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Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

Indonesia

When Foes Become Friends: Indigenous Rights and REDD+ in Indonesia

Last year, Indonesia’s tree cover loss declined by 60 percent to its lowest level since 2003. This kept some 0.2 gigatons of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere which, by itself, represented about 0.5 percent of all global greenhouse gas emissions that year. Many factors were involved, but one was a tentative shift in domestic politics toward protecting the country’s forests and its indigenous peoples’ rights. This shift could not have been confidently envisioned even a decade ago.

An indigenous woman speaks into a microphone

What Will It Take to Stop Tropical Deforestation? Lessons from a Case Study of Indigenous Peoples and REDD+ in Peru

When I first heard about international programs that would pay to reduce deforestation, I assumed that indigenous peoples who inhabit tropical forests would be unanimously supportive. As I should have anticipated, indigenous peoples and their organizations are quite heterogenous in their reactions to forest conservation initiatives for many reasons, including past experiences of repression and current political movements to claim their rights.

Guyana’s Forest Preservation Agreement: Hopes, Fears, and Consequences

Since 2008, programs for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation Plus (REDD+) have pioneered the use of performance payments to reduce tropical deforestation. While these programs generated hopes of slowing climate change and protecting indigenous peoples’ access to their lands, they also generated fears over misuse of funds, abuses of rights, displacement and commodification of the environment.

Results-Based Payments to Reduce Deforestation

The 2015 Paris agreement incorporates a framework of reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (Redd+). Here are three reasons why Redd+ is a valuable tool in the fight against climate change, and responses to three common criticisms of the framework that no longer hold up.

Grading the Airlines’ Climate Agreement: Historic Steps, Missed Opportunities

In a historic climate agreement last Thursday, countries and airlines gathered at the triennial assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Montreal committed to “carbon neutral growth” in international flights between more than 60 countries after 2021. This means that after airlines flying those international routes cut greenhouse gas emissions within their operations, they would need to offset any residual increase in their emissions by purchasing credits for emission reductions made in other sectors. The ICAO agreement is a mixed bag—it makes some historic steps and defers some important decisions to later, but is also a missed opportunity when it comes to carbon pricing.

Airlines and Forests: A Match Made at Cruising Altitude

In what could be the most consequential meeting on climate change in 2016, the world’s airlines are gathering next week in Montreal for the 39th triennial assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). There they will consider a proposal to cap carbon dioxide emissions from international flights and let participating airlines trade the rights to emit.  An ICAO-sanctioned cap-and-trade program could lead to airlines achieving their goal in part by buying credits for the protection of tropical forests.