The environmental justice community knows that the most effective climate policies reduce pollution at the source, at the industries in our neighborhoods. CEJA opposes false promises of carbon trading and offsets because these programs don’t cut our fossil fuel dependence and instead concentrates pollution in hot spots in EJ communities. We are working for real climate solutions that will truly reduce fossil fuel emissions, but we know schemes like carbon offsets distract us from realizing our climate targets.
In the Fall of 2018 when we heard the California Air Resources Board (CARB) proposed to adopt the California Tropical Forest Standard (TFS) to send a global signal to encourage international offsets, we committed to block it. International offsets are particularly dangerous to indigenous communities who stand to lose their land and livelihoods with carbon cowboys privatizing plots for carbon farming. We joined forces with indigenous groups in the Global South, environmental groups with a good track record in the tropics, and national climate justice advocates and were able to prevent adoption of the TFS at the November 2018 meeting of CARB. CARB asked the legislature through the Joint Legislative Committee on Climate Change (JLCCC) to weigh in.
Members of our coalition engaged with a few legislators at stakeholder meetings but the full JLCCC has not been convened to hear this controversial climate proposal. Our 5/31/19 letter to the previous and current chairs of the JLCCC remind them of our opposition and their obligation for an official hearing before the issue goes back to CARB.