I wrote this post in June 2018, for iz3w (Informationszentrum 3. welt), an organisation based in Freiburg, Germany. A German translation of an edited version is published in the May/June 2019 issue titled, “Klimawandel” (Climate change). The following is the unedited version.
Dahr Jamail is a journalist who, since 2003, has reported on the realities of war in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan. For the past several years, he’s written about climate change. On Truthout, he writes the Climate Disruption Dispatches – a summary of the month’s science and reporting on climate change. The most recent is titled, “We Are Destroying Our Life Support System”.
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.”
Every year, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases. The CO2 concentration currently stands at 411.36 parts per million. In 2019, the UK Met Office predicts that the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere will be larger than in 2018. The increase in 2019 is likely to be one of the largest in 62 years of measurements.
In September 2014, more than 50 companies signed on to the New York Declaration on Forests. The declaration has a target to “At least halve the rate of loss of natural forests globally by 2020 and strive to end natural forest loss by 2030.”
Earlier this week, REDD-Monitor wrote about a 2,800 square kilometre oil palm plantation that threatens a huge area of forest in the district of Boven Digoel in the east of Papua Province. REDD proponents are silent on how REDD could stop this destruction and to prevent the setting off of a deforestation carbon bomb.
Data released by the Brazilian government last week reveals that deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon has reached its highest rate since 2008. In the period August 2017 to July 2018, an area of 7,900 square kilometres of forest was cleared. That’s an increase of 13.7% compared to the previous 12 months.
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 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.
“Early evidence from REDD+ projects suggests major challenges, including: ongoing weak enforcement of domestic laws on forests and land, leading to limited effectiveness; contestation or conflict over property rights and community benefits; as well as securitisation and violence, often perpetrated by government agencies.”
Harold Tjiptadjaja is Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer of Indonesia Infrastructure Finance, an institution created by the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and Indonesia’s Ministry of Finance. IIF funds oil and gas projects, airports, toll roads, seaports, and power generation, among other things.
This week Eco-Business reported Tjiptadjaja as saying that “Deforestation poses a bigger problem for the climate than burning coal in Indonesia”.