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First California carbon offsets approved under Forestry Protocol

California forestry project generates 1.2 million credits for cap-and-trade program; provides habitat, watershed benefits

Each offset credit generated under an ARB protocol is equivalent to one metric ton of carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is the most prevalent greenhouse gas, and the largest driver of climate change.

The Forest Offset Protocol was one of four offset protocols approved by the ARB in 2011. Credits are issued based on the number of metric tons of carbon sequestered in trees in the forest that are specifically managed for each offset project.

In order to qualify for the carbon credits, projects under the forestry protocol must be managed for the purpose of carbon storage for at least 100 years. In addition, the forest management plan will provide wildlife habitat and provide the fullest range of improved watershed benefits.

Carbon offsets act as a cost-containment mechanism under the program because offsets generally cost less than state auctioned carbon allowances. A covered business may use offsets to account for up to 8 percent of its Cap-and-Trade compliance obligation.

Or you can find the Forest Offset Protocol here:


You can find early action offset projects under consideration by the Air Resources Board here: