We're hearing from dozens of delegates working around the clock on tropical forests and climate change here in Bangkok – they say progress is being made on key issues like REDD principles, objectives for REDD, and that the consolidation of text is indeed taking place.
Out of all the issues, REDD discussions are making the most progress – mainly because so much work has gone into REDD policies since the UN put the issue on the agenda in 2005. EDF has been publicly and behind-the-scenes leading the way on this issue for over 10 years.
The reasons are obvious: global emissions can only be reduced if we also reduce deforestation emissions. And REDD invites developing countries to participate in global carbon markets, and done properly, valuing living trees more than dead ones can benefit people who live in forests.
So my UN delegate contacts working on REDD were mostly amused, but supportive, when I circulated today's news that Arnold Schwarzenegger said progress at UN climate talks is too slow at his Governors climate summit in Los Angeles.
Schwarzenegger is hosting governors from 10 states in Brazil, Indonesia and the US, and they are calling for REDD credits to be included in California for compliance purposes. And for national governments to show leadership on UN climate talks.
This latest development, combined with the introduction of a US Senate climate bill (see my post from yesterday), is a clear signal to the world that REDD must be part of the Copenhagen deal and that state and national governments are working to make it happen.