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“Stop California REDD Now!” Sign Indigenous Environmental Network’s petition

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The controversy continues over the inclusion of REDD in California’s Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32). In January 2013, the REDD+ Offset Working Group (ROW) released its draft recommendations on how the states of Acre in Brazil and Chiapas in Mexico could generate REDD credits for California’s cap and trade scheme.

The REDD+ Offset Working Group is a stitch-up. It includes representatives of The Nature Conservancy, Environmental Defense Fund, and Conservation International, all of which actively promote REDD as a carbon trading mechanism. But while NGOs supporting carbon trading are included, none of the members of the ROW are from organisations working with communities affected by pollution in California.

Predictably enough, given the composition of the Working Group, the recommendations are all about how to include REDD credits in California’s AB 32, not whether REDD credits should be included. Nevertheless, when the recommendations were released, Michelle Passero of The Nature Conservancy (and one of only two women in the 11 member ROW) described the ROW’s report as the start of a “dialogue”:

“The release of these recommendations launches an important dialogue and provides an opportunity for California and the rest of the world to keep moving forward on climate change solutions. The report presents a global option for California to demonstrate how a market-based program can leverage GHG reductions from tropical forests, a major source of emissions, while reducing costs to California consumers and businesses.”

The deadline for public comments on the draft recommendations has been extended until 7 May 2013.

Organisations and activists from Acre and Chiapas have sent letters to California’s Governor, Jerry Brown. Meanwhile, the Indigenous Environmental Network has set up a petition: “Stop California REDD Now!”

In a note about the petition, Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network, explains why this is important:

Dear Friends,

IEN has been part of the struggle against REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation), a market-based, land grabbing false solution to climate change, since its conception because it threatens the very existence of our Indigenous Peoples, forest-dependent communities, and peasant farmers.

Please sign this petition immediately to reject the inclusion of REDD in the State of California’s Global Warming Solutions Act, AB32. This is a crucial moment in a worldwide battle for climate justice, human rights and the rights of Indigenous Peoples. Please stand with us now!

Please share widely.

With gratitude,
Tom B.K. Goldtooth
Executive Director
Indigenous Environmental Network

Click the button below to sign on to the petition to be sent to Jerry Brown, California’s Governor and Mary Nichols, of the California Air Resources Board.

Dear Honorable Jerry Brown, Governor of California
Dear Mary Nichols, Chairman, California Air Resources Board

I urge you to reject the inclusion of REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) in the State of California’s Global Warming Solutions Act, AB32.

The four main reasons for rejecting California REDD are:

  • REDD is a false solution to climate change, which makes global warming worse.
  • REDD lets climate criminals like Shell and Chevron off the hook because it allows polluters to use forests as supposed sponges for their greenhouse gas and toxic pollution, instead of reducing pollution at source.
  • REDD lets polluters keep polluting and sickening Californians with asthma and cancer.
  • REDD has no guarantees to prevent human rights abuses. REDD is already causing social conflict and land grabs in Chiapas, Mexico, and violating Indigenous Peoples’ rights including the right to free, prior and informed consent.

California must not let climate criminals like Shell and Chevron off the hook, sicken its citizens, nor contribute to human rights violations. California must reject REDD now. Mother Earth depends on it.

CC:
Ashley Conrad-Saydah, Assistant Secretary for Climate Policy,
California Environmental Protection Agency
1001 I Street, Sacramento, California 95812

Arsenio Mataka, Subsecretary for Environmental Justice and Tribal Affairs,
California Environmental Protection Agency
1001 I Street, Sacramento, California 95812

Ronda Bowen, Ombudsman,
California Environmental Protection Agency
1001 I Street, Sacramento, California 95812

Jason A. Gray
Staff Counsel, California Air Resources Board
1001 I Street, Sacramento, California 95812

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