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A REDD Revolution in Copenhagen? Lanchbery200110

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Presented at the Chathah House Illegal Logging event 20th January 2010

Presented at the Chathah House Illegal Logging event 20th January 2010

Published in: Technology

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  • 1. A REDD revolution in Copenhagen? John Lanchbery for birds • for people • for ever
  • 2. The Copenhagen process • Was meant to conclude agreement on two main negotiating tracks, Ad Hoc Working Groups (AWGs). • One on Long Term Cooperative Action (LCA) set up in Bali in 2007, including adaptation and mitigation actions for developing countries + the USA. • One on revising the Kyoto Protocol (KP) set up in Montreal in 2005, including developed targets but also temporary agreements like forest management. • REDD was in the LCA track.
  • 3. The run up • It was clear from well before Copenhagen that it would be hard to agree on everything in both negotiating tracks. • There was not agreement on the type of outcome preferred: two legally binding agreements, one agreement – binding or non-binding, etc. • Most developed countries wanted to tie the USA in with them, if need be ditching the Kyoto Protocol on which the G77 insisted. The USA wanted pledge and review and clear commitments from China, with the other BRICs.
  • 4. The crunch • Copenhagen began with frantic attempts by civil servants to conclude agreement on negotiating tracks, especially those that were making most progress, such as REDD, adaptation and technology. • This worked fairly well, especially on REDD, but left key areas of disagreement which it was hoped that ministers would decide upon. • In practice, ministers and the heads of government or state worked on an overarching political declaration which was originally to included detailed decisions on REDD, adaptation and technology.
  • 5. The outcome • Was a political declaration (Copenhagen Accord) largely detached from the negotiating tracks. • The declaration agrees broad headline matters related to the tracks but not directly linked to them. • Also, it is not yet clear precisely who is signed up to the Accord which was negotiated, finally, between the USA, China, India Brazil and S Africa – although it is not clear if all still endorse it! • The incomplete negotiating tracks will continue at least until COP16 in December 2010, with meetings in June and probably November.
  • 6. The Accord: some good things • Obama probably did what was necessary to ensure the US domestic legislation passed the Congress: avoiding the mistake of Clinton and Byrd-Hagel. • It mentions staying below two degrees, with reference to 1.5 degrees. • It agrees monitoring, reporting and verification for everyone. • It contains developed country commitment to finance, if not enough, and a prompt start + mechanisms, if vague. • It addresses adaptation, REDD and technology.
  • 7. The Accord: some bad things • It has a pledge and review basis: no binding targets just what nations want to bid in. • It is a least common denominator agreement. • The process agreeing it was appalling. • It has no medium or long-term targets. • It does not set up a process for agreeing any level of detail. • The LCA track thus needs to go forward if it is to work. • Less clear about the KP and all that in there is.
  • 8. REDD • The REDD text is the most developed of all the LCA negotiating texts. • It is also the only mitigation action specifically mentioned in the Accord: ‘We recognize the crucial role of reducing emission from deforestation and forest degradation and the need to enhance removals of greenhouse gas emission by forests and agree on the need to provide positive incentives to such actions through the immediate establishment of a mechanism including REDD-plus, to enable the mobilization of financial resources from developed countries.’
  • 9. Agreed on REDD • The main principles and scope. • Safeguards, especially biodiversity, governance and social safeguards which are pretty good. • Operationalisation of safeguards. • Drivers, although not developed country drivers. • A phased approach to developing a fully fledged REDD regime. • Will come back to some of these in a minute.
  • 10. Not agreed • Emission reduction goal, linked to finance. • National versus subnational approaches. • Monitoring, reporting, verification. • NAMAs versus mechanisms, or both. • Scope – how to pay for conservation. • Finance.
  • 11. Is the REDD agreement so far any good? • Yes, it probably is. • The social, biodiversity and governance safeguards are probably about as good as can be had, certainly better than I expected. • Biodiversity: ‘Actions that are consistent with the conservation of natural forests and biological diversity, ensuring that [REDD] actions are not used for the conversion of natural forests, but are instead used to incentivize the protection and conservation of natural forests and their ecosystem services, and to enhance other social and environmental benefits.’
  • 12. Social Safeguards • ‘Respect for the knowledge and rights of indigenous peoples and members of local communities, taking into account relevant international obligations, national circumstances and laws, and noting that the General Assembly has adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’ • ‘Full and effective participation of relevant stakeholders, including in particular indigenous and local communities in actions referred to in…’
  • 13. Social Safeguards cont. • ‘… enhance other social and environmental benefits [1] • 1 Taking into account the need for sustainable livelihoods of indigenous and local communities and their interdependence on forests in most countries, reflected in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the International Mother Earth Day.
  • 14. Where do we go from here? • It seems inconceivable that the LCA and KP processes will not go ahead. The questions is how. • It looks likely that the processes will try to conclude in Mexico in December and that REDD will be part of any deal. • The draft REDD decision kicks a number of matters to the SBSTA, including monitoring and reporting, implementation of safeguards, how to do national strategies, etc. • It is not clear how the prompt start on REDD will work, this year.
  • 15. National versus subnational • This is mainly a US thing to accommodate their business in their national scheme. • There are ways around the concerns of Colombia and others. • A lot depends on US domestic legislation. Waxman-Markey does no need subnational and neither should a Senate Bill. • The US business lobby is thus key.
  • 16. Monitoring, reporting, verification • Looks fixed because it is agreed in the Accord. • If developing countries sign up to the Accord then the problem should go away. • HOWEVER, I think that developing countries remain as split as ever on this. • The fact that Indonesia, PNG and Brazil are likely to agree to it is very important. • India being reluctant may also be important!
  • 17. NAMAs versus mechanisms • Very unclear where this will go. • REDD as a NAMA would suit Brazil very well, certainly the Federal Government, if not the states. • It would not suit PNG and the CfRN unless NAMAs clearly include a market mechanism, made more difficult by the ‘death of Kyoyo’. • Could have both a fund and a mechanism but this would not suit Brazil and money likely to go to mechanism.
  • 18. Scope – how to pay for conservation? • This matter has been on the table for years. • It is agreed that conservation is in. • Trouble is that it is not clear how it is paid for: skewing baselines? • Fortunately, it is generally true that countries that need conservation often have least capacity and so the issue may be deferred with their having interim finance for some time. • Political matter for SBSTA really.
  • 19. W[h]ither governance • I suspect that we have gone about as far as we can on governance internationally. • A problem is that operationalising the text so far (para 6), countries are ‘requested’ to do things on governance and local peoples. It is not mandatory. • Hard to change this for sovereignty reasons. • The request to the SBSTA (para 10) helps but may not be enough.
  • 20. Scope: the forest transition curve
  • 21. Problem: variable costs World bank’s cost curve