Two weeks ago, journalist Johann Hari wrote a searing article in The Nation, raising important questions about conservation NGOs that accept funding from polluting corporations. Hari argues that the funding appears to have influenced the actions the NGOs take to address climate change.
“Why did America’s leading environmental groups jet to Copenhagen and lobby for policies that will lead to the faster death of the rainforests – and runaway global warming?” Good question. It comes from a new article by journalist Johann Hari in The Nation. In the article, “The Wrong Kind of Green”, Hari slams the corruption of US NGOs that receive corporate funding.
It really hasn’t been a good few weeks for The Nature Conservancy. First Greenpeace slammed TNC’s Noel Kempff project in Bolivia. Now investigative journalist Mark Schapiro reports from Brazil’s Atlantic Coast about TNC’s Guaraqueçaba project. Schapiro’s article in Mother Jones and a series of films on Frontline/World, document the impacts of the project.
Greenpeace recently released a report which illustrates clearly why REDD offset projects will neither address climate change nor stop deforestation. The report, “Carbon Scam: Noel Kempff Climate Action Project and the Push for Sub-national Forest Offsets”, looks in detail at the Noel Kempff Climate Action Project in Bolivia.
We know what The Nature Conservancy thinks about forest offsets. It loves them. It loves them so much that it has got into bed with the biggest coal-burner in the US, American Electric Power. Meanwhile, TNC has developed a “global mechanism proposal”, which includes a goal of 3 billion tons of “emissions reductions from REDD” by 2020.
Last week, an organisation called Avoided Deforestation Partners launched what they blandly describe as “an agreement on policies aimed at protecting the world’s tropical forests”. Under this agreement, “companies would be eligible to receive credit for reducing climate pollution by financing conservation of tropical forests”. It is a loophole allowing industry to write a cheque and continue to pollute.
This afternoon, the Woods Hole Research Center (WHRC) held a side event at the climate conference in Poznan titled “How REDD policy options interact with forest measuring and monitoring”. Not surpringly, since Wood Hole is, as the name suggests, a research centre, the presentations tended to be extremely technical.
The appointment of The Nature Conservancy to the governing board of the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) highlights the growing distance on climate policy between a small number of mostly US-based conservationist organisations and the mainstream of environmental, indigenous and progressive green groups worldwide, and will also serve to undermine recent claims by the World Bank that the FCPF is not only being used to kick-start forest carbon markets.