For Immediate Release
Valerie Langer, Director of BC Forest Campaigns, ForestEthics – (604) 307-6448
New BC Guidelines for Forest Carbon Offsets Called “Greenwashing” by Nine Environmental Groups
VANCOUVER - New B.C. guidelines for forest carbon offsets are "fake climate
change action" and will fail to reduce carbon emissions quickly or
protect vulnerable ecosystems, nine environmental groups said today.
guidelines released by the Pacific Carbon Trust (PCT) promote forest
carbon credits for activities like fertilization that are not being
considered credible in other jurisdictions, like California.
package of activities is fake climate change action," says Jens
Wieting, Forest Campaigner with Sierra Club BC. Wieting adds,
"Minister Bell claims his goal is to take a leadership position on
climate change but the Pacific Carbon Trust announcement positions B.C.
as a laggard instead."
The Pacific Carbon Trust's goal is to
buy offsets to help BC achieve a carbon neutral government by 2010. The
April 15 $3 million Request for Proposals targets the forest-based
activities of afforestation (tree-planting on non-forested lands),
select‐seed (better quality seeds) and fertilization projects, on Crown
and private land.
"Questionable offset activities like
select-seed and fertilization represent business-as-usual, status quo
forestry, and do not provide a meaningful contribution in the fight
against climate change. High quality forest carbon offsets must both
provide real and immediate carbon emission reductions and have
demonstrable benefits for biodiversity and species. The new guidelines
fail on both accounts," says Valerie Langer, BC Forest Campaigns
Director with ForestEthics.
BC's forests have some of the
highest carbon storage per hectare on the planet. Forest carbon credits
for conservation, missing from this protocol, would allow for a
financial incentive for offset projects with immediate emission
reductions and allow species a better chance to adapt to a changing
The new guidelines are based on the Ministry of
Forests draft protocol that went out for public comment in 2009. Ten
environmental groups provided detailed comments at that time, but their
input has been ignored and the original draft protocol, in the PCT's
own words, has been "reworked" -- essentially dressed up and presented
again now, as an appendix to the BC Forest Offset Guide.
views expressed herein, are shared by BC Spaces for Nature, CPAWS,
Ecotrust, ForestEthics, Greenpeace, Land Trust Alliance of BC, Sierra
Club BC, Wildsight and West Coast Environmental Law.
Founded in 2000, ForestEthics is a nonprofit environmental organization with staff in Canada, the United States and Chile. Our mission is to protect Endangered Forests and wild places, wildlife, and human wellbeing--one of our focus areas is climate change, which compromises all of our efforts if left unchecked. We catalyze environmental leadership among industry, governments and communities by running hard-hitting and highly effective campaigns that leverage public dialogue and pressure to achieve our goals.