Instead of providing positive incentives to tropical nations to conserve their rainforests and so reduce greenhouse gases emissions, the world indirectly gives “perverse incentives” to destroy them by demanding goods produced by intensive logging, a leading environmental activist says.
VIENNA - “The Kyoto protocol does not give incentives to rainforest nations to protect their forests,” Kevin Conrad, special envoy of the environment and climate change permanent mission of Papua New Guinea to the United Nations told IPS.
The Kyoto protocol is the international agreement that establishes how industrialised countries should reduce their greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by an average of five percent relative to 1990 levels. The treaty does not assign targets to developing nations.
One of the instruments of the Kyoto protocol is the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), an arrangement that allows industrialised countries with a GHG reduction commitment to invest in projects in developing countries that reduce emissions. This then counts towards their domestic ‘clean’ record. Conservation of rainforests is not included in such projects.
Between 1989 and 1995, global emissions as a result of deforestation amounted to 5,000 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide, studies show.
“Instead of giving us incentives to protect our forests, the world gives countries like mine incentives to destroy them,” Conrad said. Coffee, soy beans, sugar, flowers and wood furniture, he said, can only be produced in developing countries through systematic deforestation.
“Tropical rainforest nations deserve to be treated equally,” Conrad said. “If we reduce deforestation, we must receive fair compensation for reductions. A tonne (of carbon dioxide) is a tonne is a tonne.” Read More