A journalist recently quoted me as saying that to address climate change, we should keep fossil fuels in the ground. So far, so good. But he added that we should then invest heavily in renewables like wind, solar, hydropower and even nuclear, as if this was my opinion.
The access road to the Amaila Falls hydropower dam in Guyana’s forest is already under construction. The project is one of those listed in President Bharrat Jagdeo’s Low Carbon Development Strategy. Potential financiers of the hydropower project include the China Development Bank, the China Railway First Group, the InterAmerican Development Bank and the Norwegian Government.
In India, when an area of forest land is cleared, an equivalent area of land has to be afforested. Since 2006, the government has imposed a fee on companies that clear forests for mining, industry, or other projects. The money goes into the Compensatory Afforestation Fund. The Compensation Afforestation Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) is the organisation responsible for overseeing this afforestation. But the money collected was largely unused.
Last year (as usual) most of the top ten stories on REDD-Monitor were about scams and frauds. A post about Renwick Haddow’s return after the Capital Alternatives scam took top place (and is the second most visited post on REDD-Monitor, after a 2013 post about how much a carbon credit costs.) Haddow featured in three of the top ten posts in 2017.
Last week, Senator Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) and Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) gave a press conference about a new bill, SB 775, aimed at changing California’s cap-and-trade scheme. The proposed bill would start a new cap-and-trade scheme in 2021 that would include no offsets, no free pollution allowances, and a per-capita dividend.
In 2011, REDD-Monitor asked “Can REDD save the Amazon?”. Six years later, after Norway has poured more than US$1 billion into REDD in Brazil, it is clear that REDD is not a solution to Amazon deforestation. Deforestation fell from 2004 to 2012, but the reasons were nothing to do with REDD. Now deforestation is going back up.