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California's Historic Vote on Climate Change and REDD

External Reference/Copyright
Issue date: 
December 16, 2010
Publisher Name: 
Tropical Forestgroup
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Tonight at 7:07 pm, the California Air Resources Board voted to adopt the cap and trade regulations for AB32, California's global warming law. The final vote passed 9 -1.

The new regulations include, among many things, strong preliminary support for sub-national RED international emissions reductions.
Just before passing the new rules (resolution 1043), many CARB board members highlighted that more work lays ahead, in terms of details, the operation of a market, protocols, and oversight. The overarching suggestion from Board members to the staff was a call for transparency in implementation of this new market. "If things go bad, they can go really bad" said board member Sperling, as he called on ARB staff to report back to the Board on ensuring appropriate market oversight.
Anyone watching CARB's process today should be proud of the integrity and openness behind this new bold direction for California. Said CARB member Berg near the end of the meeting, "today is the beginning of a new level of details".
Congratulations CARB Board members, staff and of course California voters! A recent poll shows 64% of surveyed voters support the cap and trade parts of California's bill.

The 188-page ARB rule can be downloaded here. TFG has also transcribed the portion of the decision on sectoral crediting, where REDD is located. Below is our unofficial transcription of the relevant sections (from pages 176 to 178).

§ 95991. Sector-Based Offset Credits.

Sector-based offset credits may be generated through reduced or avoided GHG emissions from within, or carbon removed and sequestered from the atmosphere by, a specific sector in a particular jurisdiction. The Board may consider for acceptance compliance instruments issued from sector-based offset crediting programs that meet the requirements set forth in section 95994 and originate from developing countries or from subnational jurisdictions within those developing countries, except as specified in subarticle 13.

§ 95992. Procedures for Approval of Sector-Based Crediting Programs.

The Board may approve a sector-based crediting program in an eligible jurisdiction after public notice and opportunity for public comment in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act (Government Code section 11340 et seq.). Provisions set forth in this article shall specify which compliance instruments issued by an approved sector-based crediting program may be used to meet a compliance obligation under this Article.

§ 95993. Sources for Sector-Based Offset Credits.

Sector-based credits may be generated from:

(a) Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) Plans; and

(b) Reserved for other sources of sector-based credits.

§ 95994. Requirements for Sector-Based Offset Crediting Programs.

(a) General Requirements for Sector-Based Crediting Programs. The Board may consider for approval a sector-based crediting program which may include the following sectoral requirements:

1. Sector Plan. The host jurisdiction has established a plan for reducing emissions from the sector.

2. Monitoring, Reporting, Verification, and Enforcement. The program includes a transparent system that regularly monitors, inventories, reports, verifies, and maintains accounting for emission reductions across the program’s entire sector, as well as maintains enforcement capability over its reference activity producing credits.

3. Offset Criteria. The program has requirements to ensure that offset credits generated by the program are real, additional, quantifiable, permanent, verifiable and enforceable.

4. Sectoral Level Performance. The program includes a transparent system for determining and reporting when it meets or exceeds its crediting baseline(s), and evaluating the performance of the program’s sector during each program’s crediting period relative to the business as usual or other emissions reference level.

5. Public Participation and Participatory Management Mechanism. The program has established a means for public participation and consultation in the program design process.

6. Nested Approach. If applicable, the program includes:

(A) Offset project-specific requirements that establish methods to inventory, quantify, monitor, verify, enforce, and account for all project-level activities

(B) a system for reconciling offset project-based GHG reductions in sector-level accounting from the host jurisdiction.

(b) Sector-Specific Requirements. Pursuant to section 95996, specific sectors may have specific requirements unique to that sector.

§ 95995. Quantitative Usage Limit.

Sector-based offset credits approved by ARB for compliance pursuant to section 95821(d) are subject to the quantitative usage limit specified in section 95854.

§ 95996. Reserved for Sector-Specific Requirements

§ 95997. Reserved for Approved Sector-Based Crediting Programs.


Extpub | by Dr. Radut