US: Forestry developers voice displeasure during offset workshop

29 July 2015

Forestry developers continued to point out numerous flaws in the recently updated forestry offset protocol on Monday, but Air Resources Board (ARB) officials noted there is little they can do in the short term to change the regulations.

The ARB, the cap-and-trade regulator, approved an updated version of its forestry protocol in late June, but in an effort to diffuse criticism, board members required staff members to hold a workshop and release a guidance document on the protocol.

During Monday’s workshop, forestry developers continued to criticize decisions to include requirements that would require a specific buffer zone around a project and regulations on how to examine emission reductions based on a neighbouring area. Forestry developers also believe data used to create the baseline are not reflective of historical averages.

Without changes, developers said the new requirements may discourage forest owners from participating.

“Many of us are here to talk about those things,” said Ed Murphy from Sierra Pacific Industries. “Some of the fixes that we have been asking for might require going back to the board. There are pieces that would require a more substantive discussion.”

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