The State of California continues implementing and developing a suite of innovative climate policies including a Renewable Portfolio Standard, a Regional Planning and Smart Growth program, and a Low Carbon Fuel Standard. A cap-and-trade rule will supplement these efforts and is expected to begin in 2013.
Revisions to the proposed cap-and-trade regulation were released in July 2011, and The Wilderness Society submitted comments (see below) to the California Air Resources Board. TWS urges strengthening provisions to ensure rigorous carbon accounting with respect to bioenergy and to ensure that the forest offsets program does not compromise the targeted level of carbon emissions (i.e. “the cap”). We have recommended the development of metrics that will allow tracking and mitigation of any impacts California climate policies may have on forests. We have also recommended use of revenues generated from the program for investments designed to protect California’s wetlands, forests, rangelands and deserts from the impacts of climate change.