Every cloud has a silver lining, right? Well, not in Copenhagen.
As COP15 talks got underway last week, many people thought that a deal on curbing deforestation in developing countries might offer one positive outcome to what looked likely to be an otherwise disappointing climate conference. Now, though, at a time when negotiations for a comprehensive climate treaty have hit a brick wall, talks concerning deforestation appear to be grinding to a halt as well. Can anything be resolved at COP15?
The logging of palm trees grown atop the decaying peatlands of Borneo and Sumatra helps drive the economy of Indonesia, and this fact alone is starting to make the nation a top global priority for efforts to mitigate the warming climate. The problem is three-pronged: First, cheap pulp and paper produced in Indonesia winds up in the glossy coated products we know as junk mail, luxury shopping bags or children's books. Then, once the original trees are gone, palm oil plantations are often planted in their place.
Here is something you probably didn’t know: Some of those luxury shopping bags your purchases are placed in at stores like Versace, Prada and J. Crew may have contributed to tropical rainforest deforestation.
TELUK MERANTI, Indonesia — From the air, the Kampar Peninsula in Indonesia stretches for mile after mile in dense scrub and trees. One of the world’s largest peat swamp forests, it is also one of its biggest vaults of carbon dioxide, a source of potentially lucrative currency as world governments struggle to hammer out a global climate treaty. The vault, though, is leaking.
The Rainforest Action Network announced on November 3 that the Gucci Group--which includes fashion houses Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, and Balenciaga--has joined a growing list of major companies who are pledging to change their paper policies.
Since the beginning of fall 2009, the Rainforest Action Network has been encouraging fashion industry players to examine their paper supply chains, avoiding suppliers who use resources from endangered rainforests, specifically those in Indonesia.
Palm oil is in everything from fuel to cosmetics. Is it a solution or a problem?
It’s lurking, unlabeled, in hundreds of household products from lip gloss to baby formula to potato chips. While it doesn’t sound (and need not be) nefarious, activist groups worldwide argue that the production of palm oil is currently harming rain forests in Southeast Asia, orangutans, and the environment.
But the American Palm Oil Council calls it “nature’s gift to the world.”
They are the must-have accessory for fashion-conscious shoppers who want to be seen carrying home the most exclusive and expensive brands.
But there is a dirty secret behind the glossy paper bags often spotted dangling from the arms of socialites.
Several of Britain’s top fashion brands and makers of luxury goods have been buying these bags from a supplier majority-owned by a company responsible for destroying millions of acres of Indonesian rainforest.
Minneapolis ¬– Local food giant General Mills (GIS) came under fire today for its use of unsustainable palm oil, a food commodity strongly linked to rainforest destruction in Southeast Asia, as 42 activists with Rainforest Action Network, Walker Church and other concerned community organizations unfurled a 30 x 70 ft. banner reading “Warning: General Mills Destroys Rainforests” outside of the company’s Minneapolis headquarters building.
Copenhagen – The impending collapse of climate change talks here has dashed hopes that the Copenhagen process could provide real solutions to protect the world’s forests and reduce the approximately 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.