Brazil still against REDD - but not against fighting deforestation...
While committed to stopping deforestation, Brazil sees a carbon trading scheme as the wrong way to proceed. On climate change mitigation, it wants commitments to reflect historic emissions.A scheme that would allow developed nations to gain carbon credits by supporting forest conservation is on the agenda of the UN conference in Copenhagen this December, but the home country of the Amazon, the world’s largest forest, now turns its thumb down.
“Our position is that we’re opposed to carbon markets for preventing deforestation,” Jose Miguez, head of Brazil’s Interministerial Commission on Globate Climate Change, tells Reuters.
The scheme, known as Reduced Emissions through Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) would benefit countries supporting forest conservation much in the same way that the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) already give credits to nations that finance mitigation in other parts of the world. About 20 percent of global carbon emissions are attributed to deforestation. Still Brazil doesn’t see REDD as a way forward, as ensuring that forests remain standing would only keep carbon out of the atmosphere until the trees die and release it, Jose Miguez says:
“People confuse this (opposing REDD) by saying we want to continue deforestation, which is false.”
Brazil has pledged to halve the rate of deforestation in the Amazon by 2020, and to stop deforestation by the middle of this century. Instead of carbon trading, Brazil wants direct financing mechanisms. For instance, Norway has donated 1 billion USD for Amazonian forest conservation.
In the interview with Reuters, Mr. Miguez also comments on the negotiations over an agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions:
“The greenhouse effect is not caused by emissions - it is caused by the accumulation of emissions in the atmosphere. We are proposing that the second period of commitments (the period after the Kyoto Protocol expires) be based on the historic responsibilities of each country.”
Ideas that commitments should be related to “carbon intensity”, meaning emissions of carbon dioxide relative to the size of a country’s economy (GDP), are not to the liking of Brazil:
“It’s the proposal backed by the US, Japan and Germany, it’s good for countries with big GDP’s”, says Jose Miguez.