Monday, March 22, 2010

How the WWF Will Make $60 Billion Out of an ETS

Tumucumaque in northern Brazil has been designated a 'carbon sink'

The world’s largest, richest environmental campaigning group, the WWF – formerly the World Wildlife Fund – announced that it was playing a leading role in a scheme to preserve an area of the Amazon rainforest twice the size of Switzerland.

Many people are applauding, thinking this was just the kind of cause the WWF was set up to promote because Tumucumaque in northern Brazil's billions of trees contain the world’s largest land-based store of CO2 – so any serious threat to the forest can be portrayed as a major contributor to global warming.

It then emerged, however, that a hidden agenda of the scheme to preserve this chunk of the forest was to allow the WWF and its partners to share the selling of carbon credits worth $60 billion, to enable firms in the industrial world to carry on emitting CO2 just as before.

The idea is that credits representing the CO2 locked into this particular area of jungle – so remote that it is not under any threat – should be sold on the international market, allowing thousands of companies in the developed world to buy their way out of having to restrict their carbon emissions.

The net effect would simply be to make the WWF and its partners much richer while making no contribution to lowering overall CO2 emissions.

WWF, which already earns $400 million yearly, much of it contributed by governments and taxpayers, has long been at the centre of efforts to talk up the threat to the Amazon rainforest – as shown recently by the furore over a much-publicised passage in the 2007 report of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The IPCC’s claim that 40 per cent of the forest is threatened by global warming, it turned out, was not based on any scientific evidence, but simply on WWF propaganda, which had wholly distorted the findings of an earlier study on the threat posed to the forest, not by climate change but by logging.

See the full r(ep)ort from Christopher Booker at:

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