14 December 2007

Global Climate Change: Bali Yields REDD, a Deal on Forest Conservation

Reuters reports that the Bali talks have achieved at least one positive outcome, and it has greens seeing REDD:

Reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) is an indicator of the sense of urgency felt by developing nations in the face of global warming.

"The breakthrough might eventually allow poor but forested nations to turn conservation into a tradeable commodity, with the potential to earn billions of dollars selling carbon credits," according to the Reuters article.

"But," Reuters reports, "one of the scheme's key architects warned that, if successful, it will create such large emissions reductions that carbon markets could collapse unless rich nations take on more stringent reductions targets."

Forest destruction produces about 20 percent of human generated carbon dioxide emissions, and groups such as The Nature Conservancy have long argued that forest conservation, also known as "avoided deforestation," is central to reducing emissions globally.

"Deforestation had been left out of previous climate deals," such as Kyoto, "because of concerns about how to work out which trees were threatened, and that any scheme would reward countries destroying forests rather than those protecting their resources."

"'Forests have been the elephants in the corner of the climate change process,' said Andrew Mitchell, executive director of Global Canopy Programme, adding that markets were the only way to find the billions of dollars a year needed to protect forests.

"'We cannot expect philanthropy or governments to come up with this amount of money sustainably,' he said."

read the full story: Reuters

(Full disclosure: While with The Nature Conservancy, I was part of its Climate Change Strategy Team, which developed the strategy linked to above. I am no longer employed by the Conservancy.)

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