Ecosystem Marketplace reports that the Indonesian Government is considering the purchase of carbon offsets from domestic forest conservation. It seems that Southeast Asia has more than 27-million hectares of forested peatland;; a hectare is a metric unit of square measure which is equal to 100 acres. Peatlands are wetlands consisting of rich water-logged soil comprised of dead and decaying plant material. Peat releases extraordinary amounts of methane and carbon when it’s drained or burned. Significantly, Indonesia has about 80-percent of the world’s peatland, much of which has been earmarked for conversion to palm oil plantations.
At the same time, the Indonesian government has embarked on a program to make enough money from the carbon markets to enable it to shift its attention from forested areas to degraded lands. It’s no coincidence that Indonesia has seen an explosion small, private conservation efforts like the Rimba Raya “REDD” Project, which has rescued more than 45,000 of forested peatland, saving it from an almost certain demise.
Meantime, the European Union (EU) has ruled out 2030 offsets due to a drought in the carbon market. The EU has proposed to curtail its outsourcing of more emission cuts overseas in order to meet a 40-percent decrease in greenhouse gas output by 2030. Unfortunately, global negotiations aimed at developing new markets have proceeded at a snail’s pace. Consequently, the EU has little it’s able to purchase on the carbon marketplace.
The slowdown in negotiations is attributed in part to the refusal by some of the poorer nations to proceed in the talks without guarantees that prosperous countries would commit to cutting their own emissions.
Finally, from India.com comes the story that the world’s forests might hold 20-percent more carbon than scientists have believed. If that figure is correct, an extra 125-billion tons of carbon could spark an increase in the number of forest-based carbon credits available to be offered in global carbon markets.
A great explanation of carbon offsetting comes from Dummies.com: (paraphrasing):
A great quantity of greenhouse gases come from ordinary means of transportation such as automobile, boats and airplanes, which burn fossil fuels and emit greenhouse gases that have an impact on climate change. Unfortunately, most of these modes of transportation aren’t friendly to the environment. To become eco-friendly industries must strive to become what is known as carbon neutral. Carbon neutrality is achieved when an industry reduces its carbon emissions as much as is practical. The carbon emissions that remain are offset and balanced with processes that consume the excess carbon that’s been emitted .In order to offset carbon an industry must pay for or participate in programs designed to reduce carbon in the atmosphere. Such programs include planting trees, which is the most common form of carbon offsetting.
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