Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2010


Reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) has emerged as an important albeit controversial, component of negotiations for a new international climate change regime to succeed the Kyoto Protocol when it expires in 2012 Not permitted under the terms of the Kyoto Protocol, REDD involves paying developing countries to protect their tropical forests as a climate change mitigation strategy REDD gained widespread attention by 2005 and took center stage in the months preceding the negotiation of the Copenhagen Accord in December 2009. After more than a decade of nonparticipation in international climate change compliance efforts, the United States has signed the Copenhagen Accord which contains several provisions addressing REDD. Significant questions remain, however regarding the manner and degree to which REDD mechanisms will be implemented. One of the most critical lingering questions is the potential use of REDD as a component of US participation in a post-Kyoto climate change regime The climate change legislation pending before Congress contains important provisions addressing REDD. If signed into law, the US legislation would help promote the use of REDD as an indispensable component of an international carbon market and enable the United States to assume a long-overdue leadership role in international climate change regulation.