Wednesday, November 6, 2013

REDD+ mechanism could be too late to save world’s rainforests

Sophie Yeo in Responding to Climate Change: Parliaments and national legislation are key to reducing deforestation, according to a report released last week by Globe International. The global forum of legislators says Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico and the Democratic Republic of Congo do not need to wait for a binding climate change deal in 2015 to reduce the destruction of forests.

Deforestation account for around 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and is especially damaging because the jungles of the Amazon, Congo and Sumatra store vast quantities of carbon. UN climate talks starting next Monday in Warsaw are set to resume discussions on how a mechanism known as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) can be developed.

REDD+ is a contentious issue, and with forest degradation increasing, the report’s backers say more focus needs to be placed on the role of national parliaments in addressing the problem. Writing in the Guardian, Globe International President Lord Deben said power needs to be handed to legislators in the affected countries.

“With 2015 on the horizon, much is now at stake for a global deal on forests and climate change. These can both still be secured with a concerted effort that is driven by national parliaments,” he said. “Time is of the essence, however, and we ignore the ticking clock at our peril.”...

Kat Spence shot this image of a rainforest, public domain

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