California Leadership on Tropical Forests
By supporting tropical forest credits, California could send a strong signal to the world that tropical forests and sustainable land use incentives are critical to an effective climate change mitigation and adaptation framework. We simply cannot achieve our carbon emissions reductions goals without it.
More Emissions Reductions
California has an opportunity to achieve emissions reductions BEYOND what is credited through offsets under California’s Cap-and-Trade program. The reasons for this are three-fold:
- California’s acceptance of a limited quantity of offsets encourages the development of broader emissions reduction programs from tropical forest jurisdictions.
- Tropical forest credits programs can and should require a state to reduce some emissions voluntarily, before the program is credited for additional reductions through California’s market
- Tropical forest credits programs provide incentives for states to alter their rural development patterns, shifting growth away from pristine forests to already degraded lands in the same way that California’s regulations are encouraging smarter growth.
- States like Acre, Brazil, have begun developing programs for low-deforestation development, however they are lacking incentives to continue these efforts. A tropical forest credits program can leverage these early efforts into large-scale, sustained emissions reductions.
Regulated entities and NGOs are concerned about a projected 67% shortfall of compliance offsets in the 3rd compliance period.Adding international, sectoral credits from reducing deforestation as a robust source of offsets, along with other new project types, would increase and diversify the pool of available credits and lower overall compliance costs.
Education and Job Creation in California
The potential opportunity for tropical forest credits inclusion within California’s exemplary climate policy has already had a beneficial impact on the California economy, creating unprecedented advances in conservation and climate science while also generating jobs, revenue, and education right here at home.
- CA organizations, such as the Governors Climate and Forests Task Force and Avoided Deforestation Partners, are now global leaders in pioneering public-private partnerships for sustainable land use and development.
- California companies, such as Wildlife Works and Terra Global Capital, are now the world’s leading tropical forest credits development firms.
- California technology and software companies, from ESRI’s remote sensing software to Google’s partnership with the indigenous Surui in the Amazon for handheld GPS mapping and monitoring systems.
- California universities – from Stanford to Berkeley to Santa Barbara – are now global leaders in land use change, climate, andtropical forest credits research and development
Information: Environmental Defense Fund, The Forest Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, Rainforest Alliance.
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