Image courtesy of ColbyOtero
Citing its role as a key contributor to climate change, the World Bank unveiled a new set of initiatives at the Bali climate talks aimed at tackling deforestation and forest degradation - two issues that received short shrift in the Kyoto treaty. The Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), which has already received several pledges from wealthy nations and environmental organizations such as The Nature Conservancy, will provide incentives and support to developing countries seeking to reduce their emissions by limiting deforestation.
The plan will work in two ways: It will provide developing countries with the tools needed to measure the carbon content of their forests to help them determine the main stressors and establish new standards to measure emissions cuts resulting from reduced deforestation. Secondly, it will offer financial incentives to countries able to meet verifiable performance standards and encourage innovation through a series of pilot programs.According to last year's Stern Review, the cost of stopping global deforestation - which is estimated to account for close to one fifth of all emissions - may be as high as $5 billion. Acknowledging that the FCPF was only a "modest" step in achieving that goal, Zoellick said a much more robust set of initiatives would be needed in the coming months.
""We'll never solve the climate challenge unless we address the loss of tropical forests, which puts out as much carbon dioxide as all the planes, trains and cars worldwide. Now, through this partnership, we will show how financial incentives for conserving and sustainably managing forests can be a win-win-win -- good for the climate, good for biodiversity and good for local communities," said Stephanie Meeks, CEO and President of The Nature Conservancy.