REDD+ the poster boy for progress in Warsaw (COP19)

Photo: Maria Ölund

REDD+ the poster boy for progress in Warsaw (COP19)

Lund University blog post from COP19 by the Focali researcher Tobias Dan Nielsen.

I have been in Warsaw for just over a week to in part follow the developments in the negotiations on the UN proposed mechanism on REDD+. The acronym stands for: ‘reducing emissions from forest degradation and deforestation, conserving and enhancing forest carbon stocks, and sustainably managing forests’ and is essentially a performance-based forest conservation mechanism that aims to achieve reductions in greenhouse gases in emerging and developing countries. It plans to pay financial compensation for measurable, reportable and verifiable (MRV) reductions in CO2 emissions. 
Exactly, how to address the technical aspect of MRV reductions in emissions from REDD+ has been the one of the key achievement of the first week at the COP. On the early hours of Sunday morning November 17th negotiators reached an agreement on a set of guidelines or ‘rulebook’ on MRV and other technical aspect of monitoring the carbon flows in forests (including reference levels). Co-facilitator of REDD+ technical (SBSTA) negotiations Tony La Viña stated on Landscape Forum – a two day conference on agriculture, forestry and development - that the check list on MRV agreed in Copenhagen (COP15) would be completed here in Warsaw. The agreement marked a significant achievement in the negotiations here in Warsaw and several countries have highlighted the progress made on REDD+. 
REDD+ - a negotiation text in brackets 
However, there is as always a but and in this case it is that the whole negotiation text agreed on MRV here in Warsaw during the first week was in brackets ( ) meaning that it is in principle not agreed on at all. For a final agreement to be reached it should in principle not include any brackets left in the negotiation text which signals an area not fully agree on. Putting the whole text in brackets signals a core notion here at the COP’s ‘nothing is agreed until everything is agreed’.

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