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The REDD train stalls in Barcelona


by: Alex Lopatka, Silver Spring, MD

There was progress when the UNFCCC released the Bali Action in 2007. It outlined clear goals to make REDD work. Then, more progress was made in Bangkok when developing countries with large forests (Brazil and Indonesia) developed stronger positions against deforestation. At Barcelona, the goal was to decide on specific language for REDD that would ensure forests were preserved and protected from monoculture tree farming interests. However, the Ecosystem Climate Alliance and Climate Justice Now, two NGOs present at the Barcelona Conference, had negative press releases about the progress made thus far.

REDD is an integral part of the global deal the UNFCCC is aiming for in Copenhagen. If REDD works, it would provide a means by which developed countries and developing countries could work together to reduce emissions. Financial and technological resources would be distributed to developing countries to stimulate sustainable development and developed countries could offset some of their emissions.

However, as it stands now, REDD is not ready to deliver on these promises. The Ecosystem Climate Allinace and Climate Justice Now stressed the importance of strong language in the REDD text. The U.S. and other powerful developed nations must provide concrete goals for reducing deforestation like Brazil and Indonesia have already done. A united REDD framework in Copenhagen will empower countries to work together on the rest of the issues and hammer out a global deal.

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