Monday, August 20, 2007

The Economics of Storing Carbon

By Sir Ghillean T. Prance

Ultimately, until the standing
forest is worth more than what it's cleared for, large-scale conservation is probably a losing fight. This is potentially where the international carbon market comes in. The Bush administration has done a good job of convincing Americans that the Kyoto Protocol has failed (even though its effects cannot be measured yet). The little secret they hope no one will notice is that the global carbon market, non-existent two years ago, has already generated $30 billion in trades. The value of the carbon stored on an acre of Amazon forest is already more than most of the things people clear forest for. All of a sudden lots of companies with real money to invest are figuring out how to buy forest carbon, despite the fact that there are officially no rules for trading it in the European or Kyoto Protocol markets....

From The American Prospect

Sir Ghillean T. Prance
, a veteran Amazonian botanist, has undertaken 16 expeditions to the area, during which he collected more than 350 new species of plants. He was director of London's Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew from 1988 to 1999.

From the BBC:
EU biofuel policy is a 'mistake'

The EU target of ensuring 10% of petrol and diesel comes from renewable sources by 2020 is not an effective way to curb carbon emissions, researchers say.

A team of UK-based scientists suggested that reforestation and habitat protection was a better option.

Writing in Science, they said forests could absorb up to nine times more CO2 than the production of biofuels could achieve on the same area of land.

The growth of biofuels was also leading to more deforestation, they added.