Forest Offsets Not a Solution to Brazil’s Fires, Says Amazon Watch

Oakland, CA, Aug. 29, 2019 – Amazon Watch today released the following statement condemning proposed guidelines that would allow polluters in California to supposedly “offset” their pollution under the guise of preserving trees in tropical forests, which proponents are now claiming as a solution to forest fires in the Brazilian Amazon. In reality, a decade’s worth of research, and countless scientists, indigenous peoples, and environmental justice and climate change organizations, have proven that these naive policies fail to reduce carbon emissions or preserve forests. The California Air Resources Board (CARB), plans to vote on the Tropical Forest Standard (TFS) next month.

Kevin Koenig, Amazon Watch’s Climate and Energy Director, said:

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“CARB’s proposed forest offsetting guidelines are a slap in the face to continued efforts to fight climate change and protect  forests and those who inhabit them. They are not a solution to forest fires in the Brazilian Amazon as some are currently claiming.

“These policies are the 21st century version of colonialism, resulting in the exploitation and eviction of indigenous communities from their homes all the while those in California can feel good about their continued emissions at home. This is failed leadership, and it gives the fossil fuel industry operating in California a get out of jail free card.

“If California wants to ethically lead the way in preserving and protecting forests and our climate, it should adopt AB 572, the CA Deforestation-Free Procurement Act; stop extracting and expanding fossil fuel infrastructure in the state; and stop importing oil and resources from the Amazon and indigenous people’s territories.”

Amazon Watch is a nonprofit organization founded in 1996 to protect the rainforest and advance the rights of indigenous peoples in the Amazon Basin. We partner with indigenous and environmental organizations in campaigns for human rights, corporate accountability and the preservation of the Amazon’s ecological systems. www.amazonwatch.org