Glasgow Decisions on Mitigation Measures in the Forestry Sector in Focus

Policy Paper analyses future role of forestry activities on the global carbon market

  • News 17.02.2022

Intact forests are essential to mitigate climate change. Trees store CO2 and the forest soil also absorbs large amounts of carbon. If forest areas are cut down or destroyed, CO2 is released again into the atmosphere. The basic idea of REDD+is to reward developing countries for reducing deforestation and CO2 emissions caused by forest destruction. The acronym REDD+ stands 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". 

At the climate conference in Glasgow, Parties adopted the Article 6 rulebook for market-based cooperation. It allows countries to sell CO2 emissions reduced to other countries, who can in turn use these emission reductions for achieving their own climate targets. Whether the rules adopted under Article 6 will also allow for crediting of "REDD+" activities has not yet been clarified. The policy paper "REDD+ and the Article 6 Rulebook – Will there be crediting of forestry activities under Article 6?", analyses the decisions taken at the climate conference on Article 6 and what they could mean for the implementation of "REDD+" activities. According to the two authors Nicolas Kreibich and Christof Arens, both Senior Researchers in the International Climate Policy Research Unit at the Wuppertal Institute, the Article 6 regulations need to be further specified, as they do not contain any explicit references to REDD+. Many aspects of the Article 6 rules are already covered by the existing REDD+ guidelines, but some of them impose new requirements. Furthermore, the scope of Article 6 must be clarified: Some "REDD+" activities may not fall within the scope of Article 6, as they maintain existing carbon stocks and do not necessarily increase them. Afforestation and reforestation activities, on the other hand, would clearly fall under Article 6, as they clearly increase the amount of carbon stored. According to the authors, key terms of the framework, such as "emission avoidance", must be defined more precisely and a specification of how they relate to forestry activities should be provided. 

The Policy Paper (No. 01/2022) "REDD+ and the Article 6 Rulebook" has been published in the Carbon Mechanisms Research series and is available free of charge at the following link.

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