In 1996, Uganda’s National Forest Authority awarded a 50 year licence covering an area of land just over 9,000 hectares to a Norwegian company called Green Resources. Twenty years later, local communities are still feeling the impacts of the company’s industrial tree plantations.
On 7 October 2016, the General Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) announced its plans to set up a mechanism to offset its ever increasing greenhouse gas emissions. The Global Market-Based Measure is planned to start in 2021, but all the details (such as which carbon credits might be elligible) are still to be agreed.
“The aim of reducing the emissions from forest destruction and degradation caused by industrial agriculture, logging, mining for fossil resources, etc. is today decisive to the survival of humankind and our planet. However, when the tool to achieve this aim is the trading of emission credits (offsets), we arrive at the wrong solutions.”
A new paper in World Development argues that REDD is, “the latest in a long row of conservation fads that have invoked great enthusiasm within the forestry-development sector, only to be dubbed a failure and abandoned at a later point in time”.
REDD did not appear from nowhere. Behind the idea are people and institutions who have promoted REDD in different ways over the past decades. Understanding REDD means understanding the players involved and their motivations for promoting a scheme to generate carbon credits from tropical forests instead of finding ways to keep fossil fuels in the ground.