EDF Talks Global Climate

Ag, Forestry Groups Urge Senators to Include REDD in Climate Bill

You can add two more important stakeholders — and unusual allies — to the growing list calling for the Senate to include strong Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) provisions in their bill: agriculture and forestry groups.


Advertisement from the Ohio Corn Growers Association and Avoided Deforestation Partners

In a letter this week to the drafters of current climate legislation for the Senate, 31 businesses, agriculture groups, and environmental organizations (including EDF) asked for the bill to include agriculture and forest provisions.

REDD can help address the serious worldwide deforestation problem, the letter to Senators John Kerry, Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman, says,

while helping keep energy costs affordable for U.S. agriculture, forest products industries, and consumers. Protecting these forests will also help level the playing field for U.S. agriculture and forest products industries by reducing illegal logging and forest conversion in tropical countries, ensuring fair competition in wood, pulp, beef, leather, soybeans, and other global markets.

Also this week one of our partner coalitions, Avoided Deforestation Partners, joined with the Ohio Corn Growers Association in placing ads in the Washington Post: “Tropical Rainforests: A Climate Solution for American Agriculture” and “Want to Protect Farms and Ranchers Here?  Protect forests there.” You can see the online version for the rest of the week on the Washington Post’s Post Carbon blog, or view the print ad at ADPartners.org.

So how did we reach the conclusion that farms and forests are critical to solving the climate crisis?  EDF was a pioneer in the simple idea that if we could change the status quo and incentivize forest protection instead of forest destruction, we could reduce the estimated 15% of emissions that come from deforestation in the tropics.  This idea has already received a lot of attention at the international climate negotiations and robust REDD provisions that we championed were included in the climate bill that the House of Representatives passed last June.

Read more about the letter in The Hill’s E2 Wire blog and PointCarbon (subscription required), and find the full letter here.  I also encourage you to watch a video that AD Partners produced on how protecting rainforests can benefit US farmers.

Posted in Deforestation, REDD+ / Leave a comment

Tropical forest alliance agrees on key principles for U.S. policy

A broad alliance of business, science and non-profit groups has reached a landmark agreement on principles for tropical forest protection in U.S. climate policies – thanks in part to the pioneering work of EDF.

The alliance – the Tropical Forests and Climate Coalition – just launched its first web site, where visitors can read the principles, known as the Tropical Forest Climate Unity Agreement.

Tropical forest destruction causes nearly a fifth of all global warming pollution, and yet it does little to raise living standards for so many of the people who live in these regions. That makes curbing deforestation one of the best, fastest and most cost-effective ways to start lowering global warming pollution worldwide.

It’s a win-win situation if U.S. climate policies help tropical forest nations reduce deforestation and let U.S. companies use high-quality forest offset credits to cut carbon pollution. Everyone wins by finding that sweet spot where global emissions decline rapidly and affordably – and that’s what the TFCC alliance is all about.

EDF helped get the ball rolling three years ago when it became a founding member of a business-NGO coalition called the Forest Carbon Dialogue. The FCD was a key player in forging the new TFCC alliance. Check out the TFCC site to keep up with the latest on tropical forest protection policies and news.

Posted in REDD+ / Leave a comment

Giving thanks for President Obama’s commitment to Copenhagen

After months of speculation as to whether he would or would not go, the White House announced today that President Obama will be attending the Copenhagen climate talks.

During his time there on December 9, he will also be announcing a U.S. emissions reduction goal “in the range of 17% below 2005 levels in 2020 and ultimately in line with final U.S. energy and climate legislation.”  This range is consistent with the targets being debated in the U.S. Congress.

We are happy to see that the Obama administration is on the same page as Congress. This bodes well for U.S. leadership in 2010.

Earlier today, EDF’s Managing Director of International Policy and Negotiations Jennifer Haverkamp had this to say:

President Obama’s decision to attend climate talks in Copenhagen is good news for the planet, and a great Thanksgiving gift for America. President Obama’s personal involvement in this historic event shows the U.S. is serious about protecting the climate and creating a clean energy future for the world. With the President attending, the odds of Copenhagen producing real progress leading to a final, effective agreement in the coming months just shot up. This strong support for international efforts to fight climate change, along with efforts to pass clean energy legislation at home, will ensure America’s place as a global leader in the 21st century clean energy economy.

The EDF team will be on the ground in Copenhagen in just over a week.  In the meantime, check out our policy positions and keep checking this blog for real-time updates.

Posted in Copenhagen (COP-15), UN negotiations / 1 Response

California to UN: Brazilian, US, Indonesian states want REDD

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.
Read More »

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Thanks from Bangkok (khob khun krub), Boxer, Kerry

Whatever else you can say about the draft bill that Senators Boxer and Kerry introduced in the Senate yesterday, it was welcome news to country negotiators and NGOs at the climate talks in Bangkok. Read More »

Posted in Bangkok / 3 Responses

Bangkok is on ‘full negotiation mode’-the fireworks begin on Day one

Yesterday the Thai Prime Minister, Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva, formally launched the 2 week Bangkok climate negotiations. The morning speakers included Yvo De Boer, head of the UNFCCC, and Connie Hedegaard from Denmark, who will chair the Copenhagen meeting in December. The speakers agreed that time was running out to get a global deal in place by December and this meeting was now 100% on ‘full negotiation mode’. Read More »

Posted in Bangkok, Copenhagen (COP-15), Deforestation, UN negotiations / Leave a comment