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The nvironment Extra U.N climate talks set for April in Bangkok MATE negotiators lmost 200 nations hold an extra session Bangkok in April to try to unblock work on a successor to the U.N.'s Kyoto Protocol for slOwing global warming, officials said on Friday. They said that 20n is likely to mark a slowdown in the overall number of U.N. meetings about climate change after a rush of talks since 2007 failed to come up with a treaty. "The session_.will be held fit Bangkok from April 3 to 8.according to an official who took part in a video confer· ence meeting this week. The Bangkok talks will gather senior government negotiators. The meeting adds to an existing schedule of a June session in Bonn, Germany and annual talks among environment ministers in Durban, South Africa, at the end of 2011. Another session is likely to be added between Bonn and Durban. In Mexico last month, ministers agreed steps including a deal to set up a new fund to channel aid to developing nations as well as a goal of limiting any rise in temperatures to below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 F) above preindustrial times. Officials say talks in 2011 will try to fill in the details of many of those plans, includinll greenhouse gas cuts

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ABrazilian crosses the muddy bottom of the Rio N~gro. a major tributary to the Amazon river. In the city of Manaus, October 26. 2010. PHOTO: EUZIVALDD OUEIROZ

Govt, firmisign MOU on West African carbon exchange scheme Carbon Trading By Tosin Fodeke

The company backed by a United Nations agency recently entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Federal Government of Nigeria on reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation in the country and the West African region

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FFORTS to beef up Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects in West Africa may soon be realised, following a pact between the

Federal Government and a Nigeria firm towards promoting bankable schemes in the country. The agreement between Global Oxygen Development Corporation (GODC) and the government may also faciliate the floating of a West African C"rbon Exchange scheme as i the company is collaborating with UNISPACE Nigeria Limited on Reducing Emissions: from Deforestation and Degradatloj:I ( REDD) as well as prmotin~ green economic developm9nt activities in Africa. I, Currently, Nigeria has five CDM proje while only 25 schemes a e registered in Africa, two- irds of them in South Afr ca, under the United Nations Developm nt Programme. There is the potential for as many as 3)00 clean-energy projects in Africa.

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Last week, European Commission vote to remove from the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) carbon credits gained by destrOying greenhouse gases, which are derived from projects in India and China that destroy HFC 23 and nitrous oxide (N201 greenhouse gases duro Ing the production of adipic acid, an industrial chemical. The details was revealed by a CDM expert, Dr. Victor Fodeke at the ECOWAS subRegional three-day workshop on the Integration of Climate Change, Environment and Sustainable Development in PoliCies, Strategies, Programmes and Projects in Accra, Ghana. He said that UNISPACE/GODC has identified over 1,500 potential and bankable CDM projects in Nigeria with over 700 from afforestation, reforestation, revegetation

and reducing emiSSIOns from deforestation and degradation. "There's a lot of low·hanging fruit in terms of CDM In Africa. It's just been lack of awareness and over concentratlon on Southeast Asia. As the CDM market evolves and matures, opportunities natu· rally diminish in places like China and India. "Africa, both in compliance markets and voluntary markets, is going to see a real revival," he said. Evaluating green funds in the West African sub-region, Dr. Fodeke said that the carbon market would be reformed to address Africa's concerns. "The European Union's ban on carbon credit imports linked to some industrial gases will boost demand for Clean Development Mechanism projects in Africa," he quoted.

••• appoints 20 consultants to combat deforestation From Aorence Lawrence, Abuja

The N5 billion will further push the Federal Government's bid to reduce deforestation and its consequent climate change challenge ' thrpughout the federation, with 20 consultants, who have. deadline to raise 37 million seedlings befpre th~ end of May this year.

'"J"HE Federal Government has 1 concluded plans to invest N5 billion to tadde deforestation challenge, appointing 20 consultants to man the project throughout the federation. Permanent Secretary; protilem of d¢forestauon. Ecological Fund Office, Mrs. ~usote said that these have IbukunOdusote,madethedis- cau.s~d enviro~ental ~egraclosure at a consultative meet- dauon in alar)ningmagrutudes ing on the Presidential initia- in different parts of the counny. tive on Afforestation She addeil /lIat deforestation' Programme (PIAP) in Abuja also results in soil erosion and last week. other climate change effects, According to Odusote, earn caUSin~ the dIying up of the state of the federation, includ- nation s water tiodies, siltation, ing the Federal Capital v.:ater~ble~edu~on,II00ding, Territory(FTC) Abuja, is expect- disrupuon m rainfall patterns, ed to raise one million sharP increases in atmospheric seedlings this year. . ~emperature. ~s well as The permanent secretary mcreased emISSion of carbon noted that deforestation is estl· dioxide and other green house mated to be contributing not gasses. . less than 20 per cent to dinIate Acco~mg to her, governmange gloDally while Nigeria ment realised the need to CUfranks highest in Africa on the tail the trend with the release of

the N5 billion adding that the contract has ~n awarded. Odusote enjoined all contractors to move to site by February 14th 2011, as defaulters will lose part of the funding on the contract. It was learnt that the contractors are targeting May 20n as deadline for raising 37 mil· lion seedlings. At the interacttve session, the Minister of Environment, Mr. John Odey. accompanied by the officials of Forestry implored on the need for Nigerians to mange their attitude towards forest preservation by desisting from indiSCriminate tree felling, adding that government intends to integrate the

masses in its plan on forest preservation. The minister noted that CUfrentestinIate shows that desert encroachment into the Nigerian landmass is at the rate of 600 meters per annum, thereby threatening the food base of the counny. "The country is experiencing a yearly rate of deforestation of about 35 per cent resulting from illegal and uncontrollable bush burning, overgrazing, unsustainable fire wood gathering, oil spillage from exploration actiVities, inappropriate agricultural practices and disjointed infrastructural development programmes," he noted. In a related development, the Ecological Fund Office has initiated partnership programme with the South-East Project Consultants Agendes Forum (SEPCAF), to faSt-track implementation of the N30 billion erosion projects in the southeast of the counny.

meant to help avert ever more 1I00ds, heatwaves, droughts and rising sea levels J>redicted by the U.N. panel of climate experts. The biggest unsolved issue is finding a successor to the U.N.'s Kyoto Protocol, which obliges almost 40 developed nations to cut greenhouse emissions by at least 5.2 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020 during the period 2008· 12. Japan, Russia and Canada have said they will not extend cuts beyond December 31, 2012 unless all major emitters, led by China and the United States - Sign up for a binding deal. The United States never ratified Kyoto, arguing it would cost U.S. jobs and wrongly omitted binding goals for emerg\~g nations. Developing nations say that rich nations, most responsi· ble for burning fossil fuels that emit greenhouse gases the Industrial since Revolution, must extend Kyoto while they Sign up for less strict curbs on their rising emissions. Many nations doubt that a legally binding pact can be agreed soon, partly because of opposition in the U.S. Senate to calls by President Barack Obama for cuts in U.s. emis· sions by 2020. Obama promised measures to promote clean energy in his State of the Union address on 1\iesday but did not once mention "climate change." fW

Amazon drought caused huge carbon emissions, says report Drought A~DESPREAD

drought in rlthe Amazon rain forest last ¥ear was worse than the once-in·a..:entury" dry spell in 2005 and may liave a bigger impact on global warming than the United States does in a year, British and Brazilian scientists said on Thursday. More frequent severe droughts like those in 2005 and 2010 risk turning the world's largest rain forest from a sponge that absorbs carbon emissions into a source of the gases, accelerat· ing global warming, the report found. Trees and other vegetation in the world's forests soak up heat·trapping carbon dioxide as they grow, helping cool the planet, but release it when they die and rot. "If events like this happen more often, the Amazon rain forest would reach a point where it shifts from being a valuable carbon sink slowing climate change to a major source of greenhouse $ases that could speed it up, said lead author Simon Lewis, an ecolOgist at the University of Leeds. The study, published in the ournal Science, found that astyear's drought caused rainfall shortages over a 1.16 million square-ffiile (3 million square kill) expanse of the (or-

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est, com pared with 734,000 square miles (1.9 million square kill) in the 2005 drought. It was also more intense, causing higher tree mortality and having three major epi· centers, whereas the 2005 drought was mainly focused in the south-western Amazon. As a result, the study predict· ed the Amazon forest would not absorb its usual 15 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in both 2010 and 2011. In addition, the dead and dying trees would release 5 billion metric tons of the gas in the coming years, making a total impact of about 8 billion metric tons, according to the study. In comparison, the United States emitted 5.4 billion met· ric tons of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel use in 2009. The combined emissions caused by the two droughts were probably enough to have cancelled out the carbon absorbed by the forest over the past 10 years, the study found. The widespread drought last year dried up major rivers in the Amazon and isolated thousands of people who depend on boat transporta· tion, shocking climate scien· tists who had billed the 2005 drought as a once-in-a-centu· ryevent.

THE GUARDIAN, 07 FEBRUARY, 2011  

Govt, firm sign MOU on West African carbon exchange scheme

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