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Key states have reached what they call a “meaningful agreement” at the Copenhagen climate summit.

 

 

Five nations, including China and the US, reached a deal on a number of issues, such as a recognition to limit temperature rises to less than 2C.

 

US President Barack Obama said it would be a foundation for global action but there was “much further to go”.

 

President Barack Obama: “We know this progress alone is not enough”

 

President Obama said the US, China, Brazil, India and South Africa had “agreed to set a mitigation target to limit warming to no more than 2C and, importantly, to take action to meet this objective”.

 He added: “We are confident that we are moving in the direction of a significant

 

 

Richard Black,
BBC News environment correspondent

 President Obama may have a deal with Brazil, China, India and South Africa – but it is not at all clear that he has a deal with anyone else.

 

While the White House was announcing the agreement, most other delegations

 had not even seen it.

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Q&A: Redd – preserving forests to tackle climate change

One concrete agreement expected from the Copenhagen climate change conference is a deal on finance for a programme to preserve the world’s forests – Redd. The BBC’s James Painter explains how it works.

 

What does Redd stand for?

 

Redd stands for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries.

 

What is it?

 

 

Essentially, it is a way of paying developing countries or communities within them to preserve their forests. Redd schemes are seen as a critical way of reducing the amount of CO2 emissions that come from deforestation around the world and cause global warming. In the last few years Redd has become a key part of the negotiations over a new climate deal.

Why does deforestation lead to CO2 emissions?

 

 

Vast quantities of carbon are stored in the trees and soils of tropical forests. When the trees are burnt down to clear land to grow crops, this is converted into carbon dioxide which is one of the greenhouse gases accelerating climate change. The main causes of tropical deforestation are clearing for cattle ranching and commercial agriculture (eg soya or palm oil plantations), logging, colonisation and subsequent subsistence agriculture, and the building of roads.

 

 

Why is REDD so important?

 

 

Estimates for the percentage of annual global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that come from deforestation range between 12 and 20%. Most experts agree the figure is roughly comparable to the emissions of the whole of the European Union, and is higher than the total of emissions generated by the global transport sector (all the cars, trucks, planes, ships and trains worldwide).

Over and above the emissions associated with deforestation, the destruction of forests reduces the planet’s ability to absorb CO2 from the atmosphere.

 

Tropical forests are estimated to absorb about 15% of the CO2 we release.

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