Brazil blocks rain forest credits

Brazil has ruled out allowing rich countries to offset their greenhouse gas emissions by helping to conserve the Amazon rain forest, Reuters reported. This statement puts an end to the prospect of allowing carbon offset permits to be purchased from Brazil under a new United Nations climate treaty, an idea long under active discussion by the European Union.

Brazil’s representatives said the country would oppose the use of offsets for forest protection on the basis that it would absolve rich countries from cutting their own emissions. Indigenous peoples attending UN climate talks in Poznan, Poland, also opposed the suggestion by arguing that they had no chance of seeing such carbon cash, and appealed instead for money to fight corruption and legalise their land rights.


The global carbon market functions by placing a cap on greenhouse emissions in rich countries. If the countries exceed these targets, they pay for corresponding emissions cuts in the developing world using a system called “carbon offsetting”. EU member states were discussing expanding the credit scheme to include "forest offsetting" — allowing countries and companies to compensate for excess carbon emissions by funding tropical forest conservation.


Brazil recently announced that the rate of Amazon deforestation had increased this year for the first time in four years. Worldwide, an area of forest greater than the size of Greece is lost every year, which contributes to about a fifth of the greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming.

See full story