REDD+ in Paris: Follow the money

In Paris, announcements on REDD+ finance and implementation by governments, companies and indigenous peoples will be as important as negotiations around text. Image: Flickr

In Paris, announcements on REDD+ finance and implementation by governments, companies and indigenous peoples will be as important as negotiations around text. Image: Flickr

The biggest tip-off as to how REDD+ will fare in Paris will come early on in the conference.

Heads of state and ministers are expected to announce new financial support for REDD+ countries on the Dec. 1, the second day of the climate talks, at the Lima Paris Action Agenda event on forests.

This financial support will target readiness—how prepared a country is to implement REDD+ programs—and results—the financial rewards a country will receive for verified emissions reductions.

At the same time, we expect to hear from REDD+ countries themselves about their progress in completing key milestones in the Warsaw Framework for REDD+. They’ll be addressing reference emission levels, REDD+ national strategies, and status reports on the implementation of safeguard information systems.

Where do businesses and states fit in?

Private sector engagement is also critical for REDD+. Companies could announce in Paris how they will implement their existing zero deforestation commitments. Those announcements need to be in line with policy efforts by REDD+ countries’ governments to ensure effectiveness by both sectors. Earlier this year, EDF proposed the Zero Deforestation Zone framework for how both the private and public sectors could align their efforts.

Brazilian states of Acre, Mato Grosso, and Para have already started to coordinate efforts by public and private sectors. We expect their governors, local non-governmental organizations, and multinational companies operating in those states to offer up details on their progress towards reducing deforestation. Those announcements will most likely happen at side events and receptions near the end of the first week and start of the second week of talks.

Indigenous peoples have their say

We expect new studies that will highlight the critical role indigenous peoples play in conserving tropical forests and eventual climate stability. Delegations of indigenous leaders will also share their climate change experiences at the Lima Paris Action Agenda event on forests, UNFCCC side events, panels at the indigenous peoples’ pavilion, and many other event spaces.

What about the politics?

REDD+ was an important part of climate progress made at the last two Conference of the Parties (COP) in Warsaw and Lima. Because of that, we don’t expect REDD+ or forests to be the primary focus of negotiators trying to finalize a Paris Agreement.

And that’s fine. Check out what we think about the politics of it all here. The Paris Agreement needs to deliver on a much broader set of tools and a framework that will support future actions in the land sector, including REDD+.

The Paris framework should ensure integrity in accounting for activities in the land sector, including REDD+, agriculture and other issues.  The text needs to encourage all countries to reduce emissions and increase removals by sinks because land use is the only sector that can absorb a significant amount of greenhouse gases. And, it will be crucial that land use policies and actions protect food security, ecosystems and people.

To take the real measure of whether Paris advances REDD+ we will be watching what happens on the parallel announcements about the financing and implementation of REDD+.  Like I said, follow the money.



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