REDD Text Limps Out Of Doha Healthy, Homeless, And Broke

Steve Zwick

The REDD negotiating text has now officially been passed to high-level negotiators, with new provisions for recognizing non-carbon benefits but no agreement on how to verify emissions reductions, nowhere near anything resembling agreement on finance, and no place to call home.

UPDATE: As of 22:00 local time, high-level talks are continuing but no changes are expected to the REDD text. We will provide a more comprehensive wrap Monday morning incorporating the latest high-level outcome and a review of all impacts on land-use. Please check back then.

7 December 2012 | Doha | Qatar |
High-level climate talks continue here and may run until Monday, but negotiations on reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) appear to have wrapped up for the year.

Some parts of the text are now complete, and these are embedded in the most recent outcome of the Advanced Working Group on Long-Term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA) – the negotiating track created at COP 13 in Bali, Indonesia and slated to end today.

Other parts of the text remain unfinished, and these are now on the agenda for the next meetings of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI), which take place in Bonn, Germany in June.

The critical issue of results-based finance will be picked up at workshops headed by two co-chairs – one from the developed world and one from the developing world, both appointed by the President of the COP.

That leaves the mechanism with $5.35 billion in public funds committed and $2.24 billion acknowledged and spent by both developed and developing countries, according to the REDD Database but that doesn’t include the $500 million each pledged by Norway and the UK.

The Final Outcome

The “final” LCA text is available here, but several parties have already voiced objections to key provisions. Pargraphs 25 through 40, however, have not been challenged, and these are the paragraphs related to REDD.

The text recognizes the need to talk about “ways to incentivize non-carbon benefits,” such as water filtration, biodiversity preservation, and the support of forest peoples, and it also calls on SBSTA and SBI to build a home for REDD by the end of 2013 – for, with the Kyoto Protocol negotiating track wrapping up Thursday and LCA wrapping up today, everything rolls over to the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (AWG-ADP), which is to deliver a binding global agreement by 2015 to be implemented no later than 2020.

Building A Home

Coming into Doha, REDD talks were split between SBSTA, LCA, and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI), and the Doha talks were supposed to create a roadmap for the ADP. When it became clear that wasn’t going to happen, however, Papua New-Guinea (PNG) pushed for the creation of a new “REDD Committee” that would house all REDD talks. PNG created a detailed, three-page proposal that was gradually whittled down to a few bullet points and then banished to SBSTA and pushed off to June.

Also left unresolved is how emission-reduction results will be verified. Last week, Norway pushed for third-party verifiers “drawn from the roster of experts,” referring to experts in both developed and developing countries, as opposed to the Consultative Group of Experts (CGE), which is a roster of experts which is balanced in favor of developing countries.

Brazil balked, arguing instead for a continuation of the International Consultations and Analysis (ICA) process, which is substantially softer on developing countries.

Brazil says it will deliver a formal counterproposal at the next SBSTA meeting.

The REDD Committee

As proposed, the REDD Committee would include members of developed and developing countries, and is aimed at creating a standardized REDD “product” within the UNFCCC that would send a clear signal on the value of forests to both governments around the world and the global private sector.

Many delegates say the formation of such a committee is inevitable, but several said there simply wasn’t time to discuss it at these talks.

Additional resources
Steve Zwick is the Managing Editor of Ecosystem Marketplace. He can be reached at [email protected]
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Doha 2012

The UN’s 18th Climate Change Conference in Doha, which began November 27 has concluded. Ecosystem Marketplace covered the events extensively focusing on the outcome of the REDD text.

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Indigenous Leaders Embrace REDD, With Or Without Carbon Markets Indigenous leaders spoke in favor of a program aiming to save 400 hectares of endangered rainforest through an ecosystems-based valuation approach.

REDD+ Sidelined In Dispute Over Verification The REDD text was vetoed after passing the scientific negotiating track over the amount of verification recipient REDD countries will be subject to, opening up the possibility that an agreement on REDD may be postponed another year.

Gold Standard and Fairtrade Broaden Market Access For Small Producers The carbon standard and ethical label are teaming up to bring carbon income to small producers practicing sustainable agriculture hoping to nurture both climate and people.

Congo Basin Forest Fund Steps Up For REDD+ Piloting The Democratic Republic of Congo introduced its National REDD+ Strategy in Doha. This article takes an in-depth look at the nation’s main source of funding-the Congo Basin Forest Fund.

Powerful Forest Friends Deliver Indonesian Approval Of Landmark REDD Project Indonesia’s first REDD project that will protect 80,000 hectares of rainforest has been approved after being put on hold for one year.

REDD Text Limps Out Of Doha-Heavy, Homeless, And Broke REDD negotiators approved new provisions on how to recognize non-carbon benefits but were unable to agree on how to verify emissions reductions or on the creation of a REDD committee.

REDD Inches Forward In Doha Gateway, But Attention Shifts To National Solutions is the last piece of coverage from Doha explaining the setbacks and accomplishments of COP 18 as well as where REDD stands.

Panelists Explore Post-Doha Prospects for Bridging Global Climate Finance Gap offers an analysis on Doha’s impact on climate finance from the perspective of industry leaders a month after the event.