ONGs escrevem carta contra a inclusão do REDD no mercado de carbono californiano

Organizações não governamentais como o Greenpeace, a Amigos da Terra, o Sierra Club Califórnia e outras 24 entidades enviaram na última semana uma carta ao governador do estado da Califórnia, Jerry Brown, pedindo que ele não aceite créditos de compensação de carbono de programas de redução de emissões do desmatamento e degradação ambiental (REDD) no novo esquema de comércio de emissões do estado.

Segundo o documento das ONGs, a iniciativa do estado da Califórnia de considerar novas formas de reduzir suas emissões e proteger suas florestas remanescentes é louvável, mas o uso de florestas para compensar as emissões industriais “não atingiria nenhum desses objetivos”.

De acordo com as organizações, a proposta de utilizar créditos de REDD para compensar as emissões industriais não apenas não traria as reduções desejadas, mas permitiria que as empresas mantivessem suas emissões nos mesmos níveis, já que as companhias estariam comprando créditos para compensar suas emissões.

Isso poderia expor o povo californiano a grandes riscos de saúde a ambientais, e não incentivaria o desenvolvimento novas tecnologias e inovações limpas. Os órgãos colocam que essa não é uma forma segura de compensar as emissões, já que, enquanto o carbono liberado pelas indústrias fica na atmosfera por séculos ou milênios, não há garantias de que as florestas armazenem o carbono por tanto tempo.

O texto explica também que as florestas têm um significado social, econômico e cultural muito importante para os povos que as habitam, e há muitos registros de violações de direitos humanos em locais onde há programas de REDD, tanto nos locais que estão em fase de negociação com o mercado da Califórnia, como Chiapas (México), e Acre (Brasil), quanto nos que estão em consideração para uma futura inclusão no programa, como Nigéria e Indonésia.

Por essas e outras razões, as ONGs afirmam ainda que outros mecanismos de comércio de emissões, como o EU ETS, não aceitam os créditos de REDD, e pedem que o estado da Califórnia, da mesma forma, os rejeitem.

“Para realmente combater o desmatamento tropical em sua raiz, os legisladores da Califórnia devem considerar analisar como as políticas existentes no estado, incluindo as relacionadas à aquisição, investimento público, combustíveis e outras questões, podem permitir a destruição da floresta tropical através da contribuição para a demanda por petróleo, madeira, soja, papel, óleo de palma e outras commodities”, conclui a carta.

“Agradecemos o interesse da Califórnia em ajudar a proteger as florestas tropicais e ficaríamos felizes em discutir com você passos que o estado poderia dar para atingir esse fim”, propuseram as ONGs.

O documento é último de uma série de textos enviados por organizações do Brasil, África e México que se opõem à inclusão do REDD no mecanismo de comércio de emissões californiano.

Leia a carta na íntegra:

May 3, 2013

The Honorable Jerry Brown
Governor of California
c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
Via fax: (916) 558-3160

Mary Nichols
Chairman, California Air Resources Board
1001 “I” Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
Via fax: (916) 327-5748

Re: Climate Change Policy – International Forest Offsets in California’s Cap and Trade Program

Dear Governor Brown and Chairman Nichols,

Following the recent release of the recommendations put forward by the REDD Offsets Working Group (ROW) we would like to use this opportunity to explain why we urge you not to approve the use of international forest offsets as a compliance option within California’s emissions trading scheme.

For years our organizations, most of which are based in California, have been working toward the protection of forests, preventing catastrophic climate change, and promoting ecological justice and social equity. In this context we applaud the State of California for considering new ways to curb its emissions and protect the last remaining tropical forests. However, ROW’s proposal to use rainforests as an offset to replace industrial emissions would achieve none of these objectives.

Science tells us that in order to have a realistic chance of stopping catastrophic climate change, we need bold action on reducing industrial emissions and tackling deforestation at the same time. Doing just one of the two will simply not be enough. Unfortunately, ROW’s proposal is not only unlikely to deliver real, additional and permanent emission reductions, but it would also prevent Californians from getting the benefits of AB 32 at home. By allowing enterprises to buy international forest offsets, the amount of industrial emissions within the state would be greater than otherwise allowed by law, exposing people here in California to greater health and environmental risks, and preventing progressive Californian companies from benefitting from new technologies and innovations.

While many problems exist with offsets in general, there are significant issues unique to tropical forests which make them broadly unfit to offset industrial emissions as proposed by ROW. One of these is permanence: end-of-pipe emissions stay in the atmosphere for centuries, if not millennia, where they contribute to climate change, whereas reductions in forest emissions cannot be reasonably guaranteed for such a period of time given how quickly forests can be degraded by companies, pests, and even the impacts of climate change. Other inherent problems that prevent subnational forest offset projects from actually reducing emissions are: non-additionality, in which offsets are used to protect a forest area that would have been protected anyway; and leakage, whereby the drivers of deforestation (such as timber companies) merely shift from one part of the country to another, or across an international border. Due to those issues, the inclusion of subnational forest offsets in California’s cap and trade program would likely increase rather than decrease emissions relative to AB 32’s objectives.

Tropical forests have unique social, economic and cultural significance to those who live in and depend on them for their livelihoods. Independent investigations into the promotion of international forest offsets have raised serious concerns related to human rights violations and there is major opposition from indigenous peoples and local communities in both Chiapas, Mexico and in Acre, Brazil (the two jurisdictions where California would most likely obtain its initial credits), to the proposal put forth by ROW. Similar concerns have arisen in Nigeria and Indonesia, which are under consideration for future inclusion in the program. Given these concerns, we are compelled to point out that many of the key features of the proposed REDD program, including improved forest governance, the development of relevant legal frameworks, and the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities (including their full, effective participation and free, prior, informed consent), are beyond the regulatory authority of the State of California.

For these and other reasons, other major emissions trading schemes such as the European Union ETS have rejected of the inclusion of international forests as an offset option. Additionally, a comprehensive assessment of REDD+ conducted by experts in derivatives trading has found that “using carbon markets to finance REDD… is likely to be a drain of resources, both in terms of money and time, away from the very serious problems REDD seeks to address.”[1]

We would therefore ask that you not permit the use of international forest offsets for compliance in California as proposed by ROW, since they will not deliver real, additional, and permanent emissions reductions and could lead to serious human rights violations and social problems.

To really tackle tropical deforestation at its root, California policymakers should consider examining how the state’s existing policies, including those related to procurement, public investment, fuels, and other issues, may enable rainforest destruction through contributing to demand for petroleum, timber, soy, paper, palm oil, and other commodities. We appreciate California’s interest in helping to protect tropical forests and would be happy to discuss with you steps the State could take to achieve that end. You may contact Jeff Conant at Friends of the Earth-US at jconant@foe.org; (510) 900-0016).

Sincerely,

Amazon Watch
Asia Pacific Environmental Network
Battle Creek Alliance
California Environmental Justice Alliance
Carbon Trade Watch
Center for Biological Diversity
Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment
Communities for a Better Environment
Filipino American Coalition for Environmental Solidarity (FACES)
Food & Water Watch
Forests Forever
Friends of the Earth-US
Grassroots Global Justice Alliance
Greenpeace International
Global Community Monitor
Global Exchange
Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice
Green Party of Alameda County
Health of Mother Earth Foundation (Nigeria)
Justice in Nigeria Now!
Indigenous Environmental Network
International Indian Treaty Council
Movement Generation: Justice and Ecology Project
Oilwatch International
Rainforest Action Network
Sierra Club California
Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples

[1] The Munden Project, March 2011, REDD and Forest Carbon. http://bit.ly/YyhZQx

Fonte: Instituto CarbonoBrasil

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