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Forest Protection in Climate Talks Reaches Snag, Tuvalu Resists

Dec. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Climate delegates in Durban negotiating ways to protect forests as a means of storing carbon have snagged on disagreements over private financing after the Pacific island of Tuvalu balked at the use of market mechanisms.

“It has been some tough negotiations, with another obstacle appearing just when one was overcome,” Andrew Hedges, a partner at the legal firm Norton Rose, said from Durban by e-mail. “Tuvalu remains entrenched in its resistance to any mention of markets.”

Representatives from almost 200 nations were working on the finance text for forestry until early yesterday at the climate change conference in Durban, South Africa, according to lobby group Ecosystems Climate Alliance. The negotiations are part of wider talks aimed to advance negotiations on a global climate treaty to succeed the Kyoto Protocol.

There’s “considerable disagreement on market mechanism and whether to include or exclude offsets and carbon markets” under the United Nations’ program of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation or REDD+, Donald Lehr, a spokesman for the alliance, said by e-mail from the talks in Durban. There’s “at least five options on the table regarding finance,” he said.

The REDD+ program was designed to offer extra community and biodiversity benefits alongside emissions savings from preserving forests. It helps finance tree-protection projects by awarding them with tradable credits.

To contact the reporter on this story: Catherine Airlie in London at cairlie@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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