Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2011

Abstract

Any post-Kyoto climate change treaty regime must seek to fully engage the use of carbon sinks to complement emissions reduction measures in order to comply with the treaty's mandates. The Kyoto Protocol did not include avoided deforestation as a mechanism for earning emission reduction credits. However, reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) quickly gained popularity as a viable climate change compliance strategy in the period immediately preceding the negotiations at the Fifteenth Conference of the Parties (COP 15) in Copenhagen in 2009. The Copenhagen Accord is replete with references to REDD as a focus for the international community's progression toward a binding successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol. Ocean iron fertilization (OlF) is an emerging and controversial strategy to promote climate change treaty compliance, and may be the next step in engaging the creative use of carbon sinks to fulfill carbon reduction mandates. Both REDD and OIF must overcome challenges such as developing effective monitoring techniques, ensuring the "permanence" of emission reductions, and avoiding "leakage" of such reductions. Like REDD, OIF could promote a global carbon trading market that may help ensure the success of a post-Kyoto climate change treaty. Unlike REDD, however, OIF is hampered by "moral hazard" and "unintended consequences" concerns associated with its techniques. In addition, to ensure effective regulation of the research and implementation of OIF projects, OIF must overcome significant international law governance challenges.