Deforestation and Climate Change

Deforestation and Climate Change

Reducing Carbon Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation

The Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei series on Economics, the Environment and Sustainable Development

Edited by Valentina Bosetti and Ruben Lubowski

Deforestation and forest degradation have long been recognized as environmental problems, with concerns over conservation of natural habitats and biological diversity capturing both scientific and public attention. More recently, the debate over tropical forest conservation has radically shifted to the approximately fifteen percent of global greenhouse gas emissions that are caused by deforestation and forest degradation, and to the potential synergies from integrating forest management with climate change policies.

Chapter 11: Epilogue: REDD Past, Present, and Future

Valentina Bosetti and Ruben Lubowski

Subjects: economics and finance, environmental economics, environment, climate change, environmental economics


Valentina Bosetti and Ruben Lubowski Actions to reduce tropical deforestation and forest degradation offer the potential to reduce a substantial share of global greenhouse gases (GHGs) faster and at lower economic cost than would otherwise be possible. Tropical deforestation is responsible for about 15 per cent of global GHG emissions and there is growing realization that managing global forests must play a key role in any solution to avoid the most dangerous impacts of global climate change. Proposals for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) are about creating mechanisms to value the climate benefits of preserving standing forests in order to compensate developing countries for the costs of forest protection efforts, such as the foregone benefits of converting forests to agriculture. REDD programs can improve the economic efficiency of global efforts to address climate change while also protecting biodiversity and providing other environmental and social benefits from standing forests. REDD also provides an avenue for majoremitting developing countries to engage in significant GHG emissions reductions, helping to break a source of stalemate in national and international climate policy deliberations. Despite the formidable benefits of REDD, a series of political barriers and technical concerns led the Marrakesh Accords of 2012 to exclude incentives for reducing deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries as part of the Kyoto Protocol. For example, emissions reductions commitments by the Annex I countries were negotiated prior to the establishment of the rules for the inclusion of forests and land use, which led to the...

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