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Greenpeace Report Shows that Forests in Carbon Markets Would Derail Climate Action

BONN, Germany

Including forest protection measures in carbon
markets would crash the price of carbon by up to 75 percent and derail
international efforts to tackle global warming, according to a new
report commissioned by Greenpeace. The group says that lower costs for
relatively abundant forest credits would dilute carbon markets,
discouraging needed investments in clean technologies.

Greenpeace says carbon markets should be focused on
driving clean and renewable technologies in key industrial sectors; and
that developed countries should make an additional "tropical
deforestation commitment" to help finance forest protection in
developing countries.

The study shows direct inclusion of forest credits into
the carbon markets could lead to developing countries like China, India
and Brazil losing out on tens of billions of dollars a year for
investment in clean energy technologies. If these countries do not get
incentives for a switch to low-carbon technologies, through carbon
markets and funds, their emissions will continue to rise, leading to
devastating climate change.

The report was released at the United Nations climate meetings in Bonn
last night as part of the ongoing negotiations to reduce emissions from
deforestation and degradation in developing countries (REDD).
Deforestation, mostly in tropical forests, accounts for about 20
percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Ending deforestation is one
of the quickest and most cost effective ways of tackling climate change.

Discussions in the climate negotiations include various proposals to
include REDD in emissions trading schemes. The report evaluates these
proposals and their ability to avoid a dangerous climate tipping point
(as far below 2 degrees Celsius as possible).

The report concludes that including REDD credits in carbon markets would:

* Cut the price of carbon by up to 75 percent, driving the developed
world to buy cheap offsets instead of making necessary energy
reductions at home;

* Drastically reduce investments in clean and renewable technologies in both developed and developing countries
* Cause a "lock in" effect where dirty technologies, like coal fired
power plants, continue to be built and operated for years; this in turn
could increase the long term costs of combating climate change.

* Slash the number and value of energy credits, so countries like
China and India would get less money for sustainable development
policies (an estimated $10 billion per year for China alone);

"Cheap forest credits sound attractive but a closer examination shows
they are a dangerous option that won't save the forests or stop runaway
climate change. Of the many options for forest financing currently on
the table, this one ranks as the worst," said Rolf Skar, Greenpeace
senior forest campaigner.

"Developing countries stand to lose tens of billions
needed for low carbon technologies," he added. "Without a strong price
signal, how can anybody seriously expect the world to shift to a
low-carbon economy?"

Moreover, such a move could ultimately result in
temperature increases, which could lead to the irreversible loss of
major tropical forests, like the Amazon, due to increased droughts,
fires, insect infestations and diseases.

The most effective way to reduce emissions from
deforestation and degradation is a new forest fund that would value
both the climate and biodiversity. Such a fund could keep forests
standing while fully respecting the rights of indigenous and local

Last month, Greenpeace released its U.S. roadmap for
slowing climate change. In the report, called the Energy [R]evolution,
Greenpeace supports a strong cap on global warming pollution, an end to
fossil fuel and nuclear subsidies, mandatory efficiency standards for
vehicles, buildings and appliances, binding targets for renewable
energy generation and strong financial support for clean energy in
developing countries.

Greenpeace is a global, independent campaigning organization that uses peaceful protest and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.

+31 20 718 2000