Emmett Institute Examines California's Approach to REDD+ Offsets

November 20, 2014 – The Center for Global Development has published a report authored by scholars at UCLA’s Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment on California’s ongoing debate over whether to credit REDD+ offsets within the state’s greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program. REDD+ offsets are greenhouse gas emission reduction credits generated by foreign states and provinces through better forestry management, including reduced forest destruction and degradation and related conservation and sustainability efforts. California has been moving forward with states in Brazil, Mexico and elsewhere to consider the acceptance of REDD+ offsets for years but has yet to determine its approach.

During their deliberations on the issue, state policymakers have heard arguments from stakeholders in favor of crediting REDD+ offsets and those against.
The report summarizes the ongoing political history of this debate and characterizes the key questions on which the state’s decision is likely to turn, including “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.”

The report was authored by UCLA law professors Jesse Lueders, Cara Horowitz, Ann Carlson, Sean Hecht and Ted Parson. It is part of the Center for Global Development’s paper series Why Forests? Why Now? The Science, Economics, and Politics of Tropical Forests and Climate Change. The series covers the science, economics, and politics of forest conservation and finance to underscore the urgency, affordability and feasibility of scaling up funding for reducing deforestation, particularly through performance-based approaches.

Read the report.