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.
20 April 2020
Coronavirus: which governments are bailing out big polluters?
By Chloé Farand, Climate Home News, 20 April 2020
Across the world, carbon-intensive industries are lining up for state aid as the coronavirus pandemic continues to hammer the global economy.
With people staying at home to slow the spread of the disease, global oil demand has slumped by a third, hitting producers hard.
Climate campaigners are calling on governments to make relief for the fossil fuel industry dependent on tougher climate action. In the rush to protect businesses and workers from the impacts of the public health crisis, though, some polluters are being bailed out with no strings attached.
Evian serves up carbon neutral certification
By Cecilia Keating, BusinessGreen, 20 April 2020
Evian has been certified as carbon neutral across all its operations, some four years after it made the commitment at the historic COP21 Climate Summit in Paris.
The company said in a statement today that the milestone was achieved through “ambitious reductions” in emissions across all stages of the product life cycle, including design, production, shipping, and recycling. The resulting carbon neutral standard, PAS 2060, was awarded by British certification agency Carbon Trust.
Oil price crashes into negative territory for the first time in history amid pandemic
By Stephanie Kelly, Reuters, 20 April 2020
U.S. crude oil futures collapsed below $0 on Monday for the first time in history, amid a coronavirus-induced supply glut, ending the day at a stunning minus $37.63 a barrel as desperate traders paid to get rid of oil.
Brent crude, the international benchmark, also slumped, but that contract was nowhere near as weak because more storage is available worldwide.
What the Actual Fuck Is Happening With Oil Prices Right Now?
By Brian Kahn, Gizmodo, 20 April 2020
Oil companies will now pay you to take their damn oil. No, you are not that high. Well, maybe you are because it’s 4/20, but you’re still reading that correctly.
Monday is the absolute most staggering day in oil trading history. West Texas Intermediate, one of the most commonly traded oils on the market, plunged into negative territory for the first time ever. When I started writing this, WTI was at $0.19 per barrel. It hit minus $36.15 per barrel by the time I finished. That means oil producers are essentially paying traders to take oil off their hands as demand craters due to the coronavirus pandemic, which is why I’m considering turning my office into oil storage to help cover my rent.
[USA] 15 deaths in the airline industry in 9 days linked to coronavirus. Why are planes still flying?
By Kiera Feldman, Los Angeles Times, 20 April 2020
Somehow, word got around among retired New York City firefighters about a perfect second-career job: a local company, with lots of travel perks. One by one, they became flight attendants at JetBlue.
Ralph Gismondi was among the first of an estimated 30 or so former firefighters who joined the airline. He retired as a fire captain after several decades that included a stint at ground zero on 9/11. He began working as a flight attendant for JetBlue in 2003 and saw each trip as a chance to fine-tune his comedy routine over the public address system. On layovers, he would play the piano in hotel lobbies and rally other flight attendants for nights out on the town, coworkers said.
On April 5, Gismondi became the first JetBlue employee to die of COVID-19.
[USA] Lobbyists cash-in on COVID
By Lukas Ross, Friends of the Earth US, 20 April 2020
As the United States continues to lead the world in both coronavirus infections and deaths, some of the biggest lobbying firms in the country are seeing a spike in business. Their new clients? The oil, gas and plastics industries, looking to exploit the crisis for bailouts and other giveaways.
A review of new lobbying registrations filed since February 2020 indicates that polluters are preparing to further exploit the crisis of COVID-19. These filings show that the oil, gas and plastics industries have hired new lobbyists specifically to manipulate the policy responses to the coronavirus, including the spending of scarce stimulus dollars.
21 April 2020
Coronavirus shows the enormous scale of the climate crisis
By Matt Reynolds, Wired, 21 April 2020
The world is in the grip of two crises. The first, the coronavirus pandemic, was completely unknown to us just four months ago but has already warped our lives beyond all recognition. Next to the perilous urgency of coronavirus, the second great crisis, the climate crisis, may currently feel more distant than at any other point in the last decade. The devastating Australian bushfires were still burning when coronavirus started spreading in central China but already those events seemed consigned to a different era.
Looking Outside the Stratosphere to Solve Our Planet’s Greatest Challenge
By Elias Ayrey and Diego Saez Gil (Pachama), Maxar, 21 April 2020
Climate change is one of the biggest challenges humanity faces in the twenty-first century. From United Nations Summits to sustainability programs at Fortune 500 companies, entities across the globe are beginning to pledge to find ways to address this challenge.
As organizations respond, many are looking to reach “net-zero emissions,” that is taking as much carbon out of the atmosphere as one produces. But the most innovative global leaders are going further and committing to draw more carbon out of the air than they contribute to it. That is because not only must emissions be reduced, by developing alternative fuels and increasing alternative energy sources, but carbon dioxide must be removed from the atmosphere to reach international climate goals.
‘Our climate crisis is a choice’: Christiana Figueres on why we can change the future – books podcast
The Guardian, 21 April 2020
In 2009, the UN climate summit in Copenhagen ended in failure when governments around the world failed to reach an agreement on how to tackle the climate crisis. Then along came Christiana Figueres, the Costa Rican diplomat who spearheaded international talks and brought the world together to reach the historic Paris Agreement, where, just six years after “Brokenhagen”, 195 countries came to a consensus.
Now she has teamed up with her former strategy adviser, the environmental economist Tom Rivett-Carnac, to examine what the next 30 years will bring in their book, The Future We Choose. Richard sat down with Christiana and Tom in an interview recorded before the coronavirus outbreak.
IATA starts discussions with ICAO on changing CORSIA baseline to exclude 2020 emissions
GreenAir, 21 April 2020
As IATA’s regular updates on the Covid-19 impact on the air transport industry become increasingly pessimistic, many analysts are warning of an extended crisis with global air traffic not returning to previous levels for some years. IATA has raised its previous forecast on industry losses in 2020 by 25% to $314 billion and a near halving of passenger traffic (RPKs) and capacity. The airline industry body has already started discussions with ICAO on changing the CORSIA baseline to avoid including 2020 emissions in the calculation, which would lead to an increased offset purchasing requirement during the course of the 15-year scheme. Both the EU and the US have shown some sympathy with the request. However, the European mood is that airlines should not escape their climate responsibilities as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and that aid should come with strings attached.
Halve the farmland, save nature, feed the world
By Tim Radford, Climate News Network, 21 April 2020
Forget about organic farming: get the best out of the best cropland, return the rest to nature and still feed the world. It could work, say researchers.
Once again, scientists have demonstrated that humans could restore roughly half the planet as a natural home for all the other wild things, while at the same time feeding a growing population and limiting climate change.
Summer’s bushfires released more carbon dioxide than Australia does in a year
By Adam Morton, The Guardian, 21 April 2020
Australia’s devastating bushfire season is likely to have released 830m tonnes of carbon dioxide, far more than the country’s annual greenhouse gas pollution, according to a government estimate.
If compared with international emissions, it suggests the Australian temperate forest bushfires between September and February would rank sixth on a list of polluting nations, behind only China, the US, India, Russia and Japan.
Greenpeace takes Arctic oil lawsuit to Norway’s supreme court
By Megan Darby, Climate Home News, 21 April 2020
Greenpeace is taking the fight against Arctic oil drilling to Norway’s supreme court, after two lower courts rejected calls for a ban.
Together with Nature & Youth, the Norwegian branch of Friends of the Earth, the campaign group has been arguing since 2016 that Arctic oil drilling breaches the constitutional right to a healthy environment for future generations.
[UK] Richard Branson’s bailout plea proves there’s no one more shameless
By Marina Hyde, The Guardian, 21 April 2020
Motorboating enthusiast Richard Branson is playing a particularly idiosyncratic game of Monopoly. He would like to mortgage his private Caribbean island. In return, you, the taxpayer, have to buy him Mayfair and Park Lane, all the greens, all the yellows, all the reds, and stick a hotel on every one of them. Also, if Richard lands on Super Tax or Income Tax he doesn’t pay them. And if he gets the Community Chest saying “pay hospital fees”, he refuses and sues the hospital. The only bright side is that he no longer operates out of any of the stations.
[USA] Amazon invests $10 million to help conserve forests as part of climate change plan
By Annie Palmer, CNBC, 21 April 2020
Amazon is investing $10 million to help conserve or restore forests in the northeastern U.S., as part of its pledge to be carbon neutral by 2040, the company announced Tuesday.
It marks the first investment from Amazon’s $100 million Right Now Climate Fund, which was first unveiled last September in partnership with The Nature Conservancy, and aims to restore and protect forests, wetlands and peatlands around the world, with the goal of removing carbon from the atmosphere. The fund is a part of Amazon’s “Climate Pledge,” wherein the company also pledged to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement by 2040, a decade ahead of the Paris accord’s goal. President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement in 2017.
[USA] Reverb unveils carbon offset shipping initiative
By Daniel Seah, Guitar.com, 21 April 2020
Reverb has launched a new eco-friendly initiative, investing in carbon-absorbing projects to offset 100 per cent of its shipping-related emissions.
Beginning 22 April (Earth Day), all purchases made through Reverb will have their shipping-related carbon emissions balanced out with an investment to forest conservation projects – namely, ones protecting forests known for producing music instrument woods.
22 April 2020
Will carbon offsetting boom after COVID-19?
By João Santos, Mustard Seed MAZE, 22 April 2020
Carbon offsets have gained corporate momentum since 2017, sparking a new wave of startups trying to capitalize on our growing environmental awareness. In this article, we look at what offsetting is and our expectations for the future of this industry, including:
How offsetting works aka “Why can I offset my flight for 5 bucks?”
Why COVID-19 may drive climate change leadership.
Where founders and investors should look at to find winners in this market: B2B startups who offer offsetting as a feature, not a product.
Faced with a crisis, airlines seek delay on climate measures
By Catherine Early, ChinaDialogue, 22 April 2020
Aviation is one of the earliest and most visible economic losers of restrictions introduced to stop the spread of Covid-19, with 95% of passenger flights grounded. The industry says it is facing over US$250 billion in losses this year.
Recent weeks have seen regular cries for help from individual airlines and the sector more broadly, closely followed by condemnation from environmental and social justice campaigners, suspicious that the aviation industry is using the crisis to further delay action on climate change.
COVIDeniers: Anti-Science Coronavirus Denial Overlaps with Climate Denial
DeSmog, 22 April 2020
The climate science denial machine created by the fossil fuel industry is now a major source of COVID-19 disinformation. Deniers have deployed many of the same tactics they have used to attack climate scientists and delay action to downplay the severity of the coronavirus outbreak and sow distrust in the response efforts of governments, scientists and the medical community — with deadly consequences that are now unfolding before our eyes.
Others have used the threat of COVID-19 to argue against action to address climate change, which would leave us all more vulnerable to the wide array of future catastrophes that scientists say will result from additional degrees of warming.
Why Going ‘Carbon Neutral’ Doesn’t Let Airlines Off the Hook
By Tristan Kennedy, Vice, 22 April 2020
On the 14th of February this year – shortly before airlines started grounding their planes, furloughing their staff and applying for government bailouts – Delta made a surprise announcement. From the beginning of March, their entire operation would be carbon neutral. One of the world’s largest airlines was promising to spend $1 billion (£807 million) over the next decade, in “a commitment to mitigate all emissions from March 2020 forward”. They weren’t the first major carrier to make such an announcement – EasyJet had made a similar pledge back in November.
A Look at the Oil Industry’s Favorite Climate Solutions
By Justin Mikulka, DeSmog, 22 April 2020
Shell recently announced plans to “stop adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere by 2050,” a move hailed by some as a major step towards addressing climate change. Around the same time, however, the oil and gas major confirmed it would go ahead with its investment in a joint $6.4 billion gas project in Australia.
This approach of saying one thing about addressing climate change while doing the opposite has been standard practice for the oil and gas industry for decades. Another popular strategy for the industry is to push certain climate “solutions” — often with slick advertising campaigns — that sound good in theory but are not viable in practice.
Drop in emissions due to pandemic won’t fix climate, WMO says
By Emma Farge, Reuters, 22 April 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to cause the biggest fall in carbon dioxide emissions since World War Two but it will likely be short-lived and will not stop climate change, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Wednesday.
The WMO expects a 6% drop in carbon emissions this year, an estimate on the high end of a range given by scientists, but the U.N. agency warned that it could be followed by even higher emissions growth than before the crisis.
Five demands for a just transition towards aviation de-growth and clean transport solutions
Greenpeace EU, 22 April 2020
The air transport sector is one of the most affected by the coronavirus crisis : airlines and airports could be compelled to close and workers are already losing their jobs or regular wages (for example at Norwegian Air, Ryanair, Virgin Airlines or Wizz’air). EU air traffic has been cut by up to 95% and analysts say that air traffic growth will be slowed down for years.
Natural Forests: The Greenest “Infrastructure” on Earth
By Danna Smith, Dogwood Alliance, 22 April 2020
Diverse, intact forests are literally the greenest infrastructure on Earth, vital to our health and survival. They are the ultimate water pumps, critical to ensuring abundant, fresh water supplies. They provide natural air filtration, storm protection, food, medicine, recreation, and a place to find peace. Yet environmental policy solutions put forward in America today largely fail to recognize protecting existing, natural forests as a “green infrastructure” priority.
ICC’s New Carbon Council Will Implement Blockchain for Carbon Market
By Mohammad Musharraf, CoinTelegraph, 22 April 2020
International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) launched its new Carbon Council initiative to celebrate Earth Day’s 50th anniversary, which will work on bringing higher liquidity to the carbon market through the use of blockchain.
ICC is an institutional representative of more than 45 million companies in 100 countries. Considering their extensive reach, this could be a big win for both the carbon market and the blockchain industry.
National Bank of Canada : Purchasing Emission Allowances and Carbon Credits
By Michael Dabaie, MarketScreener, 22 April 2020
National Bank of Canada said it signed an agreement with two organizations to purchase emission allowances and carbon credits.
The financial group said this enables it to offset greenhouse gas emissions related to its 2019 operations and take an additional step toward achieving its carbon neutrality objectives.
The bank said it purchased emission allowances through Coop Carbone on the Quebec cap-and-trade system, which aims to facilitate net greenhouse gas reductions for all participants while promoting the implementation of clean technologies.
[Indonesia] The coronavirus pandemic is a wakeup call for a healthier planet
By Courtney Howard and Kinari Webb, Changing America, 22 April 2020
This Earth Day, let’s consider the health of the planet. The coronavirus crisis is perhaps the biggest wakeup call we have ever had to the fact that failing to take nature into account puts our own health in danger. The result of a zoonotic virus that transferred from animals due to a lack of attention to the interface between humanity and the rest of the natural world, this pandemic highlights the need for us to reframe health in terms of planetary health, defined in 2015 by the Lancet as “the health of human civilization and the state of the natural systems upon which it depends.”
[Kenya] Earth Day: Intrepid celebrates 100,000th tree planted
Travel Weekly, 22 April 2020
Although travel is currently not an option for individuals around the world, the tour company said it is still committed to doing its part for climate action by matching trees planted with every subscription through its Offset Earth page.
“Planting over 100,000 trees in Kenya’s Intrepid Forest is a fantastic milestone to hit this Earth Day and we want to thank all those who have subscribed to our Offset Earth project to date,” said James Thornton, CEO of Intrepid Travel.
[USA] Making the Fed’s Money Printer Go Brrrr for the Planet
By Kim Stanley Robinson, Bloomberg, 22 April 2020
Capital has a tendency to get invested at the perceived highest rate of return, and so we have a tendency towards doom.
Getting human civilization into a healthy and sustainable balance with the biosphere is going to be expensive. It will never be the most profitable investment out there, being a matter of mitigations, infrastructure replacements, decarbonization, and the creation of new and cleaner technologies. The market misprices things such that none of these activities will turn the largest short-term profit, so they are insufficiently attractive to private investment, and we are therefore headed for a mass extinction event.
Oops! Just the way it is! Nothing to be done but proceed!
23 April 2020
The wheel of first-time climate dudes
By Emily Atkin, Heated, 23 April 2020
Over the last few days, many readers have asked me to watch and review Michael Moore’s new climate change documentary, “Planet of the Humans.”
The documentary—released for free on YouTube for Earth Day—makes some controversial arguments. They include:
Renewable energy is a sham;
Environmentalists have been duped by the fossil fuel industry into thinking it can work;
The only way to save humanity now is through consumption reduction and population control.
“We are not going to be able to solar panel and windmill our way out of this,” said Moore, the film’s executive director, in a Tuesday interview with Stephen Colbert, whose show averages 3.1 million viewers a night.
Banking on climate breakdown
By Brendan Montague, Ecologist, 23 April 2020
Barclays and HSBC must address their role in funding the climate crisis and contribute to delivering a sustainable recovery from the impacts of COVID-19, announces new report from a coalition of NGOs released ahead of the UK banks’ annual general meetings.
It highlights their role as the two European banks providing the most funding for fossil fuel companies – a combined £158 billion since the signing of the Paris Agreement in 2015 – and calls on them to phase out finance for all oil, coal and gas projects that conflict with the international target of limiting global warming to 1.5°C.
Now Is the Right Moment for Building Inclusive, Diverse, and Non-Partisan Support for Nature
By Mark Tercek, Medium, 23 April 2020
Covid-19 poses an enormous challenge to health and humanity that must be fully addressed as soon as possible, and with all necessary resources. But the crisis also provides the opportunity to build more inclusive support for nature. We should seize it.
Change is underway because of Covid. First, governments around the world will continue with ambitious stimulus programs. As I addressed in a previous blog, environmentalists can push for these programs to include investments in nature (i.e., “green infrastructure”) by emphasizing the very useful services that nature delivers. Second, people now know that if we don’t respect science, the consequences are terrible. Third, more and more people want to get past polarization and divisiveness. They want to find common ground and support smart, common sense ways to move forward.
COVID-19 and what it means for wild meat
CIFOR Forests News, 23 April 2020
The spread of diseases from animals to humans—called zoonoses—is a public health issue as evidenced by the COVID-19 pandemic. As efforts to curb pandemic accelerate, many conservationists are welcoming China’s move to outlaw hunting and consumption of wild animals. Yet, the ban may put millions of forest dwellers at risk from food insecurity, as Indigenous or rural communities often consume wild meat as their main source of protein.
Pachama And Planet Partner To Protect And Restore Forests Globally
By Nick Kelleher, Planet, 23 April 2020
Pachama, a Silicon Valley carbon credit marketplace, is announcing a partnership with Planet, the leading provider of global, near-daily satellite imagery data, to validate and monitor forest conservation and reforestation carbon projects around the world. The new partnership will result in the monitoring of forests across North and South America, and will scale to increase the transparency and accountability of carbon markets worldwide.
Satellite data show Amazon rainforest likely drier, more fire-prone this year
By Shanna Hanbury, Mongabay, 23 April 2020
Huge swaths of Brazil’s Amazon rainforest are drier than usual after a rainy season with rainfall index well below historical levels, raising concerns about a further spike in wildfires and deforestation as the dry season approaches.
Data from NASA and the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE) points to stressed climate conditions: the soil is drier, temperatures are higher, and groundwater is depleted. Peak rainy season, which runs from December to February, was among the top 10 worst on record this year, with just 75% of the season’s usual rainfall.
[Belize] Friends for Conservation and Development recommend proposals to mitigate forest fires
Breaking Belize News, 23 April 2020
Frіеndѕ fоr Соnѕеrvаtіоn аnd Dеvеlорmеnt (FСD) іnfоrmеd thаt оn Арrіl 23, аn оvеr-flіght ѕuрроrtеd bу thе Рrоtесtеd Аrеаѕ Соnѕеrvаtіоn Тruѕt (РАСТ) wаѕ соnduсtеd соvеrіng 90 kіlоmеtrеѕ оf thе wеѕtеrn bоrdеr wіth thе аіm оf dосumеntіng thе ехtеnt оf fоrеѕt fіrеѕ іn thе Сhіquіbul-Мауа Моuntаіnѕ.
FСD nоtеѕ thаt fоrеѕt fіrеѕ аrе оmіnоuѕlу vіѕіblе thrоughоut thе lаndѕсаре аnd а blаnkеt ѕmоkе іѕ dеѕсеndіng оvеr аnd соvеrіng thе tоwnѕ аnd vіllаgеѕ.
Іn thе Vаса Fоrеѕt Rеѕеrvе, lаrgе раtсhеѕ оf fоrеѕt hаvе bееn сlеаrеd аnd fіrеѕ аrе асtіvеlу fumіng аnd саrbоn еmіѕѕіоnѕ ѕеnt tо thе аtmоѕрhеrе.
Forest fires in Indonesia set to add toxic haze to COVID-19 woes
By Hans Nicholas Jong, Mongaby, 23 April 2020
Forest fires are starting to break out in parts of Indonesia as the dry season gets underway, threatening to compound respiratory illnesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fires have already appeared in Sumatra and Kalimantan, the Indonesian portion of the island of Borneo. Both regions host large swaths of highly flammable and carbon-rich peatlands, which farmers typically burn at the start of the dry season to prepare for planting.
[Thailand] Key to controlling wildfires lies with communities
By David Ganz (RECOFTC), Bangkok Post, 23 April 2020
While attention is focused on the coronavirus pandemic, we must also be alert to another fast-spreading hazard claiming lives — wildfires.
Several people died this year fighting fires in northern Thailand. Now, hundreds of fires are burning there, in Laos and Myanmar. We expect more fires soon in Indonesia, where the fire season is just beginning. Without controls, forest fires in Southeast Asia will continue to threaten people’s health and livelihoods while destroying biodiversity and fuelling climate change.
[Ukraine] Chernobyl still burns
By Rashid Alimov, Greenpeace, 23 April 2020
Early in the morning of April 26, 1986, the fourth reactor exploded at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine. 34 years later, Chernobyl radioactivity is still circulating. The long-lived radionuclides released by the accident mean the disaster continues decades on.
The wildfires started on April 3rd, due to abnormally hot, dry and windy weather. They are now the biggest fires ever recorded in the Chernobyl exclusion zone. What is one of the largest wildlife areas in Europe will take years to recover.
[USA] Could Microsoft’s climate crisis ‘moonshot’ plan really work?
By Oscar Schwartz, The Guardian, 23 April 2020
Microsoft drew widespread praise in January this year after Brad Smith, the company’s president, announced their climate “moonshot”.
While other corporate giants, such as Amazon and Walmart, were pledging to go carbon neutral, Microsoft vowed to go carbon negative by 2030, meaning they would be removing more carbon from the atmosphere than they produced.
24 April 2020
Humans Aren’t the Virus
By Fiore Longo (Survival International), CounterPunch, 24 April 2020
It’s time for a confession. Not long ago, I was sitting on the floor in a remote part of India and was given a plate of rice and meat. As a daughter of the Western world, I couldn’t stop myself asking where the meat originated. My hosts gave each other a sidelong glance (never a good sign!) before answering with a smile, “Tribal meat.” It was bat. What local people took for granted as part of their way of life, seemed to me at the time another tale to embellish my adventurer status among friends in Europe. Then, a few months ago, something happened, something that seemed to be from a movie, which no ordinary member of the public expected would ever happen for real.
To prevent the next pandemic, we must transform our relationship with nature
By Gavin Edwards, WWF, 24 April 2020
It has been widely reported that COVID-19 is likely to have originated sometime in late 2019 when an individual in Wuhan, China, was infected by a virus from an animal. Scientists suspect it may have jumped from a bat by way of an intermediary animal, such as a pangolin.
Having made the leap to humans, the virus is dealing a terrible toll in terms of human lives and suffering, and has precipitated an unprecedented economic crisis. It also exploits the grossly inequitable world in which we live — for example many African countries with lower levels of healthcare resources available are facing potentially catastrophic impacts on their people and economies.
Indigo Ag’s plan to compensate farmers for carbon removal is attracting funders such as FedEx
By Owen Poindexter, BusinessGreen, 24 April 2020
There’s an old saying that you get what you pay for when it comes to things that separate you from the ground, such as shoes, tires and beds. The same is true for what comes out of the ground, and when it comes to the American agricultural industry, that’s a problem, because the large majority of farmers are paid for quantity, not quality.
While certain labels, namely “organic,” allow farmers to charge a premium to a niche market, there is no inherent bonus to farms for following most pro-climate practices, such as planting cover crop. That’s an issue for the climate, but also a failure of the market.
Questions remain over green aspects of EU recovery plan
By Frédéric Simon, EURACTIV.com, 24 April 2020
Last month, they urged the Commission to promote “the green transition and the digital transformation” as part of the post-pandemic recovery plan.
The priority is “first to repair crisis damage,” said Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in a press conference after the summit. “And then generate recovery, build resilience and guide our economies along the paths of the green and digital transitions in a fair manner”.
The exact amount of the recovery fund is still a matter of discussion but should be of “unprecedented” magnitude, EU leaders agreed.
Twelve rangers among 16 killed in ambush at DRC gorilla park
By Jason Burke, The Guardian, 24 April 2020
Suspected Hutu militiamen have killed 16 people, including 12 rangers, in the Virunga national park, a Democratic Republic of the Congo government official has said, in the deadliest attack in the park’s recent history.
The park in eastern DRC, home to critically endangered mountain gorillas as well as hundreds of other rare species, has faced repeated incursions and attacks by local armed groups.
Challenges and potential for landscape approaches in Northern Ghana
By Eric Bayala, Thomas Addoah, Mathurin Zida, and Houria Djoudi, CIFOR Forests News, 24 April 2020
From illegal logging to wildlife poaching, uncontrolled agricultural expansion, poor coordination among agencies and closed processes – the list of challenges facing people living and working in shared landscapes in Northern Ghana is long and complex.
These challenges potentially undermine resource sustainability and efforts to conserve valuable biodiversity, stakeholders said during a scoping trip led by team members from the Collaborating to Operationalize Landscape Approaches for Nature, Development and Sustainability (COLANDS) project.
[USA] Q&A: How Companies Can Benefit from the AFF’s Family Forest Carbon Program
Sustainable Brands – sponsored by American Forest Foundation, 24 April 2020
The American Forest Foundation’s new program harnesses the collective potential of smaller US landowners to help them participate in carbon markets and carbon-credit schemes — not only benefiting them, but helping the companies that support them fuel the fight against climate change.
For more than 75 years, the American Forest Foundation (AFF) has helped family forest owners to promote forest stewardship and protect the nation’s forest heritage. Family-owned forests account for more than one-third of forest land in the United States, so — although each individual holding may be small — collectively, they make up an area the size of Texas and California, combined.
25 April 2020
The Solutions to the Climate Crisis No One is Talking About
By Robert Reich, Common Dreams, 25 April 2020
Both our economy and the environment are in crisis. Wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few while the majority of Americans struggle to get by. The climate crisis is worsening inequality, as those who are most economically vulnerable bear the brunt of flooding, fires, and disruptions of supplies of food, water, and power.
At the same time, environmental degradation and climate change are themselves byproducts of widening inequality. The political power of wealthy fossil fuel corporations has stymied action on climate change for decades. Focused only on maximizing their short-term interests, those corporations are becoming even richer and more powerful — while sidelining workers, limiting green innovation, preventing sustainable development, and blocking direct action on our dire climate crisis.
26 April 2020
It’s a galloping goodbye to Europe’s coal
By Kieran Cooke, Climate News Network, 26 April 2020
The energy that has powered a continent for several hundred years, driving its industry, fighting its wars and keeping its people warm, is on the way out, fast: Europe’s coal is in rapid decline.
Coal is far and away the most polluting of fossil fuels and is a major factor in the build-up of climate-changing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
But, according to a recent report by two of Europe’s leading energy analyst groups, the use of coal for power generation among the 27 countries of the European Union fell by a record 24% last year.
Climate crisis: Norway accused of ‘acting like Trump’ over refusal to set protected Arctic zone in areas where oil firms want to drill
By Tom Embury-Dennis, Independent, 26 April 2020
Norway has come under fire from environmental groups who accuse it of caving to oil companies over a decision to shift an Arctic no-go zone.
The Norwegian government on Friday proposed a minor extension of the so-called ice edge boundary, which marks the edge of the Arctic beyond which firms are barred from drilling for oil.
But the planned boundary re-drawing excludes any areas for which licenses have already been granted — going against the advice issued by the government’s own scientists, who urged a far larger extension southwards.