REDD: Possibility of gaming the system is ‘massive’

You know how the climate community just loves uncertainty, it just loves creating and imagining ‘uncertainties’ where none exist.

Reuters report states that ‘uncertainty’ about money from REDD progams reaching ‘people on the ground’ is a ‘key challenge’.

A key challenge for REDD is uncertainty about whether the money generated by the agreement will actually reach the intended programs and people on the ground.

Really? My impression is that one can be pretty sure that money from REDD programs is not going to reach ‘people on the ground’, whoever they are. In Indonesia, for instance, the ‘uncertainty’ about whether their REDD progams have taken off, still continues, and logging companies are being awarded contracts.

The Reuters report continues, quoting Bill Barclay of pressure group Rainforest Action Network,

“Most of the places where REDD is going to be implemented have very high levels of corruption,” Barclay said. The greenhouse gas trading schemes in Europe have already been hit by scandals involving crime and speculative trading, he noted. “The possibility for gaming this thing is absolutely massive.”

That sound like something you can be sure about.

More importantly though, for ‘crime and speculative trading’ to be possible, there should be enough money to go around in the first place. Fiona Harvey (suffering from an acute case of wake-up syndrome) gives us the latest update, given the demise of cap-and-trade in the US:

Without a sturdy fundraising mechanism, REDD is worthless. It is a beautiful vehicle, lovingly crafted down to the last elegant detail, but without an engine; so it is doomed to failure. The engine that could have generated the cash is no longer there. Carbon trading is languishing. It could be revived, with a mighty effort of political will.