REDD+ Frequently Asked Questions
REDD+ Frequently Asked Questions
This is a national scope emissions reductions program created and administered by the UNFCCC. It is formalized in Article 5 of the Paris Agreement, and as such, it has been approved by over 190 countries. No other emissions standards or initiatives can make these claims. National rainforest conservation programs, combined with rigorous measurement, independent verification, and global record keeping required under the Paris Agreement have delivered results unmatched by any other voluntary program. The two key elements of the REDD+ Mechanism are that it is national in scope and mandated by the Paris Agreement. Both are intertwined and together create the atmospheric integrity needed to save rainforests and help address the climate emergency. As negotiated and agreed upon, the REDD+ Mechanism unequivocally vests the authority for measuring and reporting emission reductions from forest activities with national governments (not projects or jurisdictional programs). Subnational programs can be used as an “interim” measure to a national program.
The REDD+ mechanism is the most successful and largest voluntary emissions reduction program created to-date:
10 countries have generated 9 billion tons of independently verified emission reductions. These results are posted to the UNFCCC REDD+ Info Hub
- 50 countries have submitted a Forest Reference Level, which acts as the crediting baseline for calculating reductions and is a critical step in the process
- The UNFCCC has completed 45 technical assessments of REDD+ Programs.
SCALE: A nationally scoped emissions reductions program provides the scale needed to help tackle the climate emergency, while increasing cost efficiencies so that more money goes back to the communities and governments who are making a difference. Under REDD+, 50 country programs will generate multi-gigaton emission reductions each year.
ELIMINATES LEAKAGE: A carbon emission reduction program covering an entire nation prevents leakage, which occurs when deforestation is displaced to an area beyond the boundaries of the project. Since countries only get paid for net emission reductions and removals across the country, this problem is eliminated.
DOUBLE COUNTING: REDD+ Results are part of the national inventory of greenhouse gases. According to the Paris Agreement, once a carbon credit or REDD+ Results Unit (RRU) is retired a corresponding adjustment must be made to both the rainforest nation and the buyer’s country of origin national greenhouse gas inventory. The REDD.plus platform reports all activity to the UNFCCC as a double-check that this has occurred, thereby eliminating the risk of double counting.
ON-GOING IMPROVEMENT: REDD+ is part of the Paris Agreement, which obligates all national efforts on climate change to improve and evolve with:
- advancements in climate science,
- methods to measure and monitor greenhouse gas emissions,
- mitigation and removal technologies, and
- the capabilities and capacities within the countries
ROLE OF GOVERNMENT: Success in preserving and restoring rainforest requires clarity and enforcement of land-tenure and land-use regulations, and the critical need for good governance.
REDD+ Results are measured in metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent or greenhouse gas emissions reductions. They are generated at national level from activities to preserve and protect forests. The REDD+ mechanism is used to measure, report and verify these emissions reductions. After listing on the REDD+ Info Hub, the REDD.plus platform works with its registry partner – IHS Markit to serialize the REDD+ Results, creating a REDD+ Results Unit (RRU). These units are then listed on REDD.plus and made available for purchase. Now individuals and businesses can purchase them to conserve rainforests and reduce their carbon footprint.
The REDD+ mechanism is the only carbon emissions reduction program created under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change or UNFCCC. REDD+ was formalized into the Paris Agreement in 2015, which has been approved by over 190 countries. The methods national governments use to measure, report and verify emission reductions were ratified at 16 separate decisions at yearly meeting of the UNFCCC, known as the Conference of the Parties (COP).
The standards for the REDD+ mechanism were designed and approved using UNFCCC processes and procedures. At the request of the Conference of the Parties (COP), all guidance, modalities and procedures for measurement, reporting, and verification under the REDD+ mechanism were developed by the two subsidiary bodies of the UNFCCC; the Subsidiary Body for Technological Advice (SBSTA) and the Subsidiary Body for Information (SBI), and Ad Hoc Working groups. These groups rely on input from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). At the COP, countries then vote to approve these recommendations.
The UNFCCC Secretariat administers the REDD+ mechanism. It makes the final determination whether a country has fulfilled all the requirements of the REDD+ mechanism and then posts the emissions reductions to the REDD+ Info Hub as REDD+ Results.
The verification of emissions reductions is done by independent experts from the UNFCCC Roster of Experts. There is representation from both developed and developing countries and none of the experts can come from the country seeking verification.
Leakage is when deforestation increases outside the boundaries of a project. Emissions from deforestation just move, are displaced, or leak to another location.
Double counting occurs when more than one entity claims the emissions reduction in their carbon budget.