|December 12, 2007
December 10, 2007
December 7, 2007
December 6, 2007
December 4, 2007
December 3, 2007
|TFG press releases from COP 13|
US Hijacks Climate Talks – Rainforests Used As Hostage All Other Nations Show Compromise and Generosity
The United States again wrought havoc at UN Climate Change talks. In the early morning hours of talks, as diplomats faced exhaustion, the United States pulled the equivalent of a diplomatic nuclear option, scuttling frantic global efforts to save tropical forests.
As the two weeks of talks draw to a dramatic close, the US stood alone and forced the rainforest resolution into a frenzy. India relinquished its demand to seek credits for already having had revered rates of deforestation. Papua New Guinea was able to insert language that could allow billions of dollars to begin flowing to developing countries that move early to stop deforestation. At the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technical Advice (SBSTA) the US introduced new text to water down the negotiations. All other countries objected to the last minute change, forcing the subject to the higher level negotiations of the Conference of the Parties (COP). Said Jeff Metcalfe, Director of the Tropical Forest Group, “We’ve seen this before. The US waits for other countries to grow weary and brings in some new confusing tactic at the last hour. Only this time they’ve gone too far – with UN Chief Ban Ki-Moon and other Heads of State scheduled to speak, the US will have no choice but to back down”.
Elsewhere in the Bali talks, most other developed nations came forward with new monies to save rainforests. Norway announced more than $3 billions of dollars to help stop deforestation. Jeff Jackson, a volunteer with Tropical Forest Group who spent the two weeks erecting large inflatable trees, “Norway will go down in history as a great country by this simple act. The people of Norway want a future world with rainforests and they decided to act”.
A few hotels away from the main negotiations, the World Bank announced a $350 partnership to funnel money to rainforests. Governments including Germany ($57 million), the United Kingdom ($30 million), Finland ($5 million) and Japan ($10 million) announced new monies to support the World Bank fund to control deforestation. The US was notably absent from the stage as World Bank president Robert Zoellick chaired the exciting new plans to save rainforests.
Meanwhile in Washington –in what looks like another deliberate slap-in-the-face, a US Treasury Bill would slash US funding for tropical forests.
Tropical Forest Group’s Inflatable Tree Disappears –
Symbolize ½ Million Acres of Deforestation during Talks
As the 2nd week of negotiations begins at the UNFCCC in Bali, many questions remain surrounding efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation in developing countries (REDD) in a post-2012 international climate regime. Negotiators have failed to agree on REDD issues, an essential component to save the world’s tropical forests and combat climate change.
As a symbol of the slow progress on negotiations over deforestation, Tropical Forest Group has removed one of its three trees from the display near the entrance gate. This lost tree symbolizes the loss of ½ million hectares of tropical forest that occurred during the first week of COP13. Each year an estimated 30 million acres of tropical forest are lost, contributing 20% of global greenhouse gases. Thus far the Kyoto Protocol has done nothing to incentive developing countries to reduce deforestation. If an agreement on REDD does not transpire by the end of COP13, current deforestation rates will persist, driving carbon emissions and forcing global climate change. We will continue to display the remaining two trees as a reminder of what is at stake: our tropical forests and climate. Negotiators must not fail to address the remaining questions surrounding efforts to include deforestation measures in any post-Kyoto agreement.
Governors Lead Global Efforts To Combat Deforestation & Climate Change
Three governors – two from Indonesia and one from Brazil – jumped ahead of the carbon global market this evening in Bali, Indonesia. At an exclusive gala dinner in the gardens of the Conrad Hotel, Governor Yusuf Irwandi (Aceh, Indonesia), Governor Barnabas Suebu (Papua, Indonesia), Governor Abraham O. Atururi (Papua Barat, Indonesia), Governor Eduardo Braga and Secretary of Environment Virgilio Viana (Amazonas, Brazil), revealed a historic joint declaration supporting exploration of carbon revenues from reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries (REDD).
Dorjee Sun of Carbon Conservation, the host and organizer of the dinner, started the event by welcoming the Governors, the press and explaining that the dinner was an incredible opportunity to merge financial, good governance, and environmental principles.
Governor Suebu said that rather than wait for the diplomatic standoff between Developed and Developing Countries who are bickering about responsibility to reduce emissions, he and his green governor colleagues were moving forward. Governor Suebu hoped the collective actions of the governors would spark deeper cuts and more countries would become engaged in emission reductions.
Governor Irwandi stated that as governor of Aceh, he would continue to pursue a policy where no logging would occur under his watch, legal or illegal. He also discussed his “Green Aceh” program, which would begin a massive effort to plant new trees, operate sustainable community forestry, welcome sustainable industries and maximize potential revenues from REDD credits.
Finally, Governor Braga said his State would pursue a vision of developing livelihoods of people, reducing poverty and preserving forests. He suggested that as a collaborative partnership, each Province/State would learn from the others’ experiences.
The governors then signed a declaration, affirming their commitment to work together.
US Slashes Funding to Save Rainforest During UN Talks
MEDIA ALERT- Uncle Sam To Knock Down Towering Trees at 1:30pm local time.
UN diplomats in Bali Indonesia have begun negotiations on a new aggressive climate change policy framework. One key topic being discussed is how to create incentives for developing countries to conserve their tropical forests. As 20% of global greenhouse gases, tropical deforestation is the second leading cause of climate change and the leading cause of species extinctions.
The US Tropical Forest Conservation Act (TFCA) is the largest US pot of money exclusively for helping developing countries conserve threatened tropical forests. The Treasury Department, which administers the TFCA, implausibly cannot find enough trees to help, even though 30 million acres are destroyed each year. The TFCA, which expires at the end of 2007, is due to be re-authorized in the next few weeks. At the behest of the Treasury Department, US House of Representatives passed HR 2185 in October to expand the TFCA’s mandate to conserve coral reefs. Which would be great, except the bill contains the smallest congressional authorization ($20 million) for saving tropical forests in the entire history of the TFCA. In previous years, congress authorized up to $100 million per year. The amount of environmental finance is smaller, and now tropical forests and coral reefs will “compete” for limited funds, suggesting tropical forest funding could be as low as $10 million. That equals just $0.03 (3 US pennies) per American to combat our planet’s most serious ecological crisis.
December 4, 2007
United Nations. 1999. Matters left pending on the need for financial resources: Secretary General’s Report, United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, Intergovernmental Forum on Forests. Third Session, May 3-14, 1999. Document E/CN.17/IFF/1999/4.
December 3, 2007