Urban Forests
Source: http://webpages.scu.edu/ftp/mmooney/urbanforest.htm

Chicago Tribune re-printed a Reuters’ article yesterday called California City Eyes Carbon Credit Revenue from its Trees. I have posted an excerpt below as a follow up to an article I wrote on the subject on June 1, 2012, Counting Trees in San Diego.* The Reuters’ article reports on how the city of Long Beach, CA plans to off-set its carbon emissions by counting its trees so that it can accumulate carbon credits to trade in the up and coming California carbon trading market.

The article also captures the pressure elected officials are under as they face looming carbon emissions penalties if they surpass their carbon cap. In my article, Counting Trees in San Diego, I describe California’s legislative Cap and Trade Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) and how Californians should “look for the implementation of ‘urban forests’ to be another area of focus by the State of CA and environmental NGOs to significantly reduce GHGs by 80% to below 1990 levels by 2050.”

San Diego is also in the process of counting its trees and research into the CalFire AB32 Scoping Plan for Forestry reveals “details that CalFire is looking to assess CO2 sequestration in all forests and range lands across the state in order to mitigate GHG emissions.” It is clear that “capturing a map of San Diego County’s canopy would become useful data to the state of California that is about to launch its highly controversial and lucrative Cap and Trade auction in November.”

Not surprisingly, California officials assure the public that creating more urban forests will be beneficial. Never the less, reading the CalFire AB32 Scoping Plan for Forestry helps to “understand and assess future regulations that might develop from their global warming mitigation and adaption schemes.”

“Tree planting under the urban forestry strategy has direct overlap with the goals of the “Cool communities” strategy in the Land Use sector to encourage the development of communities that have lower surface temperatures. Urban tree planting may also have overlap with the Land Use sector strategies for “Landscape Guidelines” and “Smart Growth”. In addition, the forest sector Reforestation mitigation measure would require developers to provide 1 to 2 acres of reforestation as mitigation for every acre lost to development when converting forest land to other uses.” [Source p. 8]

There is a lack of understanding by the public that these innocent sounding types of projects, like counting trees, can actually be detrimental to our freedom and our economic sustainability. In the article, I present other regulations that would threaten property owners’ rights to manage their land as they choose.  To read Counting Trees in San Diego, click here.

Now this from Reuters printed in the Chicago Tribune.

California City Eyes Carbon Credit Revenue from its Trees

(Reporting by Valerie Volcovici)
Copyright © 2012, Reuters

WASHINGTON, Aug 15 (Reuters Point Carbon) – California’s seventh-largest city may try to bolster its strained budget by maintaining its 393,000-tree urban forest and selling carbon credits to regulated greenhouse gas emitters in the state’s forthcoming cap-and-trade program.
Long Beach Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske said Tuesday she will ask the city’s office of sustainability to review her proposal to enroll its urban forest as an offset project that can supply credits to California’s carbon market.
Planting and maintaining forests in urban areas is one of four ways emitters can offset their greenhouse gas output, according to California’s cap-and-trade regulations.
Schipske told Reuters Point Carbon that she will ask the sustainability office to take an inventory of the city’s trees and carbon emissions, and calculate how many carbon credits the project can generate.
The councilwoman said she wants Long Beach to be an early player in California’s burgeoning carbon offset market, and to take advantage of the revenue it can earn — especially in light of tight economic conditions.
Local newspaper The Press-Telegram said Long Beach has a projected $17.2 million budget deficit for the next fiscal year and has planned to slash a $227,703 from its tree-trimming budget.
But Schipske said the city can use carbon credit revenue to cover the costs of tree maintenance without dipping into the budget.
Long Beach would follow in the footsteps of the beachfront city of Santa Monica in western Los Angeles if it registers its urban forest as a carbon offset project.
Santa Monica has listed a project in the Climate Action Reserve (CAR) – an offset registry that will become an accredited registry for California cap-and-trade program – that aims to add 1,000 trees to its urban forest.
Long Beach is more than four times the size of Santa Monica and has a population that is five times larger.
[Read More…]

*Note: Counting Trees in San Diego was re-published by www.newgeography.com.