The California REDD+ Experience: The Ongoing Political History of California's Initiative to Include Jurisdictional REDD+ Offsets within Its Cap-and-Trade System
38 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2015
Date Written: November 19, 2014
For the last several years, California has considered the idea of recognizing, within its greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program, offsets generated by foreign states and provinces through reduced tropical forest destruction and degradation and related conservation and sustainability efforts, known as REDD . During their deliberations on the issue, state policymakers have heard arguments from stakeholders in favor of crediting REDD offsets, and those against. After years of planning and cooperative efforts undertaken with states in Brazil, Mexico, and elsewhere, California is still determining whether to embrace REDD offsets. The most salient and potentially persuasive arguments in favor stem from the opportunity to influence and reduce international forest-related emissions contributing to climate change, while simultaneously reducing the costs imposed by the state’s climate change law. The state is still grappling, however, with serious questions about the effectiveness of REDD in addressing climate change, as well as the impacts of REDD on other social and environmental objectives. The suitability of the state’s cap-and-trade program as a tool for reducing emissions outside the state, given the co-benefits that accrue to local communities from in-state reductions, remains another key area of debate. The outcome of this policy discussion will depend on interrelated questions of program design, future offset supply and demand, and the weight given to the importance of prioritizing in-state emissions reductions and co-benefits.
Keywords: Climate change, Mitigation, Forests, REDD , Cap-and-trade
JEL Classification: Q23, Q54, Q58
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation