EMISSIONS TRADING TO SAVE FORESTS?
From a recent media report: "Natural variation suggests the Amazon should have serious drought-led fires at 400- to 700-year intervals, but today, they are happening every five to 15 years…It's a vicious cycle: cutting back the forests causes more global warming, which then burns up more forests, which causes more global warming, which burns up the forests even more, and on and on."
To stop climate change, stop deforestation. To stop deforestation, stop climate change. Enter emissions trading.
Unfortunately, it has up to now been considered too controversial to incentivize forest protection by allotting credits for not cutting them down. Hylton Murray-Philipson, head, Rainforest Concern: "It's insanity that a single service company, Google, has a market value of $200 billion, while all the services of all of the world's great forests are valued at nothing…"
Indonesia earns $1 to $5/ton to cut the forests down. It could earn $30/ton if credits were sold for preventing deforestation. It is estimated each ton of emissions does $85 of harm to the world economy. Do the math.
The fear is that allotting credits for preventing deforestation is too easily abused. The trade could become a target of fraud or put too much developing-world forestland into the hands of developed-world nations.
Enter the World Bank. Its Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) raised $160 million to cut deforestation 10% by 2010. (See Forest Carbon Partnership Facility brochure) But the World Bank's business activities have long financed deforesting industries. And cutting back deforestation means interrupting survival activities of indigenous peoples.
Pygmies and locals in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) claim FCPF interrupts their sustainable practices while the World Bank finances industrial logging.
80 environmental groups recently put the World Bank on notice: Action is needed. The right kind of action. Business-as-usual is no longer acceptable. The world is watching. Congratulations for the gesture. Get it right or get out of the way.
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All About: Forests and Carbon Trading
Rachel Oliver, February 11, 2008 (CNN)
The World Bank
World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) organized to finance forest protection.
This must be stopped. (click to enlarge)
- FCPF would cut deforestation 10% by 2010.
- Council of Foreign Relations: U.S. forest fires accounted for 6% of 2007 North American greenhouse gases.
- WWF: If nothing changes, 60% of all rainforest will be gone by 2030.
Industrial logging was banned in the DRC in 2002. Since then, 100 new industrial logging projects have been started.
- 10 billion acres of world forest, 30% of earth’s land. Diminised by 1/3 since the beginning of agriculture.
- Indonesia and Brazil are among the top emissions-generating countries in the world due to deforestation for mining.
- FCPF is financed by the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia, Japan, France, Switzerland, Denmark and Finland and The Nature Conservancy.
- Deforestation is responsible for 20 to 30% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Forests inhale CO2 and exhale the oxygen humans breathe. They also store CO2 in the form of organic carbon -- 50% more than is in the atmosphere, according to the United Nations' Environmental Programme (UNEP).
- 80% of all deforestation is agricultural land clearing, 32 million acres/year.
- The World Bank raised $160 million in funding to launch FCPF.
But these people must be considered. (click to enlarge)
- Aim of the World Bank FCPF: "[To] support programs targeting the drivers of deforestation and develop concrete activities to reach out to poor people who depend on forests to improve their livelihoods. It will also help developing countries build the technical, regulatory, and sustainable forestry capacity to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation."
- Joint statement, 80 world environmental organizations: "[The World Bank seems] to undermine its own climate change mitigation efforts by persisting in funding fossil fuel industries on a global scale and enabling deforestation."