Carbon Trading Term Paper

Pages: 16 (4229 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 29  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Animals

¶ … carbon trading. The writer examines whether corporate carbon trading can effectively save the rainforest. Within that context the author explores current environmental law and argues that they will lead to a demand on businesses to reduce or offset their co2 emissions. The writer discusses the difficulty that many businesses will have complying with the law and restrictions. In addition the environmental damage will increase which will in turn make for stricter laws. The final argument in this paper is that it will be more cost effective to save the rainforest as a co2 offset than for the rainforest to be taken down for their wood use.

Using Corporate Trading to Save the Rainforest

Why the rainforest is more valuable as a constant asset than a temporary wood supply"

Introduction

As the world continues to globalize, attention turns to the planet's rainforests and their future. Ecological groups have pitted themselves against large corporations for years regarding the forest and its value to the planet. Corporations are busily cutting down trees for commercial purposes while ecological groups are fighting to get it stopped because of the value the forests give the world by way of protection of wildlife. In recent years a new development has made the argument about conservation more valuable than ever. Carbon trading is a growing topic of debate when it comes to rainforest issues worldwide.

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Providing the ability carbon trade between nations, and putting that responsibility on businesses world wide will alleviate future ecological issues currently being faced. Carbon trading is a more efficient and long lasting answer when it comes to the future of the rain forest. It has a longer and more deep rooted value than wood cutting does because carbon trading does not involve the immediate destruction of wildlife and animal life.

History

Before one can begin to analyze the value of carbon trading, one must first have an understanding about the rainforests.

Term Paper on Carbon Trading Assignment

Rainforests provide cover and home for more than 50% of the world's living species. No other natural resource can claim such high numbers for the purpose of providing a living environment.

Other facts surrounding the rainforest controversy include:

More than 50% of the Earth's species live in tropical rainforests. (10) typical four-square-mile patch of tropical rainforest contains up to 1,500 species of flowering plants, 750 tree species, 125 mammal species, 400 bird species, 100 reptile species, 60 amphibian species, and 150 butterfly species. (3)

At least 25% of all modern drugs came originally from rainforests. (7)

Over two thousand tropical plants have been identified by scientists as having anti-cancer properties (Rainforests (http://www.rainforestweb.org/Rainforest_Information/Rainforest_Data_and_Research/?state=more).

Global deforestation is becoming a growing problem in the world. Statistically more than half of the world wood consumption is done by only 22% of the world population. Nations in Europe, America and Japan are responsible for the exploding growth that has been seen in wood consumption.

Worldwide, industrialized countries consume more than twelve times more wood products per person than non-industrialized countries.

Industrial logging is one of the primary causes of global deforestation. According to the World Resources Institute, 78% of the world's original frontier forests have already been destroyed or degraded, much within the past three decades. Industrial logging poses the greatest danger to the world's remaining old growth forests. Not only does logging convert ancient ecosystems to pulp, wood and paper products at an alarming rate, but industrial logging also creates indirect but damaging impacts (Rainforests (http://www.rainforestweb.org/Rainforest_Information/Rainforest_Data_and_Research/?state=more)."

The Amazon rainforest alone is currently experiencing the fastest rate of destruction in its history. Brazil's economic recovery and agricultural boom are contributing factors to the increased demand for wood and the increased destruction ratio of the rainforest.

An estimated 26,130 sq km of forest were destroyed - an area almost the size of Belgium - in the 12 months to August last year, according to data issued this week by the ministry of environment. That is a 6 per cent increase over the previous period and the second-highest rate in the Amazon since measurements began in 1988.

The results are likely to refocus international attention on the government's efforts to curb destruction of the world's largest source of fresh water, carbon absorption and biodiversity (Amazon rainforest destruction at 10-year high

By Raymond Colitt in Sao Paulo Published: May 20, 2005 03:00 | Last updated: May 20, 2005 03:00 (http://news.ft.com/cms/s/4ea07b74-c8cd-11d9-87c9-00000e2511c8.html)."

Rain forests cover less than two percent of the Earth's surface, yet they are home to some 50 to 70% of all life forms on our planet. The rain forests are quite simply, the richest, oldest, most productive and most complex ecosystems on Earth (Rainforest (http://earthrenewal.org/rainless.htm)."

Experts agree that 90% of the rainforests will be destroyed by 2011 if something is not done to slow the destruction.

According to projections by James Alcock, a professor of environmental sciences at the Abington campus of Penn State, Amazonian rain forests could reach a "point of no return" by 2011-2016 if deforestation continues at the present rate of about one percent a year. The model further shows that rain forest in Brazil could be wiped out entirely within 40 to 50 years (Rainforest (http://earthrenewal.org/rainless.htm)."

Some facts that must be considered include:

Forest destruction from 1995 to 2000 averaged almost two million hectares a year, equivalent to seven football field a minute, and is comparable to the 1970s and 1980s, when forest loss in the Amazon was catastrophic. See: "Smithsonian Researchers Show Amazonian Deforestation Accelerating."

6-9 million indigenous people inhabited the Brazilian rainforest in 1500. In 1992, less than 200,000 remain.

In a four mile by four mile square of Brazilian tropical forest there are over 750 species of trees, 125 species of mammals, 400 species of birds and 100 species of reptiles. Most of these species are found nowhere else in the world. There are as many species of ants in a single Peruvian tree than in the entire British Isles (43).

Distinguished scientists estimate an average of 137 species of life forms are driven into extinction every day, or 50,000 each year (Rainforest (http://earthrenewal.org/rainless.htm).

In the time it takes to read the above statistics, approximately 150 acres of rainforest were destroyed. Within the next hour approximately six species will become extinct. While extinction is a natural process, the alarming rate of extinction today, comparable only to the extinction of the dinosaurs, is specifically human-induced and unprecedented. Experts agree that the number-one cause of extinction is habitat destruction. Quite simply, when habitat is reduced, species disappear. In the rainforests, logging, cattle ranching, mining, oil extraction, hydroelectric dams and subsistence farming are the leading causes of habitat destruction. Indirectly, the leading threats to rainforest ecosystems are unbridled development, funded by international aid-lending institutions such as the World Bank, and the voracious consumer appetites of industrialized nations. If deforestation continues at current rates, scientists estimate nearly 80-90% of tropical rainforest ecosystems will be destroyed by the year 2020(Rainforest (http://earthrenewal.org/rainless.htm)."

One of the concerns globally when it comes to the future of the world and its environment is the greenhouse effect. The CO2 levels have increased dramatically over the past few years (Nagle, 2003).

The build-up of greenhouse gases is a major concern in terms of global warming. CO2 levels have risen from about 315 parts per million (ppm) in 1950 to about 360 ppm in 2000 and are expected to reach 600 ppm by 2050. The increase is a result of human activities such as burning fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas) and deforestation (Nagle, 2003).

Deforestation of the tropical rainforest is a double blow. Not only does it increase atmospheric CO2 levels, but it also removes the trees that convert CO2 into oxygen (Nagle, 2003)."

Recent studies have determined that the rainforests' ability to convert CO2 is diminishing through the deforestation process and that the decreased ability to convert is the cause of the increasing carbon dioxide levels that the world is experiencing (Scientists, 2004).

SOLUTIONS

There are several potential options that are being argued worldwide to save the rainforests. One of those is to put severe limits and penalties/costs on the deforestation that is currently occurring worldwide.

If the world has to pay premium penalties for using more wood than allotted with strict new guidelines it will be encouraged to locate alternate sources of help for the wood need.

While this sounds like an excellent idea initially one must consider the laws and how those laws will impact small business worldwide. With emission laws becoming more strict than ever before many small companies are finding that they cannot keep up financially and are being choked out of business because of it.

Another option to look into is carbon trading. As the laws become more strict and small business as well as large business try to comply it will be important to locate a new avenue of relief. Carbon trading allows all parties involved to benefit. Trading emissions appears to be a win solution regarding the rainforest future.

This carbon trading is a Europe-wide effort to use supply-and-demand to control emissions… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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