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

See all articles by Jesse Lueders

Jesse Lueders

Emmett Center on Climate Change and the Environment at UCLA School of Law

Cara Horowitz

Emmett Center on Climate Change and the Environment at UCLA School of Law

Ann E. Carlson

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law

Sean B. Hecht

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law

Edward (Ted) A. Parson

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law

Date Written: November 19, 2014

Abstract

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

Lueders, Jesse and Horowitz, Cara and Carlson, Ann E. and Hecht, Sean B. and Parson, Edward (Ted) A., The California REDD+ Experience: The Ongoing Political History of California's Initiative to Include Jurisdictional REDD+ Offsets within Its Cap-and-Trade System (November 19, 2014). Center for Global Development Working Paper No. 386, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2622763 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2622763

Jesse Lueders (Contact Author)

Emmett Center on Climate Change and the Environment at UCLA School of Law ( email )

385 Charles E. Young Dr. East
Room 1242
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1476
United States

Cara Horowitz

Emmett Center on Climate Change and the Environment at UCLA School of Law ( email )

385 Charles E. Young Dr. East
Room 1242
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1476
United States

Ann E. Carlson

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law ( email )

385 Charles E. Young Dr. East
Room 1242
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1476
United States
310-206-9496 (Phone)
310-206-1234 (Fax)

Sean B. Hecht

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law ( email )

385 Charles E. Young Dr. East
Room 1242
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1476
United States

Edward (Ted) A. Parson

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law ( email )

385 Charles E. Young Dr. East
Room 1242
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1476
United States

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