The paradox of the Norway-Guyana MoU on reducing emissions of forest carbon
The memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Norway and Guyana “regarding Cooperation on Issues related to the Fight against Climate Change, the Protection of Biodiversity and the Enhancement of Sustainable Development”, signed on November 09, contains the wording, “a willingness to work together to provide the world with a relevant, replicable model for how REDD-plus can align the development objectives of forest countries with the world’s need to combat climate change” (SN, November 16, 2009, “Updated low carbon strategy to be released soon”, http://www.stabroeknews.com/2009/stories/11/16/updated-low-carbon-strategy-to-be-released-soon/).
This MoU refers frequently to Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD). The World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Fund is providing the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) with up to US$3.6 million for REDD Readiness Preparation.
Both these separate schemes aim ostensibly at reducing global warming by reducing Guyana’s emissions of forest carbon. Currently these emissions are coming mainly from the poorly controlled logging and mining operations, together emitting some 11.4 million tonnes of carbon in 2007-8 (estimates derived from GFC data, published by SN in July-August this year).
Now the President has admitted that Norwegian money will flow even if Guyana increases emissions from logging and mining by 50 per cent during the period to 2015 (Guyana Chronicle, November 21, 2009 “Global emergency fund follows historic Guyana-Norway deal”).
Could the Governments of Norway and Guyana explain how a globally relevant and replicable model for reducing carbon emissions can simultaneously be funding increased emissions?