World Rainforest Movement

Carbon Sink Plantations

These are tree plantations, often eucalyptus but it can also be acacia, pine or oil palm, where the owner claims that the trees provide the so-called “environmental service” of carbon absorption. However, this is a false solution to the climate crisis. Carbon sink plantation projects increase carbon emissions. Although the carbon dioxide molecules stored in a tree might be chemically identical to the CO2 molecules emitted by a polluter in the North that ‘buys’ this stored CO2 as carbon credits, from a climate point of view the two CO2s are radically different. The carbon from the atmosphere stored in a tree is sooner or later released again when the tree is felled. Yet the polluting company in the North, by burning fossil fuels, throws a ´new´ quantity of Carbon into the atmosphere, increasing the total amount of carbon that is being exchanged all the time between the atmosphere and biosphere.



Articles from the WRM Bulletin

Books and Briefings

  • Industrial Tree Plantations Invading Eastern and Southern Africa

    Posted on October 5, 2016

    New briefing: “Industrial Tree Plantations Invading Eastern and Southern Africa” In the context of emerging global trends in respect of escalating climate change, growing economic disparity, and increasing land degradation,...

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  • An overview of industrial tree plantations in the global South: conflicts, trends, and resistance struggles.

    Posted on June 11, 2012

    After many years of supporting local struggles and disseminating information from different countries on tree monocultures and its impacts, WRM presents a new report to all those involved in these struggle (1). No better time than the...

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  • Plantations in the mekong region: overview

    Posted on December 15, 2008

    Eucalyptus, oil palm, rubber and jatropha monoculture plantations are expanding onto local communities’ lands and forests in the Mekong region’s countries. Promoted under the guise of development, poverty alleviation and even climate...

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  • Carbon Neutral Magicians

    Posted on November 15, 2008

    Being “carbon neutral” has become fashionable. The World Bank, the Vatican, the World Olympics, the Football World Cup, the Body Shop, the Rolling Stones, and a long list of celebrities proclaim themselves to be totally or partially...

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  • A funny place to store carbon: UWA-FACE Foundation’s tree planting project in Mount Elgon National Park, Uganda

    Posted on December 22, 2006

    By Chris Lang and Timothy Byakola “A funny place to store carbon: UWA-FACE Foundation’s tree planting project in Mount Elgon National Park, Uganda”, by Chris Lang and Timothy Byakola, documents human rights abuses at Mount Elgon...

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  • Monoculture tree plantations in Ecuador

    Posted on August 25, 2006

    By Patricia Granda Through various government programmes and initiatives, with the support of international cooperation agencies, monoculture tree plantations have been established in Ecuador’s three mainland regions. Through three case...

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  • Carbon Sink Plantations in the Ecuadorian Andes

    Posted on May 2, 2005

    Impacts of the Dutch FACE-PROFAFOR monoculture tree plantations’ project on indigenous and peasant communities By Patricia Granda. Joint Research of Acción Ecológica and WRM Carbon Sink Plantations in the Ecuadorian...

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  • Convention on Climate Change. Privatising the Atmosphere?

    Posted on November 17, 2002

    The solution to climate change –which is already happening and being suffered by millions of people around the world– is in theory quite simple: to substantially reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, particularly carbon...

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  • The carbon shop: planting new problems

    Posted on December 9, 2000

    By Larry Lohmann Even the smallest changes in the earth’s climate have always made a big difference to human societies. When a volcanic eruption in 535 AD brought about slightly cooler, drier weather, the results included...

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  • Ten replies to ten lies

    Posted on August 9, 1999

    By Ricardo Carrere, WRM Planting trees can be very good, but it can also be very bad. It all depends what you’re planting them for, the scale and site of the plantations and the costs or benefits they bring to local populations....

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  • Tree Plantations: Impacts and Struggles

    Posted on February 9, 1999

    This book includes a selection of articles published in the World Rainforest Movement’s (WRM) Bulletin on the issue of industrial tree plantations. Given that the aim of most monoculture tree plantations is to produce wood pulp, we...

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Meetings and Events

Other Relevant Information

  • Paths Beyond Paris: Movements, action and solidarity towards Climate Justice

    Posted on December 2, 2015

    By Carbon Trade Watch. After over 20 years of international climate change negotiations, talks continue to move further away from identifying the root causes of the climate crisis. These short, sharp articles highlight years of struggle,...

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  • Nothing Neutral Here: Large-scale biomass subsidies in the UK and the role of the EU ETS

    Posted on August 30, 2012

    A Carbon Trade Watch report that links the demand for biomass in the UK, the role of the EU’s Emissions Trading System and the destructive expansion of industrial monoculture tree plantations around the world. Available...

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  • The Carbon Connection – VIDEO

    Posted on May 30, 2012

    The Carbon Connection, is a Fenceline Films presentation in partnership with the Transnational Institute Environmental Justice Project and Carbon Trade Watch, the Alert Against the Green Desert Movement, FASE-ES, and the Community Training...

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  • CDM carbon sink tree plantations in Africa: A case study in Tanzania

    Posted on May 30, 2011

    By Blessing Karumbidza and Wally Menne – The Timberwatch Coalition This study dissects a tree plantation carbon sink project at Idete in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania. The Norwegian company that owns the project, Green Resources...

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  • Where the Trees are a Desert. Stories from the Ground

    Posted on November 30, 2003

    By Carbon Trade Watch, TNI/FASE This collaorative brieing gives an insight into the history of monoculture eucalyptus plantations inBrazil and their impacts on local people and the environment. It also explores the new finances made...

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  • Mount Tamalpais Declaration

    Posted on May 11, 2000

    San Francisco, May 2000 We, the undersigned non-governmental organizations, wish to express extreme concern about the role envisaged for tree plantations in helping industrialized countries meet their commitments to reduce greenhouse gas...

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  • Women and Climate Change

    Posted on December 29, 2010

    Produced by Gender CC, Women for Climate Justice , with the support of the WRM International Secretariat Directed by Flavio Pazos Voice: Lori Nordstrom Based on the work of: Ana Filippini – WRM Andrea Guzmán – CENPROTAC,...

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