FEATURED ARTICLE: COP21 Paris snapshot #1 & #2: REDD SEE COMMENTS BELOW (# 1) 11 December 2015 at 11:29 pm

 COP21 Paris snapshot #1: REDD

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Last night at 21:00 a new version of the Draft Paris Outcome was released at COP21 in Paris. It’s down to 27 pages and has only 50 pairs of square brackets. That’s the good news. The rest is practically all bad news.

Of course fossil fuels aren’t mentioned anywhere in the text. The words “oil” and “coal” don’t appear. The word “gas” appears 24 times, but only in the context of “greenhouse gas emissions”, rather than the fossil fuel, natural gas.

The word “forest” appears four times, “forests” five times, and “deforestation” twice. The abbreviation “REDD” isn’t mentioned, but it appears as “reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation” twice.

REDD in version 1 of the Draft Paris Outcome

Here’s version of the “REDD paragraph” (Article 3 bis) as it appeared in the 9 December 2015 version (page 5):

[Article 3 bis] (REDD-PLUS)

1. Parties are encouraged to conserve and enhance, as appropriate, sinks and reservoirs of GHG as referred to in Article 4 paragraph 1(d) of the Convention.

2. Parties are encouraged to incentivize,[including by scaling up resources] the reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and to promote the conservation and sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries, while enhancing the non-carbon benefits; and to support alternative policy approaches, such as joint mitigation and adaption approaches for the integral and sustainable management of forests, including alleviating poverty and building ecosystem resilience, in accordance with previous COP decisions related to forests.

On the evening of 9 December 2015, countries commented on the previous version (which had removed the word “mechanism”) of the draft text in a plenary session. (The more than three-hours-long plenary session can be watched here. Apparently the room smelled of chipboard and sweat.)

One after another countries from the Coalition for Rainforest Nations asked that the words “REDD-plus mechanism” be put back in text.

Climate Tracker took notes of the reactions to the draft text. Here are the reactions to the way REDD is mentioned in the text:

REDD in version 2 of the Draft Paris Outcome

On 10 December 2015 at 21:00 version 2 of the Draft Paris Outcome was released. Here’s the “REDD paragraph” (page 18-19):

Article 3 bis

1. Parties should take action to conserve and enhance, as appropriate, sinks and reservoirs of greenhouse gas as referred to in Article 4, paragraph 1(d), of the Convention.

2. Parties may take action to implement and support, including by scaling up resources, policy approaches and positive incentives for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries; as well as alternative policy approaches, such as joint mitigation and adaptation approaches for the integral and sustainable management of forests; while reaffirming the importance of non-carbon benefits associated with such approaches; as set out in related guidance and decisions already agreed under the Convention.

Here are the changes between the two versions:

  • Version 2 states that parties “should” take action to conserve and enhance sinks. (In version 1 they were “encouraged” to do so.)
  • Version 2 states that partis “may take action to implement and support” REDD. (In version 1 they were “encouraged to incentivize” REDD.)
  • In version 2, “scaling up resources” is no longer in square brackets.
  • In version 2, the words “policy approaches and positive incentives” have been added.
  • Version 2 states, “while reaffirming the importance of non-carbon benefits associated with such approaches”. (Version 1 stated, “while enhancing the non-carbon benefits”.)
  • Version 2 states, “as well as alternative policy approaches”. (Version 1 stated, “and to support alternative policy approaches”.)
  • In version 2, the words, “including alleviating poverty and building ecosystem resilience”, have been deleted.

REDD also appears in a paragraph about Finance (Page 6 – in the Decision part of the text, as apposed to the Agreement, which is an Annex to the Draft Paris Outcome):

60. Also decides that adequate, predictable and sustainable financial resources, including for results-based payments, as appropriate, shall be provided for the implementation of policy approaches and positive incentives for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks; as well as alternative policy approaches, such as joint mitigation and adaptation approaches for the integral and sustainable management of forests; while reaffirming the importance of non-carbon benefits associated with such approaches; pursuing the coordination of support to, inter alia, public and private sources, including the Green Climate Fund in accordance with relevant decisions by the Conference of the Parties;

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, President of COP21, says that the final text of the Paris Outcome will be presented one day late, on Saturday morning (12 December 2015).

 COP21 Paris snapshot #2: No REDD!

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While REDD is edging its way into the Paris Outcome, a series of protests and statements against REDD have taken place at the COP21 climate negotiations in Paris. Here’s a round-up, with photographs, of some of the No REDD! activities in Paris over the past two weeks.

A crime against humanity

On 30 November 2015, the Indigenous Environmental Network put out a press release under the headline: “UN Paris Accord could end up being a Crime against Humanity and Mother Earth”. REDD is one of the false solutions targetted in the press release.

Nnimmo Bassey, co-coordinator of the No REDD in Africa Network, says,

“REDD may result in the largest land grab in history. It steals your future, lets polluters off the hook and is new form of colonialism. We demand that states and corporations stop privatizing nature!”

It’s a (No REDD) rap

Jendog Lonewolf produced a No REDD video:

Here’s what she says on her website about the video:

Jendog Lonewolf’s “No REDD” video, in conjunction with Indigenous Rising and the Indigenous Environmental Network critiques the UN’s REDD program that works as a poison pretending to be cure– destroying the biodiversity, forests, and local economies it feigns to protect. Through carbon credits, the program allows corporations to pollute even more while land grabbing and violently keeping Indigenous Peoples from their lands.

Against the REDD-ification of Africa

At a side-event in Paris, the No-REDD in Africa released a book titled, “Stopping the Continent Grab and the REDD-ification of Africa”. You can download the book here.

This publication by the No REDD in Africa Network aims to demystify REDD and REDD-type projects, and all their variants, and show them for what they are: unjust mechanisms designed to usher in a new phase of colonization of the African continent. From examples presented, it is clear that the REDD mechanism is a scam and the polluters know that they are buying the “right” to pollute.

California’s governor heckled

California’s governor Jerry Brown was heckled at the end of a speech in Paris. Protesters chanted “No REDD!”. As he left, Brown told the protesters, “I agree with you.”

No REDD protest at Solutions 21 Concert

The Indigenous Environmental Network staged an action in coordination with Xiuhtezcatl Tonatiuh at the corporate funded Solutions 21 Concert. For his last song, Xiuhtezcatl invited representatives of the Global Grassroots Justice Alliance and the Indigenous Environmental Network’s Indigenous Rising to the stage, where they made a statement against fracking and REDD.

Xiuhtezcatl says,

“I am standing in solidarity with the front lines communities affected by fossil fuel extraction, as an indigenous youth representing the generation most affected by climate change. I strongly stand against false solutions such as fracking, carbon trading and REDD.”

REDD is a disaster for the environment

Friends of the Earth International, Global Alliance against REDD, Indigenous Environmental Network, Grassroots Global Justice, No REDD+ in Africa Network held a protest outside the conference centre.

Isaac Rojas, Friends of the Earth International Forest and Biodiversity Program Coordinator, describes REDD as a disaster for the environment:

“Forests are not simply groups of trees and inert materials that can be reduced to ‘carbon stocks,’ commodities that can be traded on stock exchanges and markets. REDD could also create adverse incentives for deforestation. As REDD offset credits are only supposed to be generated when deforestation or forest degradation has been avoided, governments and corporations are supposed to demonstrate that, at a given time, they were planning to log or clear certain areas of forest. It is thus in their interest to be able to maintain high levels of planned deforestation.”

 

REDD is a contradiction and violation of the sacred

And finally, the Indigenous Environmental Network held a press conference, which you can read about on REDD-Monitor here.

3 Comments

  1. Norman Lippman, Living Story Foundation

    The comments & questions you posted by Norman Lippman, Living Story Foundation (# 9) 11 December 2015 at 12:29 am, remain unanswered in your previous article & in your new articles: Snapshot #1 & Snapshot #2 where they increase in urgence. I’ve updated my comments slightly . RSVP ASAP.

    Chris Thanks again for your reply, you wrote, “You’re right, REDD could create the economic incentive for a land grab. Stopping this by putting rights in the REDD safeguards may sound like a good idea, but the UNFCCC negotiations on REDD safeguards are finished. How do you propose inserting text in a finished document?”

    Chris, The following might be a method for inserting text in a finished document. I present it mainly because it indicates that REDD may not be locked in stone. But I will ask you the question if not now, then how later to change REDD?

    Kate Dooley wrote, ”While the majority of countries do not want to see any reference at all to REDD+ in the text, the Coalition for Rainforest Nations, a group of rainforest nations led by Panama, want to establish a new REDD+ institution, which would centralise REDD+ finance. Brazil in particular is concerned that any reference to REDD+ could be seen as redefining REDD+ or requiring reinterpretation of the existing decisions.

    Chris, So given Brazil’s concern about “redefining REDD+ or requiring reinterpretation of the existing decisions”. It seems as if REDD could be, redefined “ or requiring reinterpretation”

    What organization or individual is being most effective at getting REDD reinterpreted at COP21 in regard to resource & human rights recognized & required?

    Chris, I am not an expert on UN negotiations & strategy, so I ask you, who monitors REDD the next logical question. If not by modifying REDD, then how do we get those safeguards and resource & human rights “recognized & required” prior to funding vs just having those rights “addressed” as REDD currently reads?

    What organization or individual has the most promising strategies for getting safeguards & rights recognized & required for forest peoples?

    Where can we find the best explanations of these strategies?

    I believe that many of us are wondering how to keep REDD from making the lives of forest peoples worse and seek the best strategies for ensuring that REDD does not do that. Thanks in advance

  2. No. Because the Annexed 1 countries without saying prefer the volumtary markets on Carbon

  3. @Norman Lippman, Living Story Foundation (#1) – Perhaps rather than insisting that I spend my time answering your questions, you should contact the REDD+ Safeguards Working Group.

    Good luck with inserting text about human rights into the REDD safeguards. Personally I think the safeguards are staggeringly weak, that REDD is neither going to protect forests nor address climate change. And I think REDD is the wrong mechanism for attempting to uphold land rights.

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