Forests, Land Use and Climate A Presentation for: Carbon Markets & Forestry Meeting Covington, Georgia: May 15, 2007
The Pacific Forest Trust Sustaining the Public Benefits of Private Forests • Aligning ecological needs with economic realities • Developers of conservation markets • Authors of America’s Private Forests: Status and Stewardship Private forests. Public treasures.
The Pacific Forest Trust An Expert in Forest & Climate Policy • Led development of CA Climate Action Registry Forest • Protocols • Working on forest and climate since 1993 • Policy work and project transactions • State, federal and international levels
Two Key Sources:Fossil FuelsandLand Use Change • Forest loss is primary component of land use change -- over 90%. • CO2 emissions reductions from fossils fuels and forests are the keys to success.
Forests are Huge Source of Global CO2 Emissions • Forests = 1/3 of earth land base. 1/2 lost 1700-2000. Forest change responsible for over 40% of historic CO2 emissions • Forest change currently contributes 25% of global CO2 emissions. Equals CO2 emissions from 1.4 billion cars annually • Forest Disturbance = GHG Emissions
Forests Also Store Much Less Carbon Now • Original forests held 2-20 times the carbon today’s forests hold. • Significant potential to restore/refill the forest carbon reservoir.
The U.S. is Part of the Problem • 1/3 of all US forests gone;additional 1.5 million acres now lost annually. • Rate of loss tripled from 1982 to 1997, highest of any land type in US. • Rate of loss very high in Georgia (and WA and CA), and expected to increase nationally. Sprawling subdivisions are eating up our forests
Why are we Losing our Private Forests? • • Increasing costs • • Increasing global competition • Increasing real estate values • • Turnover of both corporate and • family forest ownership Forests are highly threatened with loss -- and with them, invaluable resources
Forest Climate Benefits • Forests remove CO2 from the atmosphere and emissions are prevented when forests are… • • Managed/restored to increase overall forest carbon stocks, and • Protected to prevent CO2 emissions. Synergistic benefits of conservation and climate
International Norms for Global Carbon Markets: • Baselines/Additionality • Above existing law: forest practices and land use rules • Permanence – Conservation easements secure legal “permanence”and minimize risk of loss • Avoiding/Minimizing “Leakage” • Entity-wide (not project) reporting • Third Party Verification – Approved verifiers with licensed foresters • Co-benefits – Healthy working forests, native species and biodiversity, riparian and water quality protections -- “Eco-Eco” sustainability
Forest Protocols: “GAAP” for Quantifying Emissions and Reductions • Rigorous standards for assessing biological emissions/reductions • Required and optional carbon pools • E.g. tree stock yes, soil no. • Account for changes in stock • Complete inventory of carbon pools • Annual monitoring and reporting
PFT Climate Program Secures Forest Landscapes • Conservation easements stop forest loss and increase carbon stores durably • Forests kept in productive use • Rewards owner for stewardship and conservation • Achieves multiple co-benefits
Climate Policy Development: Washington State Example • Backdrop: West Coast Governors Climate Change Initiative and New Five-State West Coast Regional Compact; local government actions • Growing public awareness of climate change threat • Engaged climate and forest stakeholders: Conservation and climate change groups (e.g. Climate Solutions), large timber companies, small forest landowners, state and local government officials
Washington State Program • Governor’s Executive Order and Climate Action Challenge • Climate Advisory Team and Technical Working Groups (including Forests and Carbon Sequestration) • Two new (bipartisan) laws in 2007: • SB 6001: creates statewide greenhouse gas emission reduction goals; highlights role of Washington’s productive forests in sequestering carbon • HB 1303: Directs analysis for statewide, multi-sector framework to allow Washington to participate in emerging carbon cap and trade markets, again highlighting forests
Washington State Program: Forests • How showcase Washington forests in emerging carbon cap and trade world? • Three early lessons: • Requires all stakeholders • No cap, no trade (AB 32 in California) • Forests part of climate change problem as well as solution • So, what about Washington’s forests? • PFT proposal for historic and trend analysis re conversion and forest health
Considerations for Georgia Program Showcasing Forests • Public interest in threat of climate change • Inclusive stakeholder process; leader/convener • Regional opportunities • Policymaker support for greenhouse gas emission reductions (no cap, no market) • Georgia forests: sober analysis of challenges and opportunities • Conservation easements as enabling tool • Carbon sequestration as economic opportunity in cap and trade world • Provision of many co-benefits
Let us know if we can help! The Pacific Forest Trust 1001A O’Reilly Ave. San Francisco, CA 94129 Ph:(415) 561-0700 E-mail: Lwayburn@pacificforest.org Kraymond@pacificforest.org