Forests for Climate is a landmark proposal for an international funding mechanism to protect tropical forests. The mechanism would become part of the second phase of the Kyoto (post-2012) agreement on climate change. If countries commit to Forests for Climate, funding to protect tropical forests could become available as soon as 2009. It is estimated that halving emissions from deforestation will cost US $10-15 billion per year.2 Forests for Climate has the potential to raise these funds, and more.
Cover of Forests for Climate brochure.
Executive summary: Protecting ancient forests is vital to tackle climate change, preserve global biodiversity, and protect the livelihoods of millions of forest peoples. Tropical forest destruction is responsible for about one fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions, more than from the world’s entire transport sector.
To prevent dangerous climate change, we need a global effort to end forest destruction, as well as a revolution in the ways we produce and use energy.
How it works
Industrialised countries that commit to doing their fair share in reducing energy and industrial emissions would be allowed to meet a portion of their overall commitments through the purchase of cost effective "tropical deforestation units." A major benefit for industrialised countries is that the units would act as hard currency for compliance purposes, since the mechanism would beresponsible for delivering verifiable emission reductions.
Developing countries with tropical forests that choose to participate in Forests for Climate would make commitments to protecting their forests consistent with the UNFCCC "commonbut differentiated responsibilities." In exchange, developing countries would have the opportunity to receive funding for capacity-building efforts and for national-level reductions in deforestation emissions. Countries that reliably and accurately report emission reductions would receive a greater return for their services. This would provide a strong incentive for developing countries to continually improve their forest protection programmes.
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