This is perhaps not quite everything you wanted to know about REDD, but it covers quite a lot of ground. (With apologies to Woody Allen for the headline.) Recently two organisations have put out very useful information on key areas of the on-going REDD discussions. This post is the first in an occasional series of information posts about the REDD negotiations leading up to Cancun (hence the part 1 in the title).
In Greek mythologoy, the hydra was a serpent with seven heads. When one head was cut off, it grew two more. It was so poisonous that even its breath was deadly.
On the final day of the UN climate change negotiations in Barcelona, two climate activists walked to the front of the main plenary and held up a banner reading “End CO2lonialism”. “They shouted about the dangers of carbon trading and were met with thunderous applause. They were immediately dragged out by police,” Rainforest Action Network’s Joshua Kahn Russell writes. The protest was one of the highlights of the meeting.
At the start of last week’s UN climate negotiations in Bonn, Yvo de Boer, the UNFCCC Executive Secretary, described the negotiating text as “200 pages of incomprehensible nonsense”. By the end of the week, de Boer wasn’t much more optimistic. “We seem to be afloat on a sea of brackets,” he was reported as saying in the New York Times.
By the end of the UN negotiations in June in Bonn, the negotiating text had expanded from 50 pages to 200 pages. For those of you who like your square brackets, curly brackets and brackets within brackets within brackets, it’s a particular treat. The REDD section of the document is 20 pages long. But what actually happened during the negotiations and what do we need to look out for in the lead up to Copenhagen?
Friends of the Earth released a new report during the recent UN climate negotiations in Bonn: “A Dangerous Distraction – Why offsetting is failing the climate and people: The Evidence” (pdf file 889 KB).
On Monday, 8 June 2009, protesters gave delegates arriving to the climate negotiations in Bonn a simple message: “Halt climate change. Halt forest destruction. Halt plantations.” Compared to the mind-numbingly complex negotiations inside the Maritim Hotel, it was nice to have a clear vision of what the talks should be about.
We know what The Nature Conservancy thinks about forest offsets. It loves them. It loves them so much that it has got into bed with the biggest coal-burner in the US, American Electric Power. Meanwhile, TNC has developed a “global mechanism proposal”, which includes a goal of 3 billion tons of “emissions reductions from REDD” by 2020.
On 6 April 2009 at a press briefing at the climate negotiations in Bonn, the executive secretary of the UNFCCC, Yvo de Boer, was asked a question about carbon markets and REDD. In his response, he acknowledged two problems with incorporating REDD into the carbon markets: the science (measurement and permanence); and the impact on the carbon markets of trading forest carbon.
A new report from the NGO FERN provides a very helpful summary of some of the main proposals that have been offered, mostly by governments, for how REDD should work. The proposed schemes covered in the report include those from the Coalition for Rainforest Nations, Tuvalu, Brazil, COMIFAC, India, the Latin America Nested Approach, the European Union, New Zealand and Norway.
REDD is going to be one of the key discussion points at the UN Climate Change Conference at Poznan. REDD-Monitor will be following the events here and reporting on anything interesting that happens. In particular I’ll be attending some of the side events on REDD and noting what actors involved in REDD discussions are saying. Here’s a list of the side events related to REDD at Poznan: