• News

    Selling Illegal Timber Policy

    A new report from UK-based think-tank Chatham House received significant international media attention when it was released earlier this month. The report, “Illegal Logging and Related Trade: Indicators of the Global Response” is different from most environmental policy reports in that it has a positive message: trade in illegal timber has fallen. Moreover, it hasn’t fallen by insignificant amounts. In some of the world’s largest timber-producing countries – specifically Indonesia and Brazil – it has fallen by as much as 75 per cent. The results are noteworthy for a number of reasons. First, the European Parliament recently passed a measure on the sale of illegal forest products within the EU. A…

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    Greenpeace: Not Charitable

    The New Zealand Charities Commission has ruled that Greenpeace no longer has charitable status in that country. The decision follows two previous cases in Canada where Greenpeace has also lost its charitable status. The Commission determined that Greenpeace’s activities had objectives that were overtly political, which could not afford it a tax-exempt status. The Commission also found that Greenpeace’s sanctioning of ‘non-violent protest’ also effectively sanctioned illegal activity – which could not be deemed charitable either. Already the decision has prompted more caution from the group worldwide. In May of this year maritime charges against Australian Greenpeace activists were dropped. Greenpeace Australia’s CEO Linda Selvey told the media she was…

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    Another South Pacific Cruise for Greenpeace?

    There are rumours that Esperenza, one of Greenpeace’s blue water vessels is due for another tour in the South Pacific. The last one went badly, resulting in Greenpeace practicing piracy and perpetrating more falsehoods. During their last tour Greenpeace seized a vessel in the Gulf of Papua, declared it contained illegal timber and that the vessel belonged to Rimbunan Hijau. Despite reporting by timber export monitor and verifier – SGS – that showed the claims were wrong on both scores, Greenpeace continued to publicize these falsehoods. Last month, Greenpeace Australia Pacific heralded its South Pacific campaign as contributing to the passage of legislation by the EU that requires all purchases…

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    McKinsey’s Climate Model in PNG

    It is reported that Australian aid money is supporting adaptation of the “Low Cost Carbon Curve” model developed in the US by McKinsey and Co for Papua New Guinea. The same model has been adapted in Indonesia and Guyana as well as other developing countries. It was even adapted in Australia where research by consultants, ITS Global, for Australian industry revealed that there were fundamental problems with the assumptions in the core model. Economic consultants, Charles River and Associates found the McKinsey model systematically understated the costs of switching to low carbon emission industries and overstated the benefits of new and replacement technologies. The modeling undertaken in Australia with assistance…