The COPENHAGEN GRAB
EarlyBird Foundation - 6 Sep 2009
Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD), 15th Conference of the Parties (COP) in Copenhagen this December.
Now that carbon dioxide is a pollutant watch out!
Our eyes should be wide open and focused. Clearly the prosperous North is to blame for the bulk of the carbon dioxide emissions, especially from its industries into the atmosphere that have destroyed the ozone layer, fuelling global warming. Over the last centuries Africa has been a convenient relief valve for the North. Alternatively our land has been a dump or a reservoir of natural resources. Now Africa, ravaged by poverty, deserves a clean environment, free from exploitation and pollution.
But whereas the developed countries are equipped to cope with the impacts of climate change, our continent is not, therefore we may shoulder the heavier burden. This burden seems to be compounded by the actions of Europe. Here climate change leads to prolonged droughts that create hunger, while the North is known for its heavily subsidized farming, ruining the markets for African commodities.
With the upcoming Copenhagen Conference we are about to feel the big squeeze. On one side the industrial might of China and others moving in. On the other side, self righteous Europeans of the World Agroforestry Centre exclaiming, "African farmers will play a major part in the solution of climate change mitigation". (Let's assume for the moment the humans can affect mitigation.) On one hand old style empire builders with designs on the wealth of African nations; on the other hand, new age CO2lonialism. As an additional insult, the hasty calculations of the new carbon sequestration schemes are likely overestimated because protecting, or planting forests in one region may be displaced by deforestation in other regions. And we all know that civil unrest can very quickly lead to a rush on natural resources. Could it be that the Europeans are banking on Africa's misery? It would not be the first time.
What have you done to prepare for the COPENHAGEN GRAB. Remember these people are leading with statements like, "agroforestry [In Africa] can very well turn out to be a cheap alternative compared to other options in the west." International organizations are aligning to have their way with Africa. Our leaders, the Conference of African Heads of State and Goverment on Climate Change have been preparing as well, they met in Addis Ababa on August 24, and resolved that: "A REDD-Plus mechanism should be designed in such a way as to accommodate different national circumstances and respective capabilities." This is a start, but it may be nothing more than a license to exploit.
Shall we continue to delude ourselves into thinking that this ends with the sweet promises and cute schemes such as Cadbury's carbon-label on their chocolate; after all it is the end consumer who pays extra. right?