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REDD in the news: 19-25 May 2014

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REDD-Monitor’s weekly round up of the news on REDD, organised by date with short extracts (click on the title for the full article). REDD-Monitor’s news links on delicious.com are updated regularly. For past REDD in the news posts, click here.

Carbon Market Watch News – May 2014

Carbon Market Watch News, May 2014 | The latest data released by the European Commission reveals the origin of international offsets used in 2013 by companies in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS), but falls short on information at the installation level. Unlike previous years, the Commission only released aggregate information, effectively hiding information linking the buyers to the 133 million offsets that entered the EU ETS in 2013.

19 May 2014

Shell dismisses Carbon Bubble concept as ‘alarmist’

By Ed King, RTCC, 19 May 2014 | Shell has branded warnings its assets may become unusable if countries reach an ambitious global warming deal at the UN as “alarmist”, accusing critics of trivialising the issue. In a punchy letter to shareholders ahead of the company’s AGM on Tuesday, Shell Executive Vice President JJ Traynor dismissed the ‘Carbon Bubble’ concept, which holds that oil and gas explorers risk wasting billions of investor’s cash by drilling for reserves that cannot be used without warming the planet to unsafe levels. “It has some fundamental flaws and there is a danger that some interest groups use it to trivialise the important societal issue of rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere,” he wrote. “We do not believe that at a minimum any of our potential reserves are at risk from any potential change in regulation from climate change or the carbon bubble/stranded assets concept.” Instead Traynor told investors fossil fuel use will likely grow 40-60% by 2050…

Brazil’s TAM to offset emissions from World Cup flights

By Marcelo Teixeira, Reuters, 19 May 2014 | Brazil’s largest airline, TAM, has bought 100,000 voluntary carbon credits to offset greenhouse gas emissions from extra flights it will operate during the FIFA 2014 World Cup which starts next month, the company said on Monday. TAM, a subsidiary of Chile’s Latam Airlines Group, said the amount of credits will be more than enough to offset emissions from the expected 750 extra flights it will conduct in Brazil during the month-long competition. The company would not disclose the price paid for the credits, which were sold by Sao Paulo-based Sustainable Carbon, a low-carbon projects developer. Stefano Merlin, Sustainable Carbon’s CEO, said the credits were issued under the Verified Carbon Standards (VCS), a benchmark standard for the voluntary carbon markets.

[EU] Steel firms top carbon permit surplus list for 2013 – analyst

By Susanna Twidale, Reuters, 19 May 2014 | Three steelmakers had the biggest surplus of free carbon credits in the EU carbon market last year, an analyst report said on Monday, potentially netting the firms tens of millions of euros. ArcelorMittal chalked up a surplus of 10 million EU Allowances (EUAs) in 2013 while Riva Group, which owns Italy ILVA, had a surplus of 8 million and Tata Steel a surplus of 4.7 million EUAs, said the report by France-based analysts at Carbon Market Data. The EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) is the bloc’s main policy aimed at cutting emissions of heat-trapping gases and forces over 13,000 power plants, factories and airlines to surrender a permit for every tonne of carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted. However heavy industry, such as steel plants and cement producers receive a number of free carbon permits each year to reduce the costs of complying with the scheme and to help them compete in global markets.

20 May 2014

Bond markets join the green revolution

By Andrew Bolger, Financial Times, 20 May 2014 | The corporate green bond market is forecast to reach $20bn this year, double the size of last year’s issuance, according to Standard & Poor’s. The rating agency said this reflected how green bonds, earmarked for environmental purposes, were an important source of capital for companies and were also increasingly popular with investors. This emerging area of corporate finance was highlighted last week when the largest ever green bond, worth $3.4bn, was issued by GDF Suez, the French power company. This almost doubled the previous record of $1.9bn set by another French power company, EDF. Michael Wilkins, an analyst with S&P, said that crucially for investors, the credit risk of a corporate green bond remained on the issuer’s balance sheet. “This means that, unlike with multilateral bank issuance, investors do not have to sacrifice yield to gain green exposure…”

CarbonFund Foundation: Seeing A Yellow Light For Forest Conservation Projects

By Gloria Gonzalez, Ecosystem Marketplace, 20 May 2014 | Diamond jewelry is the modern-day gift for a 10th anniversary, but when CarbonFund.org – a non-profit foundation that uses donations from corporates and other non-profits, as well as and individual partners, to financially support carbon offset projects – celebrated its 10th year in existence in 2013, it asked for a gift more suited to the carbon markets: tree plantings. The organization’s CarbonCo subsidiary had a big year in 2013 as an implementer of REDD+ (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation or Degradation of forests) projects in Brazil. Its Russas, Valparaiso and Purus forestry projects help conserve tropical forests by providing payments for ecosystem services for carbon sequestration while also ensuring critical co-benefits such as building and improving local schools and health clinics. In January, the Purus Project – the first REDD+ project in Acre, Brazil…

Four ways to support locally controlled forestry and benefit people and the planet

International Institute for Environment and Development, 20 May 2014 | Governments, donors and investors must bolster locally-controlled forest businesses if they wish to deliver public goods, support livelihoods and help tackle poverty and climate change, says a new report by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF)… “The sheer scale of locally controlled forest businesses means they have huge potential to provide food, energy, water and income and help to stabilise our changing climate,” says Duncan Macqueen, principal researcher in IIED’s Forest Team and co-author of the report. “However, the support they receive is inadequate. It is crucial that investment in locally-controlled forestry increases so these enterprises can realise their potential.”

Oxfam urges top food brands to cut supply-chain emissions

By Megan Rowling, Thomson Reuters Foundation, 20 May 2014 | Climate change impacts are expected to push up the price of everyday foods like breakfast cereals, and the world’s biggest brands should act to reduce the planet-warming gases emitted during their production, Oxfam said on Tuesday. In a report, the international aid group said the world’s “big 10” food and beverage companies were responsible for nearly 264 million tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2012 – more than Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway combined. Around half the total comes from the production of agricultural commodities in the companies’ supply chains, such as maize and soy. But those indirect emissions are not covered by targets the firms have set to lower their emissions, which are restricted to their own operations and the energy they use.

Ecosystem Marketplace’s Forest Carbon News

Ecosystem Marketplace, 20 May 2014 | Indonesia’s peat forests are a climate change ‘line in the sand.’ The country’s 22 million hectares of peat contain an estimated 200 billion tonnes of carbon – a third of Earth’s remaining ‘carbon budget’ through 2050 if we are to limit global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius. Through a $1 billion REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation of forests) agreement with Norway in 2010, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono imposed a two-year moratorium on the palm oil concessions that have turned one of the largest carbon sinks in the world into a carbon source. That moratorium has now been extended through 2015, but it doesn’t affect concessions already in place before it was signed, leaving millions of hectares of forest slated for conversion to palm oil. Heru Prasetyo, who took the helm of Indonesia’s new REDD+ Management Agency in December, is tasked with preventing this climate nightmare.

[Australia] Carbon credits from culling feral animals hits the dust

By Matt Brann, ABC Rural, 20 May 2014 | Plans to cull feral animals in exchange for carbon credits has been gunned down by the latest policy change to Australia’s struggling carbon market. Dr Tim Moore from NetPositive has spent years working on a methodology for culling feral camels in exchange for credits under the Federal Government’s Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI). He says when in Opposition, Environment Minister Greg Hunt was supportive of the proposal, but that support appears to have been lost. “The Federal Government has released amendments to the Carbon Credits Act, which in small print at the back, says the Federal Government no longer believes that removing feral animals for an emissions reduction purpose is viable or important to Australia’s international commitments,” he said.

[Australia] Heartache as carbon credits turn to debt

By Sue Neales, The Australian, 20 May 2014 | The boxes are packed, the last of the cattle have been rounded up and the ute is loaded with chairs, saddles and tools. Cate and Mark Stuart will be evicted from their historic Charleville cattle station, Mount Morris, on Thursday after rural lenderRabobank last year called in the receivers Ferrier Hodgson to ­recoup an outstanding debt of $2.6 million. [R-M: Subscription needed.]

North Korea: an unlikely champion in the fight against climate change

By Dr Benjamin Habib, The Guardian, 20 May 2014 | Degradation of the land base is another critical problem requiring technical assistance. Land degradation in the DPRK is a symptom of ideological rigidity in land management, climatic impacts and the country’s energy shortages, exacerbating food insecurity. The capacity-building assistance made available via the UNFCCC and related programs boosting planting and harvesting efficiency, building soil fertility and reforestation helps to increase the productive capacity of the agricultural sector and enhance its resilience against climate change.

[USA] West Springfield interested in plan to save and grow trees for carbon credits at Bear Hole Watershed

By Christopher Goudreau, The Republican, 20 May 2014 | Mayor Edward Sullivan and the city of West Springfield are interested in conducting a Carbon Sequestration evaluation for more than 1,200 acres in the Bear Hole Watershed, which could potentially give the city $175,000 in carbon credits. The carbon credits are based on the amount of carbon dioxide stored in the bio-mass of trees for that area. The city wants to do the evaluation in order to be verified as part of a national plan called the “Carbon Offsets & the California Cap-and-Trade” program, which is run by the State of California’s Climate Action Reserve. The program issues to members carbon credits that can be traded in on a national or global market, he said. The ultimate goal of the Carbon Sequestration national plan is to reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere in order to protect the Earth’s ozone layer, said Mark H. Noonan, conservation officer.

21 May 2014

Global study challenges view blaming poor for forest clearing

By Mark Foss, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 21 May 2014 | A global study questions the idea that poverty drives forest clearing. Households with medium- to high-level assets close to markets are more likely to cut down trees than the poorest and market-isolated households, the study says. Researchers also suggest that a strategy of developing market access to alleviate poverty and eventually contain deforestation may backfire. The global study is the product of the Poverty and Environment Network (PEN), a collaborative effort led by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). The largest quantitative global-comparative research project to date on forests and rural livelihoods, it analyzes data gathered from some 8,000 households in 24 developing countries. “Forest clearing in rural livelihoods: Household-level global-comparative evidence” is one of five initial papers to emerge from the global study; they appear in an upcoming issue of the journal World Development.

GCF Board Paves Way for Mobilizing Resources

Climate Change Policy & Practice (IISD), 21 May 2014 | At its seventh meeting, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board took the final steps necessary to operationalize the Fund and begin mobilizing resources. The Board adopted decisions on results management, the initial process for approving proposals, accreditation of implementing entities and risk management. The Board, which consists of 24 members, 12 from developing countries and 12 from developed, met in Songdo, South Korea, from 18-21 May 2014. The agenda centered around the six elements remaining from the sixth board meeting (held in Bali, Indonesia in February 2014) that were needed for the operationalization of the GCF.

April 2014 Ties for Globe’s Warmest on Record

By Megan Gannon, LiveScience, 21 May 2014 | Last month ranked as the world’s hottest April on record, tying with April 2010, U.S. weather officials announced Tuesday (May 20). The average global temperature for April 2014 was 1.39 degrees Fahrenheit (0.77 degrees Celsius) warmer than the 20th century average for the month, which was 56.7 degrees F (13.7 degrees C), according to the latest monthly report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Deforestation: Carving up the Amazon

By Barbara Fraser, Nature News & Comment, 21 May 2014 | Next to a newly paved highway in the Peruvian Amazon, a discreet white-on-green sign urges travellers to protect the surrounding ecosystem. “Let’s care for the environment, let’s conserve the forest,” it reads. But the appeal comes too late for this spot in the region known as Madre de Dios. Before the route was paved a few years ago, tall trees lined the roadside, but the forest edge here now lies about half a kilometre away, beyond a jumble of underbrush and freshly cut trees where a cattle pasture was recently carved out of the woods. As drivers head east and enter Brazil, the view is much the same for hundreds of kilometres. Such is the impact of the Interoceanic Highway, a route some 5,500 kilometres long that cuts clear across South America. The highway is just one strand in a web of roads that now criss-cross the Amazon.

[Australia] Farmers want clarity on Coalition’s climate plan

By Jared Owens, The Australian, 21 May 2014 | The National Farmers Federation has called for the federal government’s direct action plan to tackle climate change to be made clearer and easier for farmers and landholders to understand. [R-M: Subscription needed.]

[Indonesia] Mentawai: Plantation plans finally halted by the local government

Rainforest Foundation Norway, 21 May 2014 | “The palm oil plantation would have been here”, local farmer Astri Milus gestures with his hands. The area he is pointing to encompasses the dwellings, communal gardens and school of the Saureinu’ village on Sipora island. “We have everything we need here”, he adds. “Fruit, vegetables, clean water, homes, coconuts. Why would we give everything away for palm oil?” While in office, the previous regent, Edison Saleleubajak, granted four companies permits to establish palm oil plantations on 100,000 hectares of land on the three main Mentawai islands: Siberut, Sipora and Pagai. The biggest plantation was planned for the island of Siberut, the greenest and most densely forested island of all three, with a permit allowing for the establishment of plantations on 73,500 hectares.

[USA] A Call to Arms: An Invitation to Demand Action on Climate Change

By Bill McKibben, Rolling Stone, 21 May 2014 | This is an invitation, an invitation to come to New York City. An invitation to anyone who’d like to prove to themselves, and to their children, that they give a damn about the biggest crisis our civilization has ever faced. My guess is people will come by the tens of thousands, and it will be the largest demonstration yet of human resolve in the face of climate change. Sure, some of it will be exciting – who doesn’t like the chance to march and sing and carry a clever sign through the canyons of Manhattan? But this is dead-serious business, a signal moment in the gathering fight of human beings to do something about global warming before it’s too late to do anything but watch. You’ll tell your grandchildren, assuming we win. So circle September 20th and 21st on your calendar, and then I’ll explain.

22 May 2014

Climate deal ‘won’t be perfect’: US negotiator

AFP, 22 May 2014 | With 19 months to go until the deadline for a new, global pact on climate change, the United States’ top negotiator cautioned Thursday against unrealistic expectations, saying the deal “won’t be perfect”. “It is important that our expectations be ambitious, and also grounded in reality,” special envoy Todd Stern told journalists in Paris, where he met officials of the French government, who will host the 2015 meeting where the agreement must be signed. “I’m sure it won’t be perfect,” he added. “This is a difficult negotiation. There’s 190-plus countries… it is hard to get agreement from all countries on anything.” Expectations that do not take realpolitik into account “can just lead to disappointment”, said the envoy, who has for five years led the US negotiating team in the notoriously belligerent global talks.

Carbon loss from tropical forests ‘underestimated’

By Matt McGrath, BBC News, 22 May 2014 | The amount of carbon lost from tropical forests is being significantly underestimated, a new study reports. In addition to loss of trees, the degradation of tropical forests by selective logging and fires causes large amounts of “hidden” emissions. The slow moving process has remained almost invisible to satellite observations in the Amazon. Researchers say degradation in Brazil causes additional emissions equivalent to 40% of those from deforestation. The research is due to be published in the journal Global Change Biology. The rapid removal of trees in the Amazon rainforest has been a significant source of global carbon emissions for many decades. It is said to account for around 12% of human induced greenhouse gases, roughly the equivalent of both agriculture and transport.

Record rains turned Australia into a giant green global carbon sink

By Pep Canadell and Ben Poulter, The Guardian, 22 May 2014 | Record-breaking rains triggered so much new growth across Australia that the continent turned into a giant green carbon sink to rival tropical rainforests including the Amazon, our new research shows. Published in the international journal Nature, our study found that vegetation worldwide soaked up 4.1bn tonnes of carbon in 2011 – the equivalent of more than 40% of emissions from burning fossil fuels that year. Unexpectedly, the largest carbon uptake occurred in the semi-arid landscapes of Australia, Southern Africa and South America. It set a new record for a land-based carbon sink since high-resolution records began in 1958, in a remarkable example of ecosystems working to stabilise the Earth’s climate. And that had a global impact. While atmospheric carbon dioxide still rose in 2011, it grew at a much lower rate – nearly 20% lower – than the average growth over the previous decade.

DRC seeks $1B to save its rainforest

mongabay.com, 22 May 2014 | The Democratic Republic of Congo is seeking a billion dollars for a plan to protect up to 9 million hectares of rainforests, reports the Financial Times. In a presentation given at the Houses of Parliament on Tuesday, DR Congo Minister of Environment Bavon N’sa Mputu Elima said his country needed foreign assistance to protect forests. He cited Indonesia as a precedent for such an approach. “We have more forests than Indonesia and they got $1 billion,” he was quoted as saying, referring to a 2010 agreement Indonesia signed with Norway that would pay the nation up to a billion dollars if it successfully reduces deforestation from a specified level. Indonesia lost almost 10 million more hectares of forest than DRC since 2000, according to data from Global Forest Watch. “The DRC accepts its responsibility to protect its forests for the benefit of humanity,” the Minister said.

[UK] ‘Callous’ firms in carbon credit scam shut down

BBC News, 22 May 2014 | A web of firms that sold carbon credits to vulnerable investors at inflated prices has been shut down in the High Court on grounds of public interest. Eco-Synergies Ltd bought credits for 65p each, selling them to investors via other firms for up to an 869% profit. A carbon credit is a tradable certificate that allows a company to emit a tonne of carbon dioxide. The Insolvency Service, which brought the action, said investors “were offered hot air by callous” people. The credits were sourced by Eco-Synergies at a cost of £2.3m and then marketed, using false and misleading claims, through 12 companies and raised a total of £19m… The Insolvency Service estimated that “hundreds, possibly over a thousand, individual investors [have been] affected by the 13 firms”. These latest cases take the total number of carbon credit firms closed by the Insolvency Service to 32.

[UK] Boiler room scam trial to go ahead

Economia, 22 May 2014 | The Financial Conduct Authority has won its appeal against the decision three weeks ago that the charges against five alleged fraudsters should be dropped because they would not get a fair trial as a result of cuts in Legal Aid. In R v Crawley & Others, the first case to be taken to the courts by the regulator, the defendants had been charged with a complex boiler-room fraud in which members of the public were conned into investing a total of around £5m in plots of land… Sir Brian Leveson said, “Section 67 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 makes it clear that this court cannot reverse a ruling on an appeal in these circumstances unless satisfied that it was wrong in law, involved an error of law or principle or was not reasonable for the judge to have made…”

23 May 2014

Global policies encourage land grabbing and worsen hunger and poverty

By Stella Dawson, Thomson Reuters Foundation, 23 May 2014 | A global scramble for land supported by governments and development banks is forcing small farmers off their holdings, worsening hunger and poverty for millions of people in developing countries, according to a new report. ActionAid International called for new policies that focus investment on smallholder farming and sustainable agriculture rather than agri-business as a way to address food insecurity, and for governments to demonstrate zero-tolerance for land grabbing. In its Great Land Heist report released this week, the anti-poverty group said an array of public and private incentives – adopted in the wake of food shortages in 2007 and 2008 by the Group of 20 leading industrialised and developing nations, the World Economic Forum, the World Bank – have encouraged land grabbing by investors.

Why do next week’s UN climate talks in Bonn matter?

By Liz Gallagher, RTCC, 23 May 2014 | What this means in practice is two Ministerials: one for those who already have existing commitments through the Kyoto Protocol to provide details on how they could increase ambition; and one for everyone to demonstrate what actions they are taking pre-2020.It is unlikely that this short window of opportunity will result in new announcements to increase pledges before 2020. After all, the Climate Summit hosted by Ban Ki-moon is where Heads of State will come with ‘bold’ pledges; they’re not going to let their subordinates steal their thunder by announcing in June.

Human Impact On Amazon Via Deforestation, Logging, & Fires, Is Greatly Underestimated, Research Finds

PlanetSave, 23 May 2014 | The Amazon rainforest is taking a much worse beating from human-activity than was previously estimated, according to new research from an international group headed by Lancaster University. With said gross underestimation of human impact, the researchers also found that carbon loss is being grossly underestimated well. The underestimation is due to previous models not fully taking into account the great losses caused by selective logging and surface wildfires — up to 54 billion tonnes of carbon yearly lost yearly, just from the Brazilian Amazon. That’s roughly the equivalent to 40% of the whole, world-wide yearly carbon loss from large-scale deforestation, and its accompanying effects.

Ecuador signs permits for oil drilling in Amazon’s Yasuni national park

By Adam Vaughan, The Guardian, 23 May 2014 | Drilling for oil in a part of the Amazon rainforest considered one of the most biodiverse hotspots on the planet is to go ahead less than a year after Ecuador’s president lifted a moratorium on oil drilling there. Last August, Rafeal Correa scrapped a pioneering scheme, the Yasuni Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini (ITT) initiative, to keep oil in the ground under a corner of the Yasuni national park in return for donations from the international community. He said only $13m (£8m) of the $3.6bn goal had been given, and that “the world has failed us”, giving the green light to drilling. On Thursday, environment minister, Lorena Tapia, said permits for drilling had been signed for the 6,500-square-mile reserve, known as block 43, and oil production might begin as soon as 2016. The permits allow Petroamazonas, a subsidary of the state oil company, to begin construction of access roads and camps to prepare for drilling.

3 Years of Forest Moratorium in Indonesia “The Main Duty of New Indonesian Leader: Saving Forests and Resolve Forestry Conflicts” Civil Society Coalition to Save Indonesian Forests and the Global Climate

HuMa, 23 May 2014 | The next Indonesian leader must demonstrate a stronger commitment to save forests and peat land as well as guarantee indigenous people and local communities’ rights and livelihood, urged Civil Society Coalition to Save Indonesian Forests and the Global Climate in their Press Conference at Puri Denpasar Hotel, Jakarta, on May 21st 2014 in the commemoration of 3 years implementation of forest moratorium policy… “In 2014, we have seen a massive wildfire on peat land that the moratorium should have prevented” Teguh Surya, Greenpeace Forest Political Campaigner said. “Until February 2014, extensive peat fires had occurred in Riau Province, which 38.02% of fire spots are located within the moratorium map rev 5.” This reflects trivial concern of the Government regarding forests and peat land protection even though it is clearly obligated by law that the Government and concession holders must protect forests and prevent forests and peat fires in their concession areas.

[UK] Court shuts down £19m carbon credit investment scheme

By William Robins, New Model Adviser, 23 May 2014 | A ‘web’ of 13 companies involved in a £19 million scheme selling carbon credits to the public has been wound up in the High Court following an investigation by the Insolvency Service. According to the service a firm called Eco-Synergies Ltd, a wholesaler of Voluntary Emission Reduction carbon credits, supplied other companies to market the credits to the public at inflated prices. It said the investigation revealed investors had paid £19 million for carbon credits shown to have cost Eco-Synergies only £2.3 million. Eco-Synergies benefitted from the sales made to the public by companies it supplied credits to, also at an inflated price, suggesting they could expect returns in excess of 60%.

[USA] Forest Crimes Unit: Activists blockade Lumber Liquidators Shareholder Meeting

By Daniel Brindis, Greenpeace, 23 May 2014 | The Forest Crimes Unit rides again, this time in Toano, Virginia, where Amazon destruction is bought and sold. This morning a group of 9 Greenpeace activists has barricaded the entrances to Lumber Liquidators’ headquarters, prior to the company’s annual shareholder meeting. The blockade at the main entrance features a banner that reads “Brazilian Wood: Your $hare of Amazon Crime” and the back entrance is blocked with a brand spoof delivery truck that read “Rainforest Liquidators.” This shareholder meeting is the first one since Lumber Liquidators was raided by federal agents last September for allegedly purchasing illegal timber from the Russian Far East. Just last week Greenpeace published an investigation that linked Lumber Liquidators’s Brazilian suppliers to illegal logging in the state of Para, where 78% of logging is estimated to be illegal. The report demonstrated how Brazil relies on a poorly designed timber control system…

24 May 2014

Report to map ‘underestimated’ loss of carbon from tropical rainforests

By Richard Heasman, Blue and Green Tomorrow, 24 May 2014 | A soon-to-be-published report is set to say that the amount of carbon being lost by the degradation of tropical rainforests is underestimated. The new research says the current method of using satellites to assess tree numbers is ineffective at monitoring selective logging and ‘fringe’ element deforestation. Lead author Dr Erika Berenguer from Lancaster University told the BBC, “It’s been completely overlooked. When we talk about deforestation, we completely remove the forest and all that carbon is lost. “When you talk about degradation it’s more cryptic. Chunks of the forest are affected, but when look from the satellite image you still see the trees, you just don’t know the condition, and that is why it is overlooked.”

[India] Climate Change, Forest Carbon Sequestration and REDD-Plus

By P J Dilip Kumar, Economic and Political Weekly, 24 May 2014 | Thus, whether we look at gross area levels of forest cover, or actual emissions, the forest sector in India is actually doing very well, and there seems to be little scope for REDD-type interventions that have not already been taken by the country in the normal course. This is significant, because REDD payments are supposed to be made only for incremental effort (or results), and to assess this, we are supposed to have a baseline which reflects the levels of carbon emissions in the “business-as-usual” (BAU) scenario, and then superimpose the levels after REDD-type interventions; credit will be given only for the net improvement. For India (and China), therefore, the BAU scenario would have already improving levels, and it would be difficult to ascribe changes to any additional REDD interventions.

25 May 2014

Climate change is a business problem

By Mike Scott, Financial Times, 25 May 2014 | The IPCC report provides another urgent signal for investors to step back and revisit the investment implications of climate change in an economic context, says David Blood, co-founder of Generation Investment Management, the asset manager. “An important first step for investors is to evaluate the carbon-related risks in their portfolios and make active decisions about how to manage those risks.” … Mr Blood says that “while regulation will inevitably become an important factor in the stranding of carbon assets, it is far from the only factor. Other dynamics, such as market forces and societal pressures, will also play an important role. As renewable energy becomes increasingly cost competitive and reliably available, we believe the valuation of carbon intensive assets will face ever-greater downward pressure.”

The role of forests in cutting carbon

Financial Times, 25 May 2014 | First, the US, China and the EU should work harder to agree a binding global commitment to reduce carbon with clear national targets. If this could be put in place, carbon emitters should be given access to a market that allows them to offset their emissions by purchasing a credit that will fund protection of a forest. This would benefit both sides. Second, developing countries need more international support to overcome specific problems with the operation of schemes to save forests. At present there is a constant risk that the protection of one part of a forest merely leads to another part of it being chopped down instead… Finally, national governments across the rich world should put more funding into forest protection schemes in the poorest countries, especially in Africa. This is all the more important because it will take time for deforestation schemes to become an integral part of carbon trading markets.


PHOTO credit: Image created using wordle.net.

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