The Plantar PCF project still in the spotlight

WRM default image

In June, the World Bank co-organised the Carbon Expo in Cologne, Germany. This trade fair showcased projects on the look-out for corporate and governmental buyers from industrialised countries for the greenhouse gas emission reduction credits these projects claim to produce.

At the Brazilian government booth visitors of the trade fair found a leaflet about the Plantar project (see also WRM bulletin Nº 70 and 72 ). But the information in the leaflet was in stark contrast to the message that two representatives of the Rural Worker’s Union from Minas Gerais, where the Plantar project is located, brought to Cologne. In the view of Grace Borges dos Reis and Juarez Santana Teixeira, a Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) that funds the expansion of monoculture tree plantations like Plantar was nothing more than a greenwash for plantations companies. The Brazilian trade union representatives presented evidence showing how two plantation projects that are aiming to become accepted as CDM projects, have contributed to environmental degradation and social tensions. Small farmers whose fields are located around the plantations established by two companies – Vallourec & Mannesmann de Brasil and Plantar S/A - have seen streams and swamps dry up as plantations close in. The representatives of the Rural Worker’s trade union once again urged those companies and Northern governments that are providing the funding for the expansion of Plantar’s eucalyptus plantations through the World Bank’s Prototype Carbon Fund (PCF), to exclude the Plantar project from the final list of projects that the PCF will support in registering as CDM projects.

Adding to the confusion, controversy and contradictions that surround the Plantar project, a representative of the Brazilian government explained at the trade fair that “at this point Plantar is only a PCF project, not a CDM project because it does not fulfil the requirements of the Brazilian Government”. The apparent lack of full approval by the Brazilian Government casts yet more doubt on the rigour with which the Prototype Carbon Fund scrutinizes its projects. And for SinksWatch this apparent lack of the necessary approvals is one more in an already long list of reasons to say no to Plantar as a CDM project, because funding the expansion of monoculture tree plantations is neither a contribution to slowing climate change nor to the sustainable development of the small farmers who see their fields dry up as the plantations expand.

By Jutta Kill, SinksWatch, E-mail: ,