California approves the Tropical Forest Standard. Good news for the fossil fuel industry. Bad news for the climate crisis

On 19 September 2019, the California Air Resources Board voted 7-4 to approve the Tropical Forest Standard. CARB is determined to convince us that this is not an approval of REDD offsets in California’s cap-and-trade scheme. In a presentation about the Tropical Forest Standard CARB staff point out that, “Endorsement of the Standard Does Not … Establish tropical forest offset credits for use in the California Cap-and-Trade Program”.

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Letter from California senator Bob Wieckowski: “I write to express our strong opposition to the Air Resources Board’s Tropical Forest Standard”

“The TFS [Tropical Forest Standard] approach risks producing a landslide of false credits due to the challenges with ensuring credited reductions are permanent, non-leaking, and additional, and the inherent possibility that other jurisdictions buying and selling TFS credits will interpret the TFS’ protections liberally. California should not lend its name to these efforts nor commit to the implausible project of monitoring other governments’ use of the TFS going forward.”

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California’s “lenient leakage accounting” means that emissions reductions from forest offsets may never happen

California’s cap-and-trade scheme has resulted in payments of hundreds of millions of dollars to forest owners. But a recent policy brief by Barbara Haya at the University of California, Berkeley argues that California may have exaggerated the emissions reductions of these forestry projects by as much as 80 million tons of carbon dioxide.

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Members of the European Parliament urge California to exclude REDD from its cap and trade scheme: “Adopting the Tropical Forest Standard would water down climate ambition in California, the EU, and globally”

Last week, six Members of the European Parliament wrote to the California Air Resources Board urging the ARB to reject the proposed California Tropical Forest Standard. In November 2018, the ARB held a public meeting about the proposed Tropical Forest Standard. But the Board failed to reach a decision at that meeting.

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Natural Climate Solutions: “It really is time that governments stopped trying to find more ways to offset their fossil fuel emissions”

From the beginning, REDD proponents described saving rainforests as the “low-hanging fruit”. When he launched Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI) in December 2007, Norway’s then-prime minister Jens Stoltenberg told us that, “Through effective measures against deforestation we can achieve large cuts in greenhouse gas emissions – quickly and at low cost.”

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Climate denial, California style

On 16 November 2018, a public meeting will take place to discuss the California Tropical Forest Standard. The debate so far about the proposal to include REDD offsets in California’s cap and trade scheme reveals that the California Air Resources Board is heavily biased in favour of carbon trading and is not interested in addressing climate change.

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A glimpse at Brazil reveals the big REDD problems that California’s Tropical Forest Standard fails to address

On 5 September 2018, the California Air Resources Board released a draft California Tropical Forest Standard. A 191-page Draft Environmental Analysis was released on 14 September 2018. A public meeting will take place on 15 November 2018, and the California Air Resources Board is inviting comments on the Environmental Analysis before 5 pm on 29 October 2018.

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