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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

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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 fuels and land use change
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
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