News / Americas

Some Latin American Nations Rally Against Greenhouse Gas Trading Plan

Bolivia's President Evo Morales speaks during a press conference at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico. 09 Dec 2010
Bolivia's President Evo Morales speaks during a press conference at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico. 09 Dec 2010
Angela Dewan

A small coalition of Latin American nations against a greenhouse gas trading plan might threaten a last-minute agreement the United Nations Climate Conference to protect the world's forests. They say the financing mechanism for the accord is unfair to indigenous communities.

A binding agreement to mitigate climate change through forest conservation might be in jeopardy as international talks wrap up in Cancun, Mexico. Prolonging deliberations are concerns about how this plan will be financed, with Bolivia spearheading a campaign to reject a carbon market to fund forest protection.

A U.N.-backed plan, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, or REDD, would enable developed nations to offset their own emissions and receive carbon credits to trade, paying developing countries to conserve their forests. REDD projects might include, for example, moratoria on deforestation or sustainable exploitation of forests to help keep carbon dioxide in the atmosphere at lower levels.

Bolivian President Evo Morales addressed international delegations on Thursday.

Mr. Morales said any forest agreement must ensure the human, civil, economic and political rights of indigenous peoples.

Bolivia along with Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela say that funding REDD through a carbon-market would encourage land grabs. The coalition has criticized the idea of carbon markets, calling it a capitalist plan that benefits only the rich and powerful.

Janet Redman from the Washington-based Institute for Policy Studies supports the coalition against REDD, saying that carbon markets will not improve local development.

"It doesn't deliver; it's not additional," said Redman. "It's been used for some incredibly harmful projects for communities who live in the local area. So to put the last remaining forests on the market seems to me an incredibly irresponsible thing to do."

Experts from environmental bodies at the United Nations and the World Bank say that rather than debating how to finance the plan, what is needed is action an array of financing mechanisms - including government funding, philanthropy and a carbon market.

Pavan Sukhdev, head of the U.N. Green Economy Initiative, says that a carbon market is essential to the success of REDD. He says that the market has failed to deliver and reach a steady carbon price because emissions caps in cap-and-trade plans are too lenient.

"Cap-and-trade is the approach we've adopted," said Sukhdev. "And if caps are too lenient, we can trade away 'till kingdom come, but you will not get the right price because you've created too much supply. It's a bit like a central bank flooding the market with too much money. You won't get the right interest rates."

In five years of deliberations over REDD, some entities have moved ahead with their own plans, saying that forests cannot wait for politics.

The U.S. state of California, for example, recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the Mexican state of Chiapas and the Brazilian state of Acre to develop links between California's cap-and-trade program and the two Latin American REDD projects.

Daniel Nepstad, a forest ecologist from the Amazon Environmental Research Institute and an architect of REDD, says the best innovations are happening on this state-to-state level, but that private investment is desperately needed to fill the gap.

"Public funding is very difficult," said Nepstad. "It comes out through a political process; it comes out unevenly. And the efficiency and volume of private investment will be necessary to achieve the full potential of REDD. And right now, there aren't those mechanisms."

Analysts say that an agreement on REDD might side step the details of financing through broad language, so that a general framework is set leaving the issue of a financing mechanism to be decided at a later date.

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violencei
X
Lenny Ruvaga
November 27, 2014 7:05 PM
The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Venezuela Says Will Push OPEC Until Oil Reaches $100

Saudi Arabia blocked calls from poorer members of the OPEC oil exporter group for production cuts at a meeting in Vienna
More

Mexican Leader Announces Nationwide Crime Crackdown

Announcement comes as 11 mutilated bodies found in violence-racked Guerrero state
More

Soccer Icon Pele Moved to Special Care Unit

Legendary soccer player's personal aide says Pele, who is suffering a urinary tract infection, is 'completely fine,' move was primarily to protect his privacy
More

Venezuela’s Military Introduces Hugo Chavez Course

Fans say it promotes late leader’s humanist values; critics deride it as deification
More

Video Talks on New UN Climate Treaty Set Next Week in Peru

Representatives from 200 countries will discuss emissions reductions, setting stage for broader talks in 2015
More

Colombia's FARC Free Two Soldiers to Restart Talks

Troops taken captive in restive eastern department of Arauca in November 9 military operation freed with help of ICRC
More