Two weeks ago, REDD-Monitor wrote about a new report by the Oakland Institute. The report is the third by the Oakland Institute about a Norwegian company called Green Resources, and the destructive impacts of its monoculture tree plantations on local communities in Uganda.
Alexandre de Juniac is a worried man. He’s head of the International Air Transport Association. And it’s not just the downturn in the global economy that’s got him worried. It’s the “flight shame” movement, which started in Sweden where it’s called flygskam, which De Juniac describes as the biggest threat to the airline industry in Europe.
California’s Air Resources Board (CARB) is set to consider an updated Tropical Forest Standard at a public meeting on 19 September 2019. CARB invited comments. Larry Lohmann of The Corner House sent in a comment that explores the “bottomless cesspit of intellectual corruption” that is today’s world of climate change politics:
The Oakland Institute has released a new report about the impact of Green Resources’ plantations in Uganda on local communities: “Evicted for Carbon Credits: Norway, Sweden and Finland displace Ugandan farmers for carbon traders”. The report is the Oakland Institute’s third about Green Resources, exposing the destructive impact the company’s plantations have had on local communities.
“The TFS [Tropical Forest Standard] approach risks producing a landslide of false credits due to the challenges with ensuring credited reductions are permanent, non-leaking, and additional, and the inherent possibility that other jurisdictions buying and selling TFS credits will interpret the TFS’ protections liberally. California should not lend its name to these efforts nor commit to the implausible project of monitoring other governments’ use of the TFS going forward.”
In April 2019, George Monbiot said, “I believe the age of offsets is over – I don’t think it should ever have begun – because it’s now clear that we have to decarbonise our economies pretty comprehensively across all sectors.” He’s written the same thing a couple more times recently.
“Good money after bad? Risks and opportunities for the Green Climate Fund in the Congo Basin Rainforests”, is the title of a new report by the Rainforest Foundation UK. The report focusses on the GCF and REDD, followed by a critical overview of the GCF’s planned projects in the forests of the Congo Basin.
By Chris Lang (REDD-Monitor) and Simon Counsell (Rainforest Foundation UK)
Unlike carbon capture and storage systems, trees do actually take carbon out of the atmosphere and store it – temporarily, at least. In theory, planting enough new trees, and allowing existing forests to grow and regenerate, could mop up some of the excess CO2 now in the atmosphere. The idea has been around since the mid-1970s, when theoretical physicist Freeman Dyson came up with the idea of planting vast areas with trees (“in countries where labor is cheap”) to soak up the CO2 that burning fossil fuels is putting in the atmosphere.
Recently, ProPublica published a well researched article on the pitfalls of generating carbon credits from forest conservation: “An (Even More) Inconvenient Truth: Why Carbon Credits For Forest Preservation May Be Worse Than Nothing”. The article caused quite a stir and generated a series of responses from REDD proponents.
“The era of carbon offsets is drawing to a close. Buying carbon credits in exchange for a clean conscience while you carry on flying, buying diesel cars and powering your home with fossil fuels is no longer acceptable or widely accepted.”
Recently, British journalist George Monbiot launched a Natural Climate Solutions campaign. In the spirit of encouraging debate about the dangers of offsetting emissions from fossil fuels against the carbon temporarily stored in ecosystems, I wrote a post asking the question, “Is the new Natural Climate Solutions campaign a distraction from the need to leave fossil fuels in the ground?”
Oil giants Eni and Shell have both recently announced plans to use trees to offset some of their ever increasing carbon emissions. Yesterday, NGOs put out a statement opposing the oil industry’s attempts to avoid its responsibility for climate breakdown. The statement is signed by six organisations (Friends of the Earth Mozambique and South Africa; Centre for Natural Resource Governance, Zimbabwe; No REDD in Africa Network; Re:Common, Italy; and Friends of the Earth International). The statement is endorsed by a further 109 organisations.