SAM seru Kelantan batal perjanjian ‘carbon-offset’

This figure shows the history of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations as directly measured at Mauna Loa, Hawaii. This curve is known as the Keeling curve, and is an essential piece of evidence of the man-made increases in greenhouse gases that are believed to be the cause of global warming. - Graphic: Wikipedia

Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) memandang berat niat kerajaan negeri Kelantan untuk mengambil bahagian dalam perdagangan kredit karbon dengan sebuah syarikat dagangan karbon yang melibatkan 25 peratus daripada kawasan hutan Kelantan.

Turut merisaukan ialah laporan media yang mengalu-alukan konsesi 30 tahun yang melibatkan 396,000ha hutan di mana karbon kredit yang dihasilkan akan dijual di pasaran karbon Eropah.

Skim ‘carbon-offset’ telahpun didapati tidak berkesan dalam menangani masalah pelepasan karbon. Malahan, ia merupakan satu gangguan daripada tindakan untuk menghentikan pemanasan global. Tambahan pula, pasaran dagangan karbon dibelenggui dengan masalah penyelewengan, ketidakpastian dan kelemahan; justeru itu, tidak dapat memastikan pengurangan pelepasan karbon yang amat diperlukan untuk mengelakkan bencana perubahan iklim yang teruk.

Terdapat kekeliruan yang ketara daripada maklumat yang didedahkan berikutan daripada perjanjian yang dibuat di antara pihak kerajaan negeri Kelantan dengan syarikat Climate Change Protector (CCP) Sdn Bhd.

Adalah tidak jelas sama ada kerajaan negeri telahpun memberikan konsesi tersebut sebagai sebahagian daripada perjanjian mempelawa syarikat CCP untuk menjalankan audit, iaitu langkah pertama untuk melaksanakan projek tersebut.

Oleh itu, kami meminta kerajaan negeri Kelantan memberikan penjelasan terhadap aspek ini dalam perjanjian tersebut.

Kami juga berpendapat adalah wajar bagi kerajaan negeri mendapatkan nasihat dan kepakaran teknikal daripada Kementerian Sumber Asli dan Alam Sekitar untuk menilai butir-butiran perjanjian tersebut.

Kami juga ingin membawa perhatian terhadap kesalahan nyata dalam promosi perjanjian tersebut sebagai sebuah mekanisma Pertubuhan Bangsa-bangsa Bersatu (PBB) dalam mengurangkan pelepasan karbon daripada sector perhutanan yang dikenali sebagai Pengurangan Perlepasan daripada Penebangan Hutan dan Pensusutan Hutan (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation – REDD).

Perjanjian ‘carbon-offset’ yang diterajui oleh pihak swasta tidak harus dikelirukan dengan mekanisma ‘REDD-plus’ PBB yang sehingga ke hari ini hanya telah mencapai persetujuan ‘results-based payments’ untuk negara-negara sedang membangun yang layak diberikan pampasan kerana telah memelihara hutan-hutan mereka sebagai sinki karbon. Buat masa ini tidak ada ‘carbon-offsets’ di dalam mekanisma REDD-plus.

Walaupun tanah dan hutan tertakluk dalam bidang kuasa negeri, perlu diambil perhatian bahawa kerajaan Malaysia telahpun menyerahkan cadangan untuk memperolehi bantuan kewangan antarabangsa bagi kawasan hutan dalam wilayah pemerintahannya yang meliputi kawasan hutan Kelantan.

Kami menggesa pihak kementerian memberikan perhatian serta-merta terhadap tindakan kerajaan negeri Kelantan menjual karbon hutannya kerana ia akan menjejaskan niat kerajaan pusat untuk memperolehi bantuan kewangan antarabangsa bagi sektor perhutanan.

Negeri-negeri lain yang tidak menerima nasihat yang tepat akan kerumitan perdagangan karbon hutan dan rundingan di peringkat Perjanjian Kerangka Perubahan Iklim Pertubuhan Bangsa-bangsa Bersatu (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) kemungkinan akan tertarik kepada manfaat ‘carbon-offsets’ yang sebenarnya tidak dapat dilaksanakan.

Tambahan pula, insiden Kelantan tersebut menunjukkan bahawa terdapat masalah penyelarasan di antara pihak kerajaan pusat dan kerajaan negeri dalam melaksanakan tindakan menangani perubahan iklim kebangsaan yang telahpun dijanjikan oleh Malaysia sebagai penandatangan (signatory) kepada Perjanjian Paris menerusi ‘Nationally Determined Contributions’.

Sekiranya perjanjian ‘carbon-offsets’ Kelantan berlaku, pengecualian hutan Kelantan akan menjejaskan komitmen negara untuk mengurangkan intensiti pelepasan gas-gas rumahkaca sebanyak 45 peratus menjelang tahun 2030 berdasarkan tahap pelepasan pada tahun 2005 kerana pengurangan yang dilakukan menerusi ‘carbon-offsets’ tidak akan dikira sebagai sumbangan pengurangan pelepasan karbon oleh Malaysia.

SAM menyeru kerajaan negeri Kelantan untuk membatalkan perjanjian ‘carbon-offsets’ tersebut dan menggesa Kementerian menasihati kerajaan Kelantan supaya tidak meneruskan perjanjian tersebut.

SM Mohamed Idris ialah presiden Sahabat Alam Malaysia.


SAM calls on Kelantan government to cancel carbon-offset deal

Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) is deeply concerned by the intention of the Kelantan state government to enter into a carbon offsetting deal with a carbon trading company involving 25 per cent of its forested land.

It is equally troubling to read the positive angle adopted by media reports in praising the 30-year concession, which covers a staggering 396,000ha of forests, with the credit generated to be sold to the European carbon market.

Carbon-offsetting schemes have already been found to be ineffective in addressing emissions. In fact, it is a distraction from real actions to halt global warming. Furthermore, it is well-documented that the carbon trading markets are plagued with irregularities, uncertainties and flaws and do not actually deliver on the promised emission cuts that the world urgently needs to prevent catastrophic climate change.

There is substantive confusion arising from the information following the signing of the deal on 9 January between the Kelantan state government and Climate Change Protector (CCP) Sdn Bhd, the company involved.

It is unclear if the state has already awarded the concession as part of the deal in engaging the company to audit its carbon stock as a first step in realising the project.

Therefore, we call upon the Kelantan government to clarify this particular aspect of the deal.

It will also be prudent for the state to seek the advice and technical expertise within the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE) to assess the details of the deal.

We would also like to point out the misrepresentation involved in the promotion of the deal as a United Nations-initiated mechanism in reducing emissions from the forestry sector known as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD), when it is not the case.

Carbon-offsetting deals pursued by the private sector are not to be confused with the UNFCCC’s REDD-plus mechanism that, to this day, has only agreed on results-based payments for developing countries that are eligible to be rewarded for keeping their forests as carbon sinks. There are at present no carbon-offsets under the REDD-plus mechanism.

Notwithstanding the fact that land and forests are under the state’s jurisdiction, it has to be pointed out here that the Malaysian government has already submitted a proposal to seek international finance for the forest areas in its territory, which includes forests in Kelantan.

We urge the MNRE to pay immediate attention to the move by the Kelantan state government in selling its forest carbon as this will inevitably affect the federal government’s intention to access international funding for the forestry sector.

Other states that are ill-advised on the complexity of forest carbon trading and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations are at risk of being misled and exploited under the guise of getting benefits that will not be realised.

Furthermore, the Kelantan incident indicates a breakdown in federal-state coordination in implementing national climate actions which the country has pledged to the world through its Nationally Determined Contributions as a signatory to the Paris Agreement.

In the event that the Kelantan offset deal is realised, the exclusion of Kelantan’s forest will potentially affect the country’s commitment to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 45% by 2030 relative to the 2005 emissions level – as whatever reductions made through the carbon-offset cannot be counted as the country’s contribution.

SAM calls on the Kelantan state government to cancel the carbon-offsetting deal and urges the federal MNRE to advise the Kelantan government accordingly against proceeding with this deal.

SM Mohamed Idris is president of Sahabat Alam Malaysia.

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