Tag: Forests-Sinks

Cancun Building Blocks - Oct 2010


A fair, ambitious and binding deal is needed more urgently than ever. Climate science is more compelling by the day. Impacts are coming harder and faster. Disastrous flooding in Pakistan, heat waves and forest fires in Russia and hottest recorded temperatures around the globe, amongst other devastating climate-related events, all point to the need for urgent action. Levels of warming once thought to be safe, may well not be, 1.5˚C is the new 2˚C

Negotiations Post-Copenhagen
Copenhagen was a watershed moment for public interest and support for climate action – and people have not lost interest. More people in more countries than ever have put their governments on notice that they expect a fair,
ambitious and binding global deal to be agreed urgently. Trust-building is essential after the disappointment of Copenhagen. Developed country leadership must be at the core of trust building efforts. Countries must show
their commitment to the UNFCCC process by driving it forward with political will and flexible positions, rather than endless rounds of repetitive negotiations. Many countries are troublingly pessimistic for Cancun, and are working to lower expectations. While others, including countries most vulnerable to climate change, maintain high expectations.

Challenges ahead of Cancun
There are many challenges to getting a full fair, ambitious and binding deal at Cancun, including:

  • Lack of a shared vision for the ultimate objective of the agreement, and the equitable allocation of the remaining carbon budget and emissions reduction/limitation commitments;
  • Sharp divisions on the legal form of an eventual outcome;
  • Failure of the US Senate to pass comprehensive legislation this year; and
  • Current economic difficulties facing many countries, which make it difficult to mobilize the substantial commitments to long-term climate finance needed as part of any ambitious agreement. 

Positive moves afoot
However, more and more countries, both developing and developed, are stepping up their efforts to pursue low-carbon development and adaptation, despite the absence of an international agreement. This can be seen in a variety of ways:

  • Investments in renewable energies have continued their exponential growth, increasing to 19% of global energy consumed;
  • Progressive countries are working to move the negotiations forward;
  • There is a growing perception that low-carbon and climate-resilient development is the only option to sustainably ensure the right to development and progress in poverty reduction. 

So, what does a pathway forward look like?

Firstly we must learn the lessons of Copenhagen. The “nothing’s agreed until everything’s agreed” dynamic from Copenhagen could mean that nothing would be agreed in Cancun. An agreement in Cancun should instead be a balanced and significant step toward reaching a full fair, ambitious & binding deal at COP 17 in South Africa. This will require parties to work together in good faith to create sufficient gains at Cancun, and a clear roadmap to South Africa. This paper outlines how that could be achieved. 

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.




Thank you

A heartening moment occurred yesterday before an informal conversation on the coordination of support for REDD+. Many Parties, literally, stood side by side with NGOs and refused to enter the meeting room until the NGOs were also allowed in – which they eventually were. ECO thanks the Parties involved and hopes that this sort of Party-driven support for transparency will catch on.

Related Newsletter : 

Will Brazil win?

The most anticipated event of the year has finally arrived (no, not the Bonn intersessionals!). Last night, after an early stumble, Brazil beat Croatia in the opening game of the 2014 World Cup. Just as much of the world looks up to Brazil’s national team, many Parties admire Brazil’s great success in tackling deforestation, with a 70% reduction during the past decade. And rightly so! It’s worthy of a good cheer.

One success alone will not be enough for Brazil, you can’t stay a winner forever. While historically deforestation has always been Brazil's biggest source of emissions this is changing. It is now time for Brazil to commit to an ambitious target that will bring down emissions across all sectors. In order to stay on top of it game, Brazil needs to commit to an ambitious target to bring down emissions across all sectors.

Emissions from agriculture, energy and transport are already higher than emissions from deforestation. ECO has learned that emissions from the Brazilian energy sector more than doubled between 1990 and 2012, making it one of the fastest growing sources of GHGs. It is time for Brazil to stop investing in fossil energy and get on track for a renewable future.

To become a true climate champion again, Brazil needs to keep up the fight against deforestation while bringing down emissions across all sectors. ECO calls on Brazil to commit to achieving zero deforestation by 2020, and tackling emissions from other sectors.

Related Newsletter : 

Brazil’s REDD+ black box

On June 6, Brazil became the first Party to deliver a REDD+ reference emission level to the UNFCCC under new rules established in Warsaw.  This should be a reason for celebration: agriculture, forestry and other land use (AFOLU) constitutes 24% of global emissions, and Brazil has been reducing deforestation rates in the Amazon. ECO applauds this here and in another article, even if Brazil has stumbled a bit in recent years. Yet, the more ECO looks, the more this REDD gift seems like a black box.

Brazil has been a bit shy about its latest accomplishment. According to Brazilian civil society, the numbers behind the submission are surprisingly secret. No open consultations at home before finishing the reference level? No transparency around the data used? But when the Brazilian Climate Observatory asked for a copy of the submission, the proud Brazilian government lost its mojo. Somehow it was powerless to send the submission to its own civil society, instead leaving it to the UNFCCC Secretariat to share it in due time. 

ECO really wants to see Brazil as a leader, especially on deforestation. But in a week where disrespecting observers has become de rigueur, Brazil’s lack of transparency and failure to engage its own civil society overshadows its REDD+ submission. Moreover, how are we to evaluate country promises and close the gigatonne gap, if everything is kept in a black box?

Related Newsletter : 

CAN Intervention: ADP Technical Expert Meeting on Land Use at SB40s, 11 June, 2014


Technical Expert Meeting on Opportunities for Action on Land Use, 11 June 2014

Work stream 2 provides an opportunity to quickly ramp-up reducing emissions from high carbon landscapes like forests, peatlands, mangroves, and other wetlands. Once these ecosystems are destroyed, or severely degraded, most of their emissions reductions potential has been lost. Polices and measures to conserve these ecosystems promote biodiversity, secure the livelihoods of local communities, and maintain resilience. One of the ways to achieve this is to prioritize REDD+ as an immediate action to fund before 2020.

The inclusion of agriculture in discussions about mitigation has its own challenges that are additional to those of forests. There must be careful consideration of food security needs and impacts on land rights, particularly for developing countries. Furthermore, sequestration of carbon in mineral soils is easily subject to reversals

Under ADP discussions on land use, permanent emission reductions could, however, focus on cuts in greenhouse gases such as methane from livestock and nitrous oxide from synthetic fertilisers, in countries where emissions are highest.

Land use under both work streams of the ADP should follow a rights-based approach.

Finally, we urge you to read the CAN submission on principles for accounting under the ADP.


The time is now for forests and land use

According to the latest IPCC findings, forests and land use collectively account for 24% of global emissions - 10-12 GtCo2e annually. This is, by far, the largest sources of emissions in certain regions, notably Latin America, Central Africa and Southeast Asia. In 2012m in Brazil, more than 61% of GHG emissions came from forests and farming activities. 

Addressing these emissions is crucial to bridge the annual emissions gap of 8-12 GtCO2e by 2020 that would lead to global temperature increases of more than 1.5°C. Targeted actions in key regions can deliver immediate emissions reductions for the 2015-2020 period while necessary reforms in other sectors are under way. This would be a massive help if we are to peak emissions before 2020.
ADP Workstream 2 provides an opportunity to cut emissions fast from high carbon landscapes like forests, peatlands, mangroves, and other wetlands. Once these ecosystems are severely degraded or lost, most of their emissions reductions potential are a thing of the past. Measures to conserve these ecosystems bring many other benefits such as: diverse biodiversity and securing the livelihoods of local communities and maintaining resilience. One way to achieve all of this is to prioritise REDD+ as an immediate action to fund before 2020. Mechanisms like REDD+ are well placed to help reduce emissions in the 2015-2020 period, especially if a landscape approach is adopted and integrated with broader strategies for sustainable land use.

Land use activities under both Workstreams of the ADP should follow a rights-based approach to carefully address food security and land rights, particularly in developing countries. If you want to learn more, CAN’s submission on principles for accounting under the ADP provides a useful guidance.

Related Newsletter : 

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.


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.



CAN Intervention in the First COP19 SBI/SBSTA Contact Group, 13 November, 2013

Thank you Chair and good afternoon all. I am speaking on behalf of CAN.

Thank you for the opportunity to share our views for this joint SBSTA/SBI process for REDD+.  We believe that:

-          When discussing ways to improve the coordination of support for the implementation of REDD+ activities, Parties may want to focus on agreeing best practices to avoid barriers to access REDD+ finance, as well as to ensure that support is delivered in a timely and coordinated manner.

-          Parties should ensure the provision of adequate and predictable support, including financial resources and technological support, to developing countries for the implementation of those activities. Parties must show commitment towards REDD+ finance beyond existing fast-start funding for the period until 2020 when a new agreement is to be in place, and clearly demonstrate how to meet the financing needs for all phases of REDD+.

-          It is also necessary to ensure adequate finance for safeguard implementation in-country as well as the establishment of information systems, with at least one report produced before countries can access results based finance. 

-          We believe certainty regarding the financial commitments for REDD+ will create a favorable atmosphere to advance in the methodological and technical issues related to REDD+.

-          Finally, we echo interventions stating that Parties should discuss how REDD+ links to other discussions under the Convention, and clearly identify the functions that are needed to be fulfilled for REDD+, before deciding upon how best to do it, through new or existing institutions.

Thank you Chair.




Subscribe to Tag: Forests-Sinks