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WWF discussion paper: policy approaches and positive incentives for REDD

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This paper aims to provide an overview to potential policy approaches and positive incentives for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) in the post-2012 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In particular, the paper discusses the potential implications or key elements for consideration when determining positive incentives for REDD. The post-2012 United Nations (UN) climate agreement must incorporate reduction targets, mechanisms and incentives to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. To prevent catastrophic climate change, the global average temperature rise must be kept as far below 2 degrees centigrade as possible. To succeed in achieving sustainable emissions reductions from deforestation and forest degradation at a national scale, each country / region must identify and address the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation. WWF calls on parties to support the development of a robust framework for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries that will provide the basis for zero net global deforestation by 2020. Key points and elements for further discussion include:

a range of policy approaches would be useful mechanisms for achieving and encouraging emissions reductions, including policies to incentivise forest conservation, removal of policies that provide a perverse incentive for forest conversion and sustainable production of forest products and agricultural commodities
to be effective, an international regime to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries will need to ensure that developed countries provide sufficient resources to cover the associated costs of REDD over the long-term, and contribute to national development goals
REDD is often cited as a relatively low cost mitigation option, and therefore, integrating REDD into international emissions trading is predicted to considerably decrease costs of achieving emissions reductions, which could disincentivise emissions reductions from industrial sources
permanence and liability are two important elements for consideration with market-linked mechanisms and voluntary funding if sustainable emissions reductions are to be achieved.