Why planting trees is a key weapon in the fight against global warming.
Reforestation and bio-energy project developer Carbon Positive has warned that the major contribution planting trees can make in addressing climate change is at risk of being lost in the current worldwide debate over forest plantations and carbon offsetting.
There are certainly well-founded concerns over the effectiveness of tree-planting projects to counter CO2 emissions, as well as the use of market-based 'carbon credits' to reflect their climate contribution.
Carbon Positive argues, however, in an article released this week, that problems in these areas are not inherent in the planting of trees and can largely be avoided through responsible practices and adherence to appropriate standards. Further, properly regulated carbon markets are vital for the financing of tree-planting activities on the scale needed to make a difference.
"Improved international standards and better regulation are needed in these areas, but the current shortcomings should not be used to reject reforestation outright in the fight against climate change," said Ally Charlton, Carbon Positive's chief operating officer for Asia and Africa.
In a paper entitled "Why planting trees is a valuable weapon against global warming", Carbon Positive addresses in detail the core criticisms leveled at tree planting activities, including:
• the validity of methods used to calculate the climate change benefits of plantation forests
• the ethics of 'offsetting', or paying to cut emissions elsewhere rather than at source
• the social and environmental impacts of plantations at a local level
"When done right, reforestation does help counter global warming, carbon sequestration in trees can be accounted for, credits can be verified and offsetting has a valid role in cutting emissions," Charlton said. "To that must be added its potential for the protection of biodiversity and building sustainable industries for local communities," he said.
Carbon Positive develops sustainable agro-forestry and biodiesel projects in non-industrialised countries and has offices in The Netherlands, China, Brazil, Kenya and Australia. Projects are designed to produce resources in ways that protect the local environment, help build a sustainable local economy, and generate carbon credits wherever possible.
The full article can be found at: http://www.carbonpositive.net/viewarticle.aspx?articleID=743
Chief Operating Officer, Asia & Africa
Tel. +254 20 367 3216 (Kenya)
Tel. +61 2 9386 9240 (Australia)
+61 403 398 929
26 June 2007