Sunday, August 24, 2008

Conference splits over deforestation emission cut

Yahoo News, via Agence France-Presse: Trading carbon emission rights between developed and developing nations caused a split Sunday between delegates at protracted international climate change talks in Ghana. "The issue of reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries under the carbon market mechanism has been a stormy one among delegates and observers," Nicole Wilke, head of German delegation told AFP on the sidelines of the UN framework convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conference in Accra.

She said the negotiations had centred on how developing countries were to reduce emissions and how much developed countries should pay for carbon rights from reduced deforestation emission. Overall discussions among more than 1,600 delegates from 150 nations have not achieved much since the conference opened Thursday, delegates and observers said.

…Environmentalists have criticized developed countries for shirking their commitments to slash carbon emissions, while questioning whether carbon offsetting schemes in developing countries would be effectively implemented. "The inclusion of forests in carbon markets enables developed countries to avoid real carbon emission reductions at home", said Emily Brickell, climate and forest officer with Friends of the Earth.

…."The negotiations are focusing excessively on finance and not on the root causes of deforestation, such as consumption of biofuels, meat and timber," Brickell said. Ishaku Huzi Mshelia, head of the Nigeria-based Clean Energy and Safe Environment Initiative, called the deforestation talks "a ploy by developed countries to shy away from their commitments to reduced carbon emissions," by up to 40 percent by 2020….

An altar scene (1485-1490) by Piero di Cosimo, showing an early reaction to deforestation

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