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.”
A proposal from Brazil for results-based payments from the Green Climate Fund will be considered by the GCF board at the end of this month. If approved, it would set a terrible precedent, wasting GCF money without creating any incentive to protect forests in the future.
As climate breakdown gets worse, the corporations most responsible are looking for ways to continue profiting from ever increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Norway’s oil company Equinor is a classic example of this. The company plans to continue drilling oil – including in the Arctic – while investing in “natural climate solutions” to offset its emissions.
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.”
Eleven years ago, almost to the day, the government of Norway put out a press release: “Norway is prepared to increase its support for efforts to prevent deforestation in developing countries to about three billion kroner a year.” That’s about US$550 million per year.