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REDD+ and carbon markets: 10 Myths Exploded

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Issue date: 
June 13, 2011
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In a newly-issued briefing note, Friends of the Earth, Rainforest Foundation UK, Greenpeace and FERN cite RRI in debunking ten common misconceptions about global carbon markets and their ability to prevent further deforestation. According to the report:

Over the last four years, the United Nations’ negotiations on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation – REDD+ – has become increasingly central in global discussions on climate change. Unfortunately there are still a number of serious misconceptions about the suitability of carbon markets to finance forest protection. The aim of this paper is to demonstrate why these assumptions are false or misleading.

In February 2011, the Secretariat of the UNFCCC invited parties and accredited observer organisations to submit their views on how market-based mechanisms might promote mitigation actions and enhance their cost-effectiveness. They were also asked to comment on issues such as ‘safeguarding environmental integrity’, ‘ensuring a net decrease and/or avoidance of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions’, and ‘ensuring good governance and robust market functioning and regulation’.

Many of the resulting submissions in support of carbon trading as an appropriate tool for financing forest protection rely on outdated or false assumptions. They also fail to address the additional criteria that the UNFCCC requested. Below we examine some of the common arguments in favour of forest carbon trading, and challenge the assumption that it is a useful and cost-effective way of mitigating climate change.


Extpub | by Dr. Radut