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Home > Natural Resources > Land Management for Sustainable Communities and Natural Resources > Forestry Investments for Sustainable Land Management

California’s Forest Sector Protocols Lead Efforts in Market-Based Mitigation of Climate Change

California is leading efforts to create a market-based approach for forests in mitigating climate change.

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Forestry Management and Carbon

Trees and plants are our best absorber of carbon dioxide, one of the principal greenhouse gases (GHG), and can play a crucial role in moderating the earth’s temperature. Deforestation and land use changes, on the other hand, are often cited to cause 20 percent of the world’s anthropogenic GHG emissions.

California's Forestry Sector Protocols

In the United States, California is leading efforts to create a market-based approach for forests in mitigating climate change. The California Climate Action Registry published, and the California Air Resources Board adopted, a set of Forest Sector Protocols in October 2007.

These Forest Sector Protocols detail the steps for determining the amount of carbon that can be stored in a forest and how to quantify the emissions reductions from forestry projects. Credits generated pursuant to the Protocols currently are used only in the voluntary markets, though they could be integrated into a compliance system if California adopts a cap-and-trade program under the 2006 Global Warming Solutions Act (known as AB32).

In the voluntary markets, the Protocols have already led to a transaction to preserve a section of forest in northern California that will generate 60,000 tons of marketable emissions credits.

Forestry Investment Balances with Forestry Management

If proven successful, California’s Forest Sector Protocols will provide a significant boost to both forestry projects and the voluntary markets, and could serve as a model for other regulatory regimes, including the EU-ETS, to embrace a market-based approach to forest protection.


Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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| forestry | climate change | california | compliance | carbon sequestration | carbon offset | governance | global |

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