How the United States Can Support REDD+ Programs

Nov 10, 2011

How the United States Can Support REDD+ Programs
RFF Feature
November 10, 2011

Efforts to reduce deforestation in developing tropical countries continue to provide promising opportunities to limit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while simultaneously addressing development concerns.

Below are highlights from four new RFF Issue Briefs that investigate how U.S. policy can positively influence the development of REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) programs across the globe.

Setting the Carbon Bar: Measurement, Reporting, and Verification in Bilateral Forestry Agreements

Developed countries that fund REDD+ efforts in developing countries can influence how measurement, reporting, and verification (MRV) techniques are established, and should request standards that are technologically feasible.

Countries funding REDD+ efforts should demand MRV standards on par with existing accounting standards from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to establish clear benchmarks. National-level assessments should have less stringent accuracy and precision requirements than subnational assessments.

REDD+ and International Climate Finance: A Brief Primer

Climate finance governance has not yet been fully defined, but the Green Climate Fund established at COP 16 in Cancun could play a major role, potentially disbursing $15 billion to $20 billion per year.

Funders should to move quickly to use existing resources to stop deforestation now, where possible, while devising long-term strategies to leverage private investment in REDD+ efforts. Similarly, funding efforts should use rigorous analysis to determine where they will have the most initial impact and target opportunities for co-benefits.

Importing Climate Mitigation: The Potential and Challenges of International Forest Offsets in California Climate Policy

California will include the use of offsets under a new climate law (AB 32) to help control compliance costs. While the program currently accepts only certain types of offsets generated in the United States, California signed a memorandum of understanding with Chiapas, Mexico that may result in offsets from Chiapas being eligible for use. Hurdles to the inclusion of these offsets may include existing state and federal statutes.

The potential for Chiapas to supply offsets is significant. According to the Forest Carbon Index, up to 510,000 metric tons may be available from Chiapas if the allowance price under AB 32 is $25 in 2020.

If Walmart Were In Charge: Sourcing CO2 Emissions Reductions at Least Cost

Well-designed policies should embrace supplier flexibility: it doesn’t matter where CO2 is reduced geographically as long as it is reduced.

Similarly, source flexibility, the idea that it doesn’t matter in what sector GHG reductions are made, provides more opportunities for finding low-cost abatement options