Thursday, June 11, 2009

draft SBSTA REDD text: FCCC/SBSTA/2009/L.9

Here is the latest draft language from the Bonn climate change talks on REDD. This document (hyperlinked in the title bar) was not the final version of a SBSTA text adopted - that post is coming soon.

In this draft decision, there are no major fireworks that would accelerate or slow down the REDD process in the march to a deal in Copenhagen. Overall, this text is another indication that the UNFCCC is unlikely to be the process where a new climate change deal gets sealed. A general sentiment now is that the political will for a new post-Kyoto Protocol agreement will come from outside the UNFCCC process. There is significant buzz around the need for a bi-lateral breakthrough on climate change between China and the United States. And there are plenty of signals that if the US and China can hammer out something bold, a new deal could be announced in the Major Economies Forum or in the G8/G20 processes. If a new pact on climate change can be struck in time in one of these arenas, then the UNFCCC would hopefully be able to pull together a legally-binding agreement.

Key Points of the L.9 draft REDD text are:
1) The Chair of SBSTA is to report at SBSTA 31 on ways to facilitate coordination - which seems like it should give the Chair a fair amount of flexibility in deciding procedural issues.

2) Proposed an Annex on Methodological REDD Guidance with the following issues:
a) Indicative guidance" is in brackets - clearly a set back from the Bali decisions
b) Basic stuff it has covered before, including combination of remote sensing and ground-based forest carbon inventories
c) Has bracketed [undecided] that monitoring systems should be open to independent review as agreed by the COP

3) Suggests further IPCC guidance may be needed

4) As appropriate, guidance on effective engagement of indigenous peoples and local communities in monitoring and reporting.

5) Suggests reference emission levels and reference levels could take into account a whole host of variables (this is likely to slow eventual REDD implementation and make baselines less comparable)

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