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CAN Submission on Further Guidance on SIS (REDD+ Safeguards)

 

Currently, there is minimal guidance on the system for providing information on how REDD+ safeguards are being addressed and respected. Without further guidance, there are gaps and inconsistencies between reporting requirements, which could lead to unnecessary costs and inconveniences for countries fulfilling their REDD+ requirements.

Ultimately, without further guidance from the UNFCCC, there is a real risk that the SIS will fail to demonstrate that safeguards are being addressed and respected; and thus, result in significant negative social and environmental impacts and jeopardize the ability for REDD+ to mitigate climate change. Fortunately, if Parties agree to further guidance on the SIS at COP 20, there is opportunity to reduce the risk of negative impacts from REDD+ as well as produce positive outcomes, including adaptation outcomes. Therefore, there are important reasons for all Parties to support further guidance to support effective REDD+ implementation.

Further guidance is useful for REDD+ countries because:

  • It will assist developing country Parties to implement safeguards equitably and effectively;
  • It will assist countries without strong technical and financial capacities on how to design country approaches to implement and report on the safeguards;
  • It could simplify reporting formats and thus reduce the burden of reporting;
  • It would reduce the inconsistency and promote coherence between the multiple sets of requirements from the various multilateral funding initiatives for REDD+, thereby reducing the consequent and unnecessary costs and inconveniences of implementing and reporting on safeguards;
  • It could support countries in taking advantage of synergies with other international agreements (e.g. the Convention on Biological Diversity);
  • It could improve understanding and awareness among REDD+ stakeholders;
  • It could increase the amount of REDD+ funding available to REDD+ countries by providing greater assurance to potential REDD+ investors that safeguards have been addressed and respected;
  • It could support countries to apply safeguards systems that allow for adaptive management, leading to improvements in a country’s REDD+ program.

Further guidance is also useful for REDD+ funders because:

  • It could improve REDD+ safeguards implementation and lead to greater transparency, facilitating more effective investments that lead to improved results from REDD+;
  • It could better normalize the provision of safeguard information summaries, facilitating a more streamlined assessment;
  • It could provide greater confidence in REDD+ reporting, assisting investors in demonstrating their accountability to their domestic constituencies.

Therefore, CAN calls on Parties at COP 20 to develop additional guidance on the system for providing information on how the REDD+ safeguards are addressed and respected. If Parties rely on the current inadequate and vague guidance from Durban, they will both miss an opportunity and endanger the long-term success of the REDD+ mechanism.

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CAN Submission: Principles for reporting and accounting for emissions and removals from land use under the ADP

 

Climate Action Network welcomes the opportunity to submit its view on the ADP Agreement regarding principles for reporting and accounting for emissions and removals from land use.

Introduction

About one quarter of all human induced emissions come from agriculture, forestry and other land use (AFOLU), mainly from land use change, fertilizer use, livestock and peatland degradation. The potential for both sequestration and emissions reductions in the AFOLU sector is thus large, but it must be ensured that AFOLU mitigation does not compromise adaptation, food security or other social and environmental safeguards. Reducing emissions (for example, by reducing deforestation) and enhancing removals (for example, by afforestation or reforestation) are already important components of some countries’ emission reduction pledges and will no doubt continue to be so in the agreement concluded under the ADP.

It is therefore vital that all countries both report on and account for emissions and removals from AFOLU in a comparable and transparent way, especially those countries which intend to include emission reductions or increased removals from the sector as part of their emission reduction target. Special allowance should continue to be made for countries with the least capacity, notably, Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS). The IPCC’s tiered approach allows countries to begin reporting at a simple level and move to more complex and accurate methods over time.

A number of basic principles and guidelines should be applied to all reporting and accounting for AFOLU and these are listed below. Many are based upon Decision 24/CP.19.

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CAN Intervention in the SB38/ADP2-2 Bonn Intersessional: REDD+ Finance Workshop , 10 June, 2013

CAN Intervention for COP Work Program Workshop

-Delivered by Josefina Brana-Varela

Thank you chairs. I’m speaking on behalf of the Climate Action Network.

We welcome the opportunity to be present in this workshop and we would like to share our views on how to approach the issue of result-based finance for REDD+.

While we understand that there are many discussions that are taking place in other bodies and groups under the UNFCCC with respect to the issue of finance, we believe that Parties here can start shaping a results-based mechanism for REDD+. Therefore, Parties can start focusing in:

1.     Talking about the modalities and procedures for financing results-based actions for REDD+, despite the sources of funding

2.     Parties should focus in establishing a mechanism that enables support for REDD+ countries that have met successfully the requirements established in the Cancun Agreements, including safeguards.

3.     The design elements of such a mechanism should ensure environmental integrity, through the establishment of registries and reserves to avoid double counting and addressing risks of reversals.

4.     Parties should discuss the relationship between reference levels and the access to payments.

5.     Discussions here and towards Warsaw should promote equity by ensuring adequate incentives for countries with less capacity as well as countries with significant carbon stocks but lower deforestation rates, while ensuring the integrity of the climate system.

6.     Finally, Parties should aim for transparency and efficiency, avoiding creating mechanisms with high transactions costs.

Chairs, are you planning to ask for submissions on these matters in preparation to the second workshop that the Work Program under the COP is considering? If so, we as observers will be happy to share our ideas.

Thank you.

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REDD+ at Bali+5

Five years after Parties endorsed the Bali Roadmap, we are far down the road on several REDD+ issues, but all over the map on others. 

It’s now time for SBSTA to complete recommendations on Monitoring and MRV and to move forward on safeguards, reference levels and drivers of deforestation. 
 
Though tracking emissions, removals and changes in carbon stocks are necessary, counting carbon tonnes alone is not sufficient for successful Monitoring and MRV.  
 
To ensure REDD delivers benefits for the climate, forests and peoples, Monitoring and MRV must contribute to the sustainability and permanence of pollution reductions. To contribute to this, Parties should build further consensus on the technical review of reference levels, on comparability and consistency of units of measurement in pilot testing and implementation, and on information systems for safeguards.
 
SBSTA’s decisions must also be applied consistently throughout REDD+ readiness activities, pilot programs and implementation with results-based incentives.  Further, REDD+ policies will not significantly reduce deforestation and forest degradation unless they also minimize the internationally-driven, demand-side drivers on the world’s forests.
 
Compared to other mitigation strategies with long lead times, REDD+ activities make unique contributions to enhanced mitigation action, as well as deliver non-carbon benefits, before 2020 and after 2020. The reverse is also true, once forests are lost, the opportunity for REDD+ is gone forever.
 
Pessimists are saying that REDD+ is dead. SBSTA37 and COP18 can prove them wrong.
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CAN Intervention in the COP18 SBSTA Opening Plenary, 26 November

 

SBSTA Opening Plenary Intervention

26 November, 2012

 

Mr. Chair, Distinguished Delegates, 

My name is Adriana Gonzalez from Puerto Rico and I am representing Climate Action Network.  

Parties must ensure that climate policies encompassing agriculture include considerations and safeguards that protect and promote food security, biodiversity, equitable access to resources, the right to food, animal welfare, and the rights of indigenous peoples and local populations, while promoting poverty reduction and climate adaptation. 

Towards this end, SBSTA should facilitate the exchange of views among Parties on, among numerous other things: 

· Assessing existing adaptation policies to ensure they are designed to avoid aggravating existing inequalities and to support the most vulnerable. 

SBSTA’s recommendations to COP18 for REDD+ on Monitoring and on Measuring, Reporting and Verification must ensure sustainability and permanence of emissions reductions. Building further consensus on reference levels, safeguards information systems and how to address drivers of deforestation is critical for ensuring that REDD delivers benefits for the climate, forests and peoples. 

Finally, countries continue to spend hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidizing fossil fuels each year. SBSTA should ensure its reporting guidelines for biennial reports include guidance to report on the existence of and efforts to remove these subsidies, to facilitate the removal of these harmful subsidies. 

Thank you. 

Distracted Driving

The uninitiated ECO reader may think a driver is a less ostentatious term for a chauffeur, but in REDD+ a driver is an underlying cause of deforestation or forest degradation.

This week in Bonn, SBSTA has this on their agenda. ECO thinks it’s vital that all parties explore ways to identify, assess and address drivers. Otherwise we risk wasting REDD+ financing and failing to achieve our goal. Ultimately it is global demand that drives most deforestation and forest degradation. All parties therefore have a responsibility to act on this, as spelt out in the Cancún decision on REDD+.

What does this mean? Drivers should be dealt with at the level they occur, be it local, provincial, regional, national or global. In the forest country itself, issues of governance become significant, as does the need to satisfy the demand of local populations for things like cooking fuel. Marginalised, forest dependent communities should not bear the brunt of blame and retribution for their impact on forest areas when the impact from outsiders is much larger.

You can’t solve problems in a forest for long simply by taking the chainsaw from a logger. You also need to address demand for paper products or luxury furniture that is motivating the logging company. The same issues of deforestation apply to our consumption of products from oil palm, beef or soy production, which are produced mainly for international consumption.

This year, a decision is needed on the root causes of deforestation and forest degradation. One that recognises REDD+ host countries require financial assistance to do this, and identifies the need for all parties, north and south, to take responsibility for their role.

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CAN Input into Rio+20 Agenda

The current negotiating text for Rio+20 does not fully and explicitly recognise the urgent need to act on climate change as part of a global action plan for delivering sustainable development.

This paper outlines the elements CAN believes essential to be dealt with by leaders at the Rio+20 Summit. In summary Rio plus 20 must:

1. Increase political will and ambition

a       Ensure strong legally binding commitments and real urgent action to rapidly transition to  a low-carbon and climate resilient future that includes development of renewable energy, energy efficiency and distributed clean energy (excluding coal-based power plants, nuclear power plants and mega-hydropower plants);

b       Acknowledge the lack of delivery on previous commitments agreed at Rio, including the UNFCCC commitments for all countries to reduce emissions to allow ecosystems to adapt and to ensure that food production is not threatened, and that developed countries would provide sufficient finance and other support to enable developing countries to undertake mitigation and adaptation. Acknowledgement of the now urgent need to address the current environment, development and climate change crisis by committing to ambitious levels of binding action, in line with science and equity and with clearly measurable outcomes and milestones.  Rio+20 can provide political impetus to the relevant fora - the UNFCCC and others - on the appropriate level of ambition of these commitments;

c       Recognise that delivering sustainable development requires tackling both the roots of the environment crisis and the poverty crisis simultaneously;

d       Fully recognise  historic responsibility and equity issues associated with addressing the current global environment and development crises and that solutions to these crisis must be based on principles of equity including common but differentiated responsibility and respective capability;

e       A renewed emphasis on the poorest people and those most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, acknowledging that all countries will be impacted by climate change, with developing countries the least able to cope;

2. Facilitate a fair green economy

a       Support a rapid global transition to fair green and sustainable economies;

b       Endorse the ‘Sustainable Energy for All’ initiative with a strong call for action and a 2020 milestone;

c       Commit to reorient wasteful consumption patterns towards sustainable ones, including by adopting indicators other than GDP that integrate social and environmental costs and benefits, promoting themore efficient use of resources and improving waste reutilization;

e       Commit adequate and predictable new and additional long-term finance to support developing countries to reduce their emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change with a particular focus on addressing the current structural underfunding of adaptation needs;

d       Remove fossil fuel subsidies, beginning with production subsidies;

f       Support the integration of an increased focus on resilience in the context of climate impacts,  market shocks, food price hikes and increasingly frequent and/or intense weather-related disasters; increased action on disaster risk reduction and the inclusion of food security, rights and justice;

3. Agree to true Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

a       The Sustainable Development Goals currently being discussed need to i) be universal, ii) be based on equity and fundamental human rights, iii) embed climate change as a cross-cutting issue,  and iv) be formulated through open and inclusive processes;

4. Protect forests and REDD

a       Agree to stop deforestation and degradation of natural forests, as well as restoring degraded natural forests by 2020 at the latest;

5. Realise sustainable agriculture and food security

a       Build the adaptive capacity of smallholders to the long-term impacts of climate change and ensure agricultural policies address food security and take into account environmental limits, carrying capacity, equity and social issues, particularly gender equity.

CAN Submission - how to address drivers of deforestation and forest degradation - Feb 2012

 

CAN-International welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the work of SBSTA by giving our views on the issues identified by SBSTA at its thirty-fifth session, recorded in document FCCC/SBSTA/2011/L.25, paragraph 5. 

Summary 

For REDD+ to succeed, it must reduce, and ultimately reverse, the emissions of greenhouse gases from deforestation and forest degradation.  REDD+ policies must address national- and local-scale drivers within REDD+ countries, but they will not significantly reduce deforestation and forest degradation unless they also minimize internationally- driven, demand-side pressures on the world’s forests.  Forest loss is caused by many factors but, according to the latest analyses, international demand for commodities such as agricultural commodities, biofuels, wood products and minerals is the dominant driver of emissions in many countries.  Countries responsible for this international demand need to take steps to reduce those pressures in conjunction with efforts by forested countries to reduce domestic drivers of deforestation and degradation.

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