Politics and the Language of REDD+

5 November 2013

Jerry Brown didn’t show up to last week at the ceremony where he was to receive the Blue-Green Alliance’s “Right Stuff” award. But who did? A crowd of protestors condemning the Governor for his support of REDD+ through the Governor’s Climate and Forest Task Force and the possible inclusion of REDD+ projects into California’s emissions trading scheme. Speaking outside the Blue-Agree Alliance award ceremony, Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network, Tom Goldtooth called REDD+ bad for the climate, environment, human rights, Californians, and the economy. The controversy has had some impact on the state of California, which has decided to avoid the sticky wicket of climate finance by sidestepping the issue all together and setting no clear timelines in which REDD+ will be accepted into the California’s Emission Trading System.

All of this happened as the Climate Policy Initiative released its report stating that climate finance dipped to $US 359 billion dollars a year in 2012 from $US 364 billion in 2011. Between the lack of political will in the developed world, and anger about REDD+ in the developing world, there is much question about whether the past six years of efforts to develop a REDD+ regime will every amount to anything. If REDD+ does wind down with a whimper, will it be a loss major loss for climate finance, or just another near miss for the developing world?

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