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Carbon Trading: Briefing note

Improving forest governance in Laos

In 2012, the Lao government expressed interest in negotiating a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) with the European Union to address illegal logging trade and to improve forest governance. An unreleased sudy for WWF found evidence, through case studies in the southern provinces of Laos, that actions on the ground around the timber trade are undermining the commitments expressed by the Government to enter VPA negotiations. In the year since this study, various meetings have taken place in Laos to discuss the VPA, how to tackle illegal logging and improve forest governance. This briefing note aims to present the key findings of the WWF study to a wider audience, highlight recent developments and recommendations by Fern that should be addressed within the VPA process to strengthen forest communities’ rights and improve forest governance in an effective manner.

Who takes the credit? REDD+ in a post-2020 UN climate agreement

This briefing note addresses the risks that could arise if Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) were to be included in an international climate agreement. Specifically, it looks at ‘double-counting’, where two countries claim the same emission reduction.

PDF iconWho takes the credit.pdf749.05 KB

Misleading numbers summary

This is the summary version of misleading numbers. It outlines that fossil and land-based carbon are not interchangeable and that emissions from fossil fuels cannot be negated by increasing or protecting the storage potential of forests and other land based carbon.

PDF iconmisleadingnumbers_summary.pdf439.22 KB

Subsidising Climate Change: How industry uses the EU ETS to manipulate State Aid rules for their own profit

This short briefing looking at how State Aid is being used to offset the indirect costs of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS). The Commission is attempting to remedy the low price of carbon, but State Aid guidelines mean that Member States can use public money to cushion any increase in price that is achieved. The briefing concludes that price-driven tools will never be strong enough to shift the EU out of fossil fuel and into sustainable renewable energy.

Banking on carbon markets: Why the European Investment Bank got it wrong in the fight against climate change

This briefing provides an overview of the publicly documented involvement of the European Investment Bank (EIB) in support of failing carbon markets. It is based on a report by the organisations Counter Balance and Campagna per la riforma della banca mondiale (CRBM). The original report is available here.


PDF iconBanking on carbon markets.pdf405.89 KB

Why carbon markets will not deliver for Southern governments, forests and people

Many governments believe that carbon trading will provide substantial funding to protect or sustainably manage forests in their countries via proposed schemes to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD). This briefing, signed on to by 28 organisations explains why carbon markets will not deliver for Southern governments, forests and peoples.


PDF iconcarbonleaflet_25nov.pdf326.76 KB

Why Congo Basin countries stand to lose out from a market based REDD

This briefing paper unravels the implications of setting a historical baseline with a correction factor for low deforestation countries. It also explains why carbon markets are unlikely to raise the anticipated funds for forest protection, due to the unsuitability of applying these policy mechanisms to forests, and why any funds raised are unlikely to reach Central Africa or other regions with low deforestation rates and weak governance. Wider institutional and policy reforms, which are crucial to tackling deforestation effectively, would be better addressed by a funding mechanism which does not involve the trading of carbon. 

PDF iconcongo basin countries lose out.pdf266.55 KB


Most recent publications

Response to the Verified Carbon Standard

By Fern

In November 2017, Fern published new research showing why forest carbon offsets should be ineligible for the United Nations (UN) ICAO. The VCS issued a public “rebuttal” to our publication.

Fern wishes to reassert why forest offsets and, more broadly offsetting itself, is not a viable solution to climate change or a way to protect communities’ rights.

Improving forest governance in Laos

In 2012, the Lao government expressed interest in negotiating a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) with the European Union to address illegal logging trade and to improve forest governance.

How UN aviation deal is cheating the climate


Today airlines are plotting a deal that would undermine our ability to tackle climate change. Tell ICAO - International Civil Aviation Organization their plan must REDUCE emissions.


Aviation sector threatens to undermine Paris Agreement

This press release explains why the aviation sector’s plan for tackling its greenhouse gas emissions would have disastrous consequences for the climate.