John Vidal in Copenhagen writes for The Gaurdian,
The US president, Barack Obama, made his first public intervention in the Copenhagen climate summitNorway and Brazil which would protect the world’s rainforests today by backing a plan put forward by with funding from rich countries that cannot meet their commitments to cut emissions domestically.
Speaking after he accepted the Nobel peace prize in Oslo, Norway, Obama said: “I am very impressed with the model that has been built between Norway and Brazil that allows for effective monitoring and ensures that we are making progress in avoiding deforestation of the Amazon.
“It’s probably the most cost-effective way for us to address the issue of climate change – having an effective set of mechanisms in place to avoid further deforestation and hopefully to plant new trees.”
The president is not due at the conference for another week but his intervention comes at a critical time in the summit where negotiations on deforestation are moving rapidly.
The scheme is seen as attractive because pilot studies have shown it to be effective and has the backing of Prince Charles’s Rainforest Project.
Countries are more or less unanimously behind finding a way to reduce deforestation, which accounts for 16% of world greenhouse gas emissions, but are encountering sticking points which require the intervention of heads of state.
At least 20 different plans for Reduced deforestation and degradation (Redd) plans have been put forward by many different countries, but talks are in the balance over the rights and safeguards for people who live in or depend on the forests; how the money can be prevented from falling prey to corruption; how to measure and verify claims of protection and the future of existing forest industries.