Shell bankrolls REDD
Indigenous Environmental Network and Friends of the Earth Nigeria Denounce Shell REDD Project
September 7, 2010 – Oil giant Shell, infamous for the genocide of the Ogoni People and environmental destruction in Nigeria’s Niger Delta is now bankrolling REDD, a false solution to climate change that puts forests in the carbon market and has been denounced as potentially the “largest land grab of all time.”
REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) allows polluters like Shell, Rio Tinto and Chevron-Texaco to buy their way out of reducing their greenhouse emissions at source by supposedly conserving forests. However, according to the Indigenous Environmental Network, REDD is rife with “perverse incentives” to convert natural forests into monoculture tree plantations and to actually increase deforestation.
Shell, Gasprom and the Clinton Foundation are funding the landmark REDD Rimba Raya project on 100,000 ha (250,000 acres) in the province of Central Kalimantan in Indonesia. According to Reuters, the Rimba Raya project marks “a milestone” in the development of a global market in forest carbon credits.
Shell’s REDD carbon offset project could be quite a money maker. Reuters calculates that “At about $10 a credit, that means about $750 million over 30 years.”
Renowned Nigerian environmentalist Nnimmo Bassey, Director of Environmental Rights Action and Chair of Friends of the Earth International, has a long history of opposing destructive oil extraction activities. “We have suffered Shell’s destruction of communities and biodiversity as well as oil spills and illegal gas flaring for decades. Now we can add financing REDD for greenwash and profits to the long list of Shell’s atrocities.”
Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network, noted that “Shell already committed genocide against the Ogoni People of the Niger Delta. REDD allows Shell and other polluting corporations to expand fossil fuel extraction and continue destroying the climate and violating Indigenous Peoples’ rights worldwide. As we speak, Shell is trying to expand its oil drilling operations in environmentally sensitive offshore Alaska, despite the protests of Alaska Natives.”
“Shell is compounding its devastating impacts on Mother Earth and Indigenous Peoples by financing REDD which may result in the largest land may grab of all time and more genocide against Indigenous Peoples,” Goldtooth warned.
According to Goldtooth, “Most of the forests of the world are found in Indigenous Peoples’ land. REDD-type projects have already resulted in land grabs, violations of human rights, threats to cultural survival, militarization, scams and servitude.”
For Teguh Surya, Campaign Director of WAHLIFriends of the Earth Indonesia, REDD is simply “pathetic eco-business.” “Shell must not use our beautiful forests to greenwash the environmental crimes and human rights abuses it has committed in Nigeria and elsewhere.”
Last week, the 300 million-strong international peasant and farmer organization, Via Campesina, rejected REDD and denounced that forest conservation should not be used as “an excuse” so that “countries and corporations continue contaminating…” Furthermore Via Campesina noted that “carbon trading has proven extremely lucrative in terms of generating investor dividends, but has completely failed in reducing greenhouse gases.”
CITATION: David Fogarty and Sunanda Creagh. Indonesia project boosts global forest CO2 market. Reuters. Tue Aug 24, 2010.######