GeoBene at the COP13 UN Climate Change Conference

Bali, 3 - 14 December 2007 IIASA scientists alert Bali climate conference on need to pay to use forests for reducing greenhouse gases   LAXENBURG, 28 November 2007 – Scientists from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) have been invited to Bali to demonstrate to the United Nations the results of their research on the need to keep forests intact to reduce greenhouse gases. The scientists have also calculated how the costs of compensating forest owners can be balanced against revenue currently lost to governments, for example by illegal logging.   At an event on 6 December during the UN Climate Change Conference* (Please see complete Cop13 Side event schedule) hosted by Indonesia over the next fortnight, the IIASA group will make presentations to representatives of over 180 countries present in Bali, as well as observers from intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations, and the media. They will show that avoiding deforestation, that is refraining from clearing forest land has substantial benefits for combating greenhouse gases and is essential to reach the goals of the European Union (the so-called “European 2 degree warming target”). They will also examine several related issues, such as afforestation (creating new forests) and the expansion of agricultural land, and scenarios that are linked to the entire land-use sector. In a linked presentation the IIASA team will provide details of their calculation of the costs of avoided deforestation, based on either a global land clearance tax or alternatively a temporary carbon rental contract.   Before leaving for Bali,  Dr. Michael Obersteiner, the team leader, said “We find that the total financial resources needed to cut the rate of deforestation in half correspond roughly to the financial losses (non-collection of stumpage fees) that governments currently incur due to illegal logging.” Their presentation we will also shortly show various possible impacts that such “avoided deforestation” credits might have on the European Emission Trading scheme, from results produced at Columbia University. A third presentation will give an overview of possible inter-linkages of avoided deforestation on other land-use sectors such as agricultural and forest products markets and potentials and prices for bio-energy. Two differing proposals on awarding forest conservation in two Brazilian federal states, Mato Grosso and Amazonas, will serve as examples.  The session will conclude with a summary of all findings, setting the stage for an informed discussion on the feasibility underlining the major theme REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation in Developing Countries) with trade-offs between environmental efficiency and equity.  *COP 13 to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change For media questions or to contact Dr Obersteiner, please call Iain Stewart +43 2236 807 433 or email   Here you can find Information on the side event "The Political Economy of Avoided Deforestation", UN Climate Change Conference, COP 13, Bali, 05 Dec 2007 18:00-19:30, Wave, GHT Some of the presented work has been carried out in the framework of the EU funded project "Geobene" - Global Earth Observation – Benefit Estimation: Now, Next and Emerging.