Carbon Market Watch

For fair and effective climate protection.

Plantar – Pig iron project, Brazil

Project Title: Mitigation of Methane Emissions in the Charcoal Production of Plantar, Brazil
Status: Registered
Ref #: 1051
Mitigation of Methane Emissions in the Wood Carbonization Activity for Charcoal Production – AM0041

One of the most controversial projects ever submitted to the CDM Executive Board is project 1051 “Reforestation as a Renewable Source of Wood Supplies for Industrial Use in Brazil” by Plantar S.A.  This project proponent was vehemently criticized over the past years in numerous publications, videos, technical reports, open letters, legal documents and congressional investigations.

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Plantar S.A. is a pig-iron and plantation company whose CDM project is in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. The company’s project activities have illegally dispossessed many people of their land, destroyed jobs and livelihoods, dried up and polluted local water supplies, depleted soils and the biodiversity of the native cerrado savannah biome. They have threatened the health of local people, and exploited labour under difficult conditions.

Previous attempts by Plantar S.A. to register the project under the CDM did get rejected. Yet despite prior rejection and heavy criticism, the project was finally registered on 9 August, 2007, for its proposed carbon-reducing plan. However the only thing it sustains is an environmentally damaging model of monoculture plantations and iron production that is responsible for negative social and environmental impacts in the surrounding region.

According to the PDD:

This project activity aims to reduce methane emissions in the carbonization process of charcoal production by implementing the process improvements, which would not have occurred in the absence of the CDM incentive. The project is an outcome of two years of scientific research, conducted by independent carbonization experts, which the project entity started and supported in response to the CDM incentive. The carbonization research proved the existence of a negative linear relationship between methane emissions and the gravimetric yield in charcoal production, thus showing the possibility of a reduction in methane emissions by enhancing the carbonization gravimetric yield. The independent carbonization experts conducted the research at the project entity’s sites. The research revealed the scope for process and technological improvements in accomplishing the emission reductions and forms the basis of this project activity.

Identified shortcomings

• Indigenous communities were not duly notified when the local public consultation by the company was held.
• Comments submitted to the CDM auditor of the project were omitted or not sufficiently taken into account in the validation report of the project. Read more

What we are calling for:

• Local stakeholders must be allowed to returned to Illegally dispossessed project land.
• Food Security and biodiversity must be ensured in the project region through cooperative action with local stakeholders. Read more
• Non-permanent mono-plantations should no longer be included in the CDM.

To read more about this project:

View our comments submitted on the project:

View details on our CDM Workshop:

View these articles in our various Newsletters: