Tropical forests have moved to the forefront of recent climate policy discussions in the United States and abroad. The latest policy proposals suggest that payments for reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation will be conditional upon demonstration of emission reductions by tropical forest countries. This type of emissions-based approach can link payments for forest conservation to a global carbon market and bring in signficant and sustained financing, but it also requires credible measurement, monitoring, and accounting to ensure that forest carbon emission reductions are real. This brief describes a number of the critical issues and choices in designing international forest carbon policy.
Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions