As part of COP21 I spent a busy few days at one of the REDD side events in Paris, soaking up an atmosphere of pragmatic optimism, and whilst there were, and continue to be, some obvious gaps between the parties, there was definitely a feeling of needing to get the job done. Back in Tanzania I printed off a copy of the agreement as soon as it hit the news. More than meeting my expectations, the Paris agreement is a YES to protecting forests by Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD).
The Paris Agreement includes a specific provision, Article 5, on forests and REDD+ which will send a strong political signal to support better protection of forests in developing countries and encourage developed nations to provide the financial incentives to do so. Importantly, Article 5 also encourages results-based payments, meaning that donors will only pay for verified emissions reductions achieved through REDD.
In many ways reflecting the principles behind the recently launched Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris agreement also calls for a collaborative approach, bringing the private sector, international partners and governments into a public private partnership to better protect the worlds forests. That means that companies can invest in forest protection using verified emission reductions (VERs) generated by programs such as ours that reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. The agreement also ensures that under the Warsaw Framework, REDD+ will comply with ‘market-based’ measures such as those being implemented and created by California and the International Civil Aviation Organization, if those creating institutions so authorize’.
The world has said yes to REDD, but this is just the beginning. The Paris agreement is a signal to businesses, institutions and all of us striving to better protect the world’s forests, to get it done.
Written by Carbon Tanzania’s founder & Director Marc Baker
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