Home REDD Developments in REDD Cancun COP16

December 2010 has been eventful for the VCS, they approved four new methodologies, including two long-awaited REDD methodologies, a new forest management methodology and the first-ever performance benchmark approved for use under the VCS Program.

Meantime, senior staff and board members traveled to Cancun for a series of highly productive encounters on the sidelines of the COP-16 climate talks. VCS hosted and participated in several panels – and announced a major new initiative to develop a broadly applicable platform for jurisdictional and nested REDD projects and programs. As if that weren’t enough, VCS staff and board members held several discussions regarding how we can expand and strengthen the VCS Program.

VCS went into Cancun with modest expectations, hoping to see strong support for market-based solutions and possibly some kind of broad agreement on REDD. They did not expect to see clear agreement on extending the Kyoto Protocol, or on forging a binding agreement to replace it, but did hope for positive signs. Overall, we came away thrilled with the stunning show of support for REDD+ on all sides and a decision to incorporate REDD+ into global climate mitigation. This was a major milestone for avoided deforestation and the first step along a road that will lead to private financing for REDD+. In addition, the show of support for the CDM was welcome news, as was the overall perception that an international agreement could be reached in the future.

In all, nations came together and agreed on some substantive and difficult issues, and this is a positive sign for 2011.

Below is a summary of VCS Cancun activities and a recap of the exciting progress on methodologies and REDD.

CANCUN: VCS HIGHLIGHTS AND EVENTS

NEW REDD METHODOLOGIES IN CANCUN SPOTLIGHT, METHODOLOGY DEVELOPERS’ DAY IN SUN

Reducing deforestation was the topic of the hour in Cancun, and VCS and its stakeholders were in the middle of the story with the recent approval of three new REDD methodologies and the first verified REDD credits just around the corner (more on methodologies below). We took advantage of the moment to convene three separate panels showcasing the progress on REDD methodologies and projects. We were joined by our first generation REDD methodology developers  – Infinite Earth, Terra Global, Avoided Deforestation Partners and Amazonas Sustainable Foundation – three of whom have new REDD methodologies approved under the VCS, while the fourth is well on the way. We know we touched an important theme because the audience was packed and reporters picked up on the story. We hope our efforts helped to send regulators a clear signal that we can make REDD work on the ground, unleashing the private sector finance forests need. See the Reuters story

 

THE BIG NEWS: JURISDICTION-WIDE AND NESTED REDD ACCOUNTING COMING SOON

On 8 December, VCS announced a new initiative to partner with Climate Focus to develop a robust policy platform to operationalize jurisdiction-wide and nested REDD frameworks. This is a major initiative that will open the way for states anywhere in the world to integrate REDD projects into larger jurisdiction-wide frameworks, potentially unleashing state-level leadership in scaling up REDD.  In coming weeks, VCS will convene a new advisory group of global experts and government officials. The advisory group will develop criteria and procedures for integrating the accounting of emissions reductions generated by policies, programs and individual projects under jurisdiction-wide REDD initiatives at the national or state levels. We will bring you more information on this new initiative in coming weeks. See the announcement

 

WHITHER CARBON MARKETS? VOLUNTARY MARKET PANELISTS DISCUSS WHAT’S NEXT…

On 9 December, as ministers prepared to take up official negotiations, David Antonioli joined a panel of voluntary market leaders to address the burning question on everyone’s mind: how will carbon markets evolve given the shroud of uncertainty hanging over the regulatory outlook? Panelists did not pretend to have easy answers – but the tone was surprisingly upbeat given the number of unanswered questions in the official negotiations. As one representative observed, we have numerous project developers with innovations to advance and investments to defend. And as David Antonioli observed, we are also seeing growing interest from state governments and corporations. So while a deal between national governments may elude us a bit longer, market players will continue to act on the expectation of regulation.

 

NEW METHODOLOGY PIPELINE

FOUR LANDMARK METHODOLOGIES APPROVED IN THREE (VERY BUSY) WEEKS

On 23 November, an improved forest management methodology submitted by Face the Future was approved for use under the VCS Program. The methodology was developed around the Infapro project and program in Malaysia. Read more

On 3 December, the second REDD methodology and the very first methodology to address mosaic deforestation was approved for use under the VCS Program. Developed by Terra Global Capital, the approach allows for crediting a range of activities curbing deforestation caused by multiple factors, from commercial logging to forest fires to encroachment by settlers. Read more

Also on 3 December, a broad set of methodology modules developed by Avoided Deforestation Partners was approved for use. This methodology specifically aims to cover the majority of project interventions that can address deforestation, potentially opening the way for the development of numerous REDD projects and around the world. Read more

On 9 December, VCS approved a methodology developed by MaineHousing which allows the crediting of activities that improve fuel efficiency in residential housing. This methodology marks a major landmark: the first performance benchmark approach approved by VCS. Read more

 

THREE NEW METHODOLOGIES SUBMITTED IN DECEMBER, ROUNDING OUT CLASS OF 2010

On 1 December, VCS posted three new methodologies for comment. Terra Global Capital submitted a new methodology for crediting grouped activities for avoided deforestation. CityRyde submitted a methodology that would credit carbon reductions from bike-sharing programs, while Gedden submitted a methodology that would credit small businesses that reduce emissions from delivery fleets, from energy use in warehouses, and from waste management. See methodology pipeline