Economics: Reducing emissions from deforestation (UNFCCC Part10)

Rainforest in Indonesia (photo:dpa)
Rainforest in Indonesia (photo:dpa)

Durban diary - snippets from the United Nations climate change conference in Durban, South Africa. More money is going to combat emissions from deforestation but is is tackling the right problem?

INDONESIA received a US$1 billion to help reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.

The money from Norway was promised at the United Nations climate conference COP17 in Durban, South Africa, with the help of UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

Green economy

UNEP executive director, Achim Steiner, said that in the same way that the green economy promotes sustainable, low carbon and resource-efficient economic growth, so the group REDD-Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation-explicitly addresses the need for a balance between income growth, jobs and social equity.

The emphasis placed by wealthy countries on deforestation emissions will undermine economic development in developing countries and provide only a fraction of the emission cuts promised

Alan Oxley of World Growth, who has just completed a forestry project in Indonesia, said that the emphasis placed by wealthy countries on deforestation emissions will undermine economic development in developing countries and provide only a fraction of the emission cuts promised.

Emissions

Deforestation emissions are overstated, he said, and this was backed up by new research from Winrock International which halved the percentage of emissions from deforestation from around 17 per cent to 8 per cent.

Mr Oxley poses a question for groups like Greenpeace - if deforestation is caused by agriculture, particularly in poor countries, will Greenpeace campaign for less food production in poor countries?

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