The International Civil Aviation Authority is currently considering how it can continue to expand while appearing to address greenhouse gas emissions from flying. Predictably, for a massively polluting industry with huge plans to expand, buying cheap offsets looks very attractive.
Yvette Aguilar is an expert and adviser on the issue of climate change of El Salvador Round-Table and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in El Salvador. She submitted this Guest Post looking at the way proponents are recycling REDD under a range of different labels.
California’s Air Resources Board is planning to allow REDD offsets in its cap and trade scheme, Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32). Friends of the Earth USA has sent out an action alert asking people in California to tell the Chair of Air Resources Board, Mary Nicholls, to reject REDD.
Green Resources is a Norwegian company that claims to be “Africa’s largest forestation company.” The company has established a total of 45,000 hectares of industrial plantations in Africa. It also generates carbon credits from its plantations.
Last week, REDD-Monitor looked at the aviation industry’s plans to offset its ever-growing emissions using REDD credits. Kevin Conrad and the Coalition for Rainforest Nations are behind the plan. It’s supported by nine mainly US-based NGOs. And it’s opposed by more than 80 NGOs internationally.
Air travel has increased rapidly in recent decades, resulting in ever more greenhouse gas emissions from flying. Yet the aviation sector was nowhere to been seen the UN’s Paris Agreement agreed at the end of last year. Instead the UN International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) is planning “carbon neutral” growth from 2020. ICAO plans to achieve this largely through carbon offsets.
For the past three years, Timothy Frewer of the University of Sydney has been carrying out his PhD research in Cambodia, looking at the Oddar Meanchey REDD project. REDD-Monitor has written a series of posts about Oddar Meanchey, questioning how the project can sell carbon credits while deforestation continues.
The Mai Ndombe REDD project in the Democratic Republic of Congo covers about 300,000 hectares of forest. Project documents claim that without the project, the forest would be logged, and that communities in the area benefit from the project. A new article by Jutta Kill in the World Rainforest Movement Bulletin questions both of these claims.
A new paper in Conservation Biology starts with the following sentence: “Increasingly, one hears furtive whispers in the halls of conservation: ‘REDD+ is dead; it’s time to cut our losses and move on.’”
“Efficient reduction in carbon emission has … been the raison d’être of REDD+. A hotly debated issue surrounding REDD+ is how much such measures should adhere to social safeguards, address equity concerns and provide other co-benefits beyond carbon storage, such as bio-diversity conservation and poverty alleviation.”
Green Resources is a Norwegian company with plantations in Africa. According to the company, its plantation operations follow, “high international practice for sustainable forest management, ESG [environmental, social and corporate governance] responsibilities and carbon sequestration”.