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.
Last week, six Members of the European Parliament wrote to the California Air Resources Board urging the ARB to reject the proposed California Tropical Forest Standard. In November 2018, the ARB held a public meeting about the proposed Tropical Forest Standard. But the Board failed to reach a decision at that meeting.
There is no better way of frying the planet than flying. The aviation sector is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gases. The industry plans make matters worse, by doubling the number of air passengers over the next 20 years.
In June 2018, the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) approved rules and standards for its planned carbon trading scheme, the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). We are sleepwalking into a climate disaster.
When a company buys REDD carbon credits to offset its continued pollution, it relies on certification organisations such as Verra (previously called Verified Carbon Standard) and the Forest Stewardship Council to prove that the project is genuine, well managed, and really does result in reduced emissions. World Rainforest Movement recently visited the state of Mato Gross, Brazil to investigate the Florestal Santa Maria REDD project. WRM’s report reveals the problems with REDD, the problems with relying on this sort of certification, and the false solution of offsetting emissions from flying.
From 11 to 29 June 2018, the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is meeting in Montreal. Among the topics to be discussed are the rules for the aviation industry’s plans to carry on polluting while offsetting its emissions through its carbon trading scam, the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).
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.
Last year, four academics published a paper in Conservation Biology, with the title, “Questioning REDD+ and the future of market-based conservation”. The paper starts with this memorable line, “Increasingly, one hears furtive whispers in the halls of conservation: ‘REDD+ is dead; it’s time to cut our losses and move on.’”
From 26 to 28 May 2017, a meeting took place in Xapuri, in the state of Acre, Brazil. The meeting brought together Apurinã, Huni Kui, Jaminawa, Manchineri and Shawadawa indigenous peoples, representatives of traditional communities, rubber tappers, academics and supporting organisations. The meeting’s theme was, “The effects of environmental / climatic policies on traditional populations”.
Almost 4,000 people are currently in Bonn, taking part in the latest UN climate talks. Many of them will have travelled there by aeroplane. Of course, it’s an important meeting. So important that Indonesia felt the need to register 58 people to take part. But reducing emissions from aviation is not on the agenda in Bonn. There is no mention of aviation in the Paris Agreement.
A recent article by Kate Wheeling in Pacific Standard magazine highlights four ways that the aviation sector’s carbon market proposals could undermine the Paris Agreement. The article points out that, “as the rest of the world is cutting back, aviation’s climate plan includes increasing emissions.”
On 7 October 2016, the General Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) announced its plans to set up a mechanism to offset its ever increasing greenhouse gas emissions. The Global Market-Based Measure is planned to start in 2021, but all the details (such as which carbon credits might be elligible) are still to be agreed.
Today, in Montreal, the 39th meeting of the International Civil Aviation Organisation starts. One of the agenda items is ICAO’s response to climate change. The industry’s preferred option is to continue expanding, to continue polluting, and to offset its emissions.
In September 2015, a meeting took place in New York between Per Pharo and Marte Sendstad of Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative, and Nigel Purvis from the Washington DC-based consulting firm, Climate Advisers.