A new study, launched on the eve of UNEP's Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum taking place in Bali, Indonesia, has analyzed the pledges of 60 developed and developing economies (more Information on the 11th Special Session of the UNEP GC/GMEF)
These include Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation ( REDD ) which gained political support at the Copenhagen climate change meeting. REDD, which involves supporting developing countries to conserve rather than clear tropical forests, could make an important contribution not only to combating climate change but also to overcoming poverty and to a successful UN International Year of Biodiversity.
The Year Book estimates that investing $22 billion to $29 billion in REDD could cut global deforestation by 25 per cent by 2015. It also highlights a new and promising REDD project in Brazil, at the Juma Sustainable Development Reserve in Amazonas. Here each family receives US$28 a month if the forest remains uncut, one potential way of tipping the economic balance in favour of conservation versus continued deforestation.
Renewables are also gaining momentum: although still very low compared to the huge potential of renewable energy, the global installed wind generation capacity has grown at the rate of 25 per cent per year over the past five years. In China, for example installed capacity has nearly doubled every year since the end of 2004 – and the report notes that the wind energy potential under perfect conditions has been estimated at up to 72,000 GW, nearly five times total energy demand. Probably 20 per cent of this energy potential could be captured in the future, representing almost 15 000 GW.
UNEP Report: REDD and Renewables are key...