From the beginning, REDD proponents described saving rainforests as the “low-hanging fruit”. When he launched Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI) in December 2007, Norway’s then-prime minister Jens Stoltenberg told us that, “Through effective measures against deforestation we can achieve large cuts in greenhouse gas emissions – quickly and at low cost.”
The COP24 climate negotiations in Katowice are following the same predictable path that the UN climate meetings follow every year. After the first week, the negotiators are arguing, apparently unable to agree on anything much. Over the second week, as ministers arrive, everything will seem hopeless. Then, after a couple of late-night sessions at the end of the second week, an agreement will be found, and the Katowice Compromise can be applauded. The world will breathe a collective sigh of relief.
At the end of last week, California’s Air Resources Board held a public meeting to consider the endorsement of the California Tropical Forest Standard. After several hours and dozens of testimonies for and against the Tropical Forest Standard, the Board decided to postpone making a decision until April 2019.
On 16 November 2018, a public meeting will take place to discuss the California Tropical Forest Standard. The debate so far about the proposal to include REDD offsets in California’s cap and trade scheme reveals that the California Air Resources Board is heavily biased in favour of carbon trading and is not interested in addressing climate change.
On 5 September 2018, the California Air Resources Board released a draft California Tropical Forest Standard. A 191-page Draft Environmental Analysis was released on 14 September 2018. A public meeting will take place on 15 November 2018, and the California Air Resources Board is inviting comments on the Environmental Analysis before 5 pm on 29 October 2018.
In the last few weeks, California’s governor Jerry Brown has received two letters about climate change. One recommends that he should take meaningful action on climate change. The other recommends that he should provide a loophole to allow the oil industry to continue polluting.
A two day meeting is currently taking place at the Columbia Law School in New York of the Private Sector Advisory Group to the Green Climate Fund. On the agenda is the Green Climate Fund’s funding of forestry projects.
On 19 April 2018, a company called BAP Industries of Guatemala announced that it had signed a 10 year Bamboo Purchase Agreement with EcoPlanet Bamboo. Under the agreement, BAP Industries agreed to buy bamboo from EcoPlanet Bamboo’s plantations in Nicaragua.
Capital Alternatives Limited was part of a network of scam companies that offered “investments” to the general public including a rice farm in Sierra Leone, and carbon credits from projects in Sierra Leone, Brazil, and Australia. Last week, the High Court in London found that these “investments” were illegal collective investment schemes.
The Kariba REDD+ Project covers an area of 784,987 hectares in four districts of northwestern Zimbabwe. The project started in July 2011, and aims to generate almost 52 million carbon credits from reduced deforestation over its 30-year project life. The project is certified under the VCS and Climate Community and Biodiversity Standard systems.
In November 2017, Fern published a report titled, “Unearned credit: Why aviation industry forest offsets are doomed to fail”. The report takes aim at the aviation industry’s planned carbon trading mechanism, the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation.
Asia Beijing Corporation is cold calling victims of Renwick Haddow’s scam, Bar Works. Asia Beijing Corporation claims to be able to “exchange the toxic asset” for shares in Ant Financial Services Group. Of course, Asia Beijing Corporation is running a ridiculously obvious recovery room scam.