On 1 February 2018, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s forests were dealt a double blow. First, DRC’s Minister of Environment, Amy Ambatobe, reinstated three illegal logging concessions covering an area of 6,500 square kilometres. Second, DRC’s president, Joseph Kabila, signed off on three oil exploration concessions covering a huge area of Mai Ndombe province, including part of the Salonga National Park.
California’s governor, Jerry Brown, travelled to Bonn for COP23. On 11 November 2017, he launched “America’s Pledge”, a proposal for states, municipalities and businesses to meet the US commitments under the Paris Agreement. Brown’s presentation was interrupted by climate justice protesters, including indigenous people, chanting “Keep it in the ground”.
Here we go again. “Plant more trees to combat climate change: scientists” is a Reuters headline from earlier this week. The article is based on a press release put out by The Nature Conservancy about a paper published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The paper’s argument relies on the scientific fraud that the carbon stored in forests, soil, and landscapes is climatically the same as the carbon stored underground in fossil fuels.
Norway’s parliament recently approved a plan to become carbon neutral by 2030. But it’s obvious really that Norway’s claims to be addressing climate change are meaningless if at the same time the country continues drilling for oil and gas. A new report from Oil Change International documents Norway’s cognitive dissonance on climate change.
Earlier today, during a visit to Oslo, Brazil’s president, Michel Temer, met Norway’s prime minister, Erna Solberg. After the meeting, Solberg said, “If preliminary figures about deforestation in 2016 are confirmed, it will lead to a reduced payout in 2017.” She added that Norway’s rainforest payments to Brazil are “based on results”.
In the run-up to the UNFCCC climate negotiations in Paris, World Rainforest Movement put out a statement. “Instead of spending time on real solutions like leaving fossil fuels underground, the climate talks have deliberately come up with mechanisms that enable corporations to continue doing business as usual,” WRM argues.
At the end of June 2015, President Barack Obama and President Dilma Rousseff put out a “U.S.-Brazil Joint Statement On Climate Change”. It’s good to see that the two Presidents put climate change at the top of their agenda when they met.
The UN climate negotiations that will take place in Paris are sponsored by a series of polluting companies. Among these companies are two that are also involved in REDD projects: Air France and BNP Paribas.
In March 2015, Bloomberg quoted Jens Frølich Holte, political adviser to Norway’s Minister for Climate and Environment, as saying that, “Carbon trading can speed up the global transition away from a fossil economy. Trade creates benefits and this is as true for carbon as it is for other commodities.”
Early in the morning of 14 December 2014, the COP20 President and Peruvian Minister of the Environment, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, gavelled through a new Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action text, and announced the “Lima call for climate action“. “This is not perfect,” he said, “but it respects the positions of the parties.”