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Will the UN's forest protection dream turn into a nightmare?

High hopes are pinned on an international plan to protect forests. But doubts remain over whether the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation project, known as Redd, will actually reduce deforestation and carbon emissions

Source:  Copyright 2011, Guardian
Date:  May 31, 2011
Original URL: Status ONLINE
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The tropical forest conservation plan, known as REDD, has the potential to significantly reduce deforestation and carbon dioxide emissions worldwide. Photograph: Daniel Beltra/Greenpeace

It could be the cheapest way to save the planet from climate change. Western governments and corporations want to shut down a major source of carbon dioxide emissions by paying the people who destroy forests to desist. But the dream could turn into a nightmare, in which Western polluters use their carbon credits to evade cutting emissions at home, while the promised benefit to the atmosphere is lost in a mire of conflict and corruption.

The plan is called REDD, for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation. It has backing from big oil and forest tribes, the World Bank, and blue-chip environment groups like the Nature Conservancy. Right now, REDD looks to be the only positive outcome likely to emerge from this December's Cancun climate conference, the ...

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