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Climate Change Policy & Practice (IISD), 14 October 2014 | The UNFCCC Secretariat has published the report of an expert meeting held to discuss the information hub to be created for activities related to REDD+ (FCCC/SBI/2014/INF.13). According to the report, meeting participants concluded that a significant degree of flexibility for adjustments should be built into the hub. The experts noted that parties may wish to revise the hub as experience tracking results is gained or to link it with other information systems that may be created under the UNFCCC. The experts, who met in Bonn, Germany, on 2-3 September 2014, shared their knowledge of national and intergovermental REDD+ information portals and offered proposals for the hub, which will be created and hosted by the UNFCCC Secretariat.
By Katie Sullivan, RTCC, 13 October 2014 | From a business perspective, the issues of climate finance and carbon pricing stole the show at last month’s UN Climate Summit in New York City. The event’s centerpiece on climate finance was a formal session structured around the broad and inter-connected areas of green finance, green regulatory frameworks, and UN Green Climate Fund (GCF) pledges. As the 23 September summit wrapped up, World Bank president Jim Kim summed it up best when he remarked: “The message is clear. Investor interest in a clean future is rising.” This was evidenced by the remarkable number of wide-ranging climate finance declarations and commitments...
By Megan Darby, RTCC, 15 October 2014 | ArcelorMittal is hoarding a surplus of climate pollution permits worth almost twice its annual carbon emissions, a think-tank has revealed. With an excess of 93 million allowances, the steel and mining giant is top of Sandbag’s “carbon fatcat” leader board. These are the heavy industrial companies benefitting from a glut of cheap permits under the EU’s emissions trading system (ETS). Sandbag, which supports carbon markets in principle, for the first time called on EU policymakers to scrap the ETS if they cannot halt the bonanza. “We’ve been saying for years: ‘Fix the emissions trading scheme’,” said Sandbag director Bryony Worthington. “But sadly the incentives for investment in green growth are still not there. It has now got to the stage where the ETS is so broken we are recommending ditching it unless problems are sorted out with new laws within the next 12 months.”Baroness Worthington is due to present the report in Brussels on Wednesday.
By Alice Baghdjian and Paul Arnold, Reuters, 14 October 2014 | The integrity of the fast-growing "green bond" market is at risk unless a clear definition of what passes for green can be agreed, Zurich Insurance's (ZURN.VX) investment chief told the Reuters Global Climate Change Summit. The supply of green bonds, a fixed-income security designed to raise capital for low-carbon, or green, investments, is expected to reach $40 billion this year by some estimates, four times higher than 2013. Money raised by green bonds can be used to fund projects from hydroelectric power plants to ecological farms. Investors around the world are snapping up the bonds, partly to offset the climate change risks to other assets in their portfolios.
By Joan Baxter, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 16 October 2014 | To the agro-food industry and smallholder farmers in the tropics, it’s a veritable miracle plant. To many NGOs and indigenous groups, it’s a grave threat to land rights and to the environment. So which is it? How can a single plant — the oil palm — cause such a divergence of viewpoints? These are the questions that Alain Rival and Patrice Levang tackle in their book, “Palms of controversies: Oil palm and development challenges,” newly translated into English and published online by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). “The problem,” the authors write, “is not the oil palm but the way people have chosen to exploit it.”
By Joan Baxter and Fai Collins, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 16 October 2014 | Boycotts of palm oil because of deforestation wrongly place blame on the crop itself, a leading researcher says, while disregarding deforestation caused by other crops. Palm oil — used in countless foods, cosmetics, and even biodiesel — has been in the spotlight in recent years, with consumer pressure leading some palm oil buyers to pledge no deforestation in their supply chain. But the depiction of major corporate palm oil buyers as drivers of deforestation is overly simplistic, writes Patrice Levang, a researcher at the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD) and the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), co-author with Alain Rival, a researcher at CIRAD, of “Palms of controversies: oil palm and development challenges.”
By Kate Evans, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 16 October 2014 | Social inequality is also part of the landscape—and so must be accounted for in landscape approaches to managing agriculture and forests, a development economics expert urges. A landscape approach is a way of taking a holistic approach to land-use management in order to balance social, economic and environmental goals. Speaking in New York at the CGIAR Development Dialogues, Bina Agarwal from the University of Manchester and University of Delhi said that while the approach is useful, so far the term has typically been used in a politically neutral way that ignores power discrepancies within communities. “Communities are not homogenous, communities are unequal. They are divided by class, by caste/ethnicity and by gender. And those are the communities who will then make the landscape approach a success or not,” she said.
By Jim O'Neill, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 17 October 2014 | Palm oil can be produced without deforestation, according to a book newly translated to English published by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). Scroll down for an infographic about oil palm and the controversy behind it.
CIFOR Forests News Blog, 16 October 2014 | Balancing the many competing demands on rural lands is inherently complex—and researchers need to embrace this, according to a leading rural development specialist. “We need to not be afraid of complexity,” said Kwesi Atta-Krah, Director of the CGIAR Research Program on Integrated Systems for the Humid Tropics, a global initiative that uses research to boost the incomes of rural farmers in the tropics. Speaking at the recent CGIAR Development Dialogues in New York, Atta-Krah advocated for holistic “landscape” approaches to managing multiple land uses such as agriculture and forests as the only way to responsibly balance the tradeoffs among them. “We don’t have an option,” he said.
GIZ, no date | The programme addresses current aspects of the REDD+ process in Nepal, Bhutan, India and Myanmar. Components of the programme focus on capacity building and training, technical and organisational advice, and the development of methods for the measurement, reporting and verification of carbon storage. With its advisory services, GIZ ensures the strategic orientation and continued thematic development of the project, as well as the strategic integration of the results of its work in the formulation of national REDD+ development strategies. The role of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) is to improve knowledge management within the countries involved, as well as the exchanges of information between them. ICIMOD has already gained its first experiences of REDD+ pilot projects in Nepal, and the Himalayan states have called on the organisation to provide comprehensive support in this area.
Kaieteur News, 14 October 2014 | With a promise of providing employment for between 400 and 500 persons, an investment of US$30M, the generation of 8MW of electricity and a five per cent equity stake in the new company, some 5000 acres of land has been set aside for an Indian Company which has recently registered a subsidiary locally to pursue a number of projects. Professor Suresh Narine of the Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology (IAST) and Manu Bansal, Executive Director, Pinnacle Green Resources (Guyana) Limited, yesterday inked a Letter of Intent meant to be transformed into a binding Memorandum of Understanding to pursue a Public Private Partnership, meant to have a positive impact on the energy sector in Guyana. The agreement will see Pinnacle Green Resources (Guyana) Limited, investing in three projects and has been allocated some 5000 acres of land in the Pomeroon, to pursue a plantation type establishment...
Stabroek News, 14 October 2014 | The Institute of Applied Science and Technology has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Pinnacle Group to build a facility that would transform biomass waste into pellets and one for power generation. The three projects to a total value of US$35 million will see the utilisation of Guyana’s large level of waste such as bagasse from the production of sugar, paddy husk from milling rice and waste wood created by sawmills. Director of the IAST Dr Suresh Narine, met President Donald Ramotar and Executive Director of Pinnacle Green Resources PTE Ltd Manu Bansal at the Office of the President yesterday to speak about the projects.
Ecosystem Marketplace, 16 October 2014 | Tag – you're in! Guatemala, Indonesia and Peru were selected for the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility's (FCPF) Carbon Fund pipeline last week, unlocking up to $650,000 per country to develop an emissions reductions program. The Carbon Fund holds a total of $465 million that could be paid to developing countries that reduce deforestation against a national baseline (REDD+). Eight other countries – Chile, Costa Rica, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Mexico, Nepal, the Republic of Congo and Vietnam – were already in the pipeline. Buyers in the Carbon Fund have expressed their willingness to pay $5/tCO2e, but the final price will depend on the Emission Reductions Payment Agreements (ERPAs) negotiated with each country. Peru's maximum contract volume is 6.4 million tonnes of emissions reductions (MtCO2e) while Guatemala may be paid for up to 21 MtCO2e, according to resolutions from the Carbon Fund meeting.
By Paul Kelly, The Australian, 18 October 2014 | With his statement that coal is “essential for the prosperity of Australia” and “essential for the prosperity of the world”, Tony Abbott has declared political war on the green activist campaign to shut down Australia’s cheap energy sectors and undermine our competitiveness. Speaking at Moranbah in Queensland at the opening of the Caval Ridge Mine, the Prime Minister sharpened the ideological contest for the next election, signalled his alarm at the sophistication and finances of the green movement, and sent an unmistakable message to industry — it must fight for its social licence.
By James Pickford, Financial Times, 17 October 2014 | A campaign to warn people about the risks of investment fraud has been launched by the City watchdog, which receives 5,000 calls a year about finance scams. The average victim loses £20,000 to confidence schemes such as those involving investments in land-banking schemes, carbon credits or rare earth metals, the Financial Conduct Authority said. The typical investment scam involves “high-pressured selling, using boiler room tactics, for products which often do not exist”.
The Jakarta Post, 18 October 2014 | The government has pledged to reduce deforestation, following a report showing that Indonesia has a higher deforestation rate than that of Brazil. Forestry Ministry secretary-general Hadi Daryanto said on Thursday that the ministry had taken several actions to reduce deforestation rates in Indonesia, especially in deforestation-prone areas such as Riau and Kalimantan. Hadi said the measures included the extension of a moratorium on the conversion of natural forests and peat land, the provision of degraded-forest areas for economic activity, a compliance audit on several companies in Riau and the eradication of illegal logging, which can trigger forest fires. On the forest fires issue, however, Hadi acknowledged that the ministry was falling behind in its efforts to tackle problems in Sumatra, Jambi, West Kalimantan and Central Kalimantan, but promised to continue to improve its performance.
The Jakarta Globe, 17 October 2014 | The Corruption Eradication Commission, or KPK, has initiated a new joint policy on forestry with several ministries in an attempt to curb government corruption in the industry. “Today we signed a memorandum of understanding on forest management in Indonesia,” KPK deputy chairman Zulkarnain said on Friday. The MoU was finalized by the national antigraft body, the Home Affairs Ministry, the Forestry Ministry, the Public Works Ministry and the National Land Agency (BPN). “Matters involving Indonesia’s forests are now one of our main concerns. We [the KPK and the government] have to work together in resolving these issues,” Zulkarnain said. Chief economics minister Chairul Tanjung, who currently also serves as interim forestry minister, said the policy aimed to resolve forestry issues relating to development and planning. He added that the MoU would soon be implemented by the Justice Ministry.
By Stella Gama (Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, Malawi), The UN-REDD Programme blog, 17 October 2014 | In my view an effective REDD+ approach is linked to the engagement of all relevant stakeholders, regardless of gender, and to the promotion of equality and equity in terms of participation in decision-making and access to benefits. Specific attention to women’s needs and contributions is key to efficient REDD+ strategies and activities, and the UN-REDD Programme is helping to guide countries conceptually and methodologically in addressing the gender considerations of REDD+. The UNFCCC ‘Cancun Agreements’ call for the integration of gender considerations within REDD+ national strategies, and this is reflected in the UN-REDD Programme Strategy 2011-2015, which makes numerous references to gender equality and equity.
ScienceDaily, 16 October 2014 | The first detailed map of aboveground forest carbon stocks of Mexico has been released by researchers. This carbon stock inventory is very valuable for Mexico, as one of the first tropical nations to voluntarily pledge to mitigation actions within the context of the United Nation's Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation program.
WBCSD - World Business Council for Sustainable Development, 16 October 2014 | The Co-Chairs’ Summary Report from the Field Dialogue on REDD+ Benefit Sharing, 2-5 June 2014, Mexico, is now available. This report summarizes key observations and discussions from the dialogue. Mexico’s REDD+ strategy is intended to coordinate different sectors and stakeholders in rural areas and is expected to follow a territorial and landscape approach in which integrated and sustainable rural development acts as the foundation for REDD+ implementation. REDD+ is only going to be one instrument among many others the Mexico government utilizes to seek a low-carbon growth path. The Strategy is expected to unfold in details at a subnational level under national guidance. Read more about Mexico’s REDD+ strategy and the way forward in Mexico on REDD+ Benefit sharing in the summary report.