Reducing Carbon Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation
Edited by Valentina Bosetti and Ruben Lubowski
Chapter 1: Deforestation and Emerging Greenhouse Gas Compliance Regimes: Toward a Global Environmental Law of Forests, Carbon and Climate Governance
William Boyd INTRODUCTION Efforts to include emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in climate policy have gained considerable traction in recent years at multiple levels of governance. With mounting evidence that we cannot stabilize atmospheric CO2 at a safe level without addressing emissions from the forest sector, policymakers are actively seeking ways to integrate international forest carbon into existing and emerging GHG compliance regimes.1 Since 2005, for example, there has been a concerted effort in the UN climate negotiations to integrate Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) and other forest carbon activities into a post-2012 climate treaty.2 In the United States, international forest carbon is also gaining traction in debates regarding the design of national and sub-national compliance regimes. Indeed, leading legislative proposals for a federal capand-trade system introduced in the US Congress over the last several years have included robust provisions for international forest carbon.3 Likewise, California and other states are actively exploring ways to include international forest carbon in their own GHG compliance regimes.4 To be sure, there is still much work to be done to integrate deforestation (and other international forest carbon activities) into climate change policy. Key issues in need of resolution include the coverage of forest carbon activities (i.e., deforestation only or the full range of forest carbon); the appropriate policy mechanism for recognizing and crediting forest carbon (fund- and/or market-based approaches); quantitative and qualitative limits for forest carbon offsets; methodologies for measuring, reporting and 1 Deforestation and Climate Change 27/05/2010 11.14 Chap....
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