A patchwork of regional legislation and complex rules governing land ownership have so far kept Brazil from cashing in on what could potentially be the world’s biggest carbon offset market.
The country, home to the much of the planet’s rain forest, has struggled to come up with a national strategy to make money protecting its vast ecosystem with projects that Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation, also known as REDD.
Although not an official theme of the United Nations’ Conference on Sustainable Development, REDD has been a hot topic this week in Rio de Janeiro, where policymakers from more than 190 nations are meeting to discuss environmental sustainability.
The idea is to get the private sector and governments to pay to reduce deforestation, which accounts for up to 17 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Advocates say REDD is needed to keep the planet from heating up and causing widespread famine and drought, a key objective at U.N. climate conferences.