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Climate change threatens to reverse decades of development gains in poor countries, and its impacts are likely to be felt first and worst in poor countries and communities. Avoiding irreversible catastrophic events is not possible without reducing emissions from forest loss. This CGD initiative is investigating performance-based financing mechanisms to help safeguard forests and the benefits they provide to the global climate and more directly to the people who live nearby.
Learn more about the forest team’s new book on saving tropical forests to prevent climate change
Climate and Development
Climate change threatens to reverse decades of development gains in poor countries. It is especially pernicious because its impacts are likely to be felt first and worst in poor countries and communities. Despite the urgency of the problem, progress in UN negotiations proceeds at a snail’s pace.
Climate and Forests
Reducing carbon emissions from deforestation and forest degradation has become an important part of the international climate agenda. The 2006 Stern Review identified reducing emissions from deforestation as one of four pillars of any climate mitigation strategy. UNEP’s 2011 Bridging the Gap report shows that better forest conservation could provide up to 18 percent of emissions reduction before 2020.
The world can’t hold global warming below 2 degrees Celsius—above which climate impacts on food production, water supply and ecosystems are projected to increase significantly and irreversible catastrophic events may occur—without reducing emissions from forest loss. Forests are also crucial to economic output, livelihoods, and ecosystem health on which many people in developing countries depend.
Performance-Based Approaches to Forest Conservation
A proposed payment mechanism called REDD+ would transfer funding from industrialized countries to developing countries with tropical forests to “Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation” (REDD) and to sustainably manage forests and conserve and enhance forest carbon stocks (the “+” part).
Under REDD+, finance from industrialized countries would be contingent upon recipients achieving verified results and compliance with social and environmental safeguards. Current work on the REDD+ mechanism is seen as a bridge to a future in which industrial countries make ambitious commitments to reduce their own emissions. Some portion of these commitments can be met by paying for reductions in forest countries.
While there is international consensus on the need to conserve forests, progress on establishing a global REDD+ mechanism has been slower than many had hoped. A host of important initiatives have made progress in understanding and testing the component parts of REDD+. But large-scale pay-for-performance international finance directed to the national level is only in the early stages of piloting through a few bilateral agreements.
The development of the REDD+ mechanism has been hampered primarily by lack of ambitious climate commitments by industrial countries. In addition, there are problems regarding the adequacy of available data and methods to establish baselines and measure change; the weak institutional capacity and policy standards in recipient countries; the lack of consensus on the appropriateness of a market-based financing mechanism for forests; and the complexities introduced by the use of Official Development Assistance (ODA) funds to finance REDD+ programs.
CGD’s prior work on COD Aid and other performance-based funding models, and the rapid progress in high-frequency remote sensing techniques to monitor forest status, including FORMA, provide an opening to help address these problems.
Accelerating Performance-Based Finance for Forest Conservation
In the face of these challenges and in view of the critical importance of conserving forests, CGD will conduct research, communications, and policy outreach activities to increase understanding of the central role of forests in meeting climate and development objectives, and to increase the availability of performance-based finance for forest conservation.
In particular, CGD will explore the potential to apply the principles and ongoing experiences with COD Aid to forest conservation.
To this end, CGD senior fellow Frances Seymour and research fellow Jonah Busch are leading the preparation of a book titled “Why Forests? Why Now?” that will bring together the most up-to-date science, economics, and politics surrounding forests, climate, and development to make the case that forests conservation is more urgent — and more achievable — than ever.
On the basis of the evidence from the report, CGD senior associate Michele de Nevers is organizing an expert Working Group that brings together high-level development, aid, finance, and climate experts and decision-makers to identify options to reinvigorate, scale up, and finance performance-based solutions to meet the objectives of REDD+.
India just did something big for the climate: it announced that it will allocate $6 billion a year in tax revenue in a way that will encourage forest conservation. That’s more results-based finance for forest conservation than any other country in the world, including the current biggest spender Norway.
In 2010, Norway and Indonesia signed a US$1 billion performance agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emission from deforestation. The experience holds lessons for international cooperation in addressing climate change and other global challenges.
This paper offers a perspective on the political factors that have influenced the size, nature, and timing of UK commitments to forest finance, specifically the significant and committed finance being programmed under the International Climate Fund (ICF), during a time of austerity in the UK.
The Senate voted today (Thursday) to move ahead with legislation to build the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport millions of barrels of dirty tar sands oil from Canada to the US Gulf Coast, mostly to be refined and exported to other countries (legislation destined for the Presidential veto). Strange, then, that last week the Senate voted 98-1 to approve a resolution stating that “climate change is real and not a hoax.”
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In May 2010, the Indonesian government announced a moratorium prohibiting district governments from granting new palm oil, timber and logging concession licenses in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation. In a new study, researchers revealed this climate policy has likely lowered Indonesia’s emissions since its inception in 2011, but Indonesia will need to expand the policy to reach its reduction targets. This is the first study to quantify the effectiveness of this policy.
Indonesia’s moratorium policy abated emissions due to deforestation by an estimated 1 to 2.5 percent between 2011 and 2015, according to the study’s researchers at the Center for Global Development, Conservation International, World Resources Institute, Duke University, the University of Maryland, and the Woods Hole Research Center.
However, Indonesia will not meet its emission reduction target of 26 to 41 percent by 2020 unless the current policy is extended and significantly strengthened to include deforestation in areas with pre-existing licenses or from unlicensed deforestation. Between 2000 and 2010, only 15 percent of greenhouse gases came from forests covered under the existing moratorium while 85 percent of greenhouse gas emissions came from forests not covered by the moratorium.
“Indonesia’s moratorium is probably having a modest benefit for the climate in that deforestation would likely be even higher without the moratorium,” said Jonah Busch, research fellow at the Center for Global Development and lead author of the study. “But Indonesia won’t be able to meet its climate targets without tackling unlicensed deforestation and existing licenses for deforestation.”
Approximately half of the world’s emissions from tropical deforestation come from two countries: Brazil and Indonesia. Halting deforestation in these two countries could offer around five percent of climate change mitigation. With Brazil significantly reducing its rate of deforestation over the past decade, a sharper focus has been placed on Indonesia to do the same.
In 2009, Indonesia’s former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono announced a national target of 26 to 41 percent emission reduction by 2020. In 2010, he instituted a moratorium on licenses for logging and clearing forests for oil palm and pulp and paper plantations within peat lands and unlogged forests. The policy is up for renewal in May 2015, when current Indonesia president Joko “Jokowi” Widodo will determine whether to keep the policy in place.
“Indonesia has the world’s largest potential to reduce emissions from deforestation, so a decision by President Jokowi to renew the moratorium policy or expand it can have global benefits,” said Busch.
Notes to Editors:
Using a counterfactual scenario analysis, the study authors estimated that the moratorium policy, had it been in place from 2000 to 2010, would have reduced deforestation by 15 to 65 percent at oil palm sites, 31 to 56 percent at timber sites, and 3 to 10 percent at logging sites, reducing overall emissions by 2.5 to 7.2 percent over that decade. They then extrapolated those results forward to estimate the likely impact of the moratorium since 2011.
The study further estimated that a hypothetical nationwide price on carbon emissions of $3.30-$19.45 per ton could have reduced emissions by an equivalent amount to the moratorium policy.
This study was published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on January 19, 2015. An electronic copy is available here: http://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1412514112.
To request an interview with lead author Jonah Busch, contact Lauren Post at email@example.com or +1 (202) 416-4040
Penelitian Memperkirakan Kebijakan Iklim Indonesia Berhasil Mengurangi Emisi dari Penebangan Hutan; Pakar Menghimbau agar Kebijakan Diperluas
Pada bulan Mei 2010, pemerintah Indonesia mengumumkan sebuah moratorium yang melarang pemerintah daerah mengeluarkan izin baru konsesi kelapa sawit, hutan tanaman industri dan penebangan hutan untuk mengurangi emisi gas rumah kaca akibat perusakan hutan. Dalam sebuah penelitian baru, para peneliti mengungkapkan bahwa kebijakan ini kemungkinan besar telah menurunkan emisi Indonesia sejak diterapkan pada tahun 2011, akan tetapi Indonesia perlu memperluas kebijakan ini agar mencapai target pengurangan emisi gas rumah kaca yang ditetapkan oleh pemerintah. Ini adalah penelitian pertama untuk menguantifikasi efektivitas kebijakan ini.
Kebijakan moratorium Indonesia telah menurunkan emisi akibat penebangan hutan dengan perkiraan sebanyak 1 hingga 2,5 persen antara tahun 2011 dan 2015 menurut para peneliti dari Center for Global Development, Conservation International, World Resources Institute, Duke University, the University of Maryland, serta the Woods Hole Research Center.
Akan tetapi, Indonesia tidak akan mencapai target penurunan sebesar 26 hingga 41 persen pada tahun 2020 kecuali kebijakan ini diperluas dan diperkuat secara signifikan dengan mencakup penebangan hutan di wilayah yang sudah berizin atau dari penebangan hutan tanpa izin. Antara tahun 2000 dan 2010, hanya 15 persen gas rumah kaca berasal dari wilayah yang tercakup dalam kebijakan moratorium, sementara 85 persen emisi gas rumah kaca berasal dari wilayah yang tidak tercakup dalam moratorium.
“Moratorium Indonesia mungkin menghasilkan manfaat bagi iklim, tapi tidak besar, dalam arti penebangan hutan mungkin akan lebih besar tanpa moratorium tersebut,” kata Jonah Busch, peneliti di Center for Global Development dan penulis utama artikel ini. “Tetapi Indonesia tidak akan mampu mencapai target iklim mereka tanpa mengatasi penebangan hutan tanpa izin serta penebangan hutan yang terdapat pada izin yang sudah ada.”
Hampir setengah dari emisi dunia akibat penebangan hutan tropis berasal dari dua negara: Brasil dan Indonesia. Menghambat perusakan hutan di kedua negara ini dapat mengurangi perubahan iklim sekitar lima persen. Dengan keberhasilan Brasil mengurangi laju deforestasinya dalam dasawarsa terakhir, fokus yang lebih tajam kini beralih ke Indonesia untuk melakukan hal yang sama.
Pada tahun 2009, mantan presiden Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono mengumumkan target nasional penurunan emisi sebesar 26 hingga 41 persen pada tahun 2020. Pada tahun 2010, beliau menetapkan moratorium penundaan pemberian izin baru pada hutan alam dan lahan gambut. Kebijakan ini akan berakhir pada bulan Mei 2015, ketika presiden Indonesia saat ini Joko “Jokowi” Widodo harus menentukan apakah akan tetap mempertahankan kebijakan ini.
“Indonesia memiliki potensi terbesar di dunia untuk menurunkan emisi akibat penebangan hutan, sehingga keputusan Presiden Jokowi untuk memperpanjang kebijakan moratorium atau memperluasnya dapat menghasilkan manfaat global,” ujar Busch.
CATATAN KEPADA EDITOR:
Dengan menggunakan analisis skenario kontrafaktual, para peneliti memperkirakan bahwa kebijakan moratorium ini, andai diterapkan sejak tahun 2000 hingga 2010, akan mengurangi deforestasi sebanyak 15 hingga 65 persen pada konsesi kelapa sawit, 31 hingga 56 persen pada konsesi hutan tanaman industri (HTI), serta 3 hingga 10 persen pada konsesi hak pengelolaan hutan (HPH), sehingga mengurangi emisi keseluruhan sebesar 2,5 hingga 7,2 persen selama dasawarsa tersebut. Kemudian para peneliti mengekstrapolasi hasil tersebut ke depan untuk memperkirakan kemungkinan dampak moratorium sejak 2011.
Penelitian ini selanjutnya memperkirakan bahwa pengurangan emisi yang setara dengan kebijakan moratorium dapat dicapai dengan harga karbon sebesar $3,30-$19,45 per ton
Penelitian ini dipublikasikan dalam jurnal ilmiah Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences pada tanggal 19 Januari 2015. Jurnal dapat diakses secara elektronik pada tautan berikut: http://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1412514112.
Untuk wawancara dengan penulis utama Jonah Busch, hubungi Lauren Post di firstname.lastname@example.org atau +1 (202) 416-4040