Delegates at the UN climate talks in Warsaw have managed to agree on one thing, at least. Negotiators agreed that developing nations will only receive funding under the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) program when the governments can prove that they have reduced emissions without hurting biological diversity or communities. They also agreed rules on how to measure and verify emissions reductions.
Reuters describes the agreement as a “rare breakthrough” that will smooth the way for multi-billion dollar investments from the private sector, governments and other funders.
There has been little progress on other fronts. The meeting will “produce no more than a modest set of measures toward a new international agreement two years from now,” the New York Times reported. Rich countries were not acceding to the full demands of developing countries, who want a strong financing mechanism to compensate them for climate-related losses.
Meanwhile about 800 representatives from environmental groups, including Greenpeace and WWF, quit the talks yesterday to protest what they characterize as a lack of progress towards striking a global emissions reductions deal.
The talks were due to conclude today. Delegates seem to be “ambling” towards an on-time conclusion, the New York Times reports, but Reuters says discussions may not end until Sunday morning.
Takeaway: The REDD agreement was a rare moment of consensus in fractured, contentious UN climate negotiations.
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Tamar Wilner is Senior Editor at Environmental Leader PRO.