A REDD revolution in
for birds • for people • for ever
The Copenhagen process
• Was meant to conclude agreement on two main
negotiating tracks, Ad Hoc Working Groups
• 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.
The run up
• It was clear from well before Copenhagen that it
would be hard to agree on everything in both
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
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
• It contains developed country commitment to
finance, if not enough, and a prompt start +
mechanisms, if vague.
• It addresses adaptation, REDD and technology.
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
• The LCA track thus needs to go forward if it is to
• Less clear about the KP and all that in there is.
• 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.’
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
• Will come back to some of these in a minute.
• Emission reduction goal, linked to finance.
• National versus subnational approaches.
• Monitoring, reporting, verification.
• NAMAs versus mechanisms, or both.
• Scope – how to pay for conservation.
Is the REDD agreement so far
• 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
• ‘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…’
Social Safeguards cont.
• ‘… enhance other social and environmental benefits
• 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.
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
• It is not clear how the prompt start on REDD will
work, this year.
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
• 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.
• 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!
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
Scope – how to pay for
• 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:
• 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.
• 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.