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Webinar: Climate finance for tree plantations and bioenergy – why these false solutions must not be subsidised with public money

26 May 2020
Zoom webinar (in English), 10-12am Belo Horizonte/3-5pm Amsterdam/4-6pm Kampala

Multilateral climate finance mechanisms are increasingly turning to private-sector led commercial tree plantation and bioenergy projects. The misconceptions that energy generated from burning wood is low carbon, and that tree plantations are an effective way to sequester carbon from the atmosphere, are allowing millions in public finance to be directed towards highly questionable projects.

Watch a recording of the webinar here.

This webinar looked at three case studies involving projects funded through the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and a number of recently-approved Green Climate Fund (GCF) projects:

  • Federica Giunta (FASE Espírito Santo, Brazil) described the wide-ranging social and environmental impacts of eucalyptus plantations in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais to produce charcoal for the iron and steel industry, and how GEF has directly subsidised four companies with poor track records to produce more charcoal. Read the case study here;
  • David Kureeba (National Association of Professional Environmentalists, Uganda) talked about his visit to eucalyptus plantations established with GEF finance to produce charcoal for the domestic market in Uganda, and how they have impacted local communities. Read the case study here;
  • Almuth Ernsting (Biofuelwatch, Scotland presented a detailed investigation into climate finance for clean cookstove projects in the Global South, financed through GEF and other institutions, and how there is no clear evidence that they are improving women’s health or reducing wood use. Read Biofuelwatch’s report here;
  • Liane Schalatek (Heinrich Böll Foundation, USA) discussed civil society efforts to prevent the Green Climate Fund from financing projects that involve monoculture tree plantations and biomass electricity.

The webinar was co-hosted by the Global Forest Coalition, the Heinrich Böll Foundation and Brot für die Welt.