Rainforests brought back to life as 'carbon trading' takes off
Tuesday 29 November 2005
New forests could blossom in tropical zones from Brazil to India as one of the more creative ideas produced by the Kyoto protocol begins to bear fruit. Someone has finally hit on a way to make money out of conservation.
Behind the idea is the fact that all Kyoto signatories are required to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases, in particular carbon dioxide, or face heavy fines - but if they cannot bring themselves to cut the emissions, they can buy "carbon credits" from countries or companies that are doing so.
The system works because greenhouse gases are a problem for the world, not merely for countries where the emissions take place. Likewise "carbon sinks", the forested areas that reduce the net quantity of global carbon emissions, can be anywhere.
As reported in The Independent yesterday, a bloc of 10 Third World countries styling themselves the Rainforest Coalition, led by Papua New Guinea and Costa Rica, are to lobby the United Nations conference on climate control in Montreal this weekend to launch a system whereby such countries will be paid at the going carbon-credit rate for preserving their forests. At present this is $20 (£11.50) for one credit, which is the equivalent of a one-ton unit of carbon dioxide.
Not to be outdone, a newly launched London-based finance company dealing in the "new carbon economy" has raised £68m from international investors to pour into raising new forests on land that has been logged out.
Carbon Capital, founded by Edward Seyfried last year, has established eight carbon trading partnerships around the world, from Brazil to China by way of Uganda, Kenya and India. "Each of the partners is seeking to generate their own carbon credits cheaply and sell them on," Mr Seyfried said. In total, the eight projects cover 450,000 acres of land that was formerly forested.
The first project, run by a company called Carbon Positive, is getting under way in Para, Brazil:seedlings are due to be planted out in the coming weeks, during the expected wet, mild weather. Decades ago, the forest in Para was cut down and a rubber plantation, owned by one of the big American automobile companies, was put in its place. But, within a year, the rubber trees were killed off by blight and the plantation was abandoned.
After three years, the pilot project will be examined by the officials of the Kyoto protocol's Clean Development Mechanism to see if it fulfils stringent criteria. Not only must the new forest replicate the biodiversity of the original one, but 20 per cent of the land must be devoted to commercial schemes that make sense, and money, for the local people. As Mr Seyfried says: "It's no good kicking people off their land so they simply go and deforest somewhere else."
If the officials give the project a certificate, the area of new forest will be enormously expanded. Mr Seyfried says: "Commercial solutions to global problems are better than charitable ones. We are trying to arrange it so that the Brazilian squatter farmer gets as much out of these schemes as the fat, cigar-chomping London banker."
Dolphins ‘deliberately get high’ on puffer fish nerve toxins by carefully chewing and passing them around
Energy Department misled consumers over Green Deal savings, ad watchdog rules
Plastic rubbish heaps at sea pose bigger threat to Earth than climate change, claims ocean expert
The ugliest animals on earth: Blobfish, axolotl and proboscis monkey battle it out to be named least attractive beast
Exclusive: Billionaires secretly fund attacks on climate science
- 1 Miley Cyrus' homeless MTV VMAs date, Jesse Helt, is wanted by the police
- 2 36-year-old skeleton of dead baby found inside Indian woman
- 3 Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
- 4 Homer Simpson has taken the ALS ice bucket challenge because of course he has
- 5 The 13 obscure UK laws you didn’t know you were breaking
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Jeremy Clarkson is a cultural tumour and needs to be removed, says comedian Frankie Boyle
Air strikes? Talk of God? Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script after James Foley beheading
- < Previous
- Next >
Flexible for the right candidate: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: I have a fa...
£500 - £700 per day: Harrington Starr: Calypso Developer Calypso, J2SE, XML, ...
£35000 - £36000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A market leading financia...
£250 - £350 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is cur...