REDD stands for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation.
The system works as follows:
The carbon stored in standing trees in a country is estimated.
Carbon losses from continued "business as usual" deforestation and forest degradation are also estimated.
The country undergoes conservation activities to reduce deforestation below the projected BAU level.
The carbon "saved" via conservation activities is credited to the country and made available for sale in international carbon markets.
(Developed) countries (or states) that face carbon reduction requirements can reduce their own emissions and/or purchase credits on the international market.
provides a monetary incentive to preserve standing forests when the profit that can be earned by selling carbon credits exceeds
the profit that can be earned from various forms of development that require deforestation.
Sounds good. The skewed intertemporal and
international distribution of costs and benefits are a big reason for tropical deforestation. If developed countries buy carbon credits from developing
nations, forests are preserved for future generations. Obviously there are a lot of complications and concerns. This will be true for any policy.
Read more about the basics of REDD and REDD+ here at the UN.
Some cool videos here.
Are there problems and unintended consequences? Yes, of course.
Read more here and here.
Can these problems be overcome?
P.S. I have a former student who is working on this REDD project.