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Three carbon offset projects in Brazil accused of ‘fraud’

Almost four years ago, on December 23, 2019, Air France announced the compensation in a press release. “100% of its carbon from domestic flights” (ie on the French mainland), by purchasing carbon credits from six environmental projects spread across South America, Africa and Asia. Among them, the Portel-Pará project, located in the municipality of Portel (population 63,000), in the Brazilian Amazon, in the north of the country, should have been able to avoid emissions. “Equivalent to 22 million tons of carbon dioxide2 “.

Like the airline, many foreign companies (Boeing, Bayer, Toshiba, Takeda, Samsung, Kingston, etc. Rio Anapu-Pacaja or Pacajai) to reduce their ecological footprint.

These private initiatives are triggered by an international mechanism Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+), established by the United Nations in 2005, was supposed to finance the protection of the forest in Portel. Three projects on the portal have been certified by the non-governmental organization Verra, the main international carbon credit certification body based in Washington.

“fraudulent projects”

Except that, in fact, corporate emissions are not offset. “These projects are fraudulent, claims Nilsson Correa da Silva, 29, general secretary of the Portel Rural Workers’ Union, which represents nearly 5,000 people. Those who buy these credits believe they are contributing to the fight against climate change. But this is not so: in practice these projects do not exist. »

His In a press release, Air France promised that thanks to Portel-Para, “There will be fauna and flora[aie]not protected » and “There will be work[aie]Designed to support entrepreneurial projects to create a local agroforestry sector.. But “none done”Mr. Correa da Silva assures: “Only ecological stoves, grocery baskets and T-shirts were distributed » local population.

Already in September 2020, a study was published in a scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences questioned the deforestation impact of twelve REDD+ projects (including the Portel-Para project) in the Brazilian Amazon between 2008 and 2017. “Comparing the current rate of deforestation to what would have occurred in the same areas in the absence of carbon offset programs. (…), We found that they have very little impact.”, Andreas Contoleoni, one of the authors of the study and professor of environmental economics and public policy at the University of Cambridge, UK, explains.

Source: Le Monde



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