George Soros Loves Peat

Peat as Good as Gold
“I am visiting Central Kalimantan to observe its forests and peat land in my capacity as a United Nations envoy for the environment,” Soros said.

While Russian peat bogs burned this past summer, George Soros was slogging through the peat bogs of Indonesia planning his new venture. Interesting timing, don’tcha think?

Soros has been named to the High-Level Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing, formed recently by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

As an advisor on the UN Council on Climate Change, Soros wants to turn Indonesia into a pilot project for his carbon trading plan.

The UN advisory group, which brings together presidents, prime ministers and experts, is working to mobilize the funding promised for climate change mitigation during a UN conference in Copenhagen in December.

The Copenhagen Accord focuses on developed countries’ commitments to put together a green fund — $30 billion from 2010 to 2012, and up to $100 billion a year by 2020 — for environmental projects in developing countries. The funding mechanism is expected to be finalized at a climate change summit in Cancun, Mexico, in November this year.

Indonesia is at the top of the list. with an ambitious carbon emissions reduction target of 26 percent by 2020 could be expanded to 41 percent with expected funding from the United Nations, an official said.

Indonesia also has one of the world’s largest peatlands after Canada, the United States and Brazil. Because of their high carbon dioxide emission, peatlands and forests have become valuable assets to the carbon trading business.

Soros’s team will submit a report to the United Nations in October, and will give his recommendations on all matters related to climate change, including funding opportunities.

Soros would like Central Kalimantan to be turned into a model project of Indonesia-Norway collaboration with plans to rehabilitate peat forests, including existing carbon potentials and the numbers needed for sustainable carbon trade.

According to Indonesia’s Central Kalimantan Governor, Agustin Teras Narang, Soros is committed to helping seek funding for the project from donor agencies, as well as through the carbon trading market.

During his visit, Soros also visited Borneo, with it’s beautiful orangutans, mangrove forests and gold mining operations.

Will Soros use his Open Society Institute to buy more gold mines in Indonesia? Is the effort to control the peat bogs just a way to throw the spotlight off mining? With Soros, it’s always a possibility. We can’t forget what the investor did to the people of Rumania in his pursuit of the Trepca gold mine. See story.

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