25 Jun 2013
de Sépibus, Joëlle
Protecting Tropical Forests through Public Procurement of Emission Reductions
NCCR Trade Regulation Working Paper No. 2013/39, authored by Joëlle de Sépibus.
The rate of destruction of tropical forests continues to accelerate at an alarming rate contributing to an important fraction of overall greenhouse gas emissions. In recent years, much hope has been vested in the emerging REDD+ framework under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which aims at creating an international incentive system to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. This paper argues that in the absence of an international consensus on the design of results-based payments, “bottom-up” initiatives should take the lead and explore new avenues. It suggests that a call for tender for REDD+ credits might both assist in leveraging private investments and spending scarce public funds in a cost-efficient manner. The paper discusses the pros and cons of results-based approaches, provides an overview of the goals and principles that govern public procurement and discusses their relevance for the purchase of REDD+ credits, in particular within the ambit of the European Union.