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I want to update you on the latest positive news that has been generated over my proposal for the city to use its "urban forest" as a means of selling carbon offset credits under AB 32 and thereby raising revenues for park and tree maintenance. Under the new cap and trade program, corporations will be seeking carbon offsets which they can purchase to offset their pollution. These carbon offset credits will be bought and sold on a commodity type trading market. The state is allowing the use of urban forest credits -- and Long Beach has one of the largest. This could mean revenue for the City and growth of the number of trees we have. A win - win for everyone.
Here's the background:
National and International Press Take Notice of Idea to Use Long Beach's Urban Forest
It was exciting to read all of the national and international news coverage of my proposal to explore how the City of Long Beach can utilize its "urban forest" of 393,000 trees in medians and in parks and market the carbon offset credits these trees produce. I want to thank my two co-sponsors: Council members Garcia and Johnston.
The marketing of these carbon offset credits and the revenues produced could help our city better trim and maintain these trees.
Under AB 32, California's landmark climate regulations, a cap and trade system is established that allows the selling and buying of carbon offset credits. The use of an "urban forest" for these credits is a new one but one being explored in California as evidenced by a recent workshop conducted by the University of California at Davis which you can view at:
Also check out some of the news stories featuring our proposal in Long Beach:
Positive Meeting with Environmental Defense Fund Attorney About Potential of Long Beach Urban Forest Carbon Credits
Today, I had the pleasure of meeting with Timothy O'Connor, an attorney with the Environmental Defense Fund. O'Connor also serves as the Director of the California Climate Energy Initiative and is based in San Francisco. He requested the meeting because of the strong interest of EDF and other environmental organizations in the "urban forest carbon offset credits" program I am trying to launch in Long Beach.
According to Mr. O'Connor, our urban forest project presents a host of benefits for our city, the environment and other cities who would use Long Beach as a model.
Trees provide numerous benefits to Long Beach and with the adoption of the "Urban Forest" as an acceptable part of the Air Resource Board's compliance offset protocols to support the proposed Cap and Trade program under AB 32, our trees (currently planted and new plantings) provide an additional benefit that eventually could result in revenue to the city.
I am scheduling a follow up meeting with the City Manager, the Office of Sustainability, the EDF and an expert on the use of urban forests for carbon offset credits to see if Long Beach can get some free expert advice on how to make this project happen.
I will keep you posted on the outcomes.
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