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Kyoto protocol ‘promotes deforestation’

Reuters – August 14, 2007

To continue my ranting about carbon credits, I present this article that claims that credits that are in the Kyoto protocol actually encourage deforestation.  While the author does not claim that you get direct credits for cutting down trees, there is no doubt that the logic is sound.

Carbon credits allow the polluter to buy non-polluting capability of others to offset the polluters sins.  I have discussed this often in the past (see here) but go to this post for probably the best overall description of the technique.

The current carbon market actually encourages cutting down some of the world?s biggest forests, which would unleash tonnes of climate-warming carbon into the atmosphere….


Under the Kyoto Protocol aimed at stemming climate change, there is no profitable reason for the 10 countries and one French territory with 20 percent of Earth?s intact tropical forest to maintain this resource, according to a study in the journal Public Library of Science Biology.


?The countries that haven?t really been the target of deforestation have nothing to sell because they haven?t deforested anything,? said Gustavo Fonseca, one of the study?s authors.

?So that creates a perverse incentive for them to actually start deforesting, so that in the future, they might be allowed to actually cap-and-trade, as they call it: you put a cap on your deforestation and you trade that piece that hasn?t been deforested,? Fonseca said in a telephone interview.

You can read the rest of this perverse logic of a screwed up system here.

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One Response to “Kyoto protocol ‘promotes deforestation’”

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