Sunday, 2 March 2008

Will REDD save the rainforest?

burning the rainforest: Greenpeace photo
REDD (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) is being pushed by renowned scientist Edward O Wilson, environmentalists, NGOs and businessmen of Forests (see list of its signatories). They want this market-based scheme, which works similarly to CDM, JI and carbon offsets, to be incorporated in the post-Kyoto framework.

Andrew Deutz of the Nature Conservancy (see list of its corporate funders) says "REDD is going to be a critical element of a global deal".
By 2030 "55% of the Amazon will have been cleared or impoverished by some combination of logging, drought, and fire," according to a 2007 report by Daniel Nepstad; after summarizing contradictions in World Bank and private development plans, he hopes desperately that REDD "incentives for complying with environmental laws and using best land management practices" will save the lungs of the earth. In late 2007 the World Bank earmarked $160 million for REDD pilot projects. Frances Seymour of CIFOR, says 30 developing nations could pocket from $2.3 billion to $23 billion a year under REDD for "avoided deforestation". The money would come from corporate pollution credits (aka carbon offsets).

References: UNEP's REDD discussion forum,
the Kyoto Clean Development Mechanism and Joint Implementation; Larry Lohmann's well-documented critique of Carbon Trading.
A 2003 Washington Post reportage on The Nature Conservancy reveals that in addition to nature conservation, TNC operates profitable concessions on its land reserves, sells its logo and seats on its Council to
corporate members, and arranges carbon credits for them. Similarly in the UK, Thomas Houston's new Global Eco-Rescue Foundation (and investment company, aka Borneo Tropical Rainforest Foundation) is also in the highly profitable business of selling carbon offsets for "avoided deforestation". Previously he was a Los Angeles lawyer and lobbyist.

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