Letter to the Editor: Carbon Credit for Samoa?

Hon Tuilaepa Dr Sailele Malielegaoi during live broadcast on Monday 17th May after Supreme Court decisions were handed down.



28th January 2023


Carbon Credit for Samoa?

Another blind shot last week came from a senior Minister of Cabinet talking in Samoan about Carbon Credit and a billion dollars allegedly injected from the UN for Samoa to finance a Carbon Credit transaction benefitting Samoa.

And the where-about of this fund is yet to be found!

It is one reason for Forensic Auditors from overseas to find out where it’s gone to.

Small Island Countries with small forests cover, do not feature in these grand schemes!

Simply put, Carbon Credit or Carbon offsets is a very complex mechanism which allows a producer of green-house gases or carbon dioxide, credit purchased from a low GHG producer to compensate for excess carbons emitted into the atmosphere.

These Carbon Credits are bought and sold in Carbon markets.

Critics of this mechanism believed the system will cause more pollution of the atmosphere.

Some enquiries from overseas interested companies did approach our Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment that deals with Climate Change when Hon Fiame Naomi Mata’afa was a minister in our Human Rights Protection Party Cabinet.

One group requested a huge Cash Input from Samoa to enable them to carry out a study of the Pacific Islands viability for Carbon Credit transactions.

Because the Pacific Islands are so tiny, a Carbon Credit Scheme for one small Country is a major undertaking beyond its capacity in terms of technical and financial resources.

We rejected their proposal.

I was informed later by the MNRE that it is starting up a small experimental project on Carbon emissions reduction.

There is a lot to do like determining the total forest lands we still have, then calculating what land and trees there are per village, how much carbon dioxide we produce annually noting that we are cutting trees daily at the village level, and by those active in the local timber trade, etc, etc!

Given the rapid changes in Technology and a recent discovery of the most efficient energy source from nuclear fusion now awaiting commercial production, the issue of Carbon Trading may still remain experimental for Samoa till Kingdom Come!

As mentioned above, Hon Fiame was the Minister in charge of MNRE when she was my Deputy.

Hon Fiame dealt with Climate Change and all related matters on climate change.

She also dealt with compensation issues on Customary Lands for the Airport runway at Aleipata and all customary land issues in general.

Hon Toeolesulusulu Cedric Schuster, the current Faatuatua I le Atua Samoa ua Tasi Minister of MNRE has already publicly rubbished the unfounded allegations by his colleague, the Agriculture Minister, creator of numerous outrageous lies that can only tarnish whatever good name Cabinet has remaining.

All these baseless allegations which on the surface, seem to be aimed at HRPP, but now, on hind sight really appear to target the Prime Minister who was Minister of MNRE in our HRPP Government.

The consistency of these allegations raises the question is there a power struggle in the making.

There is no SECRET in Samoa

Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi

Leader of HRPP