Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today issued the following statement after Sierra Pacific Industries announced the creation of the nation’s largest carbon sequestration project:
“Last week California adopted important accounting rules for capturing carbon through improved forestry practices and this week Sierra Pacific is using those rules to sequester more than one million tons of carbon dioxide. This agreement and the partnerships formed at this summit will help people around the world reduce the 20 percent of global warming emissions that come from deforestation.”
This announcement follows the California Air Resources Board’s adoption of the Forest Project Protocol 3.0 – a set of guidelines establishing accounting rules for determining the climate benefits of forest carbon sequestration projects. The updated protocol removes some of the barriers to participation, such as the requirement for conservation easements and now opens up the voluntary offsets market to private landowners, public lands and out-of-state projects.
These guidelines have allowed Sierra Pacific Industries, California’s largest private landowner and Equator, LLC, a natural resources asset management firm, to enter into a contract creating the nation’s largest carbon sequestration project. This agreement consists of four projects that will be implemented over five years – spanning approximately 60,000 acres of forest across the Sierra.
Under this agreement, Equator, LLC, will purchase carbon dioxide equivalent offsets from Sierra Pacific that will result in the sequestration of 1.5 million tons of carbon dioxide – equivalent to taking 300,000 cars off the road for a year.
[Source: State of California press release]