Presentation on theme: "Since 1750 the concentration of greenhouse gases has increased by 31% Two main sources of the increase: Burning of fossil fuels – oil, gas, coal Responsible."— Presentation transcript:
Since 1750 the concentration of greenhouse gases has increased by 31% Two main sources of the increase: Burning of fossil fuels – oil, gas, coal Responsible for 75% of the increase Forest destruction and degradation Responsible for 25% of the increase
The Production Dilemma Reduce production? Or produce and try to find a “safe” dump?
2 kinds of climate action: Continue extraction but find new CO 2 ‘dumps’ Overuse? Cut extraction / Reduce production Entrench inequalities through Unequal use? privatization so big users can keep using most dump space Divide up dump more equally
One such new ‘dump’ are trees that are planted to soak up and store the carbon that is released in excess of the allowances under the Kyoto Protocol, or in excess of what is sustainable to maintain greenhouse concentrations below those that would cause ‘dangerous’ climate change.
‘Carbon Sink’ e.g. a forest or tree that soaks up more carbon dioxide from the air than it releases back into the air ‘Carbon Store’ ‘Carbon Source’
Active Carbon Pool: Carbon is always moving between the forests, atmosphere and oceans The overall amount in all three places (‘carbon stores’) together does not increase Oceans Forests, Soil, other Vegetation Atmosphere
Where carbon is stored Active Carbon Pool Fossil Carbon Pool Atmosphere Oceans Forests, other Vegetation, Soil
Active Carbon Pool: Carbon is always moving between the forests, atmosphere and oceans The overall amount in all three carbon stores together does not increase Fossil Carbon Pool : Carbon is locked away and does naturally not come in contact with the atmosphere Fossil carbon is stored permanently in coal, oil and gas UNLESS humans mine coal, extract oil & gas Once released, it will not move back into the fossil carbon pool for millennia – the time it takes for fossil carbon to be created Forests, Soil, other Vegetation Oceans Fossil Fuels: Oil Coal Gas
Active Carbon: Fossil Carbon: Fallacy of Kyoto Protocol carbon accounting: 1t active carbon = 1t fossil carbon Temporary Storage =Permanent Release Oceans Forests, |Soil, other vegetation Atmosphere
A company in an industrialised country can pay for planting of trees in the South (e.g. Plantar), then buy the carbon that is soaked up by those trees (called ‘carbon credit’), and use these ‘saved’ emissions in its factories in the industrialised country where it would otherwise have to reduce the use of fossil fuels to ensure it will not exceed the amount of pollution it was allowed under the Kyoto Protocol
Ignoring the fundamental difference between fossil and biotic carbon has resulted in A new subsidy for industrial tree plantations which in addition to their negative environmental and social impacts also create carbon credits that justify increased emissions of greenhouse gases The creation of the myth than one can continue jetting around the world without any harm to the climate as long as one commissions the planting of x trees to ‘neutralise’ the fossil fuel emissions from the luxury flight
‘Sink’ becomes a ‘Source’ Trees are not a safe way to store carbon
A more reasonable and democratic approach: Encourage discussion and negotiation about how to divide up existing carbon dump space equally. Work toward keeping remaining fossil fuels in the ground by, e.g., Supporting and linking existing movements setting their local areas off limits to mining, drilling, power production, etc. Supporting energy efficiency, renewables, non-fossil-fuelled technologies and responsible tree- planting, but without trading them for continued fossil fuel extraction.