For a REDD project to generate carbon credits, the project developer has to write a story about what would have happened without the project. This story, or baseline scenario, is crucial to REDD. As long as the actual deforestation is less than the deforestation in the baseline scenario, the REDD project can generate carbon credits.
On 17 July 2017, California’s Assembly and Senate voted to extend the state’s cap-and-trade legislation until 2030. AB 398, written with the help of the oil industry, passed with two-thirds majorities in both chambers. Environmental justice groups opposed the bill, because it gives away far to much to the big oil and gas companies, and does too little to address the pollution that affects vulnerable communities in California.
In January 2017, the Kelantan state government in Malaysia signed a REDD deal with a company called Climate Protectors. The REDD project covers an area of 396,000 hectares, one-quarter of the state’s land area. Under the deal, Climate Protectors would run the project for 30 years, and receive 45% of the money from the sale of carbon credits.
Bradlodge Limited was a recovery room scam. Back in 2014, the company’s conmen rang up people who had already been conned into buying worthless carbon credits as investments. Bradlodge told them they could sell their carbon credits. For an advanced fee, of course.
At the beginning of December 2015, Troy Wiseman was in Paris. The CEO and co-founder of EcoPlanet Bamboo was there as part of the Nicaraguan government delegation to COP 21, the UN climate change negotiations. Wiseman’s Paris trip came just a few days before Wiseman wrote to the people unfortunate enough to have invested in his company’s “Bamboo bonds” to let them know that their investment had gone pear-shaped.
The Eco Resources Fund was launched in July 2012 in the Isle of Man. Via a special purpose vehicle called ERF Limited, the Fund invested in bamboo plantations in Nicaragua and South Africa. The bamboo plantations are run by EcoPlanet Bamboo.
A new report by Re:Common and Counter Balance investigates the Althelia Climate Fund and its investment in a REDD project in Kenya. The report highlights the findings of a July 2016 visit to the Kasigau Corridor REDD+ project area in Kenya.
Property Frontiers is an Oxford-based investment firm. According to the company’s website, Property Frontiers is “an investment company with a reputation for offering the best-performing international property and alternative investments to both first time and experienced investors”.
A company called Vision 2050 Forestry claims to be the “leading forestry company in West Africa”. According to the company, between September 2008 and February 2010 more than 300,000 people signed up to Vision 2050 Forestry’s Carbon Credit Project. The company claims that 150 million trees were planted and “five million people are expected to benefit from the project within the five years period as direct beneficiaries”.
In 2016, Sara Peña Valderrama completed her PhD in social anthropology, where she studied a forest carbon project run by Conservation International in Madagascar. Her thesis is available on Durham University’s website: Entangling Molecules: an ethnography of a carbon offset project in Madagascar’s eastern rainforest. She submitted this Guest Post about what happened when the project changed to a carbon project. She is currently a Honorary Research Associate at Durham University.