REDD debate heats up at UN climate summit

The topic of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degredation (REDD) is shaping up to be one of the most prominent features of this year’s UN climate summit, according to the IUCN.

REDD discussions are not only attracting a lot of attention and interest, they are also progressing rapidly at the UNFCCC‘s COP-14, being held in Poznan, Poland.

After just a few days of initial discussion, Parties are already outlining the main components of a draft decision to be adopted by the conference. Nevertheless, significant hurdles still stand in the way of a general consensus on REDD.

The debate surrounding what scenario should be used as a reference for measuring and rewarding emission reductions is one of the main unresolved debates.

Concerns related to species conservation and local livelihoods are consistently raised by Parties, although it is still difficult to gauge how they will be incorporated into a draft decision text.

“It seems as if the REDD train has reached full speed here in Poznan,” said David Huberman, a programme associate for IUCN.

“It is encouraging to see that the many people on board seem quite optimistic about where the discussions are headed, but there still is a lot of ground to cover – both here in Poznan and beyond.”

IUCN hopes to see the blockages that threatens to undermine a meaningful agreement on fighting climate change cast aside, especially given the recent US election outcome.

It says that climate change is already affecting people and nature, adding that there is an urgent need to reach agreement on an international climate change framework by 2009, in preparation for the end of the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol in 2012.

At the last UN summit in Bali, the negotiations reached a deadlock, crystallizing the debate on the issue of equity between developed and developing countries.

Success in Poznan is key to reaching the agreement the world needs in Copenhagen next year.

Source: IUCN press release

Date: 06/12/2008

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