The compromise proposed by Jan Pronk, the chair of the conference, went so far towards satisfying the demands of the worst offenders that the EU finally withdrew from negotiations. Due to an absurd method for calculating carbon uptake in forests, the proposal would in fact have allowed developed countries to increase their total emissions by 6-9%, instead of the 5% cut in the Kyoto Protocol. The proposal would also have allowed tree plantations in developing countries to replace the necessary emissions reductions in the industrialised countries. This would have secured huge extra profits from the sale of carbon credits for the Norwegian companies Tree Farms and Norwegian Afforestation Group.
Negotiations are planned to start up again in May, 2001. In the meantime, both the world's climate and Norwegian forestry projects are facing an uncertain future.
Norwatch Newsletter 11/00