Thursday, April 9, 2009

Good overview again on REDD talks by IISD

IISD covers the negotiations better than any other group. You can read about developments on REDD in the AWG LCA meeting held on Tuesday April 7, in the LCA contact group on technology and finance (click on title). IISD will release its final summary of the talks tomorrow (Saturday).

Pictured is Kevin Conrad, of PNG and the Coalition for Rainforest Nations talking with Jonathan Pershing, the second highest US diplomat on climate change. Photo credit IISD.

Good overview from Charley Parker at GCP blog

This is a great summary of how the Bonn talks went for REDD. Click title link above to go to his blog.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

copenhagen church and jazz

AWG LCA calls for more negotiating sessions

Bonn Climate Change Talks March 2009
Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action
under the Convention (AWG-LCA 5)
Bonn, Germany 8 April 2009.

The Chair has called for new talks in 10-14 August (in Bonn) and 2-6 November (place TBA).

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

KP's CDM / Article 12 only ten paragraphs

In case REDD might get its own article, it probably will resemble this in some way. TFG thinks the last paragraph was the most important.

Article 12
1. A clean development mechanism is hereby defined.

2. The purpose of the clean development mechanism shall be to assist Parties not included in Annex I in achieving sustainable development and in contributing to the ultimate objective of the Convention, and to assist Parties included in Annex I in achieving compliance with their quantified emission limitation and reduction commitments under Article 3.

3. Under the clean development mechanism:
(a) Parties not included in Annex I will benefit from project activities resulting in certified emission reductions; and
(b) Parties included in Annex I may use the certified emission reductions accruing from such project activities to contribute to compliance with part of their quantified emission limitation and reduction commitments under Article 3, as determined by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Protocol.

4. The clean development mechanism shall be subject to the authority and guidance of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Protocol and be supervised by an executive board of the clean development mechanism.

5. Emission reductions resulting from each project activity shall be certified by operational entities to be designated by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Protocol, on the basis of:
(a) Voluntary participation approved by each Party involved;
(b) Real, measurable, and long-term benefits related to the mitigation of climate change; and
(c) Reductions in emissions that are additional to any that would occur in the absence of the certified project activity.

6. The clean development mechanism shall assist in arranging funding of certified project activities as necessary.

7. The Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Protocol shall, at its first session, elaborate modalities and procedures with the objective of ensuring transparency, efficiency and accountability through independent auditing and verification of project activities.

8. The Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Protocol shall ensure that a share of the proceeds from certified project activities is used to cover administrative expenses as well as to assist developing country Parties that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change to meet the costs of adaptation.

9. Participation under the clean development mechanism, including in activities mentioned in paragraph 3(a) above and in the acquisition of certified emission reductions, may involve private and/or public entities, and is to be subject to whatever guidance may be provided by the executive board of the clean development mechanism.

10. Certified emission reductions obtained during the period from the year 2000 up to the beginning of the first commitment period can be used to assist in achieving compliance in the first commitment period.

REDD text likely to be limited: IISD reporting April 6

IISD, a very reliable service covered talks and drew the conclusion that REDD text might be limited to a few paragraphs. TFG agrees and has been thinking about the key elements of a decision for some time. Hopefully, the chair has some positive early-action, market-linked draft REDD text in his pocket...?

Here is their posted reporting...

Several parties highlighted the significant
role of global emissions from deforestation and the need to
address them. Many also emphasized that REDD is different
from other mitigation actions, and highlighted the need
for its special treatment to address policies and incentives
that complement the SBSTA’s methodological discussions.
NORWAY, supported by several others, suggested establishing a
contact group on REDD.

Parties highlighted, inter alia, indigenous peoples and
local communities; complex drivers of deforestation; capacity
building; MRV; and the importance of financing, both through
public finance and market mechanisms. The US noted increasing
demand for agricultural commodities and highlighted the need
to address demand-side issues. TUVALU drew attention to
differences in the treatment of REDD and conservation and
suggested reference to the UN Declaration on the Rights of
Indigenous Peoples and Prior Informed Consent. BRAZIL
stressed the important contribution of REDD to NAMAs within
a general framework that includes support. CHINA and INDIA
called for inclusion of conservation. The LDCs and others
supported a step-wise approach. SURINAME highlighted
international displacement of emissions from deforestation.
Recalling that the CDM is covered only by one article in the
Kyoto Protocol that lays down the general framework for the
CDM, Chair Zammit Cutajar called for focusing on the signal
to be given in Copenhagen, and suggested that elaboration of
a detailed REDD framework could be part of a “Marrakesh
Accords” phase after Copenhagen.

See IISD's coverage here (REDD is covered under mitigation on the 2nd page). Reprinted/rebroadcast from this website. Respect and credits to IISD.

Monday, April 6, 2009

john-o jammin

john-o did not know i was filming and was not listening to same music

Yvo De Boer answers question on REDD

Yvo de Ber, UNFCCC Executive Secretary on REDD

This morning (April 6), the Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer was asked a question on REDD at a news conference for developing countries. You can find the video in the title link above; the question is posed at minute 37. The answer on REDD starts at minute 39. A rough transcript of his remarks is below. He seems to see the two key challenges as measurements (and permanence) and the impacts on markets. Yvo de Boer mentions the possibility of a cap for REDD credits…

The reporter was Alex (last name not heard) from Bloomberg news (we think).

Question: “And on REDD, is REDD likely to be included in carbon markets or is there a view that there are better mechanisms to deal with deforestation?”

Answer (paraphrased)
On REDD there is an enormous push to bring REDD under a Copenhagen agreement.
But there are at least two major issues of concern.
The first is related to the science. How can you accurately measure actually how much you are avoiding and how can you safeguard avoided emissions.
And secondly what will happen to the market, if you bring REDD under a market based approach.
Of course there is a Kyoto experience that we can draw on, in the sense that you can cap for example REDD at a certain level under a market, in order to safeguard a price.
I would expect that there will continue to be action taken on that issue both inside the convention and outside. Lots of groups working (UN REDD, World Bank) are trying to come to grips with this issue.
In any case, in the context of not for crediting arrangements, and I would expect that to continue.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

big redd element #3: Global Partnership For Measuring, Monitoring, Managing Carbon

WASHINGTON, DC, April 1, 2009 –World Wildlife Fund today announced a partnership with Michigan State University, the World Agroforestry Center, and the Center of International Forestry Research to develop an innovative system for measuring, monitoring, and managing carbon in a diverse range of landscapes. The partnership, part of the Global Environment Facility and United Nations Environment Programme’s Carbon Benefits Project, will help enable some of the world’s poorest people in the most vulnerable places to obtain the benefits of carbon sequestration.

The Carbon Benefits Project (CBP) is an innovative solution to a persistent problem: how to measure terrestrial carbon, particularly on complex landscapes. The CBP provides a cost effective system that integrates the latest remote sensing technology and analysis, ground based measurement, and rigorous statistical analysis.

“This project will offer a set of tools to help farmers, forest managers, and others better protect their land, increase productivity, and do this in a way that will help fight climate change,” said WWF’s Senior Vice President for Conservation Strategy and Science Ginette Hemley.

“We anticipate that the methodology and tools will be adopted by a number of institutions and will help establish a new international standard,” noted David Reed, WWF’s Vice President of Multilateral Relations.

The partnership will develop a state-of-the-art methodology for measuring, monitoring and reporting carbon baselines and outcomes from project activities related to terrestrial ecosystems. It will provide a tool to help people select agricultural and agroforestry options to decrease carbon emissions, increase carbon sequestration, and improve related environmental, social, and economic benefits. These tools will be centralized in a web-based portal that will be accessible to a wide range of users to monitor and manage carbon goals.

WWF is the world’s leading conservation organization, working in 100 countries for nearly half a century. With the support of almost 5 million members worldwide, WWF is dedicated to delivering science-based solutions to preserve the diversity and abundance of life on Earth, halt the degradation of the environment and combat climate change. Visit to learn more.

ABOUT Global Environment Facility
The GEF unites 178 countries in partnership with international institutions, non-governmental organizations and the private sector to address global environmental issues while supporting national sustainable development initiatives. Today, the GEF is the largest funder of projects to improve the global environment. An independent financial organization, the GEF provides grants for projects related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer, and persistent organic pollutants. Since 1991, GEF has achieved a strong track record with developing countries and countries with economies in transition, providing $8.3 billion in grants and leveraging $33.7 billion in co-financing for over 2,200 projects in over 165 countries. Visit for more information.

ABOUT World Agroforestry Center
The World Agroforestry Centre, based in Nairobi, Kenya, is the world’s leading research institution on the diverse role trees play in agricultural landscapes and rural livelihoods. As part of its work to bring tree-based solutions to bear on poverty and environmental problems, centre researchers – working in close collaboration with national partners – have developed new technologies, tools and policy recommendations for increased food security and ecosystem health. For more information, please visit

ABOUT Michigan State University
Michigan State University has been advancing knowledge and transforming lives through innovative teaching, research and outreach for more than 150 years. MSU is known internationally as a major public university with global reach and extraordinary impact. Its 17 degree-granting colleges attract scholars worldwide who are interested in combining education with practical problem solving. Visit to learn more.

ABOUT Center for International Forestry Research
CIFOR advances human wellbeing, environmental conservation and equity by conducting research to inform policies and practices that affect forests in developing counties. CIFOR helps ensure that decision-making that affects forests is based on solid science and principles of good governance, and reflects the perspectives of developing countries and forest-dependent people. CIFOR is one of 15 centres within the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research. For more information, please visit:

big redd element #2:Hyundai Forest Carbon

The Hyundai Climate Grant program is an innovative component of the Genesis Forest Project. In addition to financing the development and implementation of the Genesis Forest in Brazil, Hyundai awarded three $35,000 grants to project developers to help projects meet the Climate, Community & Biodiversity (CCB) Standards.

A major obstacle to the creation of new high-quality, multiple-benefit forest carbon projects is the up-front cost of project design and validation. Hyundai sought to facilitate the establishment of new projects by easing the associated cost burden by awarding grants to three projects. Hyundai’s leadership role will therefore make it even easier for other companies to follow its lead by supporting the implementation of high-quality forest projects.

The response to the HMA Climate Grant opportunity was enormous. By March of 2009 the HMA Climate Grant Committee reviewed all applications. Through an extensive process and difficult discussions the committee chose three projects.

We would like to recognize and thank all the applicants for their great work, and we would like to congratulate the following three projects as awardees of the HMA Climate Grants:

* The Alto Mayo Forest Project, Peru
* The Nhambita Community Carbon Project, Mozambique
* Kakamega Forest Again Project, Kenya

We look forward to following their progress.

big REDD element #1: Prince's Rainforest Project

Prince Charles of Wales presented a new proposal to some of the G20 leaders, including Hilary Clinton. Very important initiative.

copenhagen 3

john-o and I scouted the bella center today for possible umbrella locations

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD): An Options Assessment Report

Climate change mitigation will be neither cheap nor easy. But the costs and complexities of the mitigation challenge pale in comparison with the risks and costs that are likely to accompany failure to take decisive action. Deforestation accounts for about 18 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions—larger than the entire global transportation sector. Without REDD, the widely endorsed goal of climate stabilization at a maximum 2°C temperature increase will not be reached.

The Government of Norway has made the inclusion of a mechanism for REDD in a post-2012 climate regime a policy priority in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process. To achieve this, sufficient fact-based analysis of options on how to effectively reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and impacts of an agreed mechanism will be crucial. The REDD Options Assessment Report, which can be downloaded from this site, is one important contribution in that regard.

Meridian Institute, a nonprofit NGO internationally recognized for convening and facilitating neutral and independent dialogues and assessments, facilitated this process. Meridian assembled a high-quality, diverse, and independent group of experts to provide pragmatic, fact-based analysis and assessments of a set of proposed options for critical elements of the REDD component of a Copenhagen agreement.

The REDD Options Assessment Report suggests a flexible, three-phase approach to policy measures and positive incentives in order to accommodate (i) the diverse capabilities and circumstances of REDD countries; (ii) an expanded scope of REDD to include conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks; and (iii) the near-term constraints of the current global financial crisis.

There have been extensive consultations as part of this effort—with governments, civil society, indigenous peoples’ representatives, and other key stakeholders—to ensure that all key perspectives are considered. However, the intent of this process has not been to reach or form consensus, but rather to provide an analytically driven effort to produce additional substantial insights regarding the impacts of potential REDD mechanisms.

New ecofys report on Green recovery

i think you need to register. very good report.

Economic/climate recovery scorecards Redesigned

copenhagen 1

Jackson of course has the scene scoped wildly well. Dr. Octagon. Hotel bar keeps our beers cold. Jazz band secured for TFG COP15 party. Large green umbrellas in the house. 64 square feet and solid each. Skype through an iphone. The things we still need are speakers, ice, local #.

Earth People, I was Born on Jupiter.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Latest Rainforest Coalition/Australia submissions

A few folks here at the talks and via email have asked where the latest key submissions are on REDD:

Clicking on the above title link will take you to the latest CfRN REDD submission by Belize, Central Africa Republic, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Honduras, Ghana, Guyana, Kenya, Madagascar, Nepal, Nicaragua, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, Vanuatu, & Viet Nam.

Also, several folks have asked where the Australia submission on REDD is. You can find it here:

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

PNG poses REDD questions to Europe in AWG LCA

Today, in the meetings the AWG LCA is having a workshop on sub-paragraphs 1 b i and 1 b ii of the Bali Action Plan (you can read those here). For those of you not familiar with the arcane UN codewords, today's workshops are discussing what mitigation commitments developed countries will take (1 b i) and what nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) will be taken by developing countries (1 b ii).

Europe had presented what they thought developing countries should do, which included developing countries drafting low carbon/emission development plans and then registering their needs for resources to meet these plans, and then wealthy countries could also register to support the plans. In other words, Europe proposed matching actions with support.

Papua New Guinea's representative Kevin Conrad asked two questions related to REDD:
1) The first question was how do the proposed low carbon/emission differ from NAMAs, which was the already agreed language from Bali.

2) The second question from PNG was given Europe's position that it did not want to see REDD in carbon markets before 2020, wouldn't that create a perverse incentive for countries NOT to propose reducing deforestation until 2020?

3) A third question was on the nature of the registry. Kevin pointed out that given there was likely to be more need than resources, it would create a sort of reverse auctioning. He suggested that would disadvantage developing countries (presumably meaning a race to cheapest mitigation).

India followed up on the registry question, asking how they would work? Would other financial institutions run these?

Europe responded:
We are not here to re-write the Bali Action plan. we see our proposed low carbon development plans as supporting NAMAs, not replacing them.

On REDD, Europe said "we need to learn under what conditions we can link markets with REDD. And in the meantime, we need alternative funding for REDD."

In other words, it is indeed (sadly) looking like Europe is distancing itself from REDD as a market mechanism in a Copenhagen accord.

Responding to India's question about how a registry would work, Europe basically said it is still thinking it through and looks forward to discussing this with other parties...

Ecudaor asks US's Jonathan Pershing on REDD

In a LCA workshop today, Ecuador asked the United States how they saw REDD fitting into an overall package. Jonathan Pershing (the top diplomat here at the talks) answered by saying (I am paraphrasing as he speaks) "...we know forestry contributes up to 20%. It is hard to imagine a global get to an 80% reduction in greenhouse gases if we keep 20% of emissions off the table.. and we are actively exploring opportunities in this area with many address drivers of deforestation...and this clearly relates to the REDD discussions. "

Greenpeace slams REDD, claims it will benefit Mobil-Exxon

Greenpeace, which has long opposed REDD (for ten years) held an incredible side event. You should watch the event yourself, but in essence, they rolled out a scientist and a modeler and concluded:

1) The Amazon will probably Die-back anyway from climate change, and therefore any REDD credits are not permanent.

2) REDD would swamp the market, causing a drop of 75% in the carbon price.

3) REDD would only benefit Mobil-Exxon. I swear, I'm not kidding.

On the first point, the scientist failed to note that all credible atmosphere-biosphere models show the Amazon doing just fine until 2050 and only one (the very challenged Hadley Model) showing an Amazon Die-Back. If you watch the presentation by the scientist, you would have a hard time concluding what Greenpeace did, but Greenpeace has never been one to follow facts carefully.

On the second point, many other more credible models have shown that REDD is likely to have a modest impact on prices. See EDF's report here. The modeling that Greenpeace commissioned only looked at one year in 2020, did not allow banking, and had every possible assumption to make the REDD credits look as ominous as possible.

In other bizarre twists, the workshop at one point said that Africa's REDD credits would be the largest impact on swamping the market, and then later said that it would be unlikely that Africa could actually implement REDD due to limited capacity.

AWG talks slow going, Europe's REDD position wavering?

The negotiations continue in Bonn. There is a feeling that the entire process is very sloppy still (mutliple tracks, sub-tracks, contact groups). For a good overview of what is going on, please check here and for updates see here.

REDD is spread out among various track and there has been a recent push by the Coalition for Rainforest nations to have a dedicated discussion on REDD.

A few other odds and ends: Europe gave an incredibly confusing side-event on REDD. You can find the presentations here (scroll down to March 31). The bottom line of the presentation was that Europe did not feel comfortable with REDD as a market before 2020! The presentations were very unclear as to whether this was a European Commission viewpoint (which has long opposed REDD) or a European Union position (who actually negotiates international treaties).