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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.

 

Saving Forests in Paris: Breakthrough for REDD+?

The historic UN “Paris Agreement” achieved by climate change negotiators highlighted the importance of conserving forests and laid the groundwork for future global carbon markets to finance emissions reductions from tropical forest countries.  But a full-fledged carbon market-based mechanism to protect forests and reduce rampant deforestation is still years down the road.  In the meantime, reducing emissions from deforestation will continue to depend on a medley of public and private financing appr

California Looks to the Forests: My Remarks to the California Air Resources Board

California is looking to tropical forests to help slow climate change. After years of delays, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) appears to finally be moving ahead with plans to finance tropical forest protection through “sectoral offsets” to its cap-and-trade program, in which California companies could meet part of their climate obligations by buying offset credits from states in developing countries that reduce emissions from deforestation.

Obama’s Meeting with Jokowi Yields Disappointing Results for Forest and Peatland Protection

Last Friday, I wrote about how President Obama should hail Indonesian President Joko ("Jokowi") Widodo’s dramatic announcement last week to halt further development of peatlands and to initiate a major program to restore peatlands that have already been disturbed. While the Joint Statement out of the meeting does mention peatland, the US response to Jokowi’s potentially game-changing new course of action appears to fall short.

Obama Should Hail Indonesia’s Plans to Protect and Restore Peatlands in Monday’s Bilateral Meeting

When Indonesian President Joko Widodo (“Jokowi”) meets with President Obama on October 26, climate change will certainly be on the agenda, with the Paris 2015 summit only a month away. Obama should use the opportunity to praise and offer support for the steps Jokowi announced earlier today to address the underlying causes of fires currently consuming vast areas of Indonesia’s forests and peatlands. In particular, Obama should hail Jokowi’s plans to end the opening of peatlands for cultivation and to promote community-based restoration of those already disturbed. Neither head of state should allow his vision to be clouded by spurious claims that proposed solutions will hurt small farmers or infringe on Indonesia’s national sovereignty.

Pope Francis: Climate Change Hurts the Poor Most

Pope Francis has firmly pronounced that climate change is a threat to the world’s poor in a long-awaited encyclical released on Thursday.  The Pope is the religious leader of more than one billion Catholics, more than half of whom live in the developing world. But he has addressed the encyclical to “every person who lives on this planet,” Catholic and non-Catholic alike.

Reducing Deforestation Is Key to Closing the Paris Gap

A new global climate agreement based on voluntary national pledges of domestic action is expected to be finalized in Paris in December. As of now, the 28 nations of the European Union and 9 other nations including the United States, Mexico, and Russia have submitted plans (called Intended Nationally Determined Contributions or INDCs).  

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