UNFCCC Publishes Workshop Report on Financing Options for REDD+

UNFCCC17 October 2012: The UNFCCC Secretariat has released the report of the workshop on financing options for implementation of results-based actions relating to REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries), including modalities and procedures for financing these actions (FCCC/AWGLCA/2012/INF.8).

The report provides an overview of presentations and discussions held under three thematic areas relating to: financing options and enabling conditions; private-sector participation; and a framework for financing the full implementation of REDD+ results-based actions.

On financing options and sources, many parties considered scaled-up financing for early phases of REDD+ an enabling condition, noting that public funds should be the primary source for this purpose. Some participants pointed to the need of putting a price on carbon and a number proposed that the UNFCCC coordinate the different sources of funding. One party proposed that UNFCCC provide guidance to developing countries to ensure their completion of initial phases of implementation. One party presented and highlighted its proposal on a Joint Mitigation and Adaptation Framework.

Parties also considered, inter alia, lessons learned and the role that the private sector could play in REDD+. Some parties argued that there is too much focus on the involvement of the private sector in the carbon markets, but most were of the view that a clear signal needs to be sent out and conditions set in place to incentivize private-sector involvement. One party suggested, and other opposed, that the UNFCCC develop guidance to encourage private-sector participation.

On a framework for financing the full implementation of REDD+, including policies and institutional arrangements, parties discussed arrangements to support a transparent governance framework. Some parties suggested setting up REDD+ unit reserves or reserve accounts to address the risks of leakage and non-permanence. Some highlighted that investors will likely pay a higher price for verified emission reductions that encourage a strong implementation of safeguards, but one party cautioned that REDD+ should not be used as a "premium" in terms of payments for credits and added that fiduciary safeguards are also required. While some stressed the focus should be placed on benefits beyond preserving forest carbon stocks, other cautioned that measuring non-carbon benefits can be difficult and resource-intensive. Different interpretations were expressed on whether "results beyond verified emission reductions" refers to non-carbon benefits or to the "plus" in REDD+.

The 17th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 17) requested the Secretariat to organize a workshop before the second part of 15th session of the Ad hoc Working Group on Long-Term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA 15) to be held in conjunction with COP 18. The workshop was held in Bangkok, Thailand, on 30 August 2012. The AWG-LCA  may wish to consider the information contained in the report for consideration of the issue. [Publication: Workshop Report on Financing Options for REDD+]