This letter was sent in response to a letter that was published in the San Francisco Chronicle regarding California ponders expanding cap and trade to Brazil.

We appreciate the concerns raised by James Feichtl regarding the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) forest protocols.

Carbon credits are essential to combat climate change. If designed right, they have the potential to also play a critical role in preserving the California coast redwoods that Sempervirens Fund has worked to protect for the last 116 years. These are not only the tallest trees in the world, they are also some of the largest carbon sinks — estimated to sequester at least three times more carbon than any other forests on earth. To succeed, we will need to figure out how to make carbon credits work for small landowners as well as large. In the Santa Cruz Mountains, for instance, land ownership is fragmented even in places where the redwood forests remain relatively intact. For this reason, Sempervirens Fund is exploring ways to aggregate the conservation values across small landowners to enable them to collectively participate in the carbon banking process.

Sara Barth
Executive Director, Sempervirens Fund