Oslo Climate Conference: Prime Minister gets to the root of the problem / News / The Foreigner

Oslo Climate Conference: Prime Minister gets to the root of the problem. Labour’s (Ap) Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg, is keen on anti-deforestation. This didn’t stop some journalists calling him a moose. Today’s Climate and Forest Conference at Holmenkollen Park Hotel outside Oslo is a continuation of the REDD (“Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Degradation") commitment undertaken at the COP15 World Climate Summit in Copenhagen last year. Its goal was to establish a global REDD+ UN programme allowing Heads of State and Government-endorsed partnership to provide fast-track funding for efforts in the fight against deforestation.

jens, stoltenberg, redd, hrh, prince, charles, wales, oslo, prime, minister, climate, deforestation, conference, president, susilo, bambang, yuhoyono, indonesia



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Oslo Climate Conference: Prime Minister gets to the root of the problem

Published on Thursday, 27th May, 2010 at 19:55 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 27th May 2010 at 21:26.

Labour’s (Ap) Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg, is keen on anti-deforestation. This didn’t stop some journalists calling him a moose.

2010 Climate and Forest Conference, Oslo
2010 Climate and Forest Conference, Oslo
Photo: Prime Minister's Office/Flickr


Goals

Today’s Climate and Forest Conference at Holmenkollen Park Hotel outside Oslo is a continuation of the REDD (“Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Degradation") commitment undertaken at the COP15 World Climate Summit in Copenhagen last year.

Its goal was to establish a global REDD+ UN programme allowing Heads of State and Government-endorsed partnership to provide fast-track funding for efforts in the fight against deforestation.

25 billion kroner is on the table over next two years, with more coming if these are successful.

The plans follow the Norwegian government’s model for Brazil, which has cut over 60 percent of its deforestation since 2005, giving an approximate annual CO2 emission reduction of about 400 million tons. Eight times that of Norway.

Commitment

Stoltenberg pledged his commitment to reduce deforestation, which he believes is on the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions.

“Reducing deforestation and forest degradation can provide the largest, the fastest and the cheapest cuts in global emissions. Through reducing deforestation we could achieve up to one third of the needed emission reductions by 2020. In today’s global markets, forests are worth more dead than alive. It must pay off not to cut a tree down, but leave it standing.”

Erik Solheim and Marty Natalegawa signing deal
Erik Solheim and Marty Natalegawa signing deal
Prime Minister's Office/Flickr
He said four billion USD had already been collected, repeating the need for an effective deforestation monitoring system.

“Developing countries must be in the driver’s seat. They must set up systems to monitor, report and verify reductions in deforestation.”

The Prime Minister also took this up yesterday at his bilateral meeting with President Susilo Bambang Yuhoyono of Indonesia, where it was agreed a framework to establish a satisfactory surveillance and control system charting developments in deforestation would be put in place.

Norway’s Socialist Left (SV) Minister of the Environment, Erik Solheim, and Indonesia’s Foreign Minister, Marty Natalegawa, signed a joint letter committing both countries to an agreement.

The deal gives Indonesia a one billion USD grant towards reducing its annual carbon emissions by 2.5 billion tons caused by deforestation, 50 times that of Norway.

In return, the country has to document reductions in deforestation, preserve its peat bogs, and impose a two-year ban on logging concessions.

Growth

On today’s guest list of 50 countries, 8 heads of state, and 25 ministers was HRH Prince of Wales at the Prime Minister’s invitation.

HRH the Prince of Wales, Oslo 2010
HRH the Prince of Wales, Oslo 2010
Prime Minister's Office/Flickr
Prince Charles has worked towards substantial emission reductions by public and private sectors across many sectors of national and international economy recently. He believes deforestation accounts for about 18% of global carbon emissions.

HRH also stressed the need for effective monitoring systems.

“Governments will need to know that every dollar made available will be spent wisely to avoid any unnecessary duplication and to ensure that the reduction in tropical deforestation leads to the maximum contribution to countries’ sustained and sustainable economic growth. Given the precarious economic situation in which so many countries find themselves, I have been heartened by the readiness of rainforest countries to work on a “payment on performance” basis,” he said.

Left out

The Norwegian government also says it believes indigenous peoples and civil society must play an important role in designing and implementing the REDD+ Partnership.

In a press release, it claims the work of establishing the interim REDD+ Partnership will be completed through an open and inclusive process prior to the meeting in Oslo.

However, Lars Løvold, the Norwegian Rainforest Foundation’s (Regnskogfondet) General Manager, claims the indigenous people are only observers, and not signatories at the conference.

“Indigenous peoples and local communities have not been able to participate in an informed and meaningful manner. They are traditional forest stewards and have collective, customary rights to their forests and resources. As they will be most directly affected by REDD activities, their full and effective participation must be ensured when REDD policies are being designed and implemented,” the foundation writes in a press statement.

King of the forest

Obama visit
Obama visit
Prime Minister's Office/Flickr
According to NRK, Stoltenberg’s become an international superstar when it comes to forest preservation since the UN’s Climate Conference on Bali in 2007.

He’s been praised by Prince Charles, Barack Obama, and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has been positive to Norway’s commitment.

But this hasn’t stopped several cutting Stoltenberg down to size. NRK believes he’s just trying to save face in the aftermath of the Mongstad gas power plant carbon capture and storage affair, claiming he’s trying to crown himself king of the forest – an elk.

Adresseavisen’s Harry B.A. Strand writes he thinks forests suit Stoltenberg’s climate policy well.

“He’s the rainforest’s saviour. Nobody make trees to grow up to heaven like him, and the rainforest can be his moon-landing (månelanding), now that Mongstad has become an eternal project. Yesterday’s deal with Indonesia was sold with reference to that the effect equals 700 Mongstad facilities with carbon capture and storage. Stoltenberg has bought himself a ticket to the moon almost daily until the next general election for peanuts, in relation to Mongstad.”

Stoltenberg has also been criticised by Dagfinn Høybråthen, leader of the Christian Democratic Party (Krf), for undermining the government’s environmental credibility.

“Away from home, the Prime Minister gets environmental prizes for efforts against deforestation, but this debate shows he stumbles and falls when it comes to the environment here,” he said, on the day Stoltenberg was grilled in Parliament over Mongstad.

In his defence, the Prime Minister told NRK where carbon cuts are made in the world is academic, as it’s the same atmosphere.

It seems the elk has wandered into an Amazonian quagmire, however.

“Seen idealistically, Stoltenberg is on a beautiful tour of the world’s forests. But the world’s richest prime minister also knows he’s running a country that becoming overgrown,” Strand writes.

(Video courtesy of the Norwegian Government, YouTube).


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Published on Thursday, 27th May, 2010 at 19:55 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 27th May 2010 at 21:26.

This post has the following tags: jens, stoltenberg, redd, hrh, prince, charles, wales, oslo, prime, minister, climate, deforestation, conference, president, susilo, bambang, yuhoyono, indonesia.





  
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