Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
2Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Bad Trade: International Forest Offsets and California’s Carbon Market

Bad Trade: International Forest Offsets and California’s Carbon Market

Ratings: (0)|Views: 102|Likes:
In November 2012, California’s Air Resources board auctioned off the first round of carbon permits for its voluntary cap-and-trade market, which officially went live on January 1, 2013. This initiative came out of California Assembly Bill 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act, which sets a goal of lowering greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 (a reduction of about 30 percent).
In November 2012, California’s Air Resources board auctioned off the first round of carbon permits for its voluntary cap-and-trade market, which officially went live on January 1, 2013. This initiative came out of California Assembly Bill 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act, which sets a goal of lowering greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 (a reduction of about 30 percent).

More info:

Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Food and Water Watch on Apr 03, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial No-derivs

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

05/14/2014

pdf

text

original

 
)RRG:DWHU:DWFKȏ36WUHHW1:6XLWHȏ:DVKLQJWRQ'&ȏZZZIRRGDQGZDWHUZDWFKRUJ
I
U5V]LTILY*HSPMVYUPHZ(PY9LZV\YJLZ)VHYKH\J[PVULKVMM[OLÄYZ[YV\UKVMJHYIVUWLYTP[ZMVYP[Z]VS\U[HY`JHWHUK[YHKLTHYRL[^OPJOVMÄJPHSS`^LU[SP]LVU
 January 1, 2013. This initiative came out of California Assembly Bill 32, the GlobalWarming Solutions Act, which sets a goal of lowering greenhouse gas emissions to1990 levels by 2020 (a reduction of about 30 percent).
1
Under his regulaion, polluers can mee heir emissionsreducions hrough hree opions: reducing emissions, rad-ing emissions allowances or using ofse credis or emissionsreducions ouside o he cap.
2
Caliornia is he irs saeo have a cap-and-rade marke or greenhouse gases in heUnied Saes.
3
Many policymakers are looking o he sae’smarke as a es or a naional model.
4
Cap-and-rade markes, however, are no he soluion o emis-sions reducions ha hey preend o be. They do no producereal reducions in greenhouse gas emissions and pose seriousproblems or common resource managemen. The privaiza-ion and inancializaion o naure is synonymous wih hesemarkes, and he numerous opporuniies or corrupionurher weaken heir legiimacy as real soluions or reducingemissions. In paricular, he use o ofses poses signiicanproblems in Caliornia’s new marke.
%DFNJURXQGRQ2΍VHWVDQG5(''
An ofse is a radable credi represening reducions in green-house gas emissions ouside o he eniies covered by hecap-and-rade marke.
5
Through ofses, a polluer can pay opreven emissions ouside o he cap, in lieu o reducing emis-sions a he source.
6
So ar, Caliornia’s cap-and-rade markehas approved our caegories o domesic ofses, and each
0U[LYUH[PVUHS-VYLZ[6MMZL[ZHUK*HSPMVYUPH»Z*HYIVU4HYRL[
 
2
polluer will be allowed o mee 8 percen o is emissionsreducions wih ofses.
7
For example, a polluer in Caliornia could pay or a secion o ores o no be cu down in Oregon. This would coun owardhe polluer’s required reducions even hough emissions areno reduced in Caliornia bu are in heory prevened in Or-egon. Because rees sore carbon bu also release greenhousegases ino he amosphere i hey are cu down, hen no cu-ing down rees is considered an ofse.In addiion o he domesic ofses already approved, Calior-nia is considering he uure inclusion o inernaional oresofses. These would come rom programs like he Reduciono Emissions rom Deoresaion and Degradaion (REDD+),which has he added purpose o conserving and enhancingores carbon socks and susainably managing oress (he ‘+’in REDD+).
8
REDD+ programs are carried ou in developing counries wihsigniican ores cover, like Brazil, Indonesia and many oh-ers.
9
Through inancial incenives, landowners are paid o nocu down oress and insead proec hem. Wha Caliorniawould do is sell credis or preserved oresland rom REDD+programs. This would be one o he irs cap-and-radeprograms o allow inernaional ores ofses rom REDD+iniiaives.
10
The use o ofses is problemaic, as is REDD+, and i Calior-nia goes hrough wih acceping hese ofses in is cap-and-rade marke, he impacs could be serious. REDD+ ofseslead o he inancializaion and privaizaion o naure. Inaddiion, oress usurped ino REDD+ programs become of-limis o he indigenous communiies ha have lived here ordecades and have susainably managed he oress wihouinancial incenives.Moreover, signiican concern has been voiced abou oresofses. Some criics “quesion he wisdom o enrusing heworld’s las ropical oress o he insabiliy o proi-ledglobal commodiy and rading markes ha have proven obe highly unsable and unpredicable … and hisorically suferrom drasic boom and slump cycles.”
11
Ohers argue ha of-ses do no reduce emissions, bu raher move he reducionselsewhere, usually o counries in he global Souh where i isless expensive o make he reducions.
12
Polluion coninues ahe source while i is assumed ha reducions are made a heofse locaion, which may or may no be he case.
13
Generaing ofses rom REDD+ programs exposes vial oresresources o inancial markes ha have no regard or heinrinsic value o biodiversiy, conservaion, susainable man-agemen and he necessiy or common resources o remainunder public conrol. Unorunaely, here is a real chance haREDD+ ofses could make i ino he Caliornia marke, asrecen analyses show ha exising domesic ofses will nomee demand, whereas he inclusion o REDD+ ofses couldmee his demand and even exceed i.
14
2΍VHWV$/LDELOLW\
To qualiy as an ofse, one credi mus equal one meric on o greenhouse gas emissions.
15
Ofses are essenially a loop-hole in real emissions reducions, because hey do no reduceemissions a he source, and are hereore a serious liabiliy.
 
3
As he U.S. Governmen Accounabiliy Ofice (GAO) repors,“In heory, ofses allow regulaed eniies o emi more whilemainaining he emissions levels se by a cap and rade pro-gram or oher program o limi emissions.”
16
Ofses mus mee a series o requiremens in order o bevalid — requiremens ha are oen hard o mee and veriy.These include proving ha an ofse is real, addiional, per-manen, quaniiable, veriiable and enorceable.
17
These aredeined as:
Real: 
There mus be evidence ha he ofse is boh appro-priae and accurae;
Permanen: 
The ofse mus be irreversible;
Addiional: 
Emissions reducions mus exceed (be in addi-ion o) hose required by law, and mus exceed reducionsha would oherwise occur in a business-as-usual scenario;
Qaniiable: 
I mus be possible o accuraely measure andcalculae he emissions reducions produced by an ofse,and o be able o replicae he indings;
Veriiable: 
The emissions reducions rom an ofse mus bemoniored and documened; and
Enorceable: 
There mus be srucures o accounabiliyin place and a body ha oversees and enorces heserequiremens.
18
Meeing hese requiremens is challenging, especially wihregard o REDD+ ores ofses. Firs, guaraneeing perma-nence is very dificul.
19
Trees can easily be cu down, dam-aged by ire or desroyed hrough oher naural disasers.
20
ACongressional Research Service repor suggess ha ofsescould come wih assurances ha i somehing compromisedhe ofse i would be resored.
21
However, his conradics hepoin o requiring permanence and presens anoher loopholein ofse compliance.Second, esablishing a baseline o greenhouse gas emissionsis very dificul, ye i is a vial componen.
22
Baselines areneeded o compare prediced reducions o wha would havehappened wihou he ofse program. Wihou his com-parison, deermining emissions reducions or he amoun o carbon sequesered is nearly impossible.
23
Baselines are also needed o esablish addiionaliy, he re-quiremen ha reducions be in addiion o wha would havehappened i no acion were aken. This requires deerminingwha he emissions levels would have been wihou an ofseprogram.
24
Wihou a properly calculaed baseline, i is di-icul o deermine addiionaliy, and non-addiional ofseshave already been awarded under exising programs, meaningha real reducions may no maerialize.
25
Third, here is a signiican risk or leakage o occur. Thishappens when emissions conrols cause polluion o shielsewhere, leading o reduced emissions in he locaion underregulaion and increased emissions in unregulaed areas.
26
Thepolluion hereore “leaks” rom one area o anoher. For ex-ample, i a counry agrees o proec is oress, logging com-panies could move o unproeced land and carry ou logginghere. I his happens, he oal level o prevened deoresa-ion and emissions would be unchanged, because he leakageelsewhere cancels ou he reducions in he regulaed area.
27
A ourh complicaion o ofses is ha hey cause disorionsin price signals and incenives o reduce emissions wihin hepolluion marke. I he marke is o work as supporers suggesi will, hen marke signals mus be able o drive prices in ordero drive reducions in polluion ha is now le o he marke,insead o regulaion. I oo much emphasis is placed on he useo ofses o achieve reducions, he proper price signals are nosen o polluers o reduce emissions a he source and subse-quenly o inves in he necessary echnology o do so.
28
This complicaion can be atribued o he disorionary naureo ofses, which serve primarily o make compliance wihreducion requiremens less expensive, raher han inceniviz-ing polluers o reduce emissions a he source.
29
Again, ofsesrepresen a loophole ha undermines real emissions reduc-ions, urher perpeuaing he problems caused by green-house gas emissions.Finally, measuring emissions reducions is anoher challenge,and ores projecs are he mos conroversial ype o ofse

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->