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A new way to use personal money to protect tropical forests

The governments of the United States, Norway, and the United Kingdom have teamed up with a number of large companies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by rewarding countries that have stopped tropical deforestation.

By focusing on private investors, the program will show that global governments are making efforts to raise private money in the costly fight against climate change.

The plan currently includes commitments such as Amazon, Airbnb, Bayer, Boston Consulting Group, GlaxoSmithKline, McKinsey, Nestlé, Salesforce և Unilever. The nine major companies would work with the United States, Norway and Britain to invest at least $ 1 billion by the end of the year and significantly more in the years to come. (Amazon CEO ff Bezos is owned by The Washington Post).

“We cannot succeed in tackling climate change if we do not protect tropical forests,” said Nathaniel Keohane, senior vice president of the Environmental Protection Fund, noting that more than 25 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions would be avoided if existing forests were protected.

This is not easy to do. Corruption by local officials has contributed to deforestation, from Latin America to West Africa to Indonesia and beyond to cocoa trees. Under Brazilian President Air Air Bolsonaro, deforestation has reached a 12-year high. Global deforestation has increased by 12% from 2019 to 2020. In total, the world lost more than 4.4 million hectares of primary tropical forest last year, which is larger than Switzerland.

In many cases, deforestation was done in a way that treated the natives badly.

The new initiative, called the Emissions Reduction Coalition through the Forest Acceleration Coalition, or LEAF, has a better chance of success than previous deforestation efforts, as forest owners have to take responsibility for protecting them, said Eron Bloomgarden. Director of Forest Finance Acceleration, a non-profit mediator working to bring together tropical forest countries and the international private sector.

Under the agreements, corporations will pay $ 10 a tonne to avoid carbon dioxide emissions. Forest countries or large states will only be paid after showing a five-year record of success compared to five-year historical benchmarks. These governments will be responsible for enforcing the rules of their jurisdiction.

The companies say they will not receive their revenue, they will invest in forestry projects because of climate change concerns, as well as pressure from consumers and shareholders. To participate in the program, they should have already promised to reach zero carbon emissions by 2050 or sooner.

Stopping deforestation can create stronger brands, more sales, and lower costs. This was stated by Mark Engel, General Manager of the Anglo-Dutch consumer goods supply chain Unilever. “They do not have to have traditional financial income, but income can have many faces,” he said.

Unilever has set a climate goal of zero emissions by 2039, 11 years ahead of the Paris Climate Agreement. He also pledged to eliminate deforestation in his supply chain by 2023.

“It is clear that consumers and young people care a lot about the environment,” Engel said. “Not just deforestation, but carbon in general. We want consumers to stay relevant to our brands. ”

In the past, many investors bought loans that could be used in hat trading programs to compensate for their greenhouse gas emissions. But compliance often failed. In some places, a wooded area could be left alone, and the rest of the road was cut off.

But tropical forests have become easier to control by looking at devices such as satellite technology.

Recently, the Minister of Nature Protection of Brazil Ricardo Salez offered to sign a deal with other governments of the Biden administration. He said that if $ 1 billion was paid to Brazil now, it would reduce deforestation by 40 percent. If it paid $ 10 billion, Brazil would cut down deforestation, the minister told Reuters on April 16.

On Thursday, Bolsonaro said he would end illegal logging by 2030, although illegal loggers and farmers felt encouraged to become a stronghold of support for the Brazilian president. Bolsonaro moved the date of carbon neutralization from 2050 to 2050.

“If you could imagine a kind of growth with hundreds of companies, it would be feasible to reach that level,” said Nigel Purvis, head of the Climate Advisors Climate Advocacy Group. “It sends a signal to developing countries that we are serious.”

An emergency forest finance accelerator will help monitor performance. “We need a lot of tools, carrots and sticks,” Blumgarden said. “But we think this is really a carrot.”

Blumgarden said he was surprised by the amount of interest involved in the deforestation program as more and more companies became involved in the potential impact of climate change.

“It feels real,” Blumgarden said. The scale and speed of expansion are unprecedented. ”

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