, Volume 71, Issue 3, pp 267-276

Tropical Deforestation and the Kyoto Protocol

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The current annual rates of tropical deforestation from Brazil and Indonesia alone would equal four-fifths of the emissions reductions gained by implementing the Kyoto Protocol in its first commitment period, jeopardizing the goal of Protocol to avoid “dangerous anthropogenic interference” with the climate system. We propose the novel concept of “compensated reduction”, whereby countries that elect to reduce national level deforestation to below a previously determined historical level would receive post facto compensation, and commit to stabilize or further reduce deforestation in the future. Such a program could create large-scale incentives to reduce tropical deforestation, as well as for broader developing country participation in the Kyoto Protocol, and leverage support for the continuity of the Protocol beyond the 2008–2012 first commitment period.