Japan’s New Initiative for REDD+ Results-based Financing: Opportunities and Challenges

In Global Environmental Research
Volume (Issue): 21
Peer-reviewed Article

Article 5 of the Paris Agreement specifies implementation of REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) through results-based payments. Currently, however, REDD+ resultsbased financing is insufficient for incentivizing full implementation of REDD+ by developing countries. In this article, we examine how a new bilateral initiative of Japan called JCM REDD+ could contribute to REDD+ results-based financing. JCM REDD+ is unique as a CDM-like mechanism providing ex-ante funding to project-based REDD+ activities and issuing credits later for emission reductions achieved which can be used for both countries’ NDCs. The features of JCM REDD+ would complement other existing payment-on-delivery mechanisms. JCM REDD+ supports activities on the ground which directly affect drivers of deforestation. It also has the potential to exploit financial sources from the private sector, in which involvement in REDD+ remains low. JCM REDD+, however, would have no significant positive influences immediately on the landscape of REDD+ results-based financing, as its scale of implementation is restricted in terms of number of projects in the pipeline and available funding sources. To maximize the potential of JCM REDD+, modalities and guidelines for transparency and accounting relevant to REDD+, Nationally Determined Contributions and internationally transferred mitigation outcomes should be clarified under the Paris Agreement. At the same time, we find it is crucial to consider policy designs in developed countries that would enhance investment in REDD+.