REDD & Financing

AP reports that talks over REDD are faltering because developed countries are not willing to finance developing country readiness for the program. This is not surprising since financing disputes have repeatedly limited the development of international environmental law. The significance of financing disputes are nowhere more apparent than in the history of efforts to secure a binding international agreement to slow deforestation (which, after over 16 years of on-and-off efforts, is not even close to realization).

However, REDD promises a way to overcome the issues that have derailed prior efforts to secure tropical forest protection. Among other things, it offers developed countries an opportunity to buy carbon credits for less than the cost of reducing their domestic emissions, while giving developed countries a chance to sell credits for more than the costs of avoiding deforestation . . . if they can establish the necessary verification and monitoring systems to demonstrate avoided deforestation.
I’ve offered an option for incentivizing protection of biodiversity through a voluntary certification option within REDD in a recent article. I think that a similar approach could offer a way around the current financing disputes as well. REDD could be a two-tier system that offers a choice for developing countries to develop either relatively streamlined mitigation projects without international financing, or more elaborate adaptation-oriented REDD projects with certification for biodiversity and socio-economic co-benefits that is underwritten by international assistance. I am currently working on an article to develop this concept, but it certainly won’t be ready by the time negotiations wrap up later this week. 🙂

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