Rainforest Nations Call for Deforestation Deal at Paris Summit
The success of United Nations climate summit could hinge on countries’ willingness to bring a close to 10 years of negotiations on the UN’s Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) mechanism, designed to prevent deforestation and compensate developing countries to keep trees standing.
“If Paris comes out and says REDD+ is an important part of the climate solution—that the world is committed to implement it and capitalize it—it will have a chance in cabinet discussions,” said Papua New Guinea climate diplomat Kevin Conrad, head of the 43-country Coalition of Rainforest Nations. “If we’re silent, it’s without a prayer.”
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REDD+ projects have received US$9.8 billion so far from donor nations, with Norway contributing one-third of the total, Climate Change News reports. Projects are in place or planned in 29 countries, including Brazil, Indonesia, and Zambia. That matters, because “overseas development aid alone will not deliver an estimated $20 billion a year needed to halve deforestation,” Pashley writes.
According to Gustavo Silva-Chavez of Forest Trends, “we need REDD and land-use to be explicitly mentioned in [the] mitigation and finance” sections of the Paris agreement.
Tree loss accounts for about 25% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and “as global demand for commodities like soy and beef rebounds, forests are facing renewed strain,” Pashley adds. Last year, “forests twice the size of Portugal were hacked down.” (h/t to InsideClimate News for pointing us to this story)