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Screenshot of video by Brett Carlsen, The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal published an eye-opening piece yesterday by Ryan Dezember (with beautiful photos and video by Brett Carlsen) that describes a burgeoning national market in carbon offset credits created by landowners promising to leave trees on their land standing. The buyers are “investing” in trees and holding the credits — and it’s not who you might suspect. One of the biggest carbon credits investors is BP because as “part of its shift into non-fossil-fuel markets, BP expects to trade offset credits the way it presently does oil and gas.”
Why This Matters: It is hard to read this story with a straight face. The Journal quotes a managing director in BP’s venture-capital arm saying they want to “grow a new market…BP wants to live in this space.” After making trillions by destroying the land in order to exploit hydrocarbons that have literally caused the chemistry of the planet to change — which they knew was happening but did nothing to stop — now they are tree-huggers? Once there is a “market” for conservation, they are all in. So is a coal company that wanted to diversify. But if the trees remain standing because these companies are investing in offsets, does it matter who they are and how they got the money to buy them? So far, thanks to the California program, more than a billion dollars has been paid to woodland owners not to cut down their trees. And that is what matters.
by Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer A new United Nations blueprint frames taking on the interlocking climate crisis, biodiversity loss, and pollution as a peacemaking endeavor. The “Making Peace with Nature” report emphasizes that the three must be solved together and require reframing what’s economically valued. As UN Secretary-General António Guterres noted at a press […]
by Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer Though Colombia is known for its coffee, the World Bank and its private sector-focused arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), have been working with the Colombian government to develop sustainable cocoa farming in the Orinoquía region. This project could support rural farmers, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, prevent deforestation, and […]
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer A new study has found that, contrary to the expectations of the scientific community, trees are expertly adapting to increased carbon in the atmosphere and absorbing even more carbon while increasing their water use efficiency. However, while these findings reinforce the importance of forests as carbon sinks, many forests are plagued […]
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