Monday, November 16, 2015

Rich Praise for Poor Nation’s Emissions Targets

A Congolese woman collecting firewood from the forest. (Image Credit: Ollivier Girard/CIFOR via Flickr) Click to Enlarge.
An African country whose people are among the poorest on Earth has won plaudits from US scientists for its clear and detailed plans to reduce climate-warming emissions from its forests and farms.

The strategy of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) – rated next to bottom of the 187 countries on the UN’s Human Development Index in 2013 – is described as “robust” by the US-based Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

They also rate it as better than those produced by three other more prosperous countries struggling to combat deforestation − Brazil, India and Indonesia.

The UCS analysed the intentions of several countries for limiting global warming emissions in the agriculture, forestry and other land use (AFOLU) sectors as outlined in their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) – action plans submitted to the UN climate change convention (UNFCCC) explaining how they will reduce their emissions in the 2020s.

Deforestation hotspots
In a report called “INDCs, Take 3” − the final section of a three-part series UCS has released − the scientists say the INDCs from Brazil, India and Indonesia are disappointing, despite their status as deforestation hotspots.

In contrast, they say, the DRC’s plan is robust and in line with a trend that sees smaller countries doing more to reduce their land use emissions than more populated countries.

Doug Boucher, the report’s author and director of the Tropical Forest and Climate Initiative at UCS, says: “The land use sector, which accounts for about one-fourth of total global warming emissions, can’t be ignored if we want to solve the problem of climate change.

“The climate mitigation potential of agriculture and forests is great, and needs to be fully realised to prevent the worst consequences of climate change that will occur if global temperatures rise by more than 2°C.”

Read more at Rich Praise for Poor Nation’s Emissions Targets

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