Saturday, 24 March 2007


(Click on title for a link to Cool Earth)

The world is massively overspending its carbon budget. Last year the global population released 9 billion tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere creating the conditions for radical climate change. By 2025 this will rise to an annual 13 billion tonnes, by which time our environment will be catastrophically destabilised. The options we have for balancing the world’s carbon budget are limited. Of all the carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels since the start of industrial revolution, half have been made in the last 20 years. Our use of fossil fuels is accelerating so fast that sufficient cuts will not be made in time. The only change in human activity capable of delivering the cuts needed is tropical deforestation. Changes in land use account for over 2 billion tonnes of released carbon each year – equivalent to approximately 8 billion tonnes of CO2 - as much as the combined fossil fuel emissions of the US and European Union. The environmental value of curbing deforestation therefore exceeds anything deliverable by the Kyoto Treaty.

Carbon trading has so far placed no value on curbing tropical deforestation. Kyoto excludes protecting mature rainforest from its wish list. Preservation of tropical forest is nonetheless the single most effective means of abating global climate change. Since most deforestation is caused by marginal agriculture and low value logging, it makes no sense that a fair value is not placed on the environmental service provided globally by rainforest.

Cool Earth
Johan Eliasch – the owner of a 400,000 acres Amazon rainforest preserve, Chairman of Head NV and Deputy Party Treasurer of the Conservative Party in the UK- and former Pensions Minister Rt Hon Frank Field MP have created an organisation called Cool Earth to make some sense of the situation. Cool Earth is combining mass membership with the world’s biggest businesses and the world’s biggest eco-resources to halt climate change. By placing a fair value on the carbon locked up and absorbed each year by tropical forests, Cool Earth is enabling developed world consumers and businesses to fund directly local forest protection on a massive scale. Through investment in health, education and forest protection, Cool Earth say that they are tackling climate change by pricing deforestation out of the market. Protecting local communities is Cool Earth’s first priority. Long term protection of key eco-resources only succeeds when it is aligned with local people’s interests. Underwritten by Johan Eliasch, Cool Earth will protect 400,000 acres of forest in its first year - equivalent to 10% of Europe’s emissions - by creating wealthier, more secure futures for local people. By renting the environmental services of the tropics, Cool Earth think that they have the only scaleable answer to climate change. For more information go to


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