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.
9 March 2020
Award-winning global economist presents a solution to the climate crisis
By Conner Caridad, Daily Campus, 9 March 2020
The 2008 Financial Engineer of the Year, Robert Litterman, Ph.D., proposed a solution to the world’s ongoing climate crisis at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center on Thursday.
After a 23-year-long career at leading investment banking firm Goldman Sachs, Litterman now serves as a vice chair on the World Wildlife Fund Board of Directors. Last week, he was invited to speak at the University of Connecticut’s Konover Auditorium as part of the Edwin Way Teale Lecture Series, “Nature and the Environment.”
If Jeff Bezos really wants to fight the climate crisis, he should just pay his taxes
By Guy T Saperstein, The Guardian, 9 March 2020
In the wake of the devastating Australian bushfires, Jeff Bezos announced last month that he will donate $10bn to fight the climate crisis. As a resident of California and the former president of The Sierra Club Foundation, I welcome any contribution toward the struggle against our changing climate. That said, my home state, like all communities with Amazon facilities, would be far better off if Bezos simply paid his taxes.
Dung beetles help rainforests regrow – but extreme drought and wildfires in the Amazon are killing them off
By Filipe França and Joice Ferreira, The Conversation, 9 March 2020
The dung beetle may eat and nest in poop, but its role in nature is anything but humble.
These hardshelled scarabs live on every continent except Antarctica, recycling feces and suppressing parasites that could otherwise harm people and animals. Dung beetles also spread both seeds and nutrients into the soil, helping to maintain a healthy ecosystem.
Conservationists cautiously optimistic after Bolivian government changes hands
By Yvette Sierra Praeli, Mongabay, 9 March 2020
Late last year, historic wildfires raged through Bolivia, holding the country hostage for two months between July and September and burning more than 5 million hectares (50,000 sq km or 19,300 sq mi). The Beni and Santa Cruz departments, which contain mostly Chaco dry forest and savannah, were hit particularly hard.
“It has been a very dark year for Bolivia,” says Miguel Ángel Crespo, director of Productividad Biosfera Medio Ambiente (PROBIOMA).
Brazil agency gives out fewest environmental fines in 24 years
By Jake Spring, Reuters, 9 March 2020
Brazil’s federal environment agency last year gave out the fewest fines for breaking conservation laws since 1995, the agency’s press office told Reuters on Monday, as the efficacy of the agency, known as Ibama, continues to fall under President Jair Bolsonaro.
It handed out 12,266 fines for environmental infractions in 2019, down 17% from the previous year, the press office said in response to questions. Ibama did not give an explanation for the drop.
War or peace? A threatened Brazilian indigenous tribe weighs its options
By Fabio Teixeira, Reuters, 9 March 2020
The old men want war, but the younger ones are holding them back. That generation divide was clear among the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau tribe, who live deep in the Brazilian Amazon.
Endangered by land-grabbers and illegal loggers, the tribe called a meeting to discuss how to fight back and plan for the year ahead, Brazil’s second under Jair Bolsonaro’s presidency.
“You say we cannot kill, but the white man does not respect us,” said Uaka, one of the village elders, standing up to speak in broken Portuguese.
[EU] Greta Thunberg says new laws won’t tackle climate crisis
By Sarah Bates, Socialist Worker, 9 March 2020
Greta Thunberg has blasted the latest plan by the European Union (EU) Commission to tackle carbon emissions as “empty words”.
“When your house is on fire, you don’t wait a few more years to start putting out it. And yet this is what the Commission is proposing,” she said.
The “European Green Deal” gives the commission more powers to set tougher carbon reduction goals, and make it a requirement for countries to be carbon neutral by 2050.
“The climate law is surrender. Nature doesn’t bargain, and you cannot make deals with physics,” Thunberg said.
10 March 2020
No time to waste: Tropical forests become source of global warming
By Terry Sutherland, CIFOR Forests News, 10 March 2020
According to findings of research published last week in Nature, Tropical forests are losing the capacity to remove carbon from the atmosphere, which could have dramatic implications for their potential to mitigate the impact of global warming.
Intact tropical forests are a vital global carbon sink, slowing climate change through carbon sequestration, a process through carbon is removed naturally from the atmosphere and stored in trees.
There’s no ‘deadline’ to save the world. Everything we do now has to pass the climate test
By Damian Carrington, The Guardian, 10 March 2020
You may have read that there are just eight, or 10, or 12 years to save the world from the climate crisis. There are not. It is already here, gaining strength every day as carbon emissions pour into the atmosphere. It is a slow-motion disaster. Action to avert the worst should have started last week, last year, last decade.
This is not a message of despair, though, but one of measured hope. The gap between the action we could take to reduce global heating and the action we are actually taking can be measured by a brutally simple metric: human suffering. That means every action that closes that gap, however small, is meaningful.
How Coronavirus Could Set Back the Fight Against Climate Change
By Justin Worland, Time, 10 March 2020
This year was supposed to be a big one in the international fight against climate change. But the fast spreading new coronavirus disease, COVID-19, is posing a triple-threat to action that could derail the Paris Agreement effort to combat global warming, worried experts say.
The disease is a challenge for climate change action on multiple fronts. COVID-19 has already disrupted crucial negotiations ahead of a November conference in Glasgow that could determine the Paris Agreement’s success in reducing emissions. The outbreak may supplant climate concerns in the minds of the public, weakening political will at a key moment. And it may encourage burning fossil fuels in hopes of restarting the global economy.
Biofuels (including for aviation) to drive massive increase in palm and soy demand by 2030
Airport Watch, 10 March 2020
A new report by Rainforest Foundation Norway looks at the impact of global biofuel policies on tropical deforestation. Palm oil and soy, in particular, are biofuel feedstocks that are associated with high deforestation risk. The report analyses biofuel policies in all key markets and assesses. It found the impact on demand for palm oil and soy-based biofuels in the coming decade will be huge, and may rise by over 60 million more tonnes of palm oil by 2030. That is about 90% of current global palm oil production. The demand for soy oil might rise by over 40 million tonnes, about 75% of current production. This would cause an estimated 7 million hectares of deforestation, including up to 3.6 million hectares of peat drainage. There would be tragic loss of biodiversity, including charismatic species like orang utans. The deforestation would cause over 11 billion tonnes of extra CO2 entering the atmosphere, by 2030 (more than China’s annual CO2 emissions). The aviation industry is potentially the largest consumer of high deforestation risk biofuels, followed by Indonesia and Brazil. The world is in a dual ecological crisis of climate change and biodiversity loss. This use of biofuels is NOT the answer, to either crisis.
Coronavirus fears may affect how airlines curb their carbon emissions in 2021
By Justine Calma, The Verge, 10 March 2020
Efforts to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus are changing the way people work and play — and those changes are temporarily curbing greenhouse gas emissions. Fear of the outbreaks already led to a drop in passenger demand in January, according to the industry group International Air Transport Association (IATA), which called it “just the tip of the iceberg.” Airlines continue to drastically cut flights as more people decide not to fly during the outbreak. Airlines could continue to see between an 11 and 19 percent loss in global passenger revenues through the end of the year, IATA projects.
Ban short-haul flights for climate? In EU poll 62% say yes
By Kate Abnett, Reuters, 10 March 2020
A majority of European citizens would support a ban on short-distance flights to fight climate change, according to a survey the European Investment Bank (EIB) said on Tuesday.
Of 28,088 respondents to the survey, 62% favored a ban and an even greater majority of 72% said they would support a carbon tax on flights. The poll, conducted in September-October 2019, covered the then-28 European Union member states, including Britain.
Ecosystem Marketplace Forecasts Ample Supply of CORSIA Carbon Credits If ICAO Council Limits Eligibility to Post-2016 Offsets
Forest Trends, 10 March 2020
The international aviation sector is committed to delivering carbon neutral growth for flights between countries between 2021-2035. Airlines will be able to purchase carbon offset credits to meet their obligations through the new Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation program (CORSIA).
This week, the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) will decide which carbon credits airlines will be allowed to use to meet their obligations during CORSIA’s critical first three-year pilot phase which begins on January 1, 2021.
Raising the Capital to Protect and Restore a Forest
By Mark Tercek, Medium, 10 March 2020
Awareness around the concept of “green-infrastructure” is growing, which is great. But scaling nature-based solutions requires large amounts of capital — more than philanthropy or government grants can provide (the lifeblood of nonprofit organizations). So how can well-meaning environmentalists structure environmental projects in a way that attracts a lot of capital?
Ecosystems the size of Amazon ‘can collapse within decades’
By Jonathan Watts, The Guardian, 10 March 2020
Even large ecosystems the size of the Amazon rainforest can collapse in a few decades, according to a study that shows bigger biomes break up relatively faster than small ones.
The research reveals that once a tipping point has been passed, breakdowns do not occur gradually like an unravelling thread, but rapidly like a stack of Jenga bricks after a keystone piece has been dislodged.
[Kenya] Kirinyaga Farmers’ Project To Improve Their Ecosystem, Earn Carbon Credits
By Irungu Mwangi, Kenya News Agency, 10 March 2020
The Agriculture sector suffers the worst impact of climate change as has been evidenced recently through drought and uncontrolled floods being experienced in the country.
That is a statement we hear all the time but what we don’t hear often is that the sector is a key contributor to climate change, accounting for 17% of total emissions directly through agricultural activities and an additional 14% through land use changes.
Climate change: UK ‘can’t go climate neutral before 2050’
By Roger Harrabin, BBC News, 10 March 2020
The UK cannot go climate neutral much before 2050 unless people stop flying and eating red meat almost completely, a report says.
But it warns that the British public do not look ready to take such steps and substantially change their lifestyle.
The report challenges the views of campaign group Extinction Rebellion.
It believes the UK target of climate neutrality by 2050 will result in harm to the climate.
Trees on commercial UK plantations ‘not helping climate crisis’
By Patrick Barkham, The Guardian, 10 March 2020
Commercial tree plantations in Britain do not store carbon to help the climate crisis because more than half of the harvested timber is used for less than 15 years and a quarter is burned, according to a new report.
While fast-growing non-native conifers can sequester carbon more quickly than slow-growing broadleaved trees, that carbon is released again if the trees are harvested and the wood is burned or used in products with short lifespans, such as packaging, pallets and fencing.
[UK] More funds needed for new trees in England, say campaigners
By Fiona Harvey, The Guardian, 10 March 2020
Tree planting is one of the government’s key strategies for fighting the climate crisis, but ministers have got off to a slow start that shows little sign of speeding up, according to the latest figures: just £5.2m will be spent on new trees in England under the countryside stewardship scheme for the current financial year.
That is enough for only 1,260 hectares, according to Friends of the Earth, which is calling for a greater effort on tree-planting to absorb more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
11 March 2020
UN head: Global action on climate crisis ‘way off track’
Edie, 11 March 2020
The world is “way off track” in dealing with the climate emergency and time is fast running out, the UN secretary general has said.
António Guterres sounded the alarm at the launch of the UN’s assessment of the global climate in 2019. The report concludes it was a record-breaking year for heat and there was rising hunger, displacement and loss of life owing to extreme temperatures and floods around the world.
Apocalypse never: why climate catastrophe won’t make us change
By Eric Holthaus, The Correspondent, 11 March 2020
Across Canada right now, there is an unprecedented railway blockade in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en people. The blockade, symbolic of the inevitable end of a seemingly infinite expansion of consumerism, is a culmination of the 500-year history of colonialism and genocide in the Americas. By refusing to consent to a pipeline construction through their unceded homelands, the Wet’suwet’en and their allies are choosing to end a dystopia – on their own terms.
Such courage is not rare, but it rarely makes the news.
If coronavirus halts climate convenings, ‘we must find other avenues for progress’
By Kiley Price, Conservation International, 11 March 2020
Amid what is now being called a global pandemic, possibly the last question on people’s minds is how coronavirus could affect the fight to stop climate change.
But as the deadly COVID-19 virus spreads across the globe at lightning speed — infecting nearly 120,000 people worldwide to date — it is a question that we must ask, climate experts say.
“The rapid spread of coronavirus could derail many of the major climate conferences that provide a crucial platform for countries to commit to more ambitious goals to cut carbon emissions — but those commitments can’t go away just because people aren’t in one big room together,” explained Maggie Comstock, a climate policy expert at Conservation International.
Coronavirus: What the wealthiest 1% are doing to try and avoid the outbreak
By Ganesh Rao, Sky News, 11 March 2020
Pictures of empty planes and deserted airports have become commonplace in recent days – but not everyone is putting their travel plans on hold because of the coronavirus outbreak.
New data suggests the country’s wealthiest 1% are taking to the skies on private jets – avoiding commercial airlines while jetting off to far-flung destinations such as the Galapagos Islands and the Antarctic.
Airlines will stop coronavirus ‘ghost flights’—now we need to rethink the future of flying
By Kristin Toussaint, Fast Company, 11 March 2020
With the demand for flights drastically down amid the coronavirus outbreak, the airline industry is reeling. Avoiding air travel is top of mind for most of the public, and that means revenue losses—of up to $113 billion, according to the International Air Transport Association, if COVID-19 spreads broadly—but it also means that we’re in a crucial moment to reassess the industry’s impact on the environment.
Climate change: New rules could spell end of ‘throwaway culture’
By Roger Harrabin, BBC News, 11 March 2020
New rules could spell the death of a “throwaway” culture in which products are bought, used briefly, then binned.
The regulations will apply to a range of everyday items such as mobile phones, textiles, electronics, batteries, construction and packaging.
They will ensure products are designed and manufactured so they last – and so they’re repairable if they go wrong.
It should mean that your phone last longer and proves easier to fix.
Oil shock threatens to sap wind out of sails for renewables shift
By Leslie Hook, Financial Times, 11 March 2020
The oil crash unleashed instant panic across financial markets, but Saudi Arabia’s decision to start a price war may yet have profound consequences for the world’s embrace of cleaner energy.
“It will definitely put downward pressure on the appetite for a cleaner energy transition,” Fatih Birol, head of the International Energy Agency, said of the historic fall in crude prices.
Climate crisis: Amazon rainforest could ‘collapse’ in 50 years, scientists warn
By Conrad Duncan, Independent, 11 March 2020
Large ecosystems like the Amazon rainforest could collapse in less than 50 years once a crucial tipping point is reached, a new study has claimed.
Researchers have argued some natural environments are collapsing at a “significantly faster rate” than previously thought and could transform into “alternative ecosystems” when put under stress.
The study, which was based on computer simulations using real-world data from more than 40 natural environments, suggested the Amazon could shift to “a savannah-type ecosystem with a mix of trees and grass” in just 49 years.
12 March 2020
Amazon rainforest could disappear within 50 years, scientists report
By Julie Mollins, CIFOR Forests News, 12 March 2020
Large scale ecosystems the size of the Amazon forests could collapse within 50 years and the Caribbean coral reefs in just 15 years, according to new research published in Nature Communications journal this week.
Scientists from Britain’s University of Southampton, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London and Bangor University studied data on the changes observed in 40 natural environments on land and in water.
They determined the speed at which extant ecosystems will disappear once they have reached a tipping point beyond which they collapse.
New briefing: Can sustainability and greenhouse gas standards protect the climate, forests and communities from the impacts of wood-based bioenergy?
Global Forest Coalition, 12 March 2020
Greenhouse gas and sustainability standards have been in place for liquid biofuels for several years (especially in the EU and, in the case of greenhouse gas standards only, the USA). Some countries, such as the UK and the Netherlands, have adapted this approach to subsidised wood-based bioenergy and others, such as Denmark, are considering doing the same.
UN Secretary-General, UK, Italy Outline Priorities for COP 26
By Leila Mead, IISD, 12 March 2020
UN Secretary-General António Guterres outlined priorities for the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP 26) during a briefing at UN Headquarters. The briefing was hosted by the UK, which will be assuming the COP 26 presidency in partnership with Italy.
COP 26 is scheduled to convene from 9-20 November 2020, in Glasgow, UK.
In his remarks on 6 March 2020, Guterres said limiting warming to 1.5°C requires that strategies be drawn up during 2020 in order to achieve emission reductions of 45% from 2010 levels by 2030, and to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
What Climate Change Can Teach Us About Fighting the Coronavirus
By Somini Sengupta, New York Times, 12 March 2020
“Alarming levels of inaction.” That is what the World Health Organization said Wednesday about the global response to coronavirus.
It is a familiar refrain to anyone who works on climate change, and it is why global efforts to slow down warming offer a cautionary tale for the effort to slow down the pandemic.
Coronavirus and climate change are two crises that need humanity to unite
By Andrew Norton, Climate Home News, 12 March 2020
Coronavirus was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation. It will have a huge global impact in 2020, not only on health and wellbeing, but also on our societies, economies and politics.
It is worth thinking through at this point what the impact of the pandemic may be on climate change and climate actions – in terms of emissions, global and national politics and social change.
Coronavirus outbreak’s silver lining for climate crisis likely to fade
By Marlowe Hood, apan Times, 12 March 2020
Economic shock waves from the coronavirus outbreak have curbed carbon pollution from China and beyond, but hopes for climate benefits from the slowdown are likely to be dashed quickly, experts say.
As governments prepare to spend their way out of the crisis, including with large infrastructure projects, global warming concerns will be little more than an afterthought, dwarfed by a drive to prop up a stuttering world economy, they say.
Coronavirus poses threat to climate action, says watchdog
By Jillian Ambrose, The Guardian, 12 March 2020
The coronavirus health crisis may lead to a slump in global carbon emissions this year but the outbreak poses a threat to long-term climate action by undermining investment in clean energy, according to the global energy watchdog.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) expects the economic fallout of Covid-19 to wipe out the world’s oil demand growth for the year ahead, which should cap the fossil fuel emissions that contribute to the climate crisis.
EDF Analysis: ICAO Council Must Resist Temptation to Water Down CORSIA
By Annie Petsonk, Environmental Defense Fund, 12 March 2020
On the eve of an important decision amid the spreading coronavirus, an analysis published today by Environmental Defense Fund cautions the International Civil Aviation Organization’s governing Council against making fundamental changes that would weaken the Carbon Offsetting and Reductions Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).
What’s the difference between carbon negative and carbon neutral?
By Emma Charlton, World Economic Forum, 12 March 2020
It’s getting hard to read the news without coming across a company promising to “reach net zero” or go “carbon neutral” or even become “carbon negative.”
Mining company Rio Tinto and airline Delta are among the latest companies announcing plans to go carbon neutral, while Amazon, Apple, Tesla and other tech giants are all committed to dramatically reducing their carbon footprints.
So what do all the different pledges mean and how can you compare them?
SDG15: How carbon offsets are protecting forests – and changing lives
By Mike Scott, BusinessGreen, 12 March 2020
The Upper Guinean Forest of West Africa is one of only three forested biodiversity hotspots in Africa. Until the end of the 19th century it covered most of Sierra Leone, Liberia, South-East Guinea, Southern Ivory Coast and South-West Ghana, but less than a fifth of this rainforest remains today.
The Greater Gola Landscape, straddling the Sierra Leone-Liberia border comprises the largest remnant of this critical ecosystem – over 350,000 hectares in a mosaic of protected areas, community forests, and smallholders’ agricultural lands.
[India] Mapping the ability of tea gardens to sequester carbon dioxide
By Sahana Ghosh, Mongabay, 12 March 2020
Can tea agroforestry mosaics in Assam, the world’s largest, contiguous tea-growing area in the world pitch in, in the fight against climate change?
Researchers working on sprawling tea estates to small tea gardens in Assam, in northeast India, are unraveling the carbon sequestration and climate change mitigation potential couched in tea bushes grown under the canopy of shade plants (native trees) in the plantations. The tea industry in Assam is about 172 years old. Assam alone produces more than half of India’s tea.
[Indonesia] Govt to create artificial rain in Riau to prevent wildfires
By Rizal Harahap, The Jakarta Post, 12 March 2020
The government has launched a weather modification technology (TMC) program to create artificial rain in Riau in an attempt to prevent forest fires with the region entering dry season.
The program will be administered by the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology Agency (BPPT), which has designated Resmin Nurjadin Air Force base in Pekanbaru as the WMT program command center in the area.
13 March 2020
Key reasons why tree planting so often fails
Nature-based Solutions Initiative, 13 March 2020
This paper provides a detailed overview of the major underlying challenges for successful forest and woodland restoration. The authors highlight 5 key challenges:
1) Performance indicators for forest restoration projects are often the number of trees planted or the area covered – this does not account for the fact that many of these trees may not survive in the long-term. Instead, indicators should be centered around the number of trees that grow and the area of land covered with grown trees.
Coronavirus may toughen airlines’ goals for curbing emissions in 2020s
By Chloé Farand, Climate Home News, 13 March 2020
The coronavirus outbreak has sent the aviation industry reeling from one of its biggest economic shocks in recent years.
But the virus is also putting the finger on one of the industry’s most difficult challenges: curbing the sector’s increasing greenhouse gas emissions from a baseline of 2019 and 2020.
U.N. aviation agency agrees to restrict carbon credits denounced by climate activists
By Allison Lampert, Reuters, 13 March 2020
The U.N.’s aviation agency on Friday approved restrictions for a global program designed to help airlines offset their carbon emissions, a move that curbs industry funding for older projects whose environmental benefits have been challenged by climate activists.
The International Civil Aviation Organization council approved recommendations to exclude offset projects begun before 2016 while delivering emission reductions through end-2020, ICAO said in a statement, confirming a report earlier in the day by Reuters.
Want To Understand Carbon Credits? Read This
By Erik Kobayashi-Solomon, Forbes, 13 March 2020
You know from my first article in this series that forestry and land-use innovations represent a uniquely efficient way to sequester atmospheric carbon dioxide. After reading through my second article in this series, you know about compliance and voluntary carbon offset markets and the basic mechanics of cap-and-trade.
By the time you finish this article, you will understand how carbon offset credits (a/k/a “carbon offsets”, “carbon credits”) work and see examples of how credits are generated in both the compliance and voluntary markets. Along the way, you’ll learn about some of the innovative business opportunities in this emerging field — a field that has the mother of all tailwinds supporting future demand.
BP deal boosts Santos’ CCS ambitions
By Craig Guthrie, Petroleum Economist, 13 March 2020
Santos’ plans to develop one of the world’s largest and cheapest carbon capture and storage (CCS) sites were boosted on 4 March when BP provisionally agreed to invest in the Australian independent gas producer’s first venture into CCS.
The agreement commits the UK major to investing A$20mn ($13mn) in Santos’ CCS project at its Moomba plant in northern South Australia, subject to a successful FID by the end of 2020. The project, which took Feed last year and targets 1.7mn t/yr of CO2 capture, is located within the Cooper basin, a 130,000km² Permian-Triassic sedimentary basin that Santos says will eventually have a reinjection capacity of 20mn t/yr for 50 years.
Finale features lessons learned in social forestry–climate change partnership
By Julie Mollins, CIFOR Forests News, 13 March 2020
In Jakarta last week, delegates celebrated more than a decade of partnership at a knowledge-sharing event where lessons learned and results were revealed to mark the conclusion of the ASEAN Swiss Partnership on Social Forestry and Climate Change (ASFCC) funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.
In Jakarta last week, delegates celebrated more than a decade of partnership at a knowledge-sharing event where lessons learned and results were revealed to mark the conclusion of the ASEAN Swiss Partnership on Social Forestry and Climate Change (ASFCC) funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.
Extreme El Niño drought, fires contribute to Amazon insect collapse: Study
By Taran Volckhausen, Mongabay, 13 March 2020
Imagine if your local trash collectors stopped showing up for work. Garbage would immediately pile up and the waste management system would eventually fail, causing the entire community to suffer. It appears something similar is happening in parts of the Amazon rainforest, where a recent study showed that one of nature’s most important waste management systems — the humble dung beetle — is becoming far scarcer in ecosystems stressed by climate change-driven drought, fire and human disturbances.
[Brazil] The Chain: Prima Foods, JBS to See Increased Scrutiny Over ESG, Deforestation Concerns Ahead of IPOs
Chain Reaction Research, 13 March 2020
Prima Foods SA, a meatpacker based in Brazil, is planning to launch an initial public offering (IPO). Prima Foods’ share offering is expected to be BRL 1 billion (USD 222 million). The company operates three slaughterhouses, which are located in Goias, Minais Gerias, and Mato Grosso do Sul, and almost two-thirds of its sales are exports, with China as the main destination. The company is planning to use the proceeds from going public to grow the company, whether through acquisitions or organic growth.
Prima Foods, the fourth-largest meat processor in Brazil, has limited direct deforestation exposure as its slaughterhouses operate in areas that have seen relatively little deforestation.
Climate crisis blamed for rains and floods that have killed 150 in Brazil
By Dom Phillips, The Guardian, 13 March 2020
About 150 people have been killed or are missing following record-breaking heavy rains, landslides and flooding in three Brazilian states this year.
Scientists say global heating is contributing to more “extreme rainfall” events in the country, and warned that such disasters could become “the new normal”.
Monsoon rains kill Brazilians every summer, with floodwaters filling streets and landslides afflicting poorer communities and favelas built on steep hillsides, often without proper drainage or sanitation.
[Pakistan] Carbon Absorption Count Being Made To Get Eco-conservation Claim, National Assembly Body Told
By Faizan Hashmi, UrduPoint, 13 March 2020
The Sub-committee of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Climate Change Friday was told that carbon, being absorbed by trees during the last seven-year, was being calculated to get Eco-conservation claim from global carbon market.
Previously, this exercise was carried out in 2004 to make carbon absorption count of the time spanning over eight years (2004-2012), the Ministry of Climate Change official told the committee which met here with Engineer Sabir Hussain Kaim Khani in the chair.
He added that the Carbon credits sink (the amount of carbon absorbed by a tree) was being estimated in the country under Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation Plus (REDD+) project.
Delivering transparency for sustainable agriculture in Paraguay
Trase, 13 March 2020
Paraguay’s Chaco region has one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world, as forests are cleared primarily for cattle ranching. And with the Chaco set to be a new agricultural frontier for soy production, this rate could further increase.
Trase’s research into the soy and beef supply chain in Paraguay improves transparency in these sectors. Our subnational datasets for Paraguay map the links between soy and beef-producing jurisdictions, trading companies and subsequent countries of import*. Trase therefore can show how Paraguay’s beef and soy exports are linked to agricultural conditions, including specific social and environmental risks such as deforestation, in the places where they are produced. This enables companies, governments and others to understand the risks and identify opportunities for more sustainable production.
[Thailand] Soldiers sent to fight forest fires in the North
By Greeley Pulitzer, The Thaiger, 13 March 2020
With Chiang Mai again declared the world’s most polluted city today, and with air quality worsening across northern Thailand, soldiers from Royal Thai Army 3rd Army Region have been deployed to detect and fight forest fires. Forest fires and agricultural burning, both in Thailand and neighbouring Cambodia, have created extremely poor air quality levels. Rangers from the 35th Scout Regiment have been deployed alongside the 32nd Scout Regiment from Nan Province, and the 31st Scout Regiment of Chiang Rai to detect fires in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Lampang provinces.
14 March 2020
Climate change: Will planting millions of trees really save the planet?
By David Shukman, BBC News, 14 March 2020
From Greta Thunberg to Donald Trump and airlines to oil companies, everyone is suddenly going crazy for trees.
The UK government has pledged to plant millions a year while other countries have schemes running into billions.
But are these grand ambitions achievable? How much carbon dioxide do trees really pull in from the atmosphere? And what happens to a forest, planted amid a fanfare, over the following decades?
The Coronavirus Pandemic Proves That We Can Overcome the Climate Crisis — If We Want To
By Martina Moneke, TruthDig, 14 March 2020
One positive takeaway from the world’s response to the coronavirus epidemic is that it’s entirely possible to successfully combat two other existential and intertwined global crises: climate change and air pollution. But “possible” doesn’t mean “probable.”
The European Space Agency (ESA) has produced a remarkable new video using data gathered from their Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite, which specifically tracks atmospheric air pollution. The images reveal a sharp and sudden decrease in nitrogen dioxide (NO2) over Italy from January to mid-February, which scientists believe is tied to the reduction in human activity in the nation due to the coronavirus outbreak. Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte ordered a lockdown across northern Italy on March 8 to try to contain the disease caused by the virus, COVID-19.
[India] Forest fires are back in South Karnataka
The Hindu, 14 March 2020
The scorching summer heat has brought to the fore the scourge of forest fire and sporadic incidents have been reported from South Karnataka during the last 24 hours.
Fires have been reported in Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary, MM Hills territorial division, and on the outskirts of Bandipur with officials engaged in dousing it.
Learning from past year’s forest fires in South-east Asia
By Simon Tay, Wu Hui Juan, and Aaron Choo, The Straits Times, 14 March 2020
Fires have raged across the world in the past year.
The haze from fires in Indonesian provinces affected not only Indonesia but also Malaysia and Singapore.
The trans-boundary haze situation was the worst since 2015 and the economic impact on Indonesia alone was estimated at US$5.2 billion (S$7.3 billion), according to the World Bank. There were also costs at the global level in terms of the massive release of climate change gases.
[UK] Patriotism could be the unlikely answer to solving the climate crisis
By Anatol Lieven, The Guardian, 14 March 2020
When it comes to fighting climate change and its effects, both greens and conservatives pay far too much attention to localism, voluntarism, and corporate responsibility. All are valuable; none are adequate. If, as many environmentalists say, the struggle against global heating requires a sense of wartime emergency, then fighting it while chiefly relying on these assets is as if Britain fought the Second World War relying on the Home Guard.
Last week’s budget contained some useful steps to limit carbon emissions; but they are far too small, and offset by road construction and the failure to lift the freeze on fuel taxes brought in 10 years ago.
[USA] Trump Steps In To Help Oil Industry Facing Its Own Coronavirus Crisis
By Jeff Brady, OPB, 14 March 2020
Oil prices bounced back a bit after President Trump said the Department of Energy would buy crude for the nation’s strategic petroleum reserve.
“We’re going to fill it right to the top,” Trump said Friday in a wide-ranging news conference at the White House. He said it will save taxpayers “billions and billions of dollars” while helping an industry that’s been reeling.
While oil prices increased nearly 5% after Friday’s announcement, that was just a fraction of the amount they lost earlier in the week.
15 March 2020
UN Airline Carbon Ruling Could Add Cost Pressure Amid Pandemic
By Mathew Carr, Bloomberg, 15 March 2020
The global aviation regulator’s decision to toughen a new carbon market for airlines will cut supply of emission credits to offset greenhouse gases as the coronavirus slams ticket sales.
Only credits from emissions-cutting projects beginning in the five years starting Jan. 1, 2016, will be allowed, the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organization said on Friday. The Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation, or Corsia, calls for airlines to compensate for their carbon growth beyond 2020 by buying emission credits.
[Thailand] Virus fears must not cloud the air
Bangkok Post, 15 March 2020
As fears over the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak grip the entire country, the other gravely serious threats to health, such as the lingering ultra-fine PM2.5 dust in the North, seem to have slipped from the state’s attention. This shouldn’t be the case.
Locals, as well as visitors to some provinces in the North, such as Chiang Mai, have over the past few days protested against the high levels of PM2.5, fine dust particles measuring 2.5 micrometres or less in diameter, in the air that continues to harm their health.
This hazardous smog has become a seasonal pollution staple in the North for nearly a decade now.
UK airlines call for multibillion bailout to survive Covid-19 crisis
By Rupert Jones, The Guardian, 15 March 2020
UK airline bosses are calling for an immediate multibillion-pound emergency bailout to prevent the industry potentially being wiped out by the coronavirus pandemic.
With the international travel industry facing a widespread shutdown, trade body Airlines UK has called for urgent action “now,” saying the government’s “prevarication” and “bean counting” had to stop.