Climate Talks Near Deal to Save Forests
Plan pays people to preserve carbon-reducing landscapes
By Emily Rauhala,  Newser User
Posted Dec 16, 2009 6:14 AM CST
This file photo dated Sunday Aug. 24, 2008 shows the rainforest in Kakum National Park, Ghana, which boasts 300 species of birds, unique monkeys and the endangered forest elephant and bongo antelope.   (AP Photo/Olivier Asselin)
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(Newser) – Negotiators in Copenhagen are putting the final touches on a sweeping deal that would compensate countries for preserving forests. A final draft of the agreement will be given to ministers today, the New York Times reports. A signed agreement, which could be one of the most significant accomplishments of the talks, could be achieved by week's end. Environmentalists hope the final draft will include other carbon-storing landscapes like peat bogs and oceans.

The deal will be closely watched stateside. Under the cap-and-trade system preferred by the Obama administration, firms that cannot meet their pollution limits could buy extra permits by investing in carbon-reduction programs. Preserving forests under under this deal would likely qualify.