REDD+: A Transparent Option for CORSIA

By Anthony Mansell
Climate & Energy, Forests & Lands

The Carbon Offset Reduction for International Aviation (CORSIA) is an opportunity to generate emission reductions in sectors that require additional investment. This can include the forest sector, through national REDD+ programs to tackle deforestation.

To take advantage of this opportunity, however, the design of CORSIA should be functional and effective for buyers, sellers and regulators in the marketplace. A transparent marketplace is an important element for CORSIA to demonstrate to the public that it is really reducing emissions. Climate Advisers, Environmental Defense Fund, the International Emissions Trading Association and The Nature Conservancy released a joint statement on how CORSIA achieves transparency.

Accepting REDD+ under the CORSIA would meet high transparency standards due to the rigorous requirements set out for results-based payments. This is achieved in three ways:

  • Transparent Rules The technical guidebook for implementing REDD+ was developed over many years, culminating in the Warsaw Framework for REDD+ adopted in 2013. National REDD+ programs have well-defined, transparent guidelines to follow as well as flexibility to reflect national circumstances.
  • Transparent Results – The emission reductions a program achieves should be reported and evaluated. Lima REDD+ Information Hub publishes the results reported by national REDD+ programs, as well as any entity that is paying for those results. In addition, funding channels such as the Carbon Fund under the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) applies a robust methodological framework to track results of REDD+ programs and ensure adherence to social and environmental safeguards.
  • Transparent Accounting Accounting for transfers of emission reductions is critical to avoid double counting. REDD+ results are reported in Biennial Update Reports, or BURs, and undergo technical analysis for both their reference emission level and the results achieved. This reporting is likely to continue, or could even be enhanced, in the new transparency framework under the Paris Agreement. Accounting rules still need to be elaborated under both CORSIA and the Paris Agreement, but REDD+ has a strong existing architecture for collecting and reporting information to avoid results being double counted.

Emissions reductions achieved through actions to reduce deforestation and restore forests in developing countries, and which follow the UN rules & guidelines for REDD+, incorporate standards for transparency and social and environmental performance that makes this sector an important source of emission reductions for CORSIA to make available to airlines.

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On June 13, 2017

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