Note: Jeff Conant is a good friend and former Communications Director for Global Justice Ecology Project.
-The GJEP Team
By Jeff Conant, June 17, 2013. Source: Friends of the Earth
In Sofala province, Mozambique, a group of initiatives collectively known as the N’hambita Pilot Project have been promoted as a flagship program for the protection of forests and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The United Nations cites it as a model example; well-known retailers in Europe have purchased credits that claim to offset their carbon footprint through the scheme; the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA) — the group that certifies many Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) projects — says it meets their Gold Level standard for project design. The European commission has funded it to the tune of 1.5 million euros. But does the N’hambita project live up to its reputation?
Today a group of NGOs in Europe, including Friends of the Earth France and FERN in the UK, have issued a report called “Carbon Discredited: The offset project that couldn’t count its own trees,” that charges that the N’hambita Forest Carbon Offset Pilot Project, run by the company Envirotrade, and initially funded by European Commission (EC), has failed to deliver most of its climate change, development, and financial objectives.
The findings are particularly relevant to concerns about climate policy as viewed from the US, as the N’hambita project is the flagship example of a case where developing countries — in this case, the EU — seek to offset their industrial emissions by purchasing carbon credits from a tropical forest protection scheme. California is seeking to do much the same through its pending REDD+ offsets agreements with Chiapas, Mexico and Acre, Brazil. Whether the N’hambita project is deemed to be a success or failure is important not merely because of the public money the European Commission poured into the project, or because of the immediate impact on the people and forests of Sofala province, but because it will have a long-lasting influence on developed countries’ approaches to carbon offsetting and international support for forest protection.
By Stephen Leahy, June 12, 2013. Source: Inter Press Service
Civil society organisations warn that if agriculture becomes part of a carbon market, it will spur more land grabbing in Africa. Photo: Patrick Burnett/IPS
UXBRIDGE, Canada – U.N. climate talks have largely stalled with the suspension of one of three negotiating tracks at a key mid-year session in Bonn, Germany.
Meanwhile, civil society organisations claim the controversial issue of “carbon farming” has been pushed back onto the agenda after African nations objected to the use of their lands to absorb carbon emissions.
At the Bonn Climate Change Conference this week, Russia insisted on new procedural rules. That blocked all activity in one track of negotiations called the “Subsidiary Body for Implementation” (SBI). The SBI is a technical body that was supposed to discuss finance to help developing countries cope with climate change, as well as proposals for “loss and damage” to compensate countries for damages.
The SBI talks were suspended Wednesday.
“This development is unfortunate,” said Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Continue reading
Filed under Africa, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, Corporate Globalization, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Food Sovereignty, Green Economy, Industrial agriculture, Land Grabs, REDD, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests, World Bank
Photo: Migrant Diaries
Guna General Congress in Panama takes historic decision: Guna Yala territory free from REDD+, June 2013
During its meeting on 9th June, the Guna General Congress in Panama took the historic decision to reject all REDD+ projects in the Gunayala territory. Alongside this rejection of all REDD+ projects, the Congress took the specific decision to reject a proposed REDD+ pilot project in the region, after 2 years of public consultations.
For more information, click here to read the Congress’ resolution (only available in Spanish).
Filed under Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Green Economy, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, REDD, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests
By Chris Lang, June 11, 2013. Source: REDD-Monitor
Safeguards. Reference levels. Non-carbon benefits. Drivers of deforestation and degradation. Non-market-based approaches. Measuring, reporting and verifying. Results-based finance. Adequate and predictable support. Institutional arrangements.
Yes, it’s the REDD negotiations at the UNFCCC. Again. Between 3-13 June 2013, UN climate change negotiators are meeting in Bonn, Germany.
Philippines negotiator Tony La Viña comments on Facebook, below a photograph of the Maritim Hotel where the meetings are taking place:
Here we are again. It was in the Maritim in Bonn where we negotiated most of the Kyoto Protocol in 1997. Every year since then we meet here at least once, sometime twice a year. Now, 16 years later, we are negotiating yet again a new climate change agreement which will hopefully be adopted in Paris in 2015.
REDD, of course, was not part of the Kyoto Protocol. It may well be part of the Paris agreement. Before the meetings in Bonn started, CIFOR produced a useful overview of the issues relating to REDD to be discussed in Bonn. Continue reading
Note: Global Justice Ecology Project is the North American focal point for Global Forest Coalition.
-The GJEP Team
June 3, 2013. Source: Global Forest Coalition
As another round of climate talks opens today in Bonn, Germany, a coalition of human rights and forest groups have launched a manual for communities on alternatives to REDD+ and other forms of ‘green land grabbing’.
The manual, which has been produced by the Global Forest Coalition, Critical Information Collective, Biofuelwatch, the ICCA Consortium and EcoNexus highlights the risks of REDD+ projects and large-scale bioenergy production schemes for communities. Many of these schemes have been associated with involuntary displacements of communities and other forms of so-called ‘green land grabbing’.
“REDD+ was promoted with the fairy tale that it would generate up to 30 billion USD per year in payments to countries and communities who conserve forests, but the voluntary forest carbon offset market has provided less than 1 percent of that amount and public funding is declining” cautions Simone Lovera, executive director of the Global Forest Coalition, who will attend the upcoming talks. ”So Indigenous Peoples and local communities risk being cheated into contracts that take away their rights to control their own lands and territories in exchange for very uncertain financial rewards.” Negotiations about REDD+ funding stalled at the climate talks in December 2012.
Demand for biomass (for biofuels and for manufacturing in proposed new ‘bioeconomies’) is already increasing rapidly, and is likely to lead to yet more landgrabbing and industrial logging in forests.
Note: Jeff Conant is a good friend and former Communications Director at Global Justice Ecology Project. Global Justice Ecology Project has been tracking the California-Acre-Chiapas REDD deal since it was unveiled at the UN climate negotiations in Cancun, Mexico in 2010.
In 2011, GJEP’s Co-Director/Strategist Orin Langelle and Communications Director Jeff Conant travelled to Chiapas, Mexico to the Village of Amador Hernandez, an Indigenous village in the Lacandon Jungle of Chiapas threatened with relocation due to the REDD project. Langelle took hundreds of photos in the community and the region which were assembled into a poignant photo essay. And GJEP’s work in Chiapas broke the story of and documented the emerging impacts of REDD. In 2012, GJEP released a short documentary from the trip, A Darker Shade of Green: REDD Alert and the Future of Forests, highlighting the California REDD deal.
-The GJEP Team
By Chris Lang, May 21, 2013. Source: REDD-Monitor
The debate about whether California should allow REDD carbon offsets in its cap and trade scheme (AB 32) continues. Over the weekend, theSacramento Bee published two opinion pieces, one opposing REDD credits and one in favour.
Jeff Conant, International Forests Campaigner for Friends of the Earth, argues against REDD credits. In favour of REDD are Dan Nepstad, director and president of the Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM), and Tony Brunello, the executive director of the Green Technology Leadership Group, partner at California Strategies and former California deputy secretary for climate change and energy.
So far, the discussion in the comments on the Sacramento Bee website following these two articles is dominated by climate sceptics. What follows is a summary of the arguments in the hope of generating a more sensible discussion (either here or on the Sacramento Bee website).
Conant argues that AB 32 is “one of the most forward-thinking pieces of climate legislation in the country”, but one that is already undermined by the inclusion of carbon offsets. It would only be undermined further by the inclusion of REDD credits from a “dubious and untried scheme to protect rain forests in Mexico and Brazil”. Continue reading
Filed under Carbon Trading, Chiapas, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, Corporate Globalization, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Green Economy, Indigenous Peoples, Latin America-Caribbean, REDD, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests
Note: As the failing EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) continues its slow, agonizing death, the EU Commission is scrambling to save it…by penalizing China and India for non-compliance. The EU ETS is the model emissions trading scheme, and the model shows that carbon markets don’t work. The EU ETS has been plagued by fraud and mismanagement of permits, as the article below points out: ”The system was established eight years ago, initially to cover heavy industry in Europe, but it has lately been on the verge of collapse. That is in large part because the weak European economy has somewhat curtailed emissions- producing activity, weakening demand for the permits.”
Thats right: The cap-and-trade carbon market doesn’t work to lower emissions. In large part, this is because a shrinking industrial economy (less factories, less energy produced and consumed) is more effective than a market-based approach aimed to keep the polluting industries in business. Gee, imagine that!
-The GJEP Team
By James Kanter, May 16, 2013. Source: NY Times
Photo: Wang Zhao/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
The European Commission said Thursday that Air China and Air India were among 10 Chinese and Indian airlines facing the prospect of fines and exclusion from airports in the European Union for refusing to comply with rules aimed at regulating greenhouse emissions.
The carriers are accused of not providing emissions data, as required by the European rules, and not participating in a permit system that entitles airlines to emit greenhouse gases in European airspace.
The volume of carbon dioxide that the European Commission said the 10 carriers emitted through their jet engines in Europe last year was comparable to the emissions from burning about 130 rail cars of coal.
The commission said the eight Chinese carriers could face fines totaling €2.4 million, or $3 million, and the two Indian airlines face total fines of €30,000.
May 8, 2013. Source: Indigenous Environmental Network
Indigenous Peoples and allies from Chiapas and the Amazon protest California REDD in Sacramento in front of the capital building, after a California Air Resources Board hearing where they testified on the adverse impacts that the possible inclusion of REDD was already having on communities. October 18, 2012. Photo: Jeff Conant/Friends of the Earth-US
From Africa to the Amazon, from Chiapas to Siberia, global civil society is raising an international outcry to resoundingly reject California’s proposed forest offset scam called REDD, which would let climate criminals like Chevron and Shell off the hook, cause human rights abuses and worsen global warming. May 7, 2013, was the last day for public comments on the draft California REDD Offset Working Group recommendations regarding linking California’s cap-and-trade program with a program to supposedly reduce deforestation in Chiapas and Acre, Brazil.
California’s Global Warming Solutions Act, AB32, is posed to include REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation), a false solution to climate change, whereby California polluters could use the forests of Chiapas, Mexico and the Brazilian Amazon as sponges for their pollution instead of reducing greenhouse emissions at home. California REDD is considered a model for the world and if launched will probably be replicated both nationally and internationally.
“The global movement against REDD has been born!” cried Susannah, a delighted volunteer with the No REDD Group Initiative as she tallied letters from all over the world to California Governor Jerry Brown and the California Air Resources Board demanding that REDD be immediately stopped in its tracks. “The world is uniting against California REDD because it may unlock an avalanche of REDD-type projects around the world.” Continue reading
Filed under Actions / Protest, Africa, Carbon Trading, Chiapas, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Green Economy, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, REDD, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests
Note: Global Justice Ecology Project has been tracking the California-Acre-Chiapas REDD deal since it was unveiled at the UN climate negotiations in Cancun, Mexico in 2010. In 2011, GJEP’s Co-Director/Strategist Orin Langelle and Communications Director Jeff Conant travelled to Chiapas, Mexico to the Village of Amador Hernandez, an Indigenous village in the Lacandon Jungle of Chiapas threatened with relocation due to the REDD project. Langelle took hundreds of photos in the community and the region which were assembled into a poignant photo essay. And GJEP’s work in Chiapas broke the story of and documented the emerging impacts of REDD. In 2012, GJEP released a short documentary from the trip, A Darker Shade of Green: REDD Alert and the Future of Forests, highlighting the California REDD deal.
-The GJEP Team
May 7, 2013. Source: Global Justice Ecology Project
We appreciate the opportunity to submit comments on the REDD Offsets Working Group “Recommendations to Conserve Tropical Rainforests, Protect Local Communities and Reduce State-Wide Greenhouse Gas Emissions” for the state of California. California’s Global Warming Solutions Act, AB32, and the goals of reducing emissions from deforestation of remaining tropical rainforests are important and admirable efforts. However, in order to achieve the goals of AB32 and reducing deforestation we believe that allowing jurisdictional REDD offset credits to meet California’s emissions reduction targets will not be effective. REDD credits threaten to diminish the results of AB32 in California and the efforts of partner jurisdictions, including Chiapas and Acre, to protect their forests. Using subnational REDD initiatives, financed through offsets, to meet the targets of AB32 will be inefficient, ineffective, and create unintended consequences. Continue reading
Filed under Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, Corporate Globalization, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Green Economy, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, REDD, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests
By Chris Lang, May 6, 2013. Source: redd-monitor
A new report by Carbon Trade Watch takes a detailed and critical look at REDD from the perspective of land enclosures. “REDD+ will not stop deforestation,” the report argues. Rather than addressing the root causes of deforestation, REDD promotes the argument that environmental destruction in one location can be ‘compensated’ in another. As such, REDD reinforces underlying causes of deforestation.
The report, titled “Protecting carbon to destroy forests: Land enclosures and REDD+”, can be downloaded here (pdf file, 1.3 MB). The report is edited by Transnational Institute, FDCL and FIAN.
The report points out that rather than putting pressure on corporations to clean up their acts or support local struggles, REDD,
gives forest destroyers a way to legitimize their actions as environmentally ‘friendly’ or ‘carbon neutral’. Far from positioning itself as an ally to the many local groups that have preserved forested lands most strongly, REDD+ tends to silence debates about the unjust realities surrounding corporate pressures on land tenure regimes.
Filed under Biodiversity, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Carbon Trading, Corporate Globalization, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Greenwashing, Indigenous Peoples, Industrial agriculture, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, REDD