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.
17 February 2020
Good forestry laws require successful implementation
By Nathalie Faure (Client Earth), RECOFTC, 17 February 2020
It was a historic year for Nepal in 2017. And I happened to be in the country conducting community consultations on community forestry. More than 14,000 women were elected to local offices in the country’s first ever local elections. This was good news for the 45 percent of forested land in Nepal. A quarter of Nepal’s forests are now managed by communities with many led by women. Listening to the stories of villagers then and now, I continue to see why Nepal is a leader in Asia and the Pacific for community forestry.
[Bolivia] Contribution of indigenous people to fighting climate change is hanging by a thread
By Iokiñe Rodríguez and Mirna Inturias, ZNet, 17 February 2020
Earth’s forests oxygenate the atmosphere and store vast quantities of planet-warming carbon dioxide (CO₂). But research suggests that the health of these vast ecosystems in large part depends on the work of indigenous people.
Indigenous territories and protected areas cover 52% of the Amazon forest and store 58% of its carbon. A recent study found that these areas had the lowest net loss of carbon between 2003 and 2016, with 90% of net emissions coming from outside these protected lands.
Costa Rica indigenous leader shot amid tensions over land rights
By Nina Lakhani, The Guardian, 17 February 2020
An indigenous leader leading his people’s effort to reclaim ancestral land in Costa Rica has been wounded in a gun attack – the latest in a spate of targeted violence which has gone unpunished by authorities.
Mainor Ortiz Delgado, 29, a leader of the Bribri indigenous people in Salitre, Puntarenas province, was shot in the right leg earlier this month – the third time Ortiz has been shot allegedly by members of the same family in 14 months.
The EU is ignoring AI’s effect on the climate crisis
By Fieke Jansen, EURACTIV, 17 February 2020
Only weeks after the initial ‘leaked’ white paper on AI and the EU’s consideration to temporarily ban facial recognition got media coverage, this option has already been dropped.
While the white paper still covered a range of other AI challenges and opportunities, one topic still remains conspicuously absent: The environmental impact of AI.
The white paper notes that the volume of data stored across the world — data that is used to train AI — will most likely quadruple from the current 40 zetabytes to 175 zetabytes by 2025.
And where 80% of the 40 zetabytes is currently stored in the cloud, the EU assumes that the rise of IoT products and edge computing will be a catalyst for even more decentralized storage. The paper stops there, failing to acknowledge how this massive increase in data and shift to device storage will produce a carbon footprint.
NZ uses accounting trick to seem climate-friendly
By Marc Daalder, Newsroom, 17 February 2020
New Zealand’s emissions targets under the Kyoto, Copenhagen and Paris climate accords have used an accounting trick to make them appear more significant than they actually are, activists say. Now, as the Government prepares to announce a new Paris target for emissions reductions, organisations like Greenpeace New Zealand are asking it not to reuse gross-net accounting.
[New Zealand] Climate subsidies not ‘environmentally defensible’, Environment commissioner says
By Charlie Mitchell, Stuff, 17 February 2020
The Government should ignore “special pleading” from polluters receiving taxpayer subsidies or risk failing to meet its climate targets, the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment says.
In sharply-worded comments on a planned overhaul of climate change legislation, Simon Upton – a former National party cabinet minister – essentially said the changes did not go far enough, and were too corporate friendly.
[USA] Jeff Bezos to spend $10 billion on climate change research, advocacy
By Orion Rummler, Axios, 17 February 2020
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced the launch of his “Earth Fund” on Monday via Instagram to fund climate change research and awareness.
What he’s saying: Bezos says he’s initially committing $10 billion to fund “scientists, activists, and NGOS” that are working on environmental preservation and protection efforts.
[USA] Delta Air Lines sets 2030 ‘carbon neutral’ goal backed by $1bn green investment plan
By Toby Hill, BusinessGreen, 17 February 2020
Delta Air Lines has become the latest aviation setting set its sites on becoming ‘carbon neutral’, setting a target date of 2030 and pleding to invest $1bn in achieving the goal over the next ten years.
Investment will focus on on driving innovation, advancing clean air travel technologies, accelerating reductions in waste and emissions, and establishing new offsetting and natural carbon sequestration projects, the firm said.
18 February 2020
World leaders urged to ‘step back from precipice’ of ecological ruin
By Patrick Greenfield, The Guardian, 18 February 2020
Humanity’s ongoing destruction of nature threatens the survival of our species, a group of former foreign ministers has warned, calling on leaders to step back from “the precipice” of irreversible ecological ruin and protect the planet.
The planet’s rapidly warming oceans must be the focus of increased conservation efforts due to their importance in producing oxygen and food for billions of people, the former ministers added, as governments prepare to begin negotiations for a Paris-style UN agreement on nature next week.
The United Nations must get its new biodiversity targets right
Nature, 18 February 2020
Most measures of biodiversity suggest that things are going badly wrong. Some one million plant and animal species face extinction, according to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). And French President Emmanuel Macron last week called the battle for biodiversity and climate change “the fight of the century”.
Can rationing carbon help fight climate change?
By Frank Swain, BBC Future Planet, 18 February 2020
Once a day, Katja Suhonen opens her phone to check on her carbon footprint. Every journey she makes in her home city of Lahti, a city in the south of Finland, is studied by an experimental app called CitiCap and the carbon impact of her travel choices deducted from a weekly budget.
The politics of fire, from the Amazon to the bush
By Deborah Barros Leal Farias, The Interpreter, 18 February 2020
Since mid-2019, I have often been asked about fires, which is somewhat odd, as I teach Politics and International Relations at the University of New South Wales, and my research mainly involves issues of global governance and developing countries. But as a Brazilian living in Sydney, I’ve been asked by people in Australia about fires in the Amazon, while in Brazil (and elsewhere), friends and family want to know more about the Australian bushfires. These questions have led me to reflect upon the two scenarios and to draw out some similarities and differences. Here are three takeaways.
Burning and bullets: Forest fires push Bornean orangutans into harm’s way
By Aseanty Pahlevi, Mongabay, 18 February 2020
As the forests of Indonesian Borneo burned during fires last year, a female orangutan was forced to leave her burning home. When she was rescued from a small farm, experts found signs of recent pregnancy and wounds on her body.
The orangutan, later named Epen by her rescuers, was found foraging at a farm by locals in late November 2019 in Ketapang district, West Kalimantan, a province in Indonesian Borneo. Official figures show the district recorded the highest number of hotspots, indicating forest fires, in 2019. Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) were among the wildlife that wound up in small farms as they fled the burning forests — set ablaze mostly to clear the land for large plantations.
What are Bhutan’s sacred forests worth?
By Natasha Vizcarra, CIFOR Forests News, 18 February 2020
In the Kingdom of Bhutan, a mountainous country nestled between India and Tibet, you can’t just wander into the forest during the months from sowing to harvest. This period is when the Reedum is enforced, which in Bhutanese means the “closing of the mountain.”
There is no berry-picking, wood gathering or collection of anything from the forest. No loud voices, no obnoxious noises, no burning. All these could disturb the mountain deities.
The hunter-gatherers protecting Tanzania’s forests with carbon offsets
By Harriet Constable, Geographical, 18 February 2020
Ezekiel Phillippo is explaining his way of life down a crackly phone line. ‘You must understand that we always protect our environment because that is how we survive. Our cultural history is to live within the natural environment, and we have a historical and religious connection with the landscape and the hills,’ he says.
A member of the Hadza tribe in northern Tanzania’s Yaeda Valley region, he’s recently returned to Tanzania after a whirlwind trip to America – his first time leaving his forest community, let alone the country – to accept a 2019 Equator Prize, an award given to indigenous groups developing solutions to climate change.
UK airports must shut to reach 2050 climate target
By Paul Brown, Climate News Network, 18 February 2020
If it is to achieve its target of net zero climate emissions by 2050, all UK airports must close by mid-century and the country will have to make other drastic and fundamental lifestyle changes, says a report from a research group backed by the government in London.
With the UK due to host this year’s round of crucial UN climate talks in Glasgow in November, a group of academics has embarrassed the British government by showing it has currently no chance of meeting its own legally binding target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to nothing within 30 years.
[USA] Jeff Bezos commits $10 billion to fight climate change
By Rishi Iyengar, CNN Business, 18 February 2020
Jeff Bezos is throwing his weight — and wealth — behind the fight against climate change months after Amazon employees publicly pressured him and the company to do more to address the issue.
The Amazon (AMZN) CEO on Monday announced a new fund to back scientists, activists and organizations working to mitigate the impact of climate change. Bezos will commit $10 billion “to start,” he said in an Instagram post.
[USA] Donald Trump’s Greenwashing of the Climate Crisis
By Chad Hanson, Sierra, 18 February 2020
Donald Trump would like the American public to believe that he now thinks climate change is real. That should come as no surprise: Republican leaders have recently changed their messaging given recent polls showing that an increasing numbers of millennial Republicans want their Party to take real action to address the climate crisis. Just after the New Year, Trump told reporters that he now believes climate change is “not a hoax,” and that it is a “very serious” issue, going so far as to call himself an “environmentalist.” Not long before, Americans got a sense of what a Trump Administration climate policy might look like.
[USA] Trump’s Plan to Plant a Trillion Saplings Misses the Forest for the Trees
By Jackie Flynn Mogensen, Mother Jones, 18 February 2020
Donald Trump, it turns out, is a fan of trees. A big fan. Such a fan, in fact, that at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, late last month, the president announced that the United States will join the One Trillion Tree Initiative, an international plan to plant and restore a trillion trees globally by 2050. Doing so, he said, illustrated the country’s commitment to “conserving the majesty of God’s creation and the natural beauty of our world.” Two weeks later, he again touted the project in his State of the Union speech.
[USA] Al Gore’s New Campaign To Save The Planet Is Focused On Getting Donald Trump Out Of Office
By Zahra Hirji, Buzzfeed News, 18 February 2020
Former vice president Al Gore is launching a voter registration campaign this week to increase voter turnout in November, focusing on young people concerned about the rapidly warming planet.
This new effort by Gore, who starred in the 2006 climate documentary An Inconvenient Truth and won a 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his climate activism, comes amid dire scientific warnings about the climate crisis and a new explosion in climate activism, driven mostly by young people skipping school and challenging politicians to take action.
19 February 2020
Oil and gas firms ‘have had far worse climate impact than thought’
By Jonathan Watts, The Guardian, 19 February 2020
The oil and gas industry has had a far worse impact on the climate than previously believed, according to a study indicating that human emissions of fossil methane have been underestimated by up to 40%.
Although the research will add to pressure on fossil fuel companies, scientists said there was cause for hope because it showed a big extra benefit could come from tighter regulation of the industry and a faster shift towards renewable energy.
1 trillion trees: What would it take, how would it work, and is it even worth it?
By Adele Peters, Fast Company, 19 February 2020
Last November, the Turkish government oversaw the planting of 11 million trees in a single day. One Turkish city broke a world record for the number of trees planted in an hour (303,153 trees). By late January, though, the head of the country’s agriculture and forestry trade union was reporting that most of the trees were already dead, though the government denied those claims.
Should we give up flying for the sake of the climate?
By Jocely Timperley, BBC, 19 February 2020
Everything we do, from the food we eat, products we buy to the way we travel, releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, and so has an impact on the planet’s climate. But some activities have a far greater impact than others.
Around 2.4% of global CO2 emissions come from aviation. Together with other gases and the water vapour trails produced by aircraft, the industry is responsible for around 5% of global warming.
[Australia] Putting the ‘net’ into net zero targets: it’s time to start doing things that work. Now
By Richard Denniss, The Guardian, 19 February 2020
After a summer of catastrophic bushfires, the most brutal evidence of the impacts of climate change, the government has managed to move the debate towards the pros and cons of setting a long-term net zero emissions target for 2050.
While #Scottyfrommarketing copped flack for his lack of empathy or response to the summer of fires, you have to admit, he’s done an amazing job of shifting the debate away from the Coalition’s failure to reduce emissions or prepare for the fires they were warned of by 24 former fire and emergency chiefs.
REDD+ rubber hits the road in Democratic Republic of the Congo
By Amanda Bradley, UN-REDD Programme, 19 February 2020
REDD+ is entering an exciting new phase. After years of preparation, an increasing number of countries are advancing in the implementation of REDD+ actions on the ground. One such country is Democratic Republic of the Congo, where FAO recently launched a four-year project in Equateur province with financial support from the REDD+ National Fund (Fond National REDD+ – FONAREDD).
Communities facing Zero Deforestation pledges: the case of OLAM in Gabon
World Rainforest Movement, 19 February 2020
This publication is the result of a field study carried out by Muyissi Environnement and WRM with communities located in and around concession areas used by the agribusiness company OLAM in the province of Ngounie, in Gabon. OLAM actively promotes industrial oil palm plantations in Gabon, while supposedly committing to “zero deforestation” in 2017. The villages that were visited are facing varying degrees of impacts from OLAM´s activities.
[Spain] ACCIONA to sell carbon credits on ClimateTrade blockchain
Ledger Insights, 19 February 2020
Yesterday, Spanish renewables firm ACCIONA announced an agreement with start-up Climate Blockchain Initiatives to use its ClimateTrade platform. ClimateTrade uses blockchain for transacting carbon credits between parties transparently and securely.
ACCIONA produces about 22 Terawatt-hours (TWh) of emission-free electricity annually and has a presence in over 20 countries. Under the agreement, the company will provide ClimateTrade with Certified Emission Reduction (CER) certificates generated by its plants in emerging countries such as Mexico, Chile, and Costa Rica.
[USA] How Much Can Jeff Bezos’ $10 Billion Do to Fight Climate Change?
By Chloe Hadavas, Slate, 19 February 2020
Jeff Bezos is an easy target for the ire of anyone concerned about the climate crisis. Over the past year, Amazon employees have protested and publicly criticized the company’s role in contributing to climate change. When Amazon finally released a report with its carbon emissions in September 2019, it revealed that in 2018, its enterprise-wide carbon footprint totaled 44.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. These pollution rates—which arise from shipping, packaging, and the data centers that support Amazon Web Services—rival those of a small country or a large power company. While Bezos has responded to rising criticism with Amazon’s “Climate Pledge,” the company is still, as Deborah Gallagher, a professor of the practice of environmental policy at Duke, puts it, “a catalyst to increase consumption.”
20 February 2020
Meat company faces heat over ‘cattle laundering’ in Amazon supply chain
By Dom Phillips, The Guardian, 20 February 2020
The world’s biggest meat company has frequently been accused of links to deforestation. Now JBS is facing growing pressure from Brazilian politicians and environmentalists to address the information gaps and transparency failings in its supply chain.
Critics say these deficiencies mean JBS is unable to ensure it does not buy cattle from farms involved in illegal deforestation over a decade after promising to do so.
China’s Hebei province sets up $7 bln financing vehicle to shore up economy
By Min Zhang and David Stanway, Reuters, 20 February 2020
The northern Chinese province of Hebei has set up a special financing project worth 50 billion yuan ($7.12 billion) with China Development Bank to help get the regional economy up and running again after coronavirus disruptions.
[Brazil] ‘Catastrophic’ Loss of Amazon Forest Looms, Suzano CEO Warns
By Gerson Freitas Jr. and Fabiana Batista, Bloomberg, 20 February 2020
There are few corporate chiefs in Brazil more outspoken on the environment than Walter Schalka, the head of the world’s largest producer of wood pulp. And he has a dire prediction for the Brazilian Amazon: Deforestation will accelerate this year.
“It’s going to be catastrophic,” Schalka, chief executive officer of Suzano SA, said in an interview in New York. “It’s going to be even worse than last year.”
Partner Countries Of EU-NSA Project Meet In Cote d’Ivoire To Review Progress Harvested 5 “Most Significant Outcomes”
By Cholo Brooks, GNN Liberia, 20 February 2020
As the European Union Non- State Actors Project enters its 4th and final year of implementation, partner countries of Liberia, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire have all met to review what worked, what did not work, and how what worked well can be factored into ongoing national sustainable forest programs in the 3 West African countries.
The meeting which was held from February 11th-13th in Grand Bassam City brought together 12 participants from the three West Africa countries, including two international experts. An International Expert in forest governance, David Young and International Project Coordinator, Henk Hoefsloot of Tropenbos International (TBI) served as Facilitators.
Tesla gets court approval to clear forest for German Gigafactory
By Emma Thomasson, Reuters, 20 February 2020
Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) got approval from a German court on Thursday to continue to cut down forest near the capital Berlin to build its first European car and battery factory, in a defeat for local environmental activists.
The court said in a statement it had rejected urgent applications to stop the land being cleared of trees from several environmental groups, adding its ruling was final. It had temporarily halted the tree felling earlier this month.
Agroforestry land restoration technique improves food security in Honduras
By Lorraine Potter (Inga Foundation), CIFOR Forests News, 20 February 2020
Five years ago, farmer Damas Nunez had reached a point of economic desperation. He had decided his best option to feed his family was to flee north to the United States from Honduras, despite the risks involved.
He made a farewell visit to a friend with a farm in the upper Cangrejal Valley and was astounded to see a beautiful crop of corn and a large stack of firewood, plentiful enough to last a year.
Thai journalists inspired to report on forest governance and social justice
RECOFTC and Raks Thai Foundation, 20 February 2020
Kultida Sittiluechai (Por) never imagined that the disappearing forests in the northern reaches of Thailand could ever have an impact on her city life in the central province of Pathumtani. Her perspective changed after she took part in a three-day workshop for young journalists where they exchanged views and information with forestry professionals, experienced journalists, and representatives of forest-dependent and ethnic communities.
[USA] Delta lifts off with $1 billion pledge to become carbon neutral
By Toby Hill, GreenBiz, 20 February 2020
Delta Air Lines has become the latest aviation company setting its sights on becoming “carbon neutral,” with an ambition to reach that target by 2030 and pledge to invest $1 billion in achieving the goal over the next 10 years.
The investment will focus on driving innovation, advancing clean air travel technologies, accelerating reductions in waste and emissions, and establishing new offsetting and natural carbon sequestration projects, the company said.
21 February 2020
Agriculture Drove Recent Record-Breaking Tree Cover Loss
By Nancy Harris, Thailynn Munroe, Liz Goldman, Christy Slay, and Forrest Follet, Global Forest Watch, 21 February 2020
Global tree cover loss reached record highs in 2016 and 2017. In 2018, roughly one soccer field of tree cover was lost every second. What drove this loss? Global data on the drivers of tree cover loss, developed by WRI and The Sustainability Consortium and updated this week on Global Forest Watch, can tell us.
It’s time to say goodbye to our most ambitious climate target ever
By Matt Reynolds, Wired, 21 February 2020
In 2015, the world found its environmental rallying cry. A single line in the Paris Agreement – a pledge to “pursue efforts” to limit global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels – became the bar against which efforts to stop climate change have been judged since.
The Case for Deforestation Free Investing
By Jeff Conant, Friends of the Earth US, 21 February 2020
Things aren’t looking good for the world’s forests.
In its 2019 end-of-year retrospective, the hard-hitting conservation news platform Mongabay declared that “2019 closed out a ‘lost decade’ for the world’s tropical forests, with surging deforestation from Brazil to the Congo Basin, environmental policy roll-backs, assaults on environmental defenders, abandoned conservation commitments, and fires burning through rainforests on four continents.”
JP Morgan economists warn climate crisis is threat to human race
By Patrick Greenfield and Jonathan Watts, The Guardian, 21 February 2020
The world’s largest financier of fossil fuels has warned clients that the climate crisis threatens the survival of humanity and that the planet is on an unsustainable trajectory, according to a leaked document.
The JP Morgan report on the economic risks of human-caused global heating said climate policy had to change or else the world faced irreversible consequences.
Backing the trillion tree campaign to combat climate crisis
By Tom Crowther letter to the editor, The Guardian, 21 February 2020
The recent explosion of interest in tree restoration has transformed the climate change conversation. Although the trillion tree campaign – 1T.org – is now in the realm of politicians and influencers (Greta Thunberg: Davos leaders ignored climate activists’ demands, 24 January), it emerged from scientific literature. But what exactly did the science show?
Climate finance: failing to serve the most vulnerable?
By A S M Marjan Nur, Climate Home News, 21 February 2020
Climate finance is one of the building blocks of negotiations at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – money both from public and private sources to help reduce emissions and increase resilience against the negative impacts of climate change.
UNFCCC, the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement called for financial assistance from Parties with more financial resources to those that are less endowed and more vulnerable.
Revealed: quarter of all tweets about climate crisis produced by bots
By Oliver Milman, The Guardian, 21 February 2020
The social media conversation over the climate crisis is being reshaped by an army of automated Twitter bots, with a new analysis finding that a quarter of all tweets about climate on an average day are produced by bots, the Guardian can reveal.
The stunning levels of Twitter bot activity on topics related to global heating and the climate crisis is distorting the online discourse to include far more climate science denialism than it would otherwise.
Why offsetting is fooling people into thinking they’re contributing to a greener future
By Emma Gatten, The Telegraph, 21 February 2020
In 2005, BP started a worldwide advertising campaign using the slogan: “What on earth is a carbon footprint?” An accompanying website offered drivers concerned about their environmental impact an exhaust emissions calculator and allowed them to pay to offset it by funding sustainable projects (just £20 for a year of driving, plus a free sticker for the car).
The multinational had recently rebranded as Beyond Petroleum and was keen to burnish its green credentials as concerns about the environmental impact of oil began to prick the public’s conscience.
Greenhouse gases have a puzzling double effect
By Tim Radford, Climate News Network, 21 February 2020
The Arctic is getting greener as greenhouse gases abound and the global thermometer rises. The vegetation of the high latitudes is moving further north, growing taller, becoming more substantial, more abundant and budding earlier, according to new studies by 40 scientists from 36 European and US institutions.
And the whole planet is getting greener too, according to a separate study in a second journal, as more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere – the chief cause of global heating – also acts as a fertiliser to stimulate plant growth.
Chilean communes on high alert for forest fires
Prensa Latina, 21 February 2020
At least four communes in La Araucania Region, in southern Chile, are now on red alert for forest fires, the National Emergency Office (ONEMI) reported.
ONEMI explained that the fire has affected about 250 hectares of vegetation in the Pitrufquen and Gorbea communes, but the intensity with which the flames progress has endangered populated areas.
CARBON – EUAs to consolidate as annual issuance gathers pace
By Alessandro Vitelli, Montel, 21 February 2020
EUAs were expected to consolidate in the coming week after a two-week rally that had seen prices add around 10%. After peaking at a year-to-date high of EUR 25.86/t on Thursday, the benchmark Dec 20 contract last traded 0.9% lower at EUR 25.40/t on Ice Futures, a gain of 4.6% from last Friday’s settlement.
Fundamentals remained weak, sources said, and most have blamed the rally on short-covering after the market failed to breach EUR 23/t.
Indonesia’s disappearing islands: a climate crisis wake-up call for Jakarta?
By Amy Chew, South China Morning Post, 21 February 2020
In Indonesia’s resource-rich province of South Sumatra, two uninhabited islands have been submerged by rising sea levels, prompting ratings giant Moody’s Investors Service to caution that further disappearances “could hurt” the credit profile of Southeast Asia’s largest economy.
Betet Island and Gundul Island now sit between one and three metres below sea level, according to the Indonesian Forum for the Environment, which warns that other low-lying islands in the archipelago nation might soon follow suit.
[Kenya] “We knew if we continued at this rate, we would not have a forest.”
UNDP, 21 February 2020
Marida Shinzai remembers going as a young girl to Kakamega forest to collect firewood and pick herbs.
Over the decades however, with tens of thousands of people depending on the forest for their livelihoods, particularly for charcoal production, she realized she was having to go farther and farther in to collect plants, and that the forest was rapidly depleting.
[Madagascar] Revealed: The carbon offsetting ‘Wild West’
By Hayley Dixon, Emma Gatten, and Sophie Barnes, The Telegraph, 21 February 2020
Consumers trying to offset their emissions are at risk of being ripped off in a “Wild West” unregulated carbon market, an investigation by The Telegraph has found.
With the trading of carbon credits enjoying a boom, concerns have been raised about offsetting projects around the world.
Environmentalists have warned that offsetting could be doing more harm than good because it makes people wrongly believe they are not having an environmental impact.
Carbon offsetting may be a gold mine in the West – but in Madagascar, sapphires are the real prize
By Hayley Dixon, The Telegraph, 21 February 2020
Sitting among the trenches of an illegal mine in eastern Madagascar, Edmond Rakoto says he has never heard of carbon offsetting.
He knows about conservation, he says, gesturing towards the rainforest, but he has only one focus – to find a sapphire that could change his life and feed his family.
Many of the thousands who live in the Ankeniheny-Zahamena Corridor, an area of ecological importance known as the CAZ, do not realise that the trees they cut down to clear space for mining and agriculture, or to build their homes and fuel their stoves, have already been turned into carbon credits.
[New Zealand] Confused? Why not understanding the Emissions Trading Scheme is the point
By Charlie Mitchell, Stuff, 21 February 2020
It’s a cliche to describe any confusing system as “Kafkaesque”, but there are few other words that adequately explain the nightmarish complexity of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).
It is surely one of the worst public policy disasters in this country’s recent history.
Not only has it failed, it has actively hampered progress, and done so in a way that has ongoing financial implications for every New Zealander.
What makes the ETS Kafkaesque is not just that it’s confusing, or that it has contradictions. It is Kafkaesque because it was seemingly designed to be this way.
The Chain: Repeat Offenders Continue to Clear Forests for Oil Palm in Southeast Asia
Chain Reaction Research, 21 February 2020
Analysis by Chain Reaction Research (CRR) shows that ten palm oil companies were alone responsible for approximately 39,500 hectares (ha) of deforestation and peat development in Indonesia, Sarawak (Malaysia) and Papua New Guinea in 2019. This total amounts to roughly 44 percent of all deforestation detected within known oil palm concessions in these regions last year (90,000 ha). This figure is considerably higher than the 74,000 ha detected in 2018. However, this total does not include land that was burnt during the dry season in 2019, which saw substantially more forest and peat lost.
22 February 2020
For Forest Survival, Corporations Are Accountable To Uphold Indigenous Land Rights
By Ginger Cassady (Rainforest Action Network), International Business Times, 22 February 2020
As climate change deepens, forests –– those lush, abundant, mysterious stands of trees that for millennia have quietly produced the air we breathe and the water we drink –– have never been more critical to our survival. It’s become clear that, as leading scientists have said, “Our planet’s future climate is inextricably tied to the future of its forests.” For a climate stable future, we must keep forests standing, as they are one of the most effective tools we have to combat climate change. Thankfully, the basic prescription for saving much of the world’s forests is refreshingly simple: hold corporations accountable for their role in driving deforestation and uphold Indigenous rights to their ancestral lands.
Smoke screen: how Australia’s biggest polluters have been free to increase emissions
By Adam Morton, The Guardian, 22 February 2020
For nearly 40 years, black coal has been mined at Myuna, an underground operation a short drive south-west of Newcastle. Each year about 2 million tonnes is dug up, dropped on to an overland conveyor and sent to the Eraring power plant next door to be burned.
Although the New South Wales mine isn’t new, its operation under owner Centennial Coal has changed over the past couple of years, leading to a dramatic increase in greenhouse gas escaping its coal seams.
[Madagascar] Credit where it’s due: Forest-carbon programs a vital tool to fix climate
By Agustin Silvani, Conservation International, 22 February 2020
A recent piece in The Telegraph, “Carbon offsetting may be a gold mine in the West — but in Madagascar, sapphires are the real prize,” highlighted the challenges of illegal mining and deforestation in a protected area in Madagascar where carbon credits are being used to keep forests standing.
[UK] Government warned not to rely on carbon offsetting to reach net zero
By Emma Gatten and Hayley Dixon, The Telegraph, 22 February 2020
The government has been warned not to rely on carbon offsetting to reach its net zero goals, after a Telegraph investigation revealed major flaws in some schemes.
The Department for Transport is currently considering whether to force airlines and other transport companies to include a carbon offsetting charge for all journeys.
23 February 2020
Planting more trees to fight Climate Change in PNG
By Peter S. Kinjap, Papua New Guinea Today, 23 February 2020
Both in government corridors and private sector spaces, environmental conservation has become hot topic these days. Whether we talk about an International Conference or the launch of a new green project, everyone seems to be talking about preserving Earth while incorporating a great deal of green innovative efforts to make the use cases more efficient.
Every city in the world has contributed to the damages of the environmental causes and climate change and thus it requires every city in the world to take actions to correct the suffocating of the Earth.