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.
By Chris Lang, May 14, 2013. Source: redd-monitor
WWF loves “sustainability”. With “sustainability”, there’s no need to address over-consumption, or the never-ending growth of capitalist expansion. Consumption can increase, as long as it’s “sustainable”.
Palm oil plantations destroying vast areas of rainforest? No problem. Here comes “sustainable” palm oil. In 2001, WWF started discussions with palm oil companies and industry bodies. Three years later the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil was formed.
Today there are more than 500 members of the RSPO, including palm oil producers, processors, traders, retailers, banks and a few NGOs. But buying palm oil from RSPO members does not mean that the palm oil complies to RSPO’s standards. For that you need to buy RSPO-certified palm oil – from companies that have been assessed by an RSPO-approved certification body. But RSPO certification does not mean that companies have stopped clearing forests. TFT’s Scott Poynton pointed this out recently to Jason Clay, Senior Vice President, Markets, World Wildlife Fund US:
Deforestation of secondary yet still important forests is perfectly acceptable and is happily done by companies celebrated under the RSPO standard which only obliges protection of primary and HCVF [high conservation value forest] areas. Likewise, the RSPO standard doesn’t preclude the clearance of peatlands.
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 Indigenous Peoples, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Forests and Climate Change, Latin America-Caribbean, REDD, Carbon Trading, False Solutions to Climate Change, Corporate Globalization, Land Grabs, Green Economy, Commodification of Life, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, 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
Note: Jeff Conant is a good friend and former Communications Director for Global Justice Ecology Project.
-The GJEP Team
Jeff Conant, International Forests Campaigner for Friends of the Earth, discusses the dangers of including REDD forest offsets in California’s Global Warming Solutions Act. Global Justice Ecology Project teams up with the Sojourner Truth show on KPFK Pacifica Los Angeles for a weekly Earth Minute each Tuesday and a weekly Earth Watch interview each Thursday.
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, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, Pollution, REDD, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests
Forest Peoples Programme on REDD and safeguards
Forest Peoples Programme’s April 2013 E-Newsletter
focuses on safeguards. The E-Newsletter starts by looking at why safeguards matter. Other articles explain and comment on the World Bank’s safeguards review, forest policy and oil palm policy, the failure of safeguards in the Camisea gas project in Peru and examples from the Congo Basin and Cameroon.
An article by Francesco Martone and Tom Griffiths gives a critical overview of safeguards in REDD. The article looks at how the safeguards included in the 2010 decision on REDD at the UNFCCC COP16 meeting in Cancun have been adapted and watered down in key REDD programmes:
While on paper the translation of the UNFCCC political mandate on safeguards seems to have led to some significant achievements in terms of recognition of indigenous peoples’ rights, when it comes to operationalisation and implementation the picture is so far less encouraging.
Filed under Biodiversity, Carbon Trading, Climate Justice, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Greenwashing, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, Pollution, REDD, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration
By Chris Lang, 30th April 2013. Source: REDD-Monitor
Organisations based in Chiapas, Mexico have written to California’s Governor, Jerry Brown, to oppose the inclusion of REDD in California’s Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32).
Young girls in Amador Hernández Photo: Langelle/GJEP-GFC
In March 2011, Global Justice Ecology Project travelled to Chiapas and documented the problems that REDD and other conservation projects were causing for communities in the Lacandón jungle. Jeff Conant, who was then Communications Director for GJEP, wrote a series of articles based on the visit. The articles are collected on GJEP’s blog, Climate Connections. And Orin Langelle, GJEP’s Board Chair, produced a photo essay about the visit to Chiapas.
GJEP also produced a video about REDD: “A Darker Shade of Green”, which includes interviews with communities in Chiapas (the part about Chiapas starts at 10:45). One of the villagers describes REDD from his perspective:
“They see our Mother Earth as a business, and for us you should never see it like that, it’s our Mother, she can’t be sold. Now they’re developing this REDD Project that’s about carbon capture, it doesn’t serve us. We struggle simply to feed ourselves.”
In December 2012, an article was published in Truthout about the impact of REDD on communities in Chiapas. The title is very appropriate: “Colonialism and the Green Economy: The Hidden Side of Carbon Offsets”. The impacts of carbon offsets on the communities in Chiapas, it seems, remain largely hidden from view in California.
Filed under Actions / Protest, BREAKING NEWS, Carbon Trading, Chiapas, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, Commons, 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, Pollution, REDD, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests
Note: The only forest terrorists we need to worry about are the corporate terrorists like ArborGen, International Paper and other industrial timber companies who have been wreaking havoc on forest ecosystems for decades. And, of course, the immense threat of climate change, and false solutions like REDD and California’s new domestic forest carbon trading scheme
-The GJEP Team
By Joe Hanel, April 26, 2013. Source: The Durango Herald
DENVER – As if 4 million acres of dead, standing timber and an ongoing drought weren’t enough to worry about as Colorado enters the wildfire season, a few Republican senators say it’s past time to prepare for terrorist attacks in the forests.
They’re making the argument to convince colleagues to pay for the state’s own fleet of aerial firefighting tankers. If terrorists ignited several fires at once, the small federal fleet would be overwhelmed, the state senators say.
Sen. Steve King, R-Grand Junction – the sponsor of the air tanker bill – said he is worried that large fires in the Colorado River Basin could clog reservoirs and cause a water supply “catastrophe” across the whole American Southwest.
“That is why that is a priority or could be a priority for those who wish us ill will, and those who would like to change the United States and the Western United States,” King said at a hearing for his bill.
Terrorist attacks in the forests have already happened, King’s allies said.