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Ear to the Ground

Carbon Market Begs to Be Robbed

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Posted on Oct 5, 2009
World Resources Institute / Jonathan Talbot

The U.N. estimates that deforestation and forest degradation are to blame for 20 percent of carbon emissions.

The U.N. is pioneering a carbon market that would allow rich countries to pay poor countries not to cut down forests. It’s just the kind of feel-good program that could save the planet—or make loggers and organized criminals filthy rich.

The Guardian looked into REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries) and determined that the program must develop safeguards or it will inevitably be exploited by organized crime, duplicitous industry and corrupt officials in the developing countries it’s meant to enrich.  —PS

The Guardian:

Interpol, the world’s leading policing agency, said this week that the chances were very high that criminal gangs would seek to take advantage of Redd schemes, which will be largely be based in corruption-prone African and Asian countries.

“Alarm bells are ringing. It is simply too big to monitor. The potential for criminality is vast and has not been taken into account by the people who set it up,” said Peter Younger, Interpol environment crimes specialist and author of a new report for the World Bank on illegal forestry.

“Organised crime syndicates are eyeing the nascent forest carbon market. I will report to the bank that Redd schemes are open to wide abuse,” he said.

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New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

By stcfarms, October 6, 2009 at 10:30 am Link to this comment

Floating islands on the ocean could be made from the trash in our landfills
and used to grow crops, collect rainwater, generate energy from wind, solar
and wave energy while providing homesteads for refugees and the homeless.
Richard Sowa is building an island from plastic bottles in Mexico, the Flying
Neutrinos are building ocean going rafts from styrofoam and I am building a
raft factory on the Mississippi river using plastic barrels.

The islands are cheap to build and are virtually unsinkable. When I transfer my
island to the ocean I intend to form it into an ever expanding ring with an
open Sargasso Sea type environment in the center. The seaweed would remove
atmospheric carbon, cool the sea beneath it and provide a refuge for marine
life.

The key to stopping the polluters is to sell good food, pure water and green
energy cheaper than the polluters can produce them. The islands are ideal for
farming as no pests or weeds live on the ocean so pesticides and herbicides
are not needed. There is never a shortage of water as we can make all of the
pure water we need. As the islands can produce trees as easily as they can
produce crops there would be less profit in cutting down the rain forests.

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