REDD+ type projects to protect rainforests face many obstacles
but we should not give up on market-based solutions, says Ben
Caldecott from the investment bank Climate Change Capital.
We can't possibly tackle climate change or many of the other environmental challenges we face without halting deforestation. At the heart of making this a reality is ensuring that forests are worth more alive than dead. While it's impossible to place a simple monetary value on things of such significance, to permanently shift preferences toward forest conservation, this is exactly what we must do.
The framework that policy makers are creating to ensure that forests are better valued is called REDD+, or reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, plus enhancing forest carbon stocks. REDD+ will allow for emission reductions from activities that conserve and restore forests to be authenticated and then paid-for by countries, companies and individuals. The promise of future cash-flows means that capital can be raised and then front-loaded into REDD+ activities today.