As Carbonfund.org is greatly excited about the validation of our Purus Project, the first ever REDD+ project in the State of Acre, to achieve dual-validation to the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standard (CCBS) with Gold Distinction, it is important to also understand the potential broader implications of the Purus Project as it attempts to set the framework for potential REDD+ project inclusion into Phase 2 of the California Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) providing a confidence boost for the development of broader REDD+ projects around the globe.
Back in November, the State of California launched its first auction for Phase 1 of their ETS from 2013 to 2014.
California’s AB-32, also known as the Global Warming Solutions Act, regulates more than 300 facilities emitting over 25,000 metric tonnes of CO2 each year with a plan to reduce GHG emissions to 427 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions (MMTCO2e) by 2020 from the baseline of 507 MMTCO2e.
The State of California plans to allow emitters to cover a portion of their compliance obligations with offset credits. In Phase 1 of the program, these credits could come from projects in the United States that reduce emissions in the following sectors of: national forestry, urban forestry, ozone depleting substances and agricultural methane.
However, in Phase 2, commencing in 2015, we are hopeful that the scheme will allow offsets from REDD+ projects in Acre, Brazil, as the State of Acre has a signed memoranda of understanding (MOU) with the State of California, attempting to work this out. At this time, it is still unclear how the program will work.
If California accepts REDD+projects into the marketplace, it is possible for the Purus Project to be the first project leading the way for broader investment being placed into this forest protection and payment for ecosystem service projects.
Though there are still several prominent steps toward REDD+ inclusion into the California ETS, we will continue to create the best possible projects we can to protect these rainforests and its biodiversity while enhancing the lives of local communities.