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

    Post-White House, Obamas to Rent Washington Mansion

    Nine-bedroom home is 3 kilometers from Oval Office, near capital's Embassy Row; rent estimated at around $22,000 a month

    Red Planet? Not so much!

    New research suggest that Mars is in a warm period between cyclical ice ages, and that during Ice Age Maximum over 500,000 years ago, the red planet was decidedly ice, and much whiter to the naked eye.

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    More Americas News

    Diplomat Found Dead in El Salvador

    Body of Panama's honorary consul is found in vehicle in San Salvador, with a gunshot wound to the head

    In Colombia, Abortion Is Legal but Denied to Many Women, Advocates Say

    Colombia, a nation of 48 million people, allows abortion in cases of rape, incest, fetal malformation, if the fetus is at risk and if the health, both physical and mental, of the mother is at risk

    Colombia Says 2 More Journalists Missing in Rough Area

    Journalists missing in region where security forces are already carrying out massive search for prominent Spanish journalist, President Juan Manuel Santos said Tuesday

    Cuba to Legalize Small, Medium-sized Private Businesses

    Move could significantly expand space allowed for private enterprise in one of world's last communist countries

    Coca Cola to Halt Some Production in Venezuela

    Sugar shortages and a deep recession have been forcing production shutdowns across the country

    Recording Allegedly Shows Minister Plotting Against Brazil's Rousseff

    Planning Minister Romero Jucá, who will step down temporarily, denies allegation, says words in published transcript of tape were taken out of context