Re-Energizing REDD September 26,2008
Since Montreal (2005), and Bali (2007), REDD progress has been superficially rapid (lots of excitement) but scant on detail. Since the Montreal COP11 decision, After two and half years of excitement and concerted diplomacy, there are still no specific details about how REDD will work through the UNFCCC. From a conservation perspective, the following three UNFCCC REDD decisions are needed to ensure there will be early and fungible REDD credits as part of any post-2012 agreement.
1) Establish REDD Base Periods at COP14 (Poznan)
The most valuable decision Parties can make is to firmly establish a specific past timeframe for evaluating REDD baselines. Establishing firm past timeframes is critical, because it gives countries the confidence to begin reducing deforestation now without waiting for a final post-2012 package. Prior meetings have stressed the importance of using historical baselines, or interval,s but no decision has been firmly made.
Otherwise, with no firm date set, countries might worry that negotiations would lead to a future baseline, e.g., from 2008 to 2012. Any baseline that is set in the future would provide a disincentive for countries to stop deforestation now. The perverse reasoning would be that by allowing rates of deforestation to temporarily rise, a country could claim higher rates of current emissions, and hence more future emission reductions. Everyone agrees this is environmentally a bad idea, and everyone agrees countries should begin reducing deforestation now. But until a decision about baseline years is made at the UNFCCC, uncertainty reigns.
2) Constitute REDD Executive Board
3) Invite Developing Countries to Establish RNAs