Far Forest Offsets
Incorporate tropical forest conservation as offsets in climate change mitigation strategies.
Cities will have difficulty reaching carbon neutrality by cutting their direct emissions alone. Financing tropical forest conservation and restoration, certified by a credible jurisdictional REDD+ program such as ART/TREES, may offer ways to compensate for remaining urban emissions. Cities are encouraged to:
Compensate for urban emissions by funding tropical forest conservation. For example:
Portland (Oregon) is reviewing a proposal for a fee on large facilities producing 2,500 metric tons or more of carbon a year and an annual surcharge on major sources of air pollution to raise money to fight climate change. It is estimated that the fees would raise $11 million USD per year to support GHG emission reduction programs.
The City of Boulder, USA implemented a Climate Action Plan (CAP) tax in 2006, which taxes electricity use in residential, commercial, and industrial properties. Since then, the fund has raised US$ 17.3 million and has helped reduce GHG emissions through energy efficiency programs by 18% from 2005 level.
At the provincial level, British Columbia’s Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program (CARIP) encourages cities in the province to pursue carbon neutrality of their internal operations through a carbon tax and grant scheme.
Ecuador’s Socio Bosque program provides another example of how payment for ecosystem services (PES) can work at a large scale. Since 2008 the program has grown to help preserve 16% of Ecuador’s forests through providing fiscal incentives to landowners to maintain their forests.