REDD project design method gets boost from auditors
* U.S. firm says technique passes carbon accounting hurdle
* Step could boost development of REDD
* Australian firm signs large REDD deal in Indonesia
By David Fogarty, Climate Change Correspondent, Asia
SINGAPORE, Aug 13 (Reuters) - A carbon accounting technique aimed at saving tropical forests has passed a key hurdle, strengthening chances it could underpin development of a potential multi-billion dollar market for forest carbon offsets.
U.S. firm Terra Global Capital said the method had passed the first of two formal audits the benchmark Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS) requires. When fully verified, it could be used in a U.N.-backed carbon-cutting scheme known as reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD).
"The methodology is expected to be broadly applicable where mosaic patterns of deforestation occur throughout Southeast Asia and Africa," Leslie Durschinger, founder and managing director of Terra Global Capital, said in a statement. Her firm offers finance and advisory services for REDD projects.
REDD aims to give developing countries funds to preserve remaining tracts of forest that soak up huge amounts of planet-warming carbon dioxide, but it is still in its infancy.
Its success will rely on rigorous carbon accounting and monitoring to ensure forests remain intact, are rehabilitated and lock away CO2. Continued...