From US point of view, climate policy is certainly in the doldrums. UN talks shifted back into neutral, and US policymakers seem keen to go nowhere fast. The movers and the shakers all seem to be outside these political bodies with continued developments in the voluntary market and the willingness for Guyana and Norway to stick their necks out on a bold template for financing REDD+.
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15 April 2011 | From the view here in the US, climate policy is certainly in the doldrums. UN talks shift back into neutral, and US policymakers seem keen to go nowhere fast. The movers and the shakers all seem to be outside these political bodies with continued developments in the voluntary market and the willingness for Guyana and Norway to stick their necks out on a bold template for financing REDD+.
In Bangkok, the latest round of UN climate talks last week failed to produce any substantial progress on sticking points left from Cancun. The Kyoto Protocol appears more precarious than ever, and consensus on numerous technical issues including financing and market mechanisms even beyond the role of REDD+ seems a tall order by the next Conference of the Parties in Durban, South Africa.
Just before the UN waiting game recommenced, Norway’s Minister of Environment returned to Guyana to release $40 million into the country’s REDD+ Investment Fund. Undaunted by sustained criticism, Minister Solheim and Guyana’s President Jagdeo are pitching the Norway-Guyana model as a critical first step in the move towards a global REDD+ mechanism that must support countries like Guyana with historically low deforestation rates.
Two breakthrough projects in Democratic Republic of Congo and Tasmania signal the growing reach of the voluntary market and Verified Carbon Standard while the American Carbon Registry also announced its first fully operational REDD methodology for avoiding planned deforestation.
The circus surrounding the US budget provided an illuminating side show on Congressional distaste for the Environmental Protection Agency’s growing regulation of greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. Clear majorities in both houses of Congress now appear to favor restricting EPA’s mandate, but it remains to be seen whether Republicans and Democrats in the Senate will cooperate to tie EPA’s hands since a complete removal of EPA GHG authority doesn’t have sufficient support to clear the Senate.
In California, we’re still waiting for new developments in the ongoing legal challenge to the state’s cap-and-trade scheme, but on a positive note, European Union Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard paid Governor Jerry Brown a visit to invite a future linkage between California’s expected carbon market with that of the EU.
As always, read on below for all this and more in Ecosystem Marketplace’s latest edition of the Forest Carbon News Brief.
—The Ecosystem Marketplace Team
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