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Pay-to-protect forest plan gets cautious welcome

Environmentalists warn the global fund would give rich nations a cheaper alternative to cutting their own greenhouse emissions and put at risk the human rights of a billion people who depend on forests for their livelihoods

Source:  Copyright 2008, Guardian
Date:  October 14, 2008
Byline:  John Vidal
Original URL: Status ONLINE

A proposal for a giant global fund to pay the owners of the world's forests not to cut them down has received a guarded welcome from environmental groups. They warn of the risks of giving rich nations a cheaper alternative to cutting their own greenhouse gas emissions and to the human rights of the tens of millions of people who live in or who depend on forests for their livelihoods.

The independent report, revealed by the Guardian, was written for the prime minister, Gordon Brown, and states that an international carbon market could prevent the deforestation that is a major contributor to climate change and inject much needed funds into poor countries.

The report calls for an international agreement to halve the carbon dioxide released through deforestation by 2020. It acknowledges this will be costly but estimates such action could be worth $3.7tr (£2.1tr) to the world's nations in net benefits over the long term. If nothing is done to slow rampant ...

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