Climate Change

WCI Offsets Offer a Way Out for Polluters

Leonardo DiCaprio. The Rolling Stones. Now add seven western state governors and four Canadian premiers. These are the most recent riders of the carbon offsets bandwagon. Carbon offsets play a central role in the Western Climate Initiative (WCI), a carbon Cap-and-Trade scheme first introduced in July, that includes seven U.S. states (Arizona, California, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Washington) and four Canadian provinces (British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec). When I first heard about the WCI, I had just returned from a wilderness leadership training. So I'

Official Launch: In Hot Water

Welcome to International Rivers' climate blog! Our climate team (Barbara Haya, Patrick McCully, Payal Parekh, Ann-Kathrin Schneider and Katy Yan) will be covering a variety of hot dam and climate related issues. We'll cast a critical eye at carbon offsets, and in particular the efforts by the hydro lobby to make money out of the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism. And we'll look at what better ways may exist to transfer climate friendly financing and technology. We'll review emerging science on how dams contribute to global warming pollution. We'll

Climate Change Glossary

Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Adaptation: Adaptation to climate change refers to adjustment in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climate change impacts. Responses to a changing climate can also include policies to minimize the predicted impacts of climate change (e.g., building better coastal defenses). Additionality: When a project is additional, it can be built only because it receives money from selling carbon credits. When a dam is "non-additional," it is being funded by sales from carbon credits even though it would have been built without revenues from those credits.

Amazon Powers Major Carbon Sink

Carbon-eating machine: The Amazon River meets the sea.
Monday, September 15, 2008
September 2008 World Rivers Review Nutrients carried by the Amazon River into the Atlantic Ocean help absorb significant amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere, new research reveals. The nutrients fertilize a type of plankton that the researchers estimate to consume 27 million metric tons of CO2 annually. Carbon-eating machine: The Amazon River meets the sea. Norman Kuring/NASA Rivers are known to be an important source of nutrients to the coastal ocean, but the extent was not fully understood. Satellite images show that the Amazon River plume reaches hundreds to thousan

Bujagali Dam Seriously Flawed, Say African Bank Inspectors

Wednesday, July 9, 2008
First investigation by African Development Bank panel finds dam studies minimized climate change risks, impacts to Lake Victoria, resettlement costs, affordability concernsThe Bujagali Dam, now under construction on the Nile River in Uganda, racked up at least 22 violations of key African Development Bank (AfDB) policies, according to a new report by the Bank's internal investigative panel. The report is the first by the Bank's new Compliance Review and Mediation Unit (CRMU), and was undertaken in response to a claim by project-affected people and the National Association of Professional En

The Great Carbon Offset Swindle: International Rivers Report Deconstructs the Scam

Monday, June 23, 2008
The Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism, the world's biggest carbon-offset program, is utterly failing to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions. The program’s failure is detailed in the International Rivers' report, "Bad Deal for the Planet: Why Carbon Offsets Aren't Working." The CDM is supposed to be a way for the industrialized nations to stabilize and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by funding emission-reduction programs and projects in the developing world. But the CDM is actually increasing such emissions in the guise of promoting sustainable development.The Clean Deve

Bad Deal for the Planet: Why Carbon Offsets Aren't Working...and How to Create a Fair Global Climate Accord

Wednesday, May 21, 2008
International Rivers' third annual "Dams, Rivers & People" report explains the failure of the world's biggest carbon offsets program to make a dent in greenhouse-gas emissions. It also maps the world of rivers and dams for the past year and pinpoints hotspots for the coming year. Efforts to solve the climate crisis are stumbling over poorly designed carbon-offset programs. One of the biggest programs created in Kyoto - the Clean Development Mechanism - has proven to be a huge failure that is actually increasing greenhouse gas emissions behind the guise of promoting

Guardian: Kyoto Carbon Trading Strategy Discredited

Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Increasing allegations of corruption and profiteering are raising serious questions about the UN-run carbon trading mechanism aimed at cutting pollution and rewarding clean technologies Originally published in the UK Guardian The world's biggest carbon offset market, the Kyoto Protocol's clean development mechanism (CDM), is run by the UN, and is intended to reduce emissions by rewarding developing countries that invest in clean technologies. In fact, evidence is accumulating that it is increasing greenhouse gas emissions behind the guise of promoting sustainable development. The misguided mec

The Great Carbon Offset Swindle - Videos

Videos from "The Great Carbon Offset Swindle" luncheon on May 8, 2008 at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. Temblor Throws Shadow on Big Dam Ambitions Nam Theun 2 Dam: Rising Water, Falling Expectations China Considers Earthquake Danger of Dams Engineers Face Testing Times as Thousands Flee Dam Threat

The Great Carbon Offset Swindle

Thursday, May 8, 2008
Patrick McCully explains how billions of dollars in fake credits are being generated under the Kyoto Protocol. These “hot air” credits are threatening to weaken the effectiveness of California and federal efforts to cut carbon emissions. Part I Part II


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