Tuesday, April 21, 2009

HOW TO BEST PRESERVE FORESTS AND ADDRESS CLIMATE CHANGE?

Climate negotiators widely agree that, unlike in the Kyoto Protocol, incentives for forest preservation must be included in the new agreement. The reason is simple: healthy forests absorb carbon dioxide. Cutting and burning forests, however, contributes about 18 percent of annual human-caused greenhouse gas emissions - a larger share than all the world's vehicles combined.

Yet it remains unclear how REDD will be integrated into the final emissions-mitigating mechanism - or whether it will be included at all. Among tropical countries, leaders are falling into two camps. A coalition of nations led by Papua New Guinea and Costa Rica is calling for the inclusion of REDD in a global cap-and-trade system. Under such an approach, industrialized countries would finance REDD projects, mainly in developing countries, to compensate for their own emissions.

The opposition, led by Brazil, advocates that industrialized nations should instead support REDD with direct public funding, akin to international aid. Bolivian President Evo Morales wrote last year that he supports such an approach. Read Ben Block's full story at Worldchanging.

Mongabay reports that a business survey finds high levels of support for using carbon offsets for avoided deforestation projects.


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