Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions
Global climate policy initiatives are now being proposed to compensate tropical forest nations for reducing carbon emission from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD). These proposals have the potential to include developing countries more actively in international greenhouse gas mitigation and to addres a substantial share of the world's emissions that come from tropical deforestation. For such a policy to be viable it must have a credible benchmark against which emissions reduction can be calculated. This benchmark, sometimes termed a baseline or reference scenario, can be based directly on historical emission or can use historial emissions as input for business as usual projections. Here, we review existing data and methods that could be used to measure historical deforestation and degradation baselines.