Rainforest Nations hopeful over Copenhagen deal
Coalition for Rainforest Nations downplays concerns surrounding plans to include forestry in the carbon market
The stand-off over emission reduction targets may remain stuck in deadlock, but UN climate change talks in Bonn this week are delivering progress towards a deal on how best to halt tropical deforestation.
Speaking to BusinessGreen.com, Federica Bietta, deputy director of the Coalition for Rainforest Nations (CfRN), said that talks to condense the 20 pages of draft negotiating text that cover the so-called Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (REDD) programme were proceeding well.
"We should get it down to 10 pages," she said. "We are seeing a lot of areas of agreement that include both developed and developing countries… there is a much stronger consensus in the room on this than there are on some of the other issues."
Bietta said there was widespread support for proposals for the three-phase rollout of REDD through the scaling up of forestry management authorities and measurement mechanisms in rainforest countries, the deployment of demonstration forestry protection projects, and the access to carbon markets to help finance projects.
She added that some contention remained about whether projects should be financed through rainforest funds or the carbon market, with countries such as Brazil sceptical about the role of carbon credits. But she argued that issuing carbon credits through a new REDD scheme would represent the best way of raising the scale of finance that is required to reverse deforestation.
"We know that if we are to have access to carbon market projects, we will have to adhere to higher standards of auditing and management," she said. "But we believe access to the market is the best way to get the financing at the required scale."
CfRN also downplayed fears that a glut of forestry-based carbon credits could distort the global carbon market, insisting that the emergence of REDD projects would be staggered.
"There have been concerns that REDD would create too many credits, but it will take years for all the countries involved to measure deforestation accurately and start introducing projects," Bietta said. "Some countries such as Papua New Guinea and Indonesia have already been working on REDD for a few years and could introduce projects quite quickly, while some other countries could take five years to get their first project up and running."
However, she added that the coalition remained concerned about the progress of the wider negotiations, particularly on the subject of emission targets. " New Zealand has announced a target to cut emissions by 10 per cent by 2020 and the recent targets from Japan are not much better," she said. "We are very concerned about this level of ambition from developed countries."
Issued by: Business Green
Author: James Murray
Issue date: August 13, 2009
Link to Article: Origin of text