Friday, November 30, 2012

SBSTA on REDD+ negotiations break down

It's nearly 5 am in Doha, Qatar, and we've just received word from TFGers Jeff Metcalfe, Jeff Jackson, Culley Thomas, and Megan Byrn who are on the ground at the Qatar National Convention Center that critical SBSTA (subsidiary body for scientific and technical advice) negotiations have just broken down. Technical text advancing the verification component of MRV (monitoring, reporting, and verification) faced fatal blockage from Brazil, related (or so we hear) to its objections to REDD+ text in a separate track, the LCA.

This occurred despite a promising agreement yesterday between the major REDD+ donor countries, the U.K., U.S., Germany, Norway, and Australia, that resolved to move REDD+ rapidly towards large scale development for verified emissions reductions (VERs) and a performance-based system. Who knows if this support and promised finance for REDD+ will evaporate. A UNFCCC-based plan to limit the increase in global temperature to 2 degrees C above pre-industrial levels probably can't be achieved without addressing tropical deforestation, which accounts for 17% of global greenhouse gas emissions according to the IPCC.

Here's to hoping that the parties can magically (but rather unlikely) reverse Brazil's obstinancy. Or deal with this in the intercessional SBSTA meeting in Bonn roughly 6 months from now. This may very well be the UNFCCC's last chance to take ownership of REDD+.

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