Consultation about tropical deforestation

The European Commission has opened a consultation on how the EU should address tropical deforestation in the context of the post-Kyoto negotiations on tackling climate change.1 A Communication setting out policy options will follow at the end of 2008.

Deforestation and forest degradation account for 20% of global carbon dioxide emissions. Afforestation and reforestation projects in developing countries are eligible for carbon credits under the UN Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism.

Projects that avoid deforestation are currently excluded but the Bali roadmap includes plans for rainforest countries to be paid for reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation, either through international carbon markets or a voluntary fund (ENDS Report 400, pp 42-43 ).

The Commission asks whether the EU should push for a halving of deforestation by 2020 and complete stoppage by 2030.

It also asks whether internal EU policies such as green public procurement and the assessment of all policies for their impacts on deforestation could help.

The EU plans to pledge a major amount of funding from 2013 to 2020 to combat deforestation and asks whether it should contribute all, or a proportion, of the proceeds from auctioning allowances within the EU emissions trading scheme.

The consultation asks whether the same financial mechanism should be used to address deforestation and afforestation/reforestation. Stakeholders are asked how reduced emissions from slowing down, stabilising and reversing deforestation can be estimated and verified reliably.

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