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Forests, Land Use and Climate

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  1. Forests, Land Use and Climate A Presentation for: Carbon Markets & Forestry Meeting Covington, Georgia: May 15, 2007

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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