Implementation plans stemming from the Paris Agreement could undermine biodiversity, rural communities, and the effectiveness of the landmark climate deal itself if they use carbon offset credits to pay for monoculture tree plantations, the Global Forest Coalition warned in a blog post last week.
“The Paris Agreement inappropriately allows countries to offset their emissions with plantations,” said Coalition Executive Director Simone Lovera. “Tree plantations are by definition temporary, so they will release the emissions they stored again. This puts a time bomb under our global climate system.”
The post notes that “several climate finance mechanisms, such as the World Bank’s Forest Investment Program, have been funding the establishment of monoculture tree plantations in developing countries, which are still being defined as ‘reforestation’ and ‘afforestation’ projects by climate policy-makers,” GFC notes. “Tree monocultures also threaten rural communities, as they provide very few stable jobs compared to the amount of land needed, which undermines rural economies.”