Thursday, November 19, 2009

Unintended consequences of REDDs

REDD stands for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation.

The system works as follows:

Estimated carbon savings from standing trees are estimated.
Those carbon credits are then sold in international carbon markets.
This provides a monetary incentive to preserve standing forests, essentially by increasing the environmental rent to a point where it is higher than the rents from various forms of development.

Sounds good. We address the issues associated with the skewed intertemporal and international distribution of costs and benefits associated with deforestation, as developed countries buy carbon credits from developing nations and forests are preserved for future generations.

Problems and unintended consequences? Yep.

Read more here and here.


Anonymous said...

REDD really does sound like a great solution to reducing atmospheric carbon. It tackles the problem by offering an economical incentive to protect carbon trapping forests. The problems brought up to this plan however do pose serious concerns.
I think that the REDD system should include these concerns before the plan is implemented. REDD should keep in mind the need for indigenous rights. Indigenous people should be allowed to have a say in what actions take place under the system that will allow their lives to remain unaffected.
I think REDD should also include provisions that place high prices on biodiverse rich forests as well, just to take into account the fact that REDD may exacerbate their destruction rates.

Andy Myers

Anonymous said...

One of the problems seems to be the boundaries of the protected forests. The unprotected forests adjacent to protected forests take a lot more damage because people still rely on them for survival. If one area is protected people will just travel a little further for their resources. If there was a way to put an incentive on the forests collectively instead of just sectioning off a portion of the forest for preservation that might work better.

Zach West

Anonymous said...

With this REDD system, how do governments use the money they receive? The post below specifically discusses Norway protecting Guyana's forests. According to the article "Guyana plans to direct the Norwegian funds toward a development plan that shifts energy generation away from fossil fuel burning and toward hydropower, sustainable forest management, and climate change adaptation measures." It seems as though it could work well in that situation, because Guyana does not face significant deforestation problems. What about in countries where people's livelihoods depend on certain deforestation practices? Certainly they will be compensated, but how? I think REDD seems like a good idea, and I probably just don't understand all the intricate details, but it seems as though there are many possible issues.

Anonymous said...

Above Post - Ryan D