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Green schemes wobble

A revolutionary scheme backed by the World Bank to pay poor countries billions of dollars to stop loggers cutting down rainforests is failing due to corruption – and indeed may actually be promoting more logging. Under the United Nations’ REDD scheme (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) 37 mainly tropical countries have requested $14 billion in payments by 2015 by agreeing to reduce carbon emissions from logging and other forestry activities, but the Observer says that many of the applicants have no intention of reducing logging and will simply cheat the system or bend the rules to suit their own aims. Simon Counsell, director of the Rainforest Foundation said “REDD has been touted as the quickest and cheapest way of preventing climate change, but what we are seeing are expensive and ill conceived plans that fail to address the underlying causes of deforestation , and might make things worse”, calling for a revised scheme that agrees payments based on the “actual amount of logging or deforestation that is averted”.

In the UK the motor industry is warning the new coalition Government that it is putting Britain’s leadership in low carbon vehicles at risk by threatening to to renege on promises to subsidise their introduction in the UK. Mitsubishi, Nissan, Renault, Peugeot and Citroen will write to The Business Secretary and the Transport Secretary to outline their alarm at a perceived lack of government support for electric vehicles.