Updated standard provides new guidance for using forests to address climate change

August 31, 2010

Version 3.2 of the Climate Action Reserve’s Forest Project Protocol continues to ensure integrity of forest offset projects

Los Angeles, CA  – The newest version of the Forest Project Protocol from the Climate Action Reserve, North America’s largest carbon offset registry, has been officially released for use in the carbon market.  Updates in version 3.2 of the protocol create stronger standards for ensuring integrity and long-term environmental benefit in forest offset projects across the U.S.  While other offset project types prevent carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) from entering the atmosphere, forest offset projects are unique because they remove CO2 from the atmosphere, in a sense “reversing” emissions that already happened.

The Forest Project Protocol Version 3.2 enriches the carbon landscape by providing new opportunities for participation in the carbon market.  Forests are powerful tools in our fight against climate change, and owners of small forests now have the option of aggregating their lands to create an offset project and participate in the carbon market,” said Linda Adams, Chair of the Climate Action Reserve Board of Directors and Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency.

The Forest Project Protocol is the Reserve’s flagship methodology and provides complete, consistent, accurate and conservative standards to account for forest carbon storage.  Significant updates in version 3.2 of the protocol include clarifications to the requirements for establishing a baseline for Improved Forest Management (IFM) projects and the introduction of guidelines for aggregating forest projects.

Version 3.2 of the Forest Project Protocol recognizes the tremendous opportunity of forests to sequester carbon dioxide and ensures that forest projects are developed, quantified and verified with the highest level of integrity,” said Gary Gero, President of the Climate Action Reserve.

The original forest protocol was adopted by the Climate Action Reserve Board of Directors in June 2005 with applicability specific to the State of California and was expanded to cover all of the U.S. in September 2009. Currently, forest projects registered with the Climate Action Reserve have absorbed 1,735,436 metric tons of CO2e from the atmosphere.

Please visit the Climate Action Reserve website to access the Forest Project Protocol Version 3.2, as well as all public comments regarding the protocol and the submitted responses to the comments.