The New Frontier of Climate Law: Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation
Environmental and Planning Law Journal, Vol. 26, No. 6, pp. 417-456, 2009
49 Pages Posted: 7 Jan 2010
Date Written: January 5, 2010
This article analyses the efforts of the international community to incorporate activities relating to Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation within the international legal framework governing climate change. Such activities were first recognised at the Thirteenth Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 13) held in Bali in December 2007. Any agreement on REDD at COP 15 in Copenhagen in December is likely to be heavily influenced by the Negotiating Text developed by the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-Term Cooperative Action under the Convention earlier this year, which is discussed in this article. The article also demonstrates how the United States, unlike other jurisdictions, has decided to include REDD provisions within the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 prior to the outcomes of COP 15. Various financing approaches to REDD including public funding schemes and a market-based REDD credits approach are then assessed before a number of key issues associated with REDD activities are addressed. All of these have legal implications. They include: the crucial issue of governance; establishing baselines and national reference levels; the link between monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) and compliance and enforcement: proprietorial rights over the carbon in the world’s forests; and legal arrangements for benefit-sharing through Payments for Environmental Services. The article is divided into the following five parts: Part I: Latest scientific evidence and forest sequestration; Part II: The International Law Framework for REDD; Part III: The United States moves ahead on REDD; Part IV: Key REDD issues and legal implications; and Part V: Conclusions.
Keywords: Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation, Copenhagen Negotiating Text, American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, forestry governance, baselines and national reference levels, monitoring reporting and verification (MRV)
JEL Classification: K10, K30, K32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation