“The aim of reducing the emissions from forest destruction and degradation caused by industrial agriculture, logging, mining for fossil resources, etc. is today decisive to the survival of humankind and our planet. However, when the tool to achieve this aim is the trading of emission credits (offsets), we arrive at the wrong solutions.”
A new paper in World Development argues that REDD is, “the latest in a long row of conservation fads that have invoked great enthusiasm within the forestry-development sector, only to be dubbed a failure and abandoned at a later point in time”.
In July 2016, the Walt Disney Company agreed to hand over US$2.6 million for carbon credits from a REDD project in Cambodia’s Mondulkiri province.
This week, Benedict Bengioushuye Ayade, the governor of Nigeria’s Cross River State, will be in Guadalajara, Mexico taking part in the Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force Annual Meeting. The aim of the GCF is to link states and provinces running REDD programmes with carbon markets in the rich countries.
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.
In order for REDD projects to generate carbon credits, a “baseline scenario” has to be created. This is supposed to reflect what would have happened under business-as-usual, or what would have happened in the absence of the REDD project.
On 13 June 2013, the European Investment Bank agreed to give up to €25 million to Athelia Climate Fund. This is the first time that the European Investment Bank has funded a European carbon fund. It is also the first time that the EIB has supported REDD, and it is doing so through a financial intermediary.
Six years ago, Norway and Indonesia signed a US$1 billion REDD deal. This week the Financial Times published an article about how the attempts to preserve Indonesia’s forests are going. The only good news is that in more than 3,800 words, Pilita Clark, the FT journalist, doesn’t mention REDD once.
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.’”
“Governments have signalled an end to the fossil fuel era,” reported the Guardian on Saturday. “Nearly 200 countries signed on to a legal agreement on Saturday evening that set ambitious goals to limit temperature rises and to hold governments to account for reaching those targets.”
The fires in Indonesia this year are the greatest environmental disaster of the 21st century (so far). An area of about 2.5 million hectares of forest and peatland burned. Visibility was reduced to 30 metres in places. At least 19 people died. By the end of October, there were 500,000 cases of respiratory tract infections.