The European Union is poised to consider forest-based carbon credits or emission offsets. The European Parliament’s Environment Committee’s review of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is scheduled to discuss the inclusion of forest-related credits on October 7, 2008.
Several Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) are lobbying for inclusion of forest-based credits in the greenhouse gas control schemes. The Rainforest Alliance and the Climate, Community, and Biodiversity Alliance provide verification and validation of forest-based carbon credits.
The United Nations is evaluating including avoided deforestation in the Clean Devlopment Mechanism under the Kyoto Protocol. In the United States, several developing state programs would include forests and agriculture as land-based emission offsets. The Lieberman-Warner bill that was ultimately filibustered in the Senate, included provisions allowing forest-based offset credits.
If the EU would accept these credits and the UN would approve methologies for obtaining Certified Emission Reductions under the Kyoto Protocol, this would be a major supporting step. Now, voluntary emissions reductions (VERs) can be obtained by, for example, seeking credits under the Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS).
Carbon credits for avoided deforestation present a means, along with other actions, to help reduce the destruction of our remaining rainforests.