UN agrees to “rainforest conservation for emissions” deal
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
December 11, 2005
Friday, at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Montreal, the U.N. agreed to a proposal that allows developing nations to receive financial compensation from industrialized countries for agreeing to preserve their rainforests. Environmentalists hope the deal — set forth by ten developing countries led by Papua New Guinea — will give developing nations a financial reason to get more involved in climate talks while safeguarding globally important ecosystems.
The U.S. initially opposed the proposal but later agreed to support it.
The proposal hinges on tradable carbon credits where forests in developing countries are used to offset greenhouse gas emissions in wealthy countries. Currently the carbon market is a $450 million marketplace, but it is expected to grow to a $23 billion one by 2010.
Deforestation accounts for 20-25 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, or about two billion tonnes of carbon per year, and slowing deforestation may play an important role slowing climate change. Research released last week suggests that tropical forests are more effective at fighting higher temperatures than temperature forests, which may actually have a net warming effect on climate.
Delegates at the conference also agreed to funding the “clean development mechanism” whereby developed countries can invest in sustainable development projects in developing countries to earn emission allowances. The scheme calls for an initial $13 million in funding for 2006-2007.
If a coalition of developing countries has its way, there could soon be new forests sprouting up in tropical regions. The group of ten countries, led by Papua New Guinea, has proposed that wealthy countries pay them to preserve their rainforests. The Coalition for Rainforest Nations argues that all countries should pay for the benefits — from carbon sequestration to watershed protection — that tropical rainforests provide.
Developing countries: pay us to save rainforests | 11/27/2005
At this week’s United Nations summit on climate change in Montreal a coalition of tropical developing countries plans to propose that wealthy countries pay them to preserve their rainforests. The group of 10 countries, led by Papua New Guinea and Costa Rica, will argue that they should be compensated for the services rainforests provide the rest of the world.
Temperate forests may worsen global warming, tropical forests fight higher temperatures |
Growing a forest might sound like a good idea to combat global warming, since trees draw carbon dioxide from the air and release cool water from their leaves. But they also absorb sunlight, warming the air in the process. According to a new study from the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, planting forests at certain latitudes could make the Earth warmer.