Petsonk, Annie (Environmental Defense, 1875 Connecticut Ave # 600, NW WashingtonDC, 20009, Phone: 202-387-3500; Fax: 202-234-6049; Email:


Compensated Reduction:  An Innovative Framework To Provide Incentives For Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Tropical Deforestation


A. Petsonk *, Stephan Schwartzman


Greenhouse gas emissions from tropical deforestation are significant – as much as 20-25% of global emissions.   Bringing these under management would further the central goal of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, namely stabilizing atmospheric concentrations of the gases at a level, and in a timeframe, that avoids “dangerous anthropogenic interference” with the climate system.  Santilli et al. have proposed the concept of “compensated reduction”, whereby countries that elect to reduce national levels of deforestation to below a historical baseline level, e.g. 1980-1990 level, would receive post facto compensation, provided the countries commit to stabilize or further reduce deforestation in the future. Here we explore the potential of such a framework to provide large-scale incentives to reduce tropical deforestation, as well as for broader developing country participation in the effort to combat climate change.  We also evaluate and address a range of practical concerns.