At a recent workshop in Sacramento, Environmental Defense Fund’s Steve Schwartzman was waving around copies of a letter in favour of California using REDD offsets in its cap and trade scheme. Following the letter was a list of NGO logos, including that of Greenpeace Brazil. But Greenpeace has consistently opposed REDD offsets in California. How did Greenpeace’s logo appear on a letter supporting REDD?
Last week, the New York Times published an article that argues that, “The science says that spending precious dollars for climate change mitigation on forestry is high-risk”. It is written by Nadine Unger, an assistant professor of atmospheric chemistry at the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University.
“If it’s wrong to wreck the climate, it’s wrong to profit from that wreckage.” That’s the slogan of the Fossil Free Movement, a campaign started by Bill McKibben and 350.org to persuade “educational and religious institutions, city and state governments, and other institutions that serve the public good” to divest from fossil fuels.
In June 2011, FERN, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and the Rainforest Foundation UK produced a report which counters some of the misconceptions about the suitability of carbon markets to finance forest protection.
On 7 December 2010, thousands of people in Cancun took part in Via Campesina’s International Day of Action for Climate Justice. In a press release Via Campesina announced that the protesters were opposed, among other things, to carbon markets and REDD. Not so, according to Environmental Defense Fund’s Chris Meyer.
In November 2009, investigative journalist Mark Schapiro reported from Brazil’s Atlantic Coast about a project set up by the Nature Conservancy in a region called Guaraqueçaba. For his new film, “The Carbon Hunters”, Schapiro also visited another REDD-type conservation project in Brazil, the Juma Reserve project, set up with US$2 million by the Marriott hotel chain.
Rising Tide North America has launched an online campaign, demanding an end to financial and political relationships between big NGOs and Corporate America. The response (posted below) from Fred Krupp, the President of Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), one of the targetted NGOs, arrogantly shrugs off the accusations.
Last week, an organisation called Avoided Deforestation Partners launched what they blandly describe as “an agreement on policies aimed at protecting the world’s tropical forests”. Under this agreement, “companies would be eligible to receive credit for reducing climate pollution by financing conservation of tropical forests”. It is a loophole allowing industry to write a cheque and continue to pollute.
Environmental activists yesterday occupied the Washington DC offices of Environmental Defense (ED), one of the leading architects and NGO advocates of carbon trading. The protest was led by Dr Rachel Smolker, daughter of Robert E. Smolker, a Founder of ED, who said her father would be “rolling over in his grave” at the direction the organisation has taken.