduce livestock emissions that was developed by Swiss agritech company Mootral. That means farmers using such feed supplements will be able to sell greenhouse-gas credits in the carbon-offset market.
REDD+: Still a critical color on the palette of forest protection strategies
By Kate Evans, CIFOR Forests News, 6 December 2019
Nature-based solutions are increasingly part of the international dialogue on climate change. In 2019, funders agreed to pay Brazil and Indonesia for verified avoided deforestation. And the International Civil Aviation Organization is considering whether airlines will be able to use forest-based credits to offset their carbon emissions.
Financing the transition to agroforestry
UN environment programme, 6 December 2019
Bamba Ibrahim, a 35-year-old cocoa farmer in Agboville in the Ivory Coast grew up in a family of cocoa farmers, helping his family with the farm while going to school. But When he was 15, he started farming full-time. Today, his cocoa beans are worth than a few years ago, as the price of cocoa has dropped. “Of course, I wish I had more land so I could plant more cocoa and make more income,” he says.
Bees in Amazon ‘are greatest ally to halt rainforest destruction’
By Jonathan Watts, The Guardian, 6 December 2019
Under an Amazonian canopy of guava and Xylopia trees, Neida Pereira lifts the lid of a beehive, gently lowers an unprotected hand into the swarm, and smiles as she lifts it out unscathed but covered in pollinators and honey.
For the 49-year-old educator and environmentalist, the stingless Amazonian insects are the greatest ally she has found in a decades-long campaign to halt the destruction of the rainforest and improve the livelihoods of its people.
Major consumer brands linked to massive CO2 emissions from Indonesia forest fires
Greenpeace press release, 6 December 2019
Some of the world’s best known brands are fuelling climate change by sourcing palm oil and wood pulp linked to Indonesian forest fires, reveals new Greenpeace International analysis.
Indonesia’s 2019 fire season not doomsday for forests, but ecological concerns remain
By Kharishar Kahfi, The Jakarta Post, 6 December 2019
When the news of raging forest and land fires across the country broke out earlier this year, concerns were raised that they could be the end for Indonesia’s remaining rainforests as the massive flames engulfed the country’s vast green belt inch by inch. However, a recent report by an environment research group, the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), showed that Indonesia might still have a chance onto hold its oxygen sources as this year’s wildfires mostly burned idle land and former forests rather than intact rainforests. Alarm bells alerting of ecological impacts still rang as this year’s fire season blazed through peatland and aged forests and led to the release of millions of tons of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.
[USA] Court orders closure of SEC case against Ponzi scammer Renwick Haddow
By Maria Nikolova, FinanceFeeds, 6 December 2019
The New York Southern District Court has issued an order closing the case brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against Renwick Haddow, known for orchestrating fraudulent schemes such as Bar Works and Bitcoin Store Inc. The relevant order was signed by Judge Lorna G. Schofield on December 5, 2019.
7 December 2019
Alejandra Parra On Chile Protests & Global Environmental Justice
Sojourner Truth, 7 December 2019
An interview conducted by Terra Verde host Gary Hughes with Alejandra Parra of RADA (The Environmental Rights Action Network) based in Temuco, Chile. Parra discusses her organization’s work to stop a waste-to-energy incinerator as well as the general situation in Chile in contrast to what is happening in Madrid. In particular, a contrast to how youth are being uplifted and celebrated in Madrid while in Chile (in Temuco) the National Police raided the public university on Wednesday over a protest by the students against the police violence targeting street medics.
What Green Costs
By Theo Riofrancos, Logic, 7 December 2019
Clean energy advocates envision an electrified home running on 100 percent renewable energy with a Tesla parked in its garage, solar shingles gleaming on its rooftop, and a smart meter dutifully collecting usage data and uploading it to the cloud. But swim upstream and eventually you arrive at the extractive frontiers of the renewable energy transition.
Peatland potential untapped in Nationally Determined Contributions, COP 25 delegates say
By Julie Mollins, CIFOR Forests News, 7 December 2019
Fewer than a dozen countries have so far included peatlands in their Nationally Determined Contributions, although the carbon-rich ecosystems exist in 180 countries, according to an international expert speaking on the sidelines of the U.N. climate talks in Madrid.
Peatland mapping and monitoring can help overcome barriers to climate action.
Professor Geoffrey Lipman, SUNx Co-founder in 16th Assad Kotaite Memorial Address, calls for Climate Neutral Aviation 2050 Moon-shot. Urges UN and WEF to pick up the ball.
eTurboNews, 7 December 2019
In giving the 16thAnnual Assad Kotaite memorial address in the ICAO headquarters last night, Geoffrey Lipman, SUNx Co-creator and President of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP), said that air transport was too important for human development for it to become demonized in the fight against existential climate change.
[Australia] Unstoppable ‘Mega fire’ Forms North of Sydney
AFP, 7 December 2019
Several Australian bushfires have combined to form a “mega fire” that is burning out of control across a swathe of land north of Sydney, authorities said Friday, warning they cannot contain the blaze.
Rob Rogers, New South Wales Rural Fire Service deputy commissioner, said “there are probably more than eight fires in all” that have merged to form what has been dubbed a “mega fire” in an area of national park forest.
Look at the Amazon, not us: Indonesia claims handling forest fires better than other nations
By Kharishar Kahfi, The Jakarta Post, 7 December 2019
Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD played down on Friday recent reports from several organizations regarding Indonesia’s forest fires in 2019, saying that the country is better off than other countries that also suffered from forest fires.
“We are thankful that in 2019 we could handle forest fires better than other countries that also have troubles with forest and land fires,” he said after attending an inter-ministerial coordination meeting at the Environment and Forestry Ministry.
[UK] Our tree-planting obsession may do more harm than good
By Jamie Blackett, The Spectator, 7 December 2019
‘Four beef burgers is the same as flying to New York and back! FOUR BURGERS!’ When I arrived at the Extinction Rebellion demo, the first person I met was a woman activist, clad from head to foot in ocean-polluting, synthetic fibres, talking absolute nonsense.
And because I’m a beef farmer, I felt I should set her straight. I explained that no, my grass-fed beef does not harm the planet, and asked her what on earth she expected the farmers of Britain to do if they couldn’t keep cows. ‘Ah,’ she says, folding her arms, ‘they should just grow trees.’
8 December 2019
UN climate talks failing to address urgency of crisis, says top scientist
By Fiona Harvey, The Guardian, 8 December 2019
Urgent UN talks on tackling the climate emergency are still not addressing the true scale of the crisis, one of the world’s leading climate scientists has warned, as high-ranking ministers from governments around the world began to arrive in Madrid for the final days of negotiations.
Talks are focusing on some of the rules for implementing the 2015 Paris agreement, but the overriding issue of how fast the world needs to cut greenhouse gas emissions has received little official attention.
Forests as Climate Solutions in the Asia-Pacific Region through NDC Commitments
FAO, 8 December 2019
The role of forests and trees in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of Asia-Pacific countries is very significant, especially in areas of afforestation, forest fire management, reduced deforestation, biodiversity management and improved forest management. Emphasis is increasingly placed on forestry-related actions for climate change mitigation, and 22 out of 25 countries include forestry in their adaptation commitments.