Monday, October 5, 2009

Backroom LULUCF Negotiations Continue

We woke up in Bangkok this morning to oppressive heat and the expectation of a new draft text agreement on the rules for forestry and land use under a revised Kyoto Protocol...but that didn't happen!

Parties continue behind closed doors to come up with the next version. We've been hearing that there is convergence around a number of the key issues but the most important question remains: what are the baselines against which performance is judged. Some developed countries are still trying to create what I think amounts to a meaningless accounting framework: they will tell the world what they expect their emissions to be from forest management in the future and only be punished if they perform worse than this. Countries should take responsibility for any increase in emissions from past levels. What is this whole process about if not about reducing emissions from the past?


Dougo said...

You say countries should "take responsibility for any increase in emissions from past levels." I might go a step further and urge countries to take responsibility for any increase in emissions above the "natural baseline." In my region, the Pacific Coast of North America, we emitted about 100x more carbon from land use compared to the global average for similar-sized areas. Most of this was caused by the wholesale liquidation of old-growth forests that were converted to short-rotation tree farms. These forest need to grow back. The baseline for carbon should account for the natural process of regrowth. Any logging that diminishes the regrowth should be held accountable. If the baseline s defined by our past transgressions, then the timber industry can keep clearcutting at the same rate as before until our forests are all mere fiber farms.

More here:
and here:

Chris Henschel said...

Hello Dougo,

I absoulutely agree with you. Great point. It is a measure of ambition around here that we are setting our sights on taking responsibility for making things worse.

If countries take amibitous overall targets for reducing emissions, this would have an effect on the forest sector as well, but I actually think a separate target for this sector would be a great ida.