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Increased use of biomass: recommendations for ensuring it is environmentally responsible and socially just

Biomass has always been an important source of energy, but whether it is a renewable source depends on many issues including how it is produced. As the EU renewable energy targets will give biomass use for energy purposes a significant boost, there is a need for an ambitious set of criteria guaranteeing that biomass is effectively contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gases without leading to negative environmental and social impacts.

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.

PDF icon congo basin countries lose out.pdf266.55 KB

Snake oil or climate cure - The effect of public funding on European bioenergy

If European Union targets are met, by the year 2020, 20 per cent of the EU’s energy consumption will come from renewable sources. In an attempt to achieve this target, the EU is investing heavily in new sources of energy, including bioenergy. This briefing note examines where public funding for the bioenergy sector is coming from, where it is going, and what the effects of this investment might be on the environment.

PDF icon snake oil or climate cure.pdf782.36 KB

Is REDD undermining FLEGT

With proper safeguards, FLEGT has the capacity to bring about real improvements in forest governance – but concerns have been raised that this could all be undermined by the Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) schemes currently being developed by the UN and the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF). This briefing looks at the case of Ghana and concludes that the Ghana experience should alert us to the dangers of rushing REDD processes.

PDF icon FLEGT and REDD.pdf979.97 KB

Counting the cost: forest credits and their effect on carbon markets

A short briefing note looking at research into the impact of trading forest carbon credits on carbon markets, and the subsequent effect on forests and the climate.

PDF icon counting the cost.pdf1.77 MB

Avoiding solutions: How Export Credit Agencies help companies that continue to evade tax

This briefing note shows the folly of G-20 plans to increase ECAs’ capacity without ensuring they bring in regulations aimed at halting their support for companies that take advantage of tax avoidance loopholes such as offshore financial centres. It ends with a series of recommendations for ensuring ECAs are held to government policies.

PDF icon Avoiding solutions.pdf756.15 KB

From Rome to Lisbon: a guide to the EU and its role in developing trade and investment agreements

Liberalising investments with the aim of opening markets appears to be incompatible with sustainable development of resource-based activities. FERN has therefore published a briefing note, “From Rome to Lisbon,” a guide to the EU’s investment strategy. The guide explores the EU’s controversial role in developing investment provisions in the free trade agreements it concludes with third countries.

PDF icon from rome to lisbon.pdf941.36 KB