'Offsetting' Campaign To Save Forests To Be Announced At Rio+20
Five major corporations will join the emergency campaign to save the world's threatened forests by pledging to buy REDD multimillion dollar credits from projects protecting threatened forests around the world, the campaign announced Tuesday at the U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development, commonly known as Rio+20.
REDD credits, sold in carbon markets, are "offsets" because they allow the purchaser, say, a coal company, an electric power plant, or a cement manufacturer in an industrialized nation to emit more tons of CO2 than they would otherwise have permitted.
The patrons who are set to make their pledges include multinational financial services provider Allianz, global luxury sport and lifestyle premium brands giant PPR, international sustainable energy provider Eneco, German renewable energy provider Entega and the leading South African bank, Nedbank.
Code REDD also announced that a global group of pioneering REDD+ Project Developers including international NGOs, indigenous forest owners and private sector developers are joining the campaign for the launch by pledging to sell the emissions reductions generated by their REDD+ projects.
Offsetting has been targeted at critics who say that it imparts an idea that people or companies can keep on polluting as long as they pay for projects that will reduce emissions by an equivalent amount elsewhere in the world.
Opponents also say that emissions can be effectively reduced only if people start reducing their own pollution rather than pay for environmental projects.
"This is not charity. Carbon money helps us meet basic needs and improve our lifestyle. The money is earned through conservation activities that afford us the ability to protect our environment," said Chief Kizaka, who represents over 12,000 people of the Kasigau corridor REDD+ project in the Voi District of Kenya.
Natural forests are reported to be disappearing at the rate of 13 million hectares per year (FAO) and deforestation accounts for an estimated 17 percent of the total annual global greenhouse gas emissions. Climate change experts largely agree that climate stability cannot be achieved without the conservation of the world's remaining forests.
"Reducing your carbon footprint is not a UN obligation. It's a global responsibility," said Mike Korchinsky, Founder of the Code REDD Campaign and CEO of Wildlife Works.
Code REDD will be launched June 19, ahead of the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development.