REDD discussions at full throttle in Poznan

04 December 2008 | News story

The topic of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degredation (REDD) is shaping up to be one of the most prominent features of this climate conference. REDD discussions are not only attracting a lot of attention and interest, they are also progressing rapidly.

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 which 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,” says David Huberman, a Programme Associate at 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 roadblocks to a meaningful agreement on fighting climate change cast aside, especially given the recent US election outcome. Climate change is already affecting people and nature. 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.

KEY ISSUES:

  • Protecting forests to combat climate change. Forests can help store carbon and lead to a reduction in greenhouse gases, helping to cool our planet. They are also important for conserving species and providing livelihoods for natural resource dependent local communities.
  • Equity between the North and South. Developed countries must recognize the damage they have done to the global environment through greenhouse gas emissions. They must support developing countries to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
  • Nature is our best ally in the face of climate change. Healthy environments provide means for people to make a living , store carbon and other greenhouse gases, and can reduce the impacts of climate change-related natural hazards, such as increased flooding, higher temperatures and rising sea levels.

SPOKESPERSON:

  • Connie Espinosa, IUCN Senior Forest and Climate Change Officer, m +1 202 262 5450, e cespinosa@iucnus.org

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