CA Air Resources Board stalls tropical forest offsets in Cap-and-Trade
BERKELEY, CALIF. – Global climate justice advocates who cautiously await the California Air Resources Board’s proposed amendments to the state’s Cap-and-Trade program will have to keep waiting. These amendments will clarify if, and how, California intends to include tropical forest-based carbon credits, also known as REDD offset credits (for Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation), in the Cap-and-Trade carbon pollution program. This week the Air Resources Board released the proposed amendments to Cap-and-Trade, and announced that REDD rulemaking will not happen at this time.
In the package released this week, Air Resources Board staff stated that they will continue to seek input on their future proposed REDD program; they also made clear that they hope to link California’s carbon market with the Brazilian State of Acre – a linkage that would bring international forest carbon credits into the California market for the first time – but that this linkage will not be undertaken at this time.
Gary Graham Hughes, Friends of the Earth’s California advocacy campaigner, made the following statement in response:
California’s decision to temporarily keep REDD out of the California carbon casino puts an important, though momentary, halt to this environmentally dubious, economically inequitable, and socially unjust climate policy. If California wants to take action on forests to address the dangers of climate change, there is no better place to begin than in this state’s globally relevant forests. California must begin to remove pollution trading from its climate policy mix.
As an organization, Friends of the Earth has principled and scientific reasons for opposing California’s Cap-and-Trade program as an unjust and inadequate climate change mitigation tool. Friends of the Earth will continue to challenge the inadequacies of Cap-and-Trade pollution trading, while supporting the positive regulatory advances in California that are slowly moving the state away from dirty energy and towards a just transition for future generations.