By the end of 2010, a small company in Australia called Shift2Neutral claimed to have set up REDD-type deals in Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, the Solomon Islands, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Brazil.
On 28 March 2011, Australian TV station Today Tonight Adelaide broadcast a programme about Shift2Neutral and the company’s chairman Brett Goldsworthy. Paul Makin, a journalist with Today Tonight Adelaide interviewed Brett Goldsworthy in his office in a shopping centre in Westleigh, a suburb of Sydney.
Shift2Neutral, a small Australia-based carbon trading company, has signed REDD-type deals in Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, the Solomon Islands, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Brazil. The total area of these projects is several million hectares. Yet almost nothing is known about this company, and the company chairman, Brett Goldsworthy, is reluctant to answer questions.
In August 2010, Reuters reported that Shift2Neutral had “signed a deal aimed at protecting tropical forests in the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as boosting renewable energy there.” Now, according to a letter dated 1 October 2010, from DR Congo’s Minister of Environment, José E. B. Endundo, the deal is “illegal” and “void”.
UPDATE – 17 August 2011: On 15 August 2011, Albert George of the Amazon Reforestation Project wrote to REDD-Monitor stating that “we have severed all ties with Shift2Neutral”.
The Australian carbon trading company Shift2Neutral aims to become “the leading neutraliser of carbon emissions in the world”. The company appeared to come closer realising its aim this week when Reuters reported that Shift2Neutral “signed a deal aimed at protecting tropical forests in the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as boosting renewable energy there”.
Brett Goldsworthy, chairman of Shift2Neutral has responded to REDD-Monitor’s email asking some questions about his company’s REDD-type projects in Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia. He states that his company “deals in facts”, but provides no new information. He states that his company manages its project “in an ethical and open way” but apparently only “to those people involved in the project”.
In response to last week’s post about an Australian carbon trading company, Shift2Neutral, REDD-Monitor received a statement from CoDe REDD in the Philippines (posted below). The Climate Change Commission wrote to Shift2Neutral recommending that the company’s “carbon credit activities be held in abeyance,” until the commission has “promulgated the guidelines and the rules addressing this issue”.
Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia (JOAS), the Indigenous Peoples Network of Malaysia, put out a press release on 10 August 2010 about a carbon trading deal with indigenous peoples in Sarawak. On 6 August 2010, Reuters reported that an Australian carbon trading company called Shift2Neutral had “signed a deal with nine Malaysian tribal leaders to certify carbon offsets from a project aimed at preserving more than 100,000 hectares of tropical forest”.
During the World Social Forum, a group of African organisations and individuals took part in the launch of a “No REDD in Africa Network”. Given the problems with the REDD mechanism, REDD-Monitor welcomes critical debate about REDD, but could REDD really cause genocide, as the press release about the launch of the No REDD Network claims?
In November 2011, PricewaterhouseCoopers warned that “The implementation of REDD+ in DRC will face numerous challenges because of the widespread nature of corruption in the country”. As in all other sectors, PwC added, corruption is “likely to be ever present”.
Earlier this month, Ecosystem Restoration Associates, a Canadian carbon trading company, announced a REDD-type project in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The company described the project as, “the first Forest Conservation Concession Contract awarded by the government of the DRC.”