Ecuador ditches plan to save Amazon from oil drilling

The world has failed us: Ecuador ditches plan to save Amazon from oil drilling

Ecuador ditches 2A ground-breaking scheme that would have preserved swathes of Ecuador’s Amazon Rainforest has been abandoned after raising just $13m (£8.3m) of the $3.6bn it needed to operate.

In a development that human rights and environmental campaigners described as a “huge missed opportunity”, President Rafael Correa has lifted a moratorium on drilling for oil in the remote Yasuni national park, which he had imposed in return for $3.6bn of compensation payments from wealthy governments.

However, three years after finalising the deal through the UN, Mr Correa is calling time on the trust fund  set up after receiving pledges for just $116m – and only $13m of actual cash.

Dozens of protesters gathered in front of the presidential palace in Quito today to vent their frustration at the failure of the scheme, which campaigners said represented a blow in the global battle to combat climate change as well as for the 10,000 square mile National Park itself.

“The world has failed us,” said President Correa in a nationally televised speech. He blamed “the great hypocrisy” of nations who emit most of the world’s greenhouse gases. “It was not charity that we sought from the international community, but co-responsibility for climate change,” he added.

Yasuni is home to two indigenous tribes living in voluntary isolation and has been categorised by the UNESCO as a world biosphere reserve and one of the most biodiverse areas in the world. A single hector of Yasuni contains 644 species of tree, more than in the whole of North America.

SOS Yasuni, a campaign group for the national park, criticised President Correa’s decision, saying the speed at which he has dismantled the agreement and awarded a drilling concession without public consultation “seems designed to ensure as quick a start to the oil exploration as possible”.

Mr Correa had failed to appreciate the scope of the initiative, which was “not an isolated, one-off technical proposal, but rather a pathway, a transition. It embodied a proposal for genuine civilisational change,” the group said in an open letter to the president. “This is fundamentally an ethical proposal that calls into question a model of extraction that destroys ecosystems, cultures and other models of production and consumption,” a group spokesman said.

The $3.6bn the president sought represents half of the $7.2bn expected to be generated over the next decade from the 846 million barrels of heavy crude estimated to lie in the Yasuni area, representing 410 million tonnes of carbon emissions.

Although he sought to position himself as a global environmental champion by agreeing to effectively write off half the profits he could have made from Yasuni oil production, President Correa is not viewed as being particularly green in his home country. Oil production and mining are common elsewhere in Ecuador, including the Amazon.

“It’s clear that oil exploration will be negative for the area,” said Nick Molho, head of energy and climate policy at WWF UK, adding: “The lack of funding raised by the Ecuadorian Government is a stark reminder of the inadequacy of current political action to tackle climate change. The world’s most developed economies must go beyond positive rhetoric and show substantial financial commitment to support the transition towards a low-carbon world economy.”

Preserving the trees now under threat from oil production would have helped to curb climate change, since forests are a major carbon sink, absorbing the carbon dioxide that most scientists agree is a key contributor to global warming. Furthermore, chopping down those trees is doubly damaging to the environment because deforestation releases huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as well as removing its capacity to absorb fresh emissions.

But while this deforestation would play a small role in exacerbating climate change, the much bigger loss is that the scheme’s failure means it is far less likely to become a major weapon against global warming by being repeated elsewhere.

“People have really missed a trick here,” said Patrick Alley, founding director of Global Witness, the human rights and environmental group.

“It could have signalled a new way of thinking and it failed because global leadership isn’t putting nearly enough thinking into this issue.”
[divider]
Source | TheIndependent

Find us here

Get news from the CSGLOBE in your inbox each weekday morning

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors/source and do not necessarily reflect the position of CSGLOBE or its staff.

Paid content

Putin has Banned Rothschild and His New World Order Banking Cartel Family from Entering Russian Territory

As of recently, Russian president Vladimir Putin took yet another decision for his country. "Under any circumstances", the Rothschild family is banned from entering Russian territory. Along...

Georgia House Votes To Allow Citizens To Abolish Police Departments In The State

The Georgia House backed an effort on Friday to dissolve the Glynn County Police Department and any...

Five bombshells about Trump from Bolton ‘s book

Excerpts from former national security adviser John Bolton ’s book about his time in the Trump administration...

What's New Today

Georgia House Votes To Allow Citizens To Abolish Police Departments In The State

The Georgia House backed an effort on Friday to dissolve the Glynn County Police Department and any...

Leaked CDC document contradicts Pence claim that U.S. coronavirus cases ‘have stabilized’

Even as Vice President Mike Pence wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Tuesday that coronavirus...

Five bombshells about Trump from Bolton ‘s book

Excerpts from former national security adviser John Bolton ’s book about his time in the Trump administration...

Don’t Listen to Fox. Here’s What’s Really Going On in Seattle’s Protest Zone.

It seems I live in a city undergoing a “totalitarian takeover” that will lead to “fascist outcomes”...

MOST READ

What Is Agenda 21? Depopulation of 95% of the World By 2030

Most people are unaware that one of the greatest threats to their freedom may be a United Nations program which plans to depopulate 95%...

Alien Base for Giants Discovered in the Bucegi Mountains

In the summer of 2003, in an unexplored area of the Bucegi Mountains, a team from Zero Department (a top secret section of the...

Putin has Banned Rothschild and His New World Order Banking Cartel Family from Entering Russian Territory

As of recently, Russian president Vladimir Putin took yet another decision for his country. "Under any circumstances", the Rothschild family is banned from entering Russian territory. Along...

Putin has Banned Rothschild and His New World Order Banking Cartel Family from Entering Russian Territory

As of recently, Russian president Vladimir Putin took yet another decision for his country. "Under any circumstances", the Rothschild family is banned from entering Russian territory. Along...

The U.S. Trying to Make War — Not Peace — In Syria

The U.S. has long asserted itself as a peacemaker in the ongoing war in Syria, attempting to paint the country’s president, Bashar al-Assad, as...

‘Evidence I never worked for Russia’: Snowden on NBC report claiming he’s to be ‘gifted’ to Trump

While there may be little credibility to the latest US media report claiming Moscow will present President Donald Trump with former NSA contractor Edward...

US Refuses To Attend Afghanistan Peace Conference In Moscow

A new conference in Moscow aimed at discussing new ways to get peace talks going between Afghanistan and the Taliban insurgency has representatives from...

American People, Please Help Us

Two years ago, “Majd” wrote these words on a Facebook posting: “I am Syrian… living in Syria in the middle of everything. We have seen...

No US airstrikes in Syria since Russia deployed S-400 systems

Both the American and Turkish air forces halted their strikes on Syrian territory around the time Russia deployed S-400 air defense complexes at the...

Catholic Priest Says Yoga Is The Gateway To “Kingdom Of Darkness”

According to Father Roland Colhoun, practicing yoga is tatamount to Satanism and that the popular exercise and form of meditation will lead you directly...

Nevada Disobeys the Feds, Passes Revolutionary Law to Grow Commercial Hemp

Nevada became the latest state to defy the federal government’s apparent “War on Nature” by legalizing commercial industrial hemp production on Friday. Gov. Brian Sandoval signed...