REDD+ Offsets Don’t Add Up

cross-posted from foodandwaterwatch.orgNew Food & Water Europe Report Shows Why Use of International Forest Offsets Won’t Reduce Carbon Emissions

Brussels — Developments in the United States may lead to the adoption of international forest offsets being permitted in the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS). California’s newly launched carbon market is considering allowing offsets from REDD+ programs while at the same time the state is considering linking its market with the EU’s. California would be the first carbon market to allow international forest offsets. A new report, Bad Trade: International Forest Offsets and the Carbon Market, released by Food & Water Europe today, demonstrates that international forest offsets should not be allowed into any carbon market because they don’t encourage emission reductions at the source, but instead privatize natural resources, present opportunities for corrupt offset trading, and threaten the livelihoods and resources of indigenous communities.

Forest offsets would allow for a polluter in one location to pay for the protection of a section of forest in another location anywhere in the world, based on the idea that trees, which absorb carbon, can offset the emissions of the polluter. This methodology puts a financial value on the prevention of deforestation and degradation, essentially turning areas in countries with heavy forest cover into a financial opportunity for corporate greed.

REDD+ offsets lead to the financialization and privatization of nature. In addition, forests usurped into REDD+ programs become off-limits to the indigenous communities that have lived there for decades and have sustainably managed the forests without financial incentives.

“California’s attempts to allow international forest offsets could force Europe to adopt the same standards,” said Gabriella Zanzanaini, Director of European Affairs for Food & Water Europe. “Linking carbon markets to international forest offsets is essentially financializing nature, which could lead to corporate and governmental land grabs, displacement of indigenous peoples from their homes, and possibly the creation of a counterfeit offset market that grants credits without actually protecting forests.”

You can view the Food & Water Europe report Bad Trade: International Forest Offsets and the Carbon Market or download a PDF version here: http://fwwat.ch/12i6eLm

Contact: Rich Bindell, Food & Water Watch, +1 202-683.2457rbindell@fwwatch.org

Food & Water Europe is a program of Food & Water Watch, Inc., a non-profit consumer NGO based in Washington, D.C., working to ensure clean water and safe food in Europe and around the world. We challenge the corporate control and abuse of our food and water resources by empowering people to take action and transforming the public consciousness about what we eat and drink.

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