Biomass, Palm Oil, Wind-Parks: Climate Protection Measures Costing Tons Of Money, Destroying Forests

Many “climate protection” policies promote the destruction of forests. Image: NASA (public domain). 

The climate alarmist Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) says climate protection policies are more than 5 times more expensive than they have to be. More trees are the way to go. Yet climate protection is driving the biomass fuel movement and deforestation from palm oil and wind parks. 

Mercator Research Institute press release:

One dollar invested in rainforests saves 5.4 dollars spent on other climate protection measures

Prevent deforestation, promote restoration – an MCC-led study shows this would more likely enable us to achieve the 2-degree target, and could reduce costs immensely.

The discussion about climate investments is often about technology. For example, wind farms and solar power stations, huge CO2 capture plants, or a pipeline network that makes hydrogen produced with green electricity available as the energy source of the future. But as important as innovative technologies are, the most significant arena in the fight against global heating is the tropical rainforest: every dollar invested here saves 5.4 dollars being spent on other climate protection measures.

This is shown in a study conducted by the Berlin-based climate research institute MCC (Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change) in cooperation with the US Environmental Defense Fund. The study has just been published in the journal Global Sustainability.

To quantify how relevant the rainforest is in relation to other climate protection aspects, the team of authors applies the widely used climate economics model DICE developed by US Nobel Prize winner William Nordhaus. This shows the cost of achieving climate targets by using the most favourable mix of measures but has so far not explicitly reflected the mitigation potential of tropical forest conservation.

More recent data on the CO2 balance of the rainforests are now included in the analysis, as well as estimates of the direct costs of such programmes, i.e. the expense of planting or how much it would cost to forego the economic benefits of clearing. In the end, the question is to what degree does this model extension lead to lower cost estimates of limiting the global temperature increase to at least 2 degrees relative to pre-industrial levels?

“On a 2-degree pathway, the model shows a total expenditure of 2.7 trillion dollars on anti-deforestation measures and a further 3.5 trillion dollars on restoration for the period 2030 to 2070,” summarises Sabine Fuss, lead author of the study and head of the MCC working group Sustainable Resource Management and Global Change.

“In return, however, when comparing this to the model variant without rainforest, this would save climate expenditures of 33.5 trillion dollars. The study explicitly ignores other benefits, such as the conservation of biodiversity, the protection of areas for indigenous peoples, and the quality of the local environment, since it focuses on climate protection costs.

MCC researcher Fuss explains: “The fact that the protection of the rainforest should be at the top of the agenda does not mean that we can buy our way out – we also need to get out of fossil fuel use in all sectors.”

The rainforest’s significant, but so far hardly used, potential for climate protection can create a certain flexibility in this respect. It can help to mitigate a rapid depletion of the remaining carbon budget and thus a respective rise in carbon prices. It can even keep more ambitious climate targets within reach. “If we prevent deforestation and promote restoration, we can enhance the overall political feasibility of ambitious climate action.”

Further information:

7 responses to “Biomass, Palm Oil, Wind-Parks: Climate Protection Measures Costing Tons Of Money, Destroying Forests”

  1. John F Hultquist

    I’m not a fan of “the fight against global heating.”

    I am a fan of forests so if such papers redirect some of the money away from useless projects, the UN, and favored friends of politicians — I’ll give it a pass.

  2. Hasbeen

    I may be naive, but I fail to see why a jungle, which is often swampy, with an unpleasant fetid atmosphere, is likely to take more CO2 out of the atmosphere than a copra, cocoa or palm oil plantation.

    I visited the Kimbe area of new Britain PNG, when the palm oil industry was just getting started. I visited some of the areas due to be cleared & drained to establish the palms. It was a truly horrible area, where it was difficult to keep the swarms of insects out of your mouth & eyes. Rotting vegetation everywhere was filling the air with green house gasses in equal volume to that being taken in by new growth.

    15 years turned it by comparison into a paradise. The low areas were planted to swamp taro, & some area of the plantations were planted to food crops between the palms. The majority was an open forest of palms, with fresh sea breezes penetration where stinking swamp gasses had previously prevailed.

    One has ask what these so called scientists advocating jungle have against the people of the tropics. One can only assume they have never seen the difference in living conditions for the people, when the jungle has given way to plantations.

    A mate of mine has a copra plantation on an atoll north of Bouganville. He has about a dozen “boys”, farm workers from the Sepik river area of New Guinea. He is supposed to repatriate these workers to their place of origan after 5 years service. He is in continual trouble with authorities for not doing so, as they won’t go.

    Some have been there 15 years, & have no desire to return to the swampy area of home, full of mosquito & midges & the unpleasant life style they lived before life on the plantation.

    Those who haven’t been there have no right to try to prevent an improved lifestyle for these tropical people.

    1. Yonason

      Yes. My dad fought in WWII on Guadalcanal. He got malaria there. The jungle is NOT your friend.

      1. tom0mason

        Yes Hasbeen, but if man stops toiling on this land and leaves for any reason, nature will in time, restore it to nature’s view of order. Nature’s order that would restore the rotting and smelly vegetation, dank swamps, numerous wild animals, and yes, great clouds of mosquito & midges — or something very like it.
        It would happen because nature is so very fragile don’t ya know?
        And don’t we humans have to save the planet or something?


  3. RoHa

    But we’ve got to save the Earth!

  4. Tom Anderson

    I no longer think they are idiots. They are brain dead.

  5. Hasbeen

    Yonason 28, not only did your dad really help save the world, but he & his mates left behind the makings of of Honiara, one of the most beautiful towns on earth, & a great place to live, once that jungle was cleared.

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