In March this year, Johann Hari was doing something George Monbiot did once upon a time ago – speak refreshingly on environmental issues. We learn what one of his interviewees told him:
An insider who is employed by a leading green group and has seen firsthand how this works explained the groups’ motivation: “It’s because they will generate a lot of revenue this way. If there are national targets, the money runs through national governments. If there are subnational targets, the money runs through the people who control those forests–and that means TNC, Conservation International and the rest. Suddenly, these forests they run become assets, and they are worth billions in a carbon market as offsets. So they have a vested financial interest in offsetting and in subnational targets–even though they are much more environmentally damaging than the alternatives. They know it. It’s shocking.”
At Cancun this December, Voice of America informs us what Daniel Nepstad has been telling them;
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.”