Carbon Sinks and Climate Change
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Carbon Sinks and Climate Change

Forests in the Fight Against Global Warming

Colin A.G. Hunt

Reforestation and avoiding deforestation are ways of harnessing nature to tackle global warming – the greatest challenge facing humankind. In this book, Colin Hunt deals comprehensively with the present and future role of forests in climate change policy and practice. A review of the workings of carbon markets, both based on the Kyoto Protocol and voluntary participation, provides a base from which to explore forestry’s role. Emphasis is on acknowledging how forests’ idiosyncrasies affect the design of markets for sequestered carbon. Chapters range from the role of forests in providing biofuels and biodiversity, to measuring and valuing their stored carbon.
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Chapter 8: Policies for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD)

Colin A.G. Hunt


The first part of this chapter discusses the mechanisms that have been put forward to account for the reduction in deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) in developing countries and to reduce the risk associated with the impermanence of forests and the leakage of deforestation to other locations. It also reviews funding mechanisms that are being considered. The second part takes a hard look at REDD, examining the political economy in which deforestation is embedded, the socioeconomic implications of REDD and the prospects for its effective financing and implementation. Under the Kyoto Protocol (United Nations, 1998, Article 2), Annex I countries with quantified emissions limitations and reductions are bound to promote sustainable forest management practices, afforestation and reforestation. Land use and forestry practices within Annex I countries can contribute substantially to reducing the costs of achieving national emissions caps, as discussed in theory in Chapter 1 and in relation to in-country policy in Chapter 7. Annex I countries also have the option of using the Clean Development Mechanism to mount forestry projects in developing countries to reduce their costs of compliance. However, deforestation takes place almost exclusively in non-Annex I tropical developing countries that are not subject to limits on their emissions (Figure 8.1), and is responsible for global carbon emissions of some 1.35 Gt per year, equal to about a fifth of global emissions generated by the burning of fossil fuels (Figure 8.2). If deforestation remains unchecked it is likely to increase steadily due to the demands for agricultural products...

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