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Run Forests, Run! Six reasons why forests must run from Articles 6.2 and 6.4 of the Paris Agreement  

curvy road up Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina with sky and trees

by Grupo Carta de Belém and Global Forest Coalition, 6 June 2022

As climate negotiators meet in Bonn, we want you to know the six big reasons why Articles 6.2 and 6.4 would be really bad for forests. Here they are:

  1. Market mechanisms have already failed! Despite being unable to produce real emission reductions around the world, they continue to be boosted as the great bet to decarbonize economies and the ultimate goal of achieving climate neutrality, as expressed in Articles 6.2 and 6.4 of the Paris Agreement.  
  2. The definition of Internationally Transferred Mitigation Outcomes (ITMOs) approved in Glasgow includes “both emission reductions and removals with no explicit inclusion or exclusion of specific sectors, and the specification that mitigation outcomes are generated from 2021 onwards, reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation as well as removals, or enhancement are REDD+ activities can become ITMOs”. This is a scandal. If the negotiations keep going in this direction, RIP Warsaw Framework for REDD-plus.  
  3. In 6.2, the instrument is without teeth. No strong governance, no report, no central registration, no review, no nothing. If forests don’t run fast, they will be used to offset net zero emissions from rich countries. In practice, this kills CBDR-RC and reduces real ambitions for NDCs. It creates a club of rich countries that use and abuse ITMOs in forests from the Global South. This is nothing less than a detour from the real solution to the problem: phasing out from fossil fuels at the fastest pace possible.  
  4. In 6.4, private companies, investors and big polluters are the great winners. There are known problems with CDM’s transparency and its delivering of real accountable results in reducing emissions. We acknowledge developing countries’ desire to receive some kind of financial support through this mechanism. But, once again, it only serves as a platform to  keep business as usual and finance projects in the countries of the Global South that are actually suffering from lack of capacity to implement their NDC since experiencing a national process  of environmental degradation due to law deregulation and human rights violations. Without functional country systems, no international framework will be able to deliver what it promises.  
  5. We also have to be aware of the cruel intentions of CORSIA and maritime transportation. They want to keep the use of fossil fuels the same and avoid progress on real decarbonization while using forests as offsets to push negotiators to approve the use of Paris Agreement Article 5 in Article 6.  
  6. Some countries are asking to be given “emissions avoidance” for both Article 6.2 and 6.4, as well as “conservation enhancement” for Article 6.4. There is no exact definition and no strong basis for “emissions avoidance” and “conservation enhancement”. This wording opens the agreement to multiple interpretations and yet fails to guarantee additionality. We understand the magic trick they want to play on us, but we urge the forests and forest peoples to run from these empty approaches and pitfalls. 

Grupo Carta de Belém @grupocartadebelem 

Global Forest Coalition @global.forest  

10 Jun, 2022
Posted in Forests and Climate Change