This is the fourth time negotiators have met at official talks since Copenhagen. Only at the second of the three prior dialogues, all held in Germany, was REDD+ discussed in any detail. The draft negotiating text remains largely unchanged from last December, but one new development is certainly worth a mention. As outlined in the latest REDD+ briefing paper from FIELD – a UK-based environmental law organization – Bolivia maintains its fundamental objection to the idea of any semblance of market mechanisms in REDD+, and has tabled an alternative ‘option.’ President Evo Morales, laid out the philosophy behind his position in this open letter to the world’s indigenous peoples. Several other developing countries, particularly from Latin America, are sympathetic to this view, but such a proposal would bring to a swift end any interest that industrialized countries have in continuing REDD+ discussions. While some commentators still hold out hope that the Cancun COP could see at least a formal decision on REDD+ (a poor substitute to a full climate agreement – but better than nothing), there are still substantial gaps on financing to be bridged. There’s still much to play for in Tianjin. It could get lively.
Ben Vickers, RECOFTC