(BN) Climate Deal Signals Forest Defense Will ‘Pay Off,’ Lobby Says


Climate Deal Signals Forest Defense Will 'Pay Off,' Lobby Says
2010-12-13 12:56:18.49 GMT

By Catherine Airlie
Dec. 13 (Bloomberg) -- The United Nations climate agreement
may encourage billions of dollars of private investment in
protecting forests by allowing for emissions savings to be more
accurately measured, according to the Tropical Forest Group
A group of envoys representing 193 nations agreed on a plan
to protect forests, known as Reducing Emissions from
Deforestation and Forest Degradation, or REDD. Rates of tree-
felling, or deforestation, will be measured and financing
established for projects in developing nations that use plants
to soak up carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas blamed for
climate change.
"These decisions include clear signals that investing in
tropical forest conservation will one day pay off," John Niles,
director of San Diego-based Tropical Forest Group, said today in
an e-mailed statement. "Technical steps, agreed to by all
nations, are essential for accurately calculating emissions
Cutting down forests is associated with about a fifth of
global carbon-dioxide emissions. Living trees absorb carbon
dioxide while growing and emit it when they decompose or are
The UN decision on protecting forests is a "big
breakthrough," said Abyd Karmali, global head of carbon markets
at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and president of the Carbon
Markets & Investors Association, the industry lobby group.
"Recognition of the importance of sub-national activities and
strong safeguard provisions are both good."
The deal didn't mention how the forest protections would be
paid for. The "lack of specifics on finance including future
use of carbon markets is a concern," Karmali said. "There was
near consensus about the important role that markets could play
in the longer-term."
Carbon markets could be used by accrediting emissions saved
from forest protection with tradable credits.
Forests are often cut down and cleared for agricultural use
to raise animals and grow crops. World Growth, a lobby group
that advocates globalization, said the plan may cause food
prices to rise.

For Related News and Information:
Emission trading stories: TNI ENVMARKET CLIMATE <GO>
Top environment and renewable energy stories: GREEN <GO>
Stories about the climate talks: NSE CLIMATE CANCUN <GO>

--With assistance from Mathew Carr in Cancun, Mexico. Editors:
Torrey Clark, Stephen Cunningham

To contact the reporters on this story:
Catherine Airlie at +44-20-7073-3308 or

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Stephen Voss at +44-20-7073-3520 or sev@bloomberg.net