By Desmond Brown, July 3, 2014. Source: IPS
A seawall in Dominica. A recent report has called for specific measures to protect small islands from sea level rise. Credit: Desmond Brown/IPS
As the costs of climate change continue to mount, officials with the Commonwealth grouping say it is vital that Small Island Developing States (SIDS) stick together on issues such as per capita income classification.
Deputy Commonwealth Secretary General (Economic and Social Development) Deodat Maharaj told IPS the classification affects the ability of countries like Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada and others to access financing from the international financial institutions.
“To my mind, the international system has to take special consideration of countries such as Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada and others,” he said. Continue reading
By John H. Cushman Jr., July 1, 2014. Source: InsideClimate News
Coal Mine in Gillette, Wyoming. A U.S. District Court judge recently blocked a coal exploration project in Colorado on grounds that government agencies should have considered the project’s global-warming costs, instead of solely touting its economic benefits. Credit: eastcolfax, flickr
A federal judge has blocked a coal project in the wilds of Colorado because federal agencies failed to consider the future global-warming damages from burning fossil fuels.
U.S. District Court Judge R. Brooke Johnson’s decision halts exploration proposed by Arch Coal that would have bulldozed six miles of roads on 1,700 untrammeled acres of public land.
When the agencies touted the supposed economic benefits of expanded coal mining in the Sunset Roadless Area, Johnson ruled, they should also have considered any global-warming costs. Continue reading
Photo by Miningne.ws
Workers from a private security firm have blocked the facilities at a coal mine in northeastern Colombia for five consecutive days over a contract dispute, a statement from the mining company read on Wednesday.
The workers, who are mainly from the indigenous Wayuu group, are protesting because of the termination of the contract between their security firm, Sepecol, and Colombia’s largest coal mining company, Cerrejon.
The contract was changed after a bidding round conducted by the mining company, the statement from Cerrejon read. Continue reading
By Adam Vaughan, June 23, 2014. Source: The Guardian
Pascal Husting, former director of Greenpeace France, during a demonstration in Biscarrosse, in south-western France. Photograph by Jean-Pierre Muller/AFP/Getty Images
The head of Greenpeace UK has defended the need for one of the environmental group’s top executives to fly to work several times a month, and apologised to supporters for a mistake that saw a member of its finance team lose £3m on currency markets.
Responding to fresh revelations in the Guardian that the organisation’s finance team is in disarray, and that Pascal Husting, Greenpeace’s international programme director, flies several times a month from his home in Luxembourg to offices in Amsterdam, John Sauven wrote in a blogpost: “as for Pascal’s air travel. Well it’s a really tough one. Was it the right decision to allow him to use air travel to try to balance his job with the needs of his family for a while?” Continue reading
June 18, 2014. Source: REDD- Monitor
Image from REDD-Monitor
The High Court in London has ordered Diffraction Limited into liquidation following an investigation by the Insolvency Service. Diffraction Limited is another part of the web of companies around Eco-Synergies.
Eco-Synergies was a wholesaler of voluntary carbon credits, which it sold to other companies to sell to the public as investments. Between March 2012 and November 2012, Diffraction Limited sold more than £1.3 million of voluntary carbon credits to retail investors.
Eco-Synergies bought the carbon credits for an average price of 65p per credit. On average, Diffraction bought the carbon credits from Eco-Synergies for £1.11. It sold them to retail investors for £4.81. Continue reading
By Ben Garside, June 15, 2014. Source: Reuters
Photo from CBC
The use of carbon markets to curb rising greenhouse gas emissions was dealt a blow on Sunday after two weeks of United Nations talks on designing and reforming the mechanisms ended in deadlock.
The negotiations, held as part of U.N. climate negotiations in Bonn, Germany, made scant progress as envoys representing almost 200 nations tied reforms to progress under the wider discussions and remained entrenched in diverse positions.
The stalemate gives investors little sign that there will be a pickup in demand under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), the U.N.’s current main carbon market which has seen activity dry up after funnelling over $400 billion into emission-cutting projects in developing countries over the past decade.
It also offers no guidance on how the growing patchwork of national and regional carbon markets worldwide will fit into a future international framework to tackle climate change. Continue reading
June 12, 2014. Source: Redd-Monitor
Photo from the Redd-Monitor
The Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve is the only REDD project in Indonesia that has managed to sell any carbon credits. The project is dependent on continued sales of carbon credits, and on the price of carbon. Neither is certain.
Last week, Indonesian journalist Fidelis E. Satriastanti, wrote about the Rimba Raya REDD project for the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
The people living in the village of Ulak Batu in Seruyan district told Satriastanti that they used to be fisherfolk. But when palm oil companies established plantations in the area, the Seruyan river was polluted, fish populations declined and many villagers looked for jobs as plantation workers. Catching fish they could earn about US$8 per day, but only US$5 per day working for palm oil companies.
No one asked the villagers whether they wanted the forests around their village converted to oil palm plantations. Neither, it seems, was there a process of free, prior and informed consent when a company called InfiniteEARTH arrived in 2009 to develop its REDD project in the Seruyan watershed. Continue reading
By Lauren Krugel, June 10, 2014. Source: The Canadian Press
Photo by Terry Healy
CALGARY – A Vancouver company is pitching a $10-billion oilsands refinery on British Columbia’s north coast that aims to connect Alberta’s vast energy resources with Asian markets while avoiding some of the pitfalls others have encountered.
Pacific Future Energy Corp. says the refinery would be the “world’s greenest” and built in full partnership with B.C. First Nations, many of whom are vehemently opposed to proposals to ship crude to the West Coast for export.
Any day now, Ottawa is expected to decide on one of those proposals: Enbridge Inc.’s (TSX:ENB) controversial Northern Gateway pipeline. One of the biggest concerns with that project is the fact that huge tankers full of diluted oilsands bitumen, or dilbit, would have to navigate the rough waters of the Douglas Channel on their way out into the Pacific.
The Pacific Future proposal — along with others being floated by B.C. newspaper magnate David Black and by aboriginal businessman Calvin Helin — would mean refined products, rather than heavy oil, would be shipped on tankers to Asia, making a potential spill much less environmentally damaging. Continue reading
June 10, 2014. Source: BBC News
Photo by The BBC
The Chilean government has rejected what would have been the biggest energy project in the country’s history.
The HidroAysen project would have seen five huge dams built on two rivers in a beautiful part of Patagonia.
“This project has many aspects that were poorly thought out,” said Energy Minister Maximo Pacheco.
Environmentalists celebrated the decision, saying the project would have had a devastating impact on the area’s ecosystem.
“These giant dams would have put at risk the wilderness, traditional culture, and local tourism economy of this remarkable region,” said Amanda Maxwell, Latin America project director at the Natural Resources’ Defence Council.
Thousands of people had protested against the HidroAysen project. Continue reading
June 4, 2014. Source: Redd-Monitor.org
Photo by Redd-Monitor
Things just keep getting worse for the Oddar Meanchey REDD project in Cambodia. According to a report last week in the Cambodia Daily, logging is now so rampant that community leaders have given up on REDD.
Some of the people who spent years trying to save the forests have now given up and joined the loggers.
By mid-2012, more than 3,000 hectares, or about half, of Andong Bor’s community forest had been cleared. This year a futher 2,000 hectares has gone to make way for cassava fields. The Cambodia Daily quotes the chief of the Andong Bor community forest, Din Heng, as saying that,
“The program here for carbon trading is dead. The government was first committed to protecting these forests for carbon trading, but they are not doing anything to help us fight the illegal logging.”