Greenpeace criticized Indonesia's plan to reduce deforestation through a market-based emissions mechanism known as REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation), and claims that REDD would allow industrialized countries to continue emitting greenhouse gases while offering few benefits to local people.
"The market-oriented draft, which focuses more on investment rather than reducing deforestation, only benefits big (industrial) companies with huge emissions," Greenpeace Forest Campaigner Bustar Maitar said.
"Under the scheme, companies can easily pay for (forest) carbon credits while still being able to pollute. This won't help to reduce deforestation in this country."
Deforestation and degradation is the primary source of emissions in Indonesia, which in recent years has ranked as the third largest CO2 emitter after China and the United States
In a report released this week, Greenpeace argued that introducing tradable forest credits would cause global carbon prices to tumble 75 percent to 3.9 euros ($5.16) per tonne by 2020 from a baseline of 16.05, under current national policies for limiting emissions, undermining a key incentive for development of clean technologies.
Carbon market analysts have expressed skepticism about the claim, noting that no one is seriously proposing an unrestricted market for REDD.
The group said the government should introduce an immediate moratorium on deforestation and back the creation of a global carbon market that focuses on reducing industrial emissions, not deforestation.
Greenpeace has proposed a "hybrid" non-market mechanism that would include a global fund, financed by industrialized countries, to pay for forest conservation projects in tropical nations.
There is so far no global agreement on how to put a price on forest carbon. Suggestions range from carbon trading to new taxes in developed nations to raise cash. Governments aim to agree on a new U.N. climate treaty in Copenhagen in December.
About 175 nations are meeting in Bonn from March 29-April 8 to discuss measures for fighting global warming. Among them are ways to slow tropical deforestation, which accounts for a fifth of all greenhouse gas emissions from human activities.
AFP, Indonesia should drop forest carbon credit plan: Greenpeace, 2 April 2009, http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jdeWwjLUXbR8uR3meJIEAE4VCRoQ
Reuters, Forests could undermine carbon market: Greenpeace, 30 March 2009, http://www.reuters.com/article/environmentNews/idUSTRE52T5CX20090330
Environmental News Network, Rainforest Alliance Accredited For Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS),30 March 2009, http://www.enn.com/press_releases/2871
Mongobay.com, Greenpeace opposes forest conservation initiative in Indonesia, 2 April 2009, http://news.mongabay.com/2009/0402-greenpeace.html
Bloomberg, Rain Forest-Saving Credits May Cut Carbon-Emission Prices ,31 March 2009, http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601100&sid=aYhjvwNIwjUo&refer=germany
Environmental Leader, Forest-Saving Credits Could Sink Carbon Pricing, 31 March 2009, http://www.environmentalleader.com/2009/03/31/forest-saving-credits-could-sink-carbon-pricing/