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International Update Volume 46, Issue 31

PARIS AGREEMENT ENTERS INTO FORCE, TURNING ATTENTION TO IMPLEMENTATION

Last Friday, the Paris Agreement entered into force, having reached the requisite thresholds (at least 55 ratifying countries representing at least 55% of global carbon emissions) less than a year after it was negotiated. The Agreement’s swift ratification process stands in stark contrast to that of the Kyoto Protocol, the last major climate deal, which took eight years to come into force. Despite ratification and the requirement for countries to re-evaluate their climate goals every five years, many feel that the Agreement isn’t doing enough.

PARIS AGREEMENT OMISSION SPURS DEMANDS FOR INDIGENOUS RIGHTS

Peru

In late October, nearly 300 leaders from indigenous tribes in the Amazon gathered in Lima, Peru to demand that governments respect their rights to land ownership and forest conservation. The issue of indigenous land rights has been a pertinent issue this past year, particularly after the Paris Agreement removed language enforcing the recognition of indigenous rights from the final text. Currently, only 21 countries have included recognition of indigenous rights and community-based land tenure in their national emissions reduction commitments.

INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT GROWS FOR FOREST CARBON FINANCING

A new report by Forest Trends concludes that within the past year, governments and private companies from around the world committed $888 million in new funds for forest initiatives to keep the carbon-storage potential of forests intact. As a result, forest carbon projects are estimated to protect approximately 28 million hectares of forest, about twice the size of New York state, and enough to negate about 87.9 million metric tons of carbon dioxide.