The European Union is closing its doors to illegal timber exports. But unless we tackle unsustainable logging to satisfy domestic timber markets, their actions will little benefit forests, or the millions of poor people that live within them. Making timber sustainable requires the use of both trade and climate strategies in unison to bring about locally controlled forestry.
Agriculture is just one of the sectors in which carbon labelling — the labelling of a product to show how much carbon (and other greenhouse gases) have been emitted during its ‘lifecycle’ — is being used to show how individual products contribute to climate change. The logic behind applying carbon labels to agriculture seems sound enough: agriculture accounts for 10 to 12 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions and produces much of the food we eat and the products we buy. Finding a way to tell consumers how much individual agricultural products contribute to this should encourage them to choose those products with the lowest carbon footprint and help make agriculture more sustainable. But the truth is that it is very difficult to provide accurate carbon labels for agricultural products. And carbon labelling can impact farmers in the developing world in ways that don’t support development.
A previous blogpost on Due South discussed the potential for cash transfers to contribute to climate change adaptation. But 'just giving money to the poor' is not the only social policy programmes being implemented in the developing world. In India, a different approach is being tried: rather than guarantee the poor an income, the government guarantees them paid work, via the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), which came into being in 2005.
Who had heard of G3 eighteen months ago? Nobody, because it didn’t exist.
Yet an alliance known as The Three Rights Holders Group has had a strong presence at COP 16 in Cancun, manning an information booth and participating in various panels.
The group’s message was a simple one, advocating for sustainable forest management and locally controlled forestry as a vital component in any realistic strategy going forward to address climate change mitigation and adaptation.
So who is this group and where has it come from?
Driven by subsidies for small cars and an ever increasing middle class, the Chinese year of the tiger saw a ferocious increase in the car industry — a whopping 18.1 million vehicles (including 13.8 million cars) were sold in China in 2010, up by a third from the previous year. But will new efforts by Beijing combat both the booming economy and the grid-locked streets? And is this another example of China setting a new course for a greener future?