Environmentalists announce support for carbon trading
September 14, 2007
The effort -- known as the Forests NOW Declaration and coordinated by the Global Canopy Programme -- calls for a series of carbon policies and market reforms to "incentivize the protection of tropical forests and safeguard the vital services they provide including capture and storage of carbon dioxide." The declaration, signed by leaders from the indigenous, NGO and scientific communities, will be formally presented at U.N. climate talks in Bali in December where participants hope to develop a global framework on carbon credits for forest conservation. Organizers note that though deforestation accounts for greater carbon emissions than the entire global transport network, there is presently no legal mechanism or incentive to reduce emissions from forest clearing.
"We need a mechanism that will assist people in developing countries, certainly in Africa, to protect their standing forests and plant trees, to protect their soil, protect biodiversity and protect livelihoods while reducing carbon emissions for everyone," added Professor Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Founder of the Green Belt Movement.
Rainforest countries form pact to push global warming solutions
(9/14/2007) Eight tropical countries containing 80 percent of the world's remaining tropical forest cover have formed an alliance to have forest conservation included in a post-Kyoto agreement on climate change, reports the Financial Times. The "Forestry Eight", as the group is called, includes Brazil, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Gabon, Cameroon, Costa Rica, Congo and Indonesia.
Avoided deforestation could send $38 billion to third world under global warming pact
(10/31/2006) Avoided deforestation will be a hot point of discussion at next week's climate meeting in Nairobi, Kenya. Already a coalition of 15 rainforest nations have proposed a plan whereby industrialized nations would pay them to protect their forests to offset greenhouse gas emissions. Meanwhile, last month Brazil -- which has the world's largest extent of tropical rainforests and the world's highest rate of forest loss -- said it promote a similar initiative at the talks. At stake: potentially billions of dollars for developing countries. When trees are cut greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere -- roughly 20 percent of annual emissions of such heat-trapping gases result from deforestation and forest degradation. Avoided deforestation is the concept where countries are paid to prevent deforestation that would otherwise occur. Policymakers and environmentalists alike find the idea attractive because it could help fight climate change at a low cost while improving living standards for some of the world's poorest people and preserving biodiversity and other ecosystem services. A number of prominent conservation biologists and development agencies including the World Bank and the U.N. have already endorsed the idea.
Reducing tropical deforestation will help fight global warming
(5/10/2007) Scientists have lent support to a plan by developing countries to fight global warming by reducing deforestation rates. Tropical deforestation releases more than 1.5 billion metric tons of carbon into the atmosphere every year, though in some years, like the 1997-1998 el Nino year when fires released some 2 billion tons of carbon from peat swamps alone in Indonesia, emissions are more than twice that. Writing in the journal Science, an international team of scientists argue that the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation (RED) initiative, launched in 2005 by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, is scientifically and technologically sound, and that political and economic challenges facing the plan can be overcome.