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Climate & environment - Oct 14

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Nature loss 'dwarfs bank crisis'

Richard Black, BBC Online
The global economy is losing more money from the disappearance of forests than through the current banking crisis, according to an EU-commissioned study.

It puts the annual cost of forest loss at between $2 trillion and $5 trillion.

The figure comes from adding the value of the various services that forests perform, such as providing clean water and absorbing carbon dioxide.

The study, headed by a Deutsche Bank economist, parallels the Stern Review into the economics of climate change.

It has been discussed during many sessions here at the World Conservation Congress.

Some conservationists see it as a new way of persuading policymakers to fund nature protection rather than allowing the decline in ecosystems and species, highlighted in the release on Monday of the Red List of Threatened Species, to continue...
(10 October 2008)


Climate author goes political

Nicholas Read, Canwest News Serivce
In Keeping Our Cool, Weaver outlines in a comprehensive way what climate change is, why it's real, what causes it and what obstacles politicians and industrial interests place in the way of countering it. Throughout there are diagrams and tables that attempt to present graphically what he admits is an inherently complicated truth.

It's so serious, he said, that unless we reach a point where we stop emitting greenhouse gases entirely, 80 per cent of the world's species will become extinct, and human civilization as we know it will be destroyed, by the end of this century.

"Climate scientists who grapple with this every day ... we see where it's headed. We understand it very well.

"I think the public needs to know, straight in their face, that you can give up on civilization as we know it. This is what I'm trying to get across in the book. Do we actually give a s--- for future generations?"
(12 October 2008)



Global fund 'could pay owners to keep rainforests safe'

John Vidal and Juliette Jowit, The Guardian
A revolutionary multibillion-pound fund should be set up to pay the owners of the world's rainforests not to cut them down, a report to the prime minister will say today. The report by special adviser John Eliasch says the scheme would be a comparatively cheap way to reduce climate change emissions and would also inject vital funds into developing countries to help alleviate poverty.

The report says that a global carbon market could pay the tropical rainforests' owners, or people living in, them to save and maintain the trees, which store carbon dioxide - the main contributor to climate change. In addition, saving the rainforests would help to control global rainfall patterns. They are also home to more than half the world's species.

The World Bank has estimated the cost of reducing deforestation by one fifth at $2bn-$20bn (£1.15bn-£11.5bn) a year, leading campaigners to calculate that halting the problem would cost up to $100bn a year.

But the Eliasch review claims countries without forests could also benefit from a global forest emission trading system, which would be relatively cheap compared with saving emissions at home...
(14 October 2008)

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