TPL Hails Important Land And Forestry Provisions Of Senate Climate Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C 11/5/2009: The Trust for Public Land, a national land conservation organization, today applauded critical provisions, included in climate legislation passed by the Senate Environment Public Works Committee, to slow climate change and help reduce climate impacts on U.S. communities and natural resources. The new Chairman’s mark, approved by the committee today, provides critical tools to incentivize land-based carbon reductions and to support climate adaptation for human and natural communities.

“This bill creates two pathways to achieve carbon sequestration,” said Jad Daley, Director of TPL’s Climate Conservation Program. “It creates a strong offsets program while adding unprecedented resources to incentivize ‘supplemental’ carbon sequestration from U.S. forestry and agriculture-an essential and cost-effective strategy to slow climate change.”

The legislation includes a robust opportunity for forest owners and agricultural producers to gain saleable offset credits in exchange for activities that generate precisely measured carbon sequestration on their lands. However, it also offers a critical new wrinkle-a “supplemental” incentives program for forestry and agriculture projects that can create real carbon reductions but lack the precise methodologies and measurement techniques needed to earn offsets. Under the committee-passed bill the new supplemental carbon incentives program would be funded with one percent of emission allowances-supplemented by an additional allocation in the first five years of the program-a level of resources that could produce more than 100 million tons of additional carbon reductions each year.

TPL, created in 1972, specializes in conservation real estate to protect land for people to enjoy as parks, community gardens, urban playgrounds, and wilderness. With funding from the Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program, Forest Legacy program, Land and Water Conservation Fund, state and local open space funds, and other private and public investments, TPL has helped protect more than 2.5 million acres across the country. TPL depends upon the support of individuals, foundations, and corporations.