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REDD in the news: 9-15 May 2016

REDD in the newsREDD-Monitor’s links to news on forests, climate change and REDD. Links are organised by date with the most recent first. For regular updates, visit REDD-Monitor’s “REDD in the news” page, or follow @reddmonitor on Twitter.


 

9 May 2016

IDB to act as delivery partner for REDD+ Strategy in Guatemala
Inter-American Development Bank, 9 May 2016
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) will act as the delivery partner for a $5 million grant from the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, FCPF, which will help Guatemala to move ahead with the preparation of its national strategy for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+).

Top palm oil producer sues green group over deforestation allegations
By Adam Vaughan, The Guardian, 9 May 2016
One of the world’s largest palm oil producers is suing the green body that suspended its sustainability certification last month because of allegations it had deforested Indonesian rainforests.
The Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a body set up by industry and NGOs to address environmental concerns about the commodity’s production, confirmed it had been served with a lawsuit by the Malaysian palm giant, IOI.
IOI was suspended by the RSPO in early April after the allegations of wrongdoing, leading major buyers including Unilever, Mars, Kelloggs and Nestle to cut back on the palm oil they buy from the company.

Save The Javan Leopards, Say Indonesian Researchers
Asian Scientist, 9 May 2016
An international team of researchers from Indonesia and Germany has discovered new insights into the evolutionary history of the Javan leopard. The results of the study confirm that Javan leopards are clearly distinct from Asian leopards and probably colonized Java in the Middle Pleistocene around 600,000 years ago, via a land bridge from mainland Asia. The study, published in the Journal of Zoology, highlights the urgent need for concerted conservation efforts to preserve the Javan leopard from extinction. Scientists from Indonesia’s national safari park, Taman Safari Indonesia, and Conservation International Indonesia worked in close collaboration with German colleagues to answer the question of whether the Javan leopard is a separate subspecies of the leopard.

[Indonesia] A herculean task to recover peatlands
By Hans Nicholas Jong, The Jakarta Post, 9 May 2016
As the leader of the newly-established Peatland Restoration Agency ( BRG ), conservation veteran Nazir Foead is President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s front man in the fight against the annual haze. The 49-year-old is tasked with leading a national effort to restore fire-prone peatland and curb the recurring fire risk, which last year shortchanged Indonesia’s economy of US$16 billion and catapulted the country passed Japan as the world’s fifth biggest polluter. He recently talked to The Jakarta Post’s Hans Nicholas Jong about his priorities as the head of the BRG as well as the challenges of restoring more than 2 million hectares of damaged peatland in the next five years.

Sudan: First Sudanese Project to Enter the Global Carbon Market
By Ishraga Abbas, SudaNow, 9 May 2016
The carbon stabilization is the first project for minimization of emissions to be carried out in the forests sector in Sudan aimed at marketing the idea of the global carbon market financed by the Global Environment Facility and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) as part of the mechanism for minimization of the carbon dioxide emissions. The project is expected to be of benefit to some 10,000 families in the Butanah region.
According to the national director of the Sudanese carbon project, Sumaya Abdoun, the project is funded by a 3.650 million US dollar grant from the Global Environment Facility. It is a complementary program with the integrated Butanah Rural Development project of Gedaref and Gezira states which is financed by an IFAD loan of more than 10 million US dollars for the carbon project.
Abdoun added that the project would be carried out in four years’ time 2014-2017 by the National Forests Corporation, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, the Butanah Development Corporation and the High Council for Environment and Natural Recurses.
Sylvan trees are planted over an area of 25,000 hectares, i.e. 10,000 feddans (acres), applying different methods, including forestation and reforestation and mixed farming systems.

[USA] Four-year old lawsuit looming larger on California carbon market
By Mike Szabo, Carbon Pulse, 9 May 2016
A four-year old lawsuit brought by manufacturers against California’s carbon market, and specifically its auctioning system, has become the top concern among the scheme’s participants, who fear that it could deter other states from joining the WCI programme while stifling investment.
“Everyone should be nervous about it,” said Sean Penrith, executive director of NGO The Climate Trust, at last week’s Navigating the American Carbon World conference in San Diego.
If the courts rule in favour of the big-emitting businesses, experts said California carbon prices could collapse to their fundamental value as it would mean the abolition of the market’s floor price, which is implemented through the auctions and stands at $12.73 currently.
The suit, initially filed by the National Association of Manufacturers via the California Chamber of Commerce in late 2012 on the eve of the state’s inaugural allowance auction, argues that the auctions represent an unconstitutional tax.

10 May 2016

What will it take to make sustainable palm oil the norm?
By Jack Hewson, CIFOR Forest News Blog, 10 May 2016
Most people want to do the right thing in life. But sometimes doing what’s right can be costly or inconvenient. So additional incentives are needed to encourage good behavior.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in the palm oil industry.
Producing palm oil sustainably requires producers to, among other things, reduce biodiversity loss and deforestation, prevent the exploitation of staff and minimize pollution and GHG emissions. But this often goes above and beyond the laws of the country in which they are operating and is much more costly and complex than business as usual among their competitors.
So, other than contributing to a better environmental future and claiming a few hectares of moral high ground, what else is motivating growers to meet these standards?
“We’ve found that two of the major motivators include, first and foremost, the business risk that producers are exposed to, when associated with unsustainable practices. And secondly, the relationships and alliances that businesses form,” said Sophia Gnych, a scientist at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and the lead author of recently published research on the subject.

It’s not just Alberta: Warming-fueled fires are increasing
By Seth Borenstein, Phys.org, 10 May 2016
Alberta’s unusually early and large fire is just the latest of many gargantuan fires on an Earth that’s grown hotter with more extreme weather.
Earlier this year, large wildfires hit spots on opposite ends of the world—Tasmania and Oklahoma-Kansas. Last year, Alaska and California pushed the U.S. to a record 10 million acres burned. Massive fires hit Siberia, Mongolia and China last year and Brazil’s fire season has increased by a month over the past three decades.
It got so bad that in 2009, Australia added a bright red “catastrophic” to its fire warning index.
“The warmer it is, the more fires we get,” said Mike Flannigan, a professor of wildland fire at the University of Alberta.
Last week, temperatures pushed past 90 degrees Fahrenheit (mid 30s Celsius) in Alberta, which is unusual for May in northern Canada.
It’s not quite so simple though. Many factors contribute to the complex increase in big fires, Flannigan and several experts said. They include climate change, the way people use land and firefighting methods that leave more fuel—trees and brush—to burn.
But the temperature one stands out, Flannigan said.

Conservation today, the old-fashioned way
By Jeremy Hance, mongabay.com, 10 May 2016
In 2002 I took my first — and very impromptu —trip to Africa, at age 22. Alone and breathless with excitement, I arrived in Nairobi, Kenya, with hundreds of dollars in cash shoved into my shoe to pay for a two-week safari through the Great Rift Valley and into the Maasai wilderness. Although I had long loved wildlife, I wasn’t studying biology. I was an English major and at the time I could tell you far more about the genius of Shakespeare than the history of conservation.

Global warming milestone about to be passed and there’s no going back
By Peter Hannam, Sydney Morning Herald, 10 May 2016
Within the next couple of weeks, a remote part of north-western Tasmania is likely to grab headlines around the world as a major climate change marker is passed.
The aptly named Cape Grim monitoring site jointly run by CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology will witness the first baseline reading of 400 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, researchers predict.
“Once it’s over [400 ppm], it won’t go back,” said Paul Fraser, dubbed by CSIRO as the Air Man of Cape Grim, and now a retired CSIRO fellow. “It could be within 10 days.”

IETA presses for rapid steps to further international emission trade
By Ben Garside, Carbon Pulse, 10 May 2016
Carbon trading business association IETA is urging governments to build on the Paris Agreement by furthering rules to stimulate international emissions trade.
In a paper published on Tuesday, IETA outlined its vision for linking cap-and-trade systems, crediting emission reductions, and allowing limited trade of offsets for cutting emissions in sectors not covered in a country’s NDC.
“Linking systems can help drive costs down even more, and allow for even greater emissions cuts than operating in isolation – and allow governments to go further than proposed ahead of Paris,” said IETA President and CEO Dirk Forrister.
“Taking steps to forge these connections now can provide a boost to the formation of rules guiding ITMO exchanges, including on accounting and transparency,” he added, referring to the Paris Agreement’s phrase of Internationally Transferred mitigation Outcomes.

Tied for Last Place: UN Shipping and Aviation Agencies Dragging Down Global Ambition on Climate Change
By Bill Hemmings, Huffington Post, 10 May 2016
When 175 countries gathered at the UN in New York on Earth Day to sign the landmark Paris Agreement on Climate Change — and set the record for most signatures collected on a major UN accord in a single day — representatives from the world’s shipping and aviation sectors were noticeably absent. Neither industry was explicitly referenced in the Paris Agreement nor in the pledges nations have made to date to tackle climate change yet international aviation and shipping each emit as much CO2 as the UK and Germany respectively. However, escaping mention in the Paris Agreement does not give these industries license to unravel its goals and yet, if left unmitigated, the fast growing emissions from these sectors will triple by 2050 undermining hard fought efforts in Paris to limit global warming to 2, let alone 1.5 degrees.
Two specialised UN agencies, ICAO for aviation and IMO for shipping, were charged with limiting and reducing emissions from these sectors 18 years ago since countries used the cross-border nature of these operations to side step including them in their own emissions accounting. Eighteen years later precious little progress has been made and the IMO just turned in a weak performance at its first major test post-Paris, putting off a decision to even map out the sector’s fair share of emissions reductions on the very same day that countries doubled down on their intention to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

China and US set for airline emissions clash
By Megan Darby, Climate Home, 10 May 2016
China and the US are set for a fight over the split of responsibilities for cutting airline emissions at a UN meet this week.
The outcome is critical to the environmental integrity of the sector’s main contribution to international climate efforts: a carbon offsetting scheme.
Green groups warn that draft proposals by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) exempt nearly half the sector’s emissions.
In a submission ahead of the Montreal summit Wednesday to Friday, China called for rich countries to take on steeper cuts.
“China notes with concern the reluctance of some of the developed countries to take the lead to reduce their international aviation emissions dramatically to leave room for the growth of developing countries,” it said.
The US, on the other hand, stressed the market-based measure should “achieve the widest possible coverage”.
It is a re-run of arguments in climate talks that were laid to rest with the adoption of the Paris Agreement, under which national governments determined their own commitments.

[Indonesia] Forest Conservation Timber Stolen: Illegal Logging in Bukit Rimbang Baling Wildlife Reserve
Kompas, 10 May 2016
Illegal Logging has occurred in the Bukit Rimbang Baling wildlife reserve in Kampar District, Kampar Regency, Riau. Logs with a 40-100 centimeter diameter obtained through illegal logging have been taken out of the forest by floating them along in the Subayang River, which runs through the forest conservation area.
From Kompas’ observation of the Subayang River for three days last week, hundreds of logs from the Bukit Rimbang Baling Wildlife Reserve area were floating in the river. The logs, which were logged illegally, had become stuck because the river was too shallow. The logs were found in dozens of spots at the side of the river, not too far from human settlement.

11 May 2016

Who is really bearing the cost of REDD+? The answer may surprise you
By Michelle Kochacevic, CIFOR Forest News Blog, 11 May 2016
Local and state government institutions in the jurisdictions where REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) is being implemented are bearing financial burdens, says a forthcoming study from the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), which might threaten the scheme’s viability to scale up in the coming years.
“This is one of the first studies to characterize the institutions and actors that bear the costs of the sub-national REDD+ initiatives across the tropics. It’s really a reality check,” says Cecilia Luttrell, a senior associate with CIFOR and one of the lead authors of the paper.
“Many REDD+ initiatives have been working under the assumption that the costs of reducing deforestation will be covered by incoming funds from the international community and that REDD+ would also generate a surplus that could be equitably shared between different stakeholders,” she says.

United Nations Seen as Likely Choice for Airline Pollution Cuts
By Matthew Carr, Bloomberg, 11 May 2016
A carbon market run by the United Nations is emerging as the most probable supplier of the emissions credits necessary to curb greenhouse gas pollution from the world’s airline industry, according to a group that develops ways to verify carbon reductions.
The UN’s airline regulator will probably want to use an existing program with the rules and tracking systems in place to ensure credits traded among companies maintain integrity at a scale needed to meet demand, said David Antonioli, chief executive officer of Washington-based Verified Carbon Standard. The agency is currently debating rules for an aviation carbon market post-2020.

Carbon-offset deal seen costing airlines up to $6.2 billion in 2025
By Allison Lampert, Reuters, 11 May 2016
A global market-based measure to curb aviation emissions would cost the airline industry up to $6.2 billion in the year 2025, but carriers could face higher charges if governments fail to reach a deal by October, the International Air Transport Association said, citing ICAO figures.
Government representatives are gathering Wednesday at the International Civil Aviation Organization to negotiate a draft deal on carbon-neutral growth from 2020 which is to be voted on at a fall assembly.
“That of course is the result the industry is counting on,” IATA Chief Executive Tony Tyler told participants at a global sustainable aviation forum in Montreal on Tuesday, in reference to the draft deal.
By 2035, the deal would cost airlines up to an estimated $24 billion, as air traffic grows, according to figures from the Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organization, or ICAO.

ICAO climate talks reach crunch time, but deal poised to exempt most aviation emissions
By Ben Garside and Mike Szabo, Carbon Pulse, 11 May 2016
Deep divisions are emerging between global powers over a UN deal to curb aviation emissions that is set to cover less than 40% of airline pollution and do little to answer airlines’ pleas to avoid a patchwork of regional measures.
Government officials resume the negotiations today at a three-day session at the headquarters of UN aviation body ICAO in Montreal, their main opportunity to iron out key issues before the deal is due to be voted on at the body’s full assembly in October.
But after two-and-a-half years of polite positioning, major rifts have emerged between the US and China over an ICAO draft for a global offsetting mechanism that some carbon market proponents expect to save the ailing CDM and spur a surge in demand for REDD credits.

CARBON MARKETS: The epic journey of a modest proposal
By John Fialka, eenews.net, 11 May 2016
In 1968, John H. Dales, an obscure Canadian economics professor, came back from a sabbatical determined to end what he felt was an endless and meaningless drama between environmental groups and industry over the problem of pollution.
Industries fielded experts who would argue their emissions were necessary for jobs and profits. They reeled off statistics to prove they did little harm to the environment. That was the cue for environmental groups to react with outrage. Some, according to Dales, had become accustomed to simply accusing big business of being evil.
And so it went, on and on.

Leaked docs reveal TTIP unfriendly to environment, consumers, democracy
By Jennifer Huizen, mongabay.com, 11 May 2016
Greenpeace Netherlands turned up the heat on the already troubled Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations last week when it published 248 pages of the negotiation texts, covering 13 of the 17 chapters which are currently being discussed by United States and European Union trade representatives behind closed doors.
The leak, the largest so far, follows more than two years of TTIP document and information leaks that have alarmed NGOs and the public.

The Carbon Chronicle
Ecosystem Marketplace, 11 May 2016
Carbon conferences are one of the few places where, jumping from conversation to conversation, you might find yourself talking to a Arkansan precision rice farmer in one moment, then a Chinese attorney, a Californian forest fire manager, a Norwegian diplomat, an Oregonian lawmaker, and finally a guy who designed a way to account for reducing emissions from leaky refrigerants (his title is “VP,” but that doesn’t quite capture it). This is networking in the New Normal.
The Navigating the American Carbon World Conference (NACW) put on by the Climate Action Reserve (CAR) last week felt almost international as stakeholders from around the world – and, of course, many other US states – traveled to San Diego to get the inside scoop on California’s cap-and-trade market and lessons to take home.

Top End Indigenous burning project pushed out of carbon market by falling price
By Daniel Fitzgerald, ABC Rural, 11 May 2016
A Top End Indigenous association has missed out on selling carbon credits because of a drop in the credit price.
The latest Emission Reduction Fund (ERF) auction set the carbon credit price at a new low of just over $10 per tonne.
For the Jawoyn Association, which uses its savannah burning projects to offset carbon emissions, the price is too low to sustain its operations.
Ben Lewis, a fire management consultant working with the Jawoyn Association, said the continuing drop in carbon credit prices paid by the ERF would not make its participation in the scheme worthwhile.
“[The Jawoyn Association] is not particularly keen to lock in, at up to seven years, at those lower prices,” he said.
“This last volume of [carbon credits] is not a make-or-break for them.
“The [Jawoyn Association] is of the opinion that the way it does its fire projects is more valuable than what the Emissions Reductions Fund is offering, and [it is] in a position to look at other ways of selling those credits or biding its time until the price gets better.”
The Jawoyn Association is looking to sell its carbon credits outside the government-controlled ERF, possibly through online auction site eBay.

Canada Adopts UN Declaration on Indigenous Peoples, but Some Are Skeptical Anything Will Change
By Tamara Khandaker Vice News, 11 May 2016
Cheers erupted in the room on Tuesday as Canada announced it will fully support the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), reversing the position of the previous government, which nine years ago made this country one of just four to reject the document.
But certain phrases used in the announcement — which comes as various Indigenous communities voice opposition to pipeline or development projects running through their territories — have put critics on edge.
Signed in 2007 by 144 countries — excluding Canada, the US, Australia and New Zealand — UNDRIP recognizes Indigenous peoples’ rights, including language, identity, culture, health, education, as well as the right to free, prior and informed consent to development on Indigenous lands. It’s a non-binding declaration that cannot be enforced.
Canada initially voted against it, despite being involved in its creation, citing concerns that the informed consent provisions amounted to giving Indigenous people veto power.

France Seeks German Support for Carbon Emissions Floor Price
By Francois De Beaupuy and Geraldine Amiel, Bloomberg, 11 May 2016
French Environment and Energy Minister Segolene Royal plans a domestic floor price for carbon of about five times the current European level and hopes Germany and other European nations will follow.
“The idea is that we decide on it together with Germany, and that we create a momentum for other European countries,” Royal said Tuesday in an interview in Paris. The price, about 30 euros ($34) a ton, will be included in the finance bill for next year, she said.
The plunge in the price of European carbon permits by almost 80 percent from their 2008 peak has eroded the penalty for burning coal, the most polluting fuel. Companies from Electricite de France SA to Engie SA have lobbied for a minimum price of at least 30 euros, arguing it would boost the use of their cleaner natural gas-fired power stations. Coal plant operator, EON SE’s Uniper unit, said last month that a floor price would jeopardize jobs.

12 May 2016

CARBON MARKETS: Europe becomes a reluctant emissions trading pioneer
By John Fialka, eenews.net, 12 May 2016
When it came to creating the European Union’s Emissions Trading System, now the largest system of abating greenhouse gases in the world, implementing cap and trade turned out to be much harder than the early enthusiasts of the idea in the United States had ever imagined.
The success of an emissions trading program in America’s fight against acid rain in the 1990s lured both Europe and China into taking a closer look at how a market-based trading system could bring more ingenuity to focus on combating pollution at a much lower cost.

In Wake Of Paris Agreement, Ecosystems Take Rightful Place In Fight To End Climate Change
By Kelli Barrett, Ecosystem Marketplace, 12 May 2016
“This whole ecosystem services thing was big in the 1990s, but then it seemed to fade away,” says Roshan Cooke, a climate and environment specialist with the International Fund for Agricultural Development, as he grabs a quick vegetarian bite between sessions at the Adaptation Futures conference here in Rotterdam.
“Now,” he adds, “It seems to be back – and in a big way.”
Does it ever!
In just three days here, roughly 40 presentations focused on the subject of “ecosystems and ecosystem based-adaptation”, and they focused on everything from the restoration of salt marshes that protect coastal communities from rising tides to the protection of Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, which supports a massive agricultural economy.
The event comes just two weeks after Earth Day, when 175 countries signed the Paris Agreement to combat climate change – in part by “ensuring the integrity of all ecosystems, including oceans, and the protection of biodiversity, recognized by some cultures as Mother Earth.”

After Rousseff, Brazil prepares to roll back green laws
By Jan Rocha, Climate Home, 12 May 2016
Taking advantage of Brazil’s present political turbulence and President Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment, reactionary politicians are quietly rolling back environmental and indigenous protection laws in defiance of the country’s commitments under the Paris Agreement.
Environmentalists say that if the bill known as PEC 65/2012, now at the Senate committee stage, is approved, it means that major infrastructure projects will be able to go ahead regardless of their impacts on biodiversity, indigenous areas, traditional communities and conservation areas.
Instead of a careful if somewhat slow licensing process which involves scientific assessments including biological, botanical, anthropological and archaeological studies, developers will merely have to present a proposed study of environmental impact to be allowed to begin – without actually having to carry out the study.
Once a project is under way it cannot be cancelled or suspended by the environmental protection agencies.

Brazil must review its climate pledge on new data
By Natalie Unterstell, Climate Home, 12 May 2016
The world is watching Brazil fight the “longest recession in a century, the biggest bribery scandal in history, the most unpopular leader in living memory,” and that’s not even counting the Zika virus epidemic.
Equally important are new official estimates on greenhouse gases emissions. They show that emissions from land use were 28% higher than previously estimated for the year 2005.
That affects not only the numbers from the past, but also the country’s commitments for the future. Brazil used 2005 as the baseline for emissions targets: a 37% cut by 2025 and 43% by 2030.
If Brazil uses the new reference data without changing the targets, virtually no mitigation action is needed. So will it review its climate pledge?

United Cacao responds to bid to remove company from London Stock Exchange
By Morgan Erickson-Davis, mongabay.com, 12 May 2016
Last week, dozens of indigenous and nongovernmental organizations issued a letter to the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and UK market regulators urging them to remove UK commodity company United Cacao from trading. They cited numerous legal issues that they say violate the rules of the Alternative Investment Market, the branch of the LSE on which United Cacao is listed.
United Cacao has responded, refuting some of the allegations in a short statement published May 5 on the LSE website. It asserts that its environmental reporting documentation that assesses a project’s impact on the land and local communities, commonly called a PAMA, had been initially approved in 2013 by “the relevant authorities,” and that the company is awaiting final approval.
“The Company operates in full compliance with all applicable Peruvian and environmental laws relating to planning, land use, development, operation and plantation standards,” the statement reads. “It operates on freehold land zoned for agricultural purposes by the relevant government authorities of Loreto, Peru.”

13 May 2016

Sellers achieve $2.09/t price for carbon credits in second World Bank PAF auction
By Ben Garside, Carbon Pulse, 13 May 2016
Sellers achieved an effective price of $2.09 (€1.84) per carbon credit at the second auction of the World Bank’s Pilot Auction Facility (PAF) held on Thursday, almost in line with the $2.10 achieved in the previous sale last July.
The winning nine sellers agreed to pay a $1.41 premium for tradable put options that allow them to sell 5.7 million carbon credits for a fixed price of $3.50 each to buyers through the PAF, the World Bank said in a statement on Friday.
Both PAF auctions have targeted methane emissions from landfills, agriculture and wastewater sites, with organisers expecting the units to come from projects already up-and-running rather than incentivising new schemes.

CARBON MARKETS: How America’s regions learned from Europe’s mistakes
By John Fialka and Debra Kahn, eenews.net, 13 May 2016
In 2010, after the Democratic-led U.S. Senate failed to pass a federal emissions trading system, the measure was widely diagnosed as politically dead. New England states picked up some of the pieces and soldiered on, but in the West, the outlook, compounded by the recession and newly elected Republican governors who insisted the measure was a hidden tax, looked dismal.
California, which fancied itself the centerpiece of what was to become the Western Climate Initiative (WCI), seemed to be in the most trouble. It had done much of the planning for this regional coalition, learning from the European Union’s mistakes and taking more time to design a system of measurements and rules to put an effective cap on its biggest sources of emissions. The plan of the state’s Air Resources Board started with electricity generators and large-scale manufacturing in 2013 and then spread by 2015 to cover 85 percent of the state’s greenhouse gas emitters.

Peru, Sri Lanka get World Bank funding to develop carbon crediting mechanisms
By Stian Reklev, Carbon Pulse 13 May 2016
Three countries have received funding under the World Bank’s Partnership for Market Readiness (PMR) to set up MRV systems and develop crediting mechanisms that could generate carbon offsets for international buyers.
The funds were awarded at the latest PMR meeting in late April, the World Bank said in an update released late Thursday.

U.S.-Nordic Collaboration on Climate Change, the Arctic, and Clean Energy
The White House, 13 May 2016
Today, the leaders of the United States, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden marked another major milestone in their leadership in the fight against climate change with the release of a U.S.- Nordic Leader Summit Joint Statement….
Collaboration on the Important Role of Forests: The United States and the Nordic countries are determined to cooperate on the important role of forests in addressing climate change by supporting and incentivizing developing country forest partners to conserve, restore and sustainably manage forests, as well as strengthen their respective efforts to combat illegal logging and associated trade. The leaders also committed to facilitate private sector efforts to eliminate deforestation from the production of commodities such as palm oil, pulp and paper, cattle and soy.

14 May 2016

ICAO aviation offset market talks yield little progress, seen backtracking on previous agreement
By Ben Garside, Carbon Pulse, 4 May 2016
Three-day talks on a deal to launch a market-based offsetting mechanism for international aviation emissions from 2020 wrapped up in Montreal Friday without any firm progress, with some nations even appearing to backtrack on a previous agreement by proposing a ‘pilot’ practice phase and a later start date.
The “high-level” negotiations at the headquarters of UN aviation body ICAO were one of the last opportunities to iron out key issues before a deal is due to be voted on at ICAO’s full assembly in October.
But two-and-a-half years spent poring over technical details has so far yielded little in the way of solid results, as this week’s session ended with governments failing to establish clear negotiating lines, including on the main issue of how to divide up offsetting responsibilities.
In response to the lack of progress, Singapore tabled a proposal for an “implementation phase” from 2020 to buy time to iron out the details and test infrastructure.
China also called for a pilot process, three sources at the talks said.

15 May 2016

Time for Action: Environmental emergency in Brazil
ALERT, 15 May 2016
Now and then a real environmental emergency comes along. This is one of those times.
A group of conservative politicians in the Brazilian Senate is using the country’s current political crisis as cover to push through a constitutional amendment — one that could have devastating environmental consequences.
If ratified, the amendment would allow fast-tracking of major dams and infrastructure projects that would imperil the nation’s forests and indigenous peoples.
The amendment, known as “PEC 65”, was approved on April 27 by the Senate Commission of the Constitution, Justice and Citizenship. One of its provisions would prevent the cancellation of a public infrastructure project if the contractor had submitted even a basic environmental impact assessment (EIA).
Such EIAs have been heavily criticized for often being ‘quick and dirty’ assessments that fail to consider many indirect impacts of projects or the full range of environmental and social damage they will cause.
 

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