Ecosystem Services in the Southern Appalachian Mountains

In 1990, the Acid Rain Program introduced market-based environmental policy on the largest scale ever attempted. The program capped the total level of acid rain–causing sulfur dioxide emissions from the US electricity sector and allowed utilities to trade under that fixed cap—a so-called cap-and-trade system. Ironically, though much of the original motivation for that program […]

A Tale of Two Parks (In One)

Without intending to, the team of civil servants that in 1990 created Guatemala’s Maya Biosphere Reserve (MBR) launched a forest conservation policy experiment. In an ecologically rich region where ranchers and farmers were illegally clearing forests at an astounding clip, they established a huge (two million hectare) protected area with two distinct management regimes—a core […]

Sourcing the Future of Wood Bioenergy

Some of the biggest bioenergy debates stem from a “food or fuel” problem, where agricultural lands have been devoted to growing grain as inputs for biofuels, at the cost of food production. According to a study by Searchinger et. al. of corn-based ethanol production, the large scale substitution  of corn ethanol over traditional fossil fuels […]

Paying Ecuador to Protect the Rainforest

A recent episode of NPR’s Planet Money discussed Ecuador’s proposed solution to a national dilemma: the fact that a massive oil discovery and a national park happen to be in the same place. Ecuador’s proposal is to forswear drilling – but only if other countries donate half the value of the oil in aid (about $3.6 […]

RFF Report: An Assessment of U.S. Forest-Climate Assistance

While the impacts of climate change become more obvious almost by the day, comprehensive action by the international community and by the United States seem distant. At the same time, the window for diverting global greenhouse gas emissions towards a two degree Celsius pathway is quickly closing. In my view, one of the only ways […]

The Challenge Of Reducing Deforestation In Indonesia

When it comes to reducing deforestation, Indonesia is a top investment choice. The country has the fastest deforestation rate, with two million hectares cleared every year from 2000 – 2009, a two percent decrease yearly in forested areas. If deforestation is included, Indonesia ranks third in the world in carbon emissions, trailing the United States […]

REDD Financing Doesn’t Grow On Trees

As governments tighten their budgets, finance toward development and climate change will be hit. When it comes to funding the Green Climate Fund and Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) schemes, the private sector will presumably fill in the gap. In a recent report by IDEAcarbon, analysts concluded that of the $200 million pledged […]

Is The Recent Increase In Deforestation A Threat To REDD?

While international efforts to curb deforestation have been on the rise, recent reports of an increase in deforestation in Brazil, and the signing of Indonesia’s logging moratorium commitment have brought attention squarely back to Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+). At first blush, these news items seem straightforward, but deeper reading of the activity […]

Running the Numbers on REDD

In the latest installment of RFF’s Weekly Policy Commentary Series RFF Senior Fellow Allen Blackman examines whether programs to incentivize avoiding deforestation and forest degredation will be the cost-effective emission reduction tool many are counting on: An international system that enables countries to earn carbon credits by reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) will almost certainly be a […]

REDD Dawn

COPENHAGEN — If there is one topic at the COP that gets people excited, it is the issue of international forests. Many people I’ve talked to, from delegate members of developing countries to negotiators for major corporations, see a lot of potential for REDD (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation)to have a major impact […]