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Your Forest Carbon Check is in the Mail… (or is it?) Tom Gaman January 20, 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Your Forest Carbon Check is in the Mail… (or is it?) Tom Gaman January 20, 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Your Forest Carbon Check is in the Mail… (or is it?) Tom Gaman January 20, 2011

2 A brief history of Greenhouse Gases (GHG’s) Status of forest carbon accounting How to take advantage of the opportunity—the CAR Forest Protocol as an example. Questions and Discussion. What I will cover today…

3 1606 “The green mantle of the standing pool.” 3.4 King Lear GHG’s 1771: Joseph Priestley discovers “good air” and “bad air” “I have fully satisfied myself that air rendered in the highest degree noxious by breathing is restored by sprigs of mint growing in it…” letter to Franklin 7/1/1772

4 1950’s: Charles Keeling strarts to measure atmospheric CO 2 at Mauna Loa Observatory. He observed an increase from 310 to 380 ppm in 2005, over 390 now and headed for 400 ppm. We have in 250 years burned half a trillion tonnes of carbon, and expect to have burned 1 trillion by 2050 GHG’s NY Times 12/22/10

5 methane (CH 4 ) in landfills (25 x CO 2 ), melting tundra emissions Ozone (O 3 ) depleting gases: refrigerants N 2 O (exponentially more potent than CO 2 ) Other potent GHG’s NY Times 12/22/10

6 Increased ocean acidity Global warming Melting tundra Extreme weather conditions Rising sea levels Increased habitat migration and destruction Reduced biodiversity Drought and famine Etc., etc., etc. Increasing tree growth? Consequences of increased GHG’s

7 In the scientific community it is generally agreed that a “tipping point” is upon us, and there is finally international political agreement on this. Solutions? Reductions decrease anthropogenic (human related) emissions Offsets increase sequestration (e.g. protect and grow forests) Do nothing

8 International Treaties are difficult… Rio 1992 Kyoto Protocol 1997 Bush (2001-2009) Copenhagen Accord 2009 (recognizes forestry contributions) Cancun 2010 (agreement on deep cuts, Green Climate Fund) Still no US carbon policy. EPA/DOE policies vary, measurement processes are in flux. In California carbon reductions are difficult… California Climate Action Registry (CCAR 2001 a voluntary program) AB32 2006. Requires 20% reduction by 2020, empowers ARB as enforcer Climate Action Reserve (CAR) 2007 ARB 2010/2011 Market based solutions (Cap and Trade, voluntary approaches, adopting CAR protocols) Ongoing evolution of political approaches to emissions reductions

9 Opportunities for emission reductions in lots of US industries via registries utilizing “protocols”… Forest Livestock Urban Forest Landfill Concrete manufacture Coal mine Methane Nitric acid Organic Waste composting Organic waste digestion Ozone depleting substances Agriculture

10 Alphabet soup of terms, protocol and registries. VCS CCX NYX CAR WRAP CARB CDM 14064 19011 Source, reservoir & pool Carbon Credit AB32 ISO ANSI ABX EPA Leakage Anthropogenic Permanence Additionality

11 G Reduction Projects other GHG Reduction Projects Solar Wind Tidal energy


13 Forestry is finally green… CAR recognizes forest climate values and environmental benefits. It provides an opportunity for forest and woodland conservation and enhancement, and money to keep trees in the woods.

14 The CAR General Protocol and Forest Protocol provide a transparent set of standards for carbon accounting, verification, monitoring, reductions, removals and exchange Tracks CRT’s (“carrots”) Evolving – 2005 was v. 1.0. Now in version 3.2 How to take advantage of this opportunity…the CAR Forest Protocols

15 Each Forest CRT must be: Part of a Forest Project Real Beyond business as usual (baseline) Permanent Ownership unambiguous Measurable Verifiable

16 A CAR Forest Project Registered with CAR Each project has a start date and requires a 100-year commitment, though a conservation easement is NOT required All projects verified by an ANSI/ISO-approved “Verification Body” CRT’s only available for forest carbon storage that exceeds the “baseline”

17 Developing a CAR Forest Project Initially the Applicant “submits” a project and that project is “listed” (various forms, “Attestation of Title”) Project developer selects a verifier to be approved by CAR, the verifier is not a consultant, is an independent auditor representing the Verification Body Project developer creates a Project Design Document (PDD) Project developer conducts a forest inventory (or adapts a recent inventory), prepares documents, submits to the verifier. Verification process. Verification Body issues a verification opinion Project Implementation Agreement (PIA) is signed Project is registered. CAR issues CRT’s (w/ serial numbers) to applicant’s online account. Accounts are held by project developers, traders, users and retailers. CRT’s may be developed, bought, sold, and retired.

18 A CAR Forest Project 3 project types Improved Forest Management Reforestation Avoided conversion Forest Carbon pools Mandatory pools Standing live Standing Dead Option pools Shrub layer Lying dead Diff / litter Soil borne carbon Growth and yield Modeling (FVS/Cryptos/Forsee etc.)

19 CAR Forest Project Development An inventory of forest carbon pools with statistical reliability…lower SE, more CRT’s A calculation of baseline and “reductions” A management plan and 100-year growth model (Cryptos, ForSee, FVS, etc.) A spreadsheet and inventory report showing ALL work

20 CAR Forest Project Development Must show original inventory and all calculations for verification. 1. GHG Table 6.4 Summary Calculations. 2. Chart Baseline and Growth. 3. Baseline Growth Model Summary. 4. Live Growth and Baseline Model. Appendix A. carbon calculations by species Appendix B. 2008 carbon inventory Appendix C. snag/standing dead inventory Appendix D. ForSee output TreeList Appendix E. risk of reversal calculations Appendix F. The 2008 inventory original data set

21 CAR Forest Project Development

22 A calculation of baseline and “reductions” Reductions for this project, most years The project developer will have CRT’$ to $ell. Reductions are above baseline

23 CAR Forest Project Development The Project Development Document absolutely necessary to demonstrate compliance with every detail of the FPP and the Forest Verification Protocol.

24 Carefully review both the FPP and the Forest Verification protocol and comply with every word Address the details, show your work, do not leave out any required information. Make it easy for the verifier to find the required information and to validate it in the field Use the aggregation protocol for increased efficiency with smaller holdings Provide only the required information CAR Forest Project & Verification Protocols

25 The 3 rd party auditor is a critical part of the process Kick off meeting Document and inventory and calculations review Field review and sampling NCR’s, NIR’s and OFI’s Closing meeting VB issues Report and Opinion CAR Forest Verification Process

26 Maintain the CAR Forest Project Annual forms and verification update. New CRT’s are added to account annually. CAR account must be maintained and forms submitted every year. New Verification Body each 6 years avoids COI New forest inventory update every 12 years. Project reversal is a possibility. Fire, risks of conversion, leakage.

27 Economics of carbon It requires 2 tonnes of bone dry biomass to account for 1 metric tonne of carbon, and is 3.67 CO 2 equivalent tonnes. A 300 acre project like Arcata City Forest might produce 90K CRT’s over 100 years. Presently CRT’s sell for about $10. It might cost $30-40K to do the inventory and to get certified and verified. Plus ongoing expenses about $5-6k/year Do the math.

28 Forestry is finally green… …but how green are we?

29 The memory be green. …(1.2.2) Hamlet His nose was as sharp as a pen, and a’ babbled of green fields. (2.3.17) Henry V

30 Thank you. Questions? Discussion

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