JOANNEUM RESEARCH

Foresty offsets in emissions trading systems: a link between systems?

Publication from Life
Internationale Klimapolitik und -ökonomik

Streck, C., Türk A., B. Schlamadinger

Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change Volume 14, Issue 5, 6/2009

Abstract:

An important aspect in the linking of different emissions trading schemes is the degree to which these systems allow (or ban) external offset project categories. The EU Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS) currently allows the use of credits from energy and industry projects developed under the Kyoto Protocol’s Joint Implementation (JI) and Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) but excludes the use of carbon credits from forestry projects for compliance in the EU ETS. Forestry credits generated by the CDM have a limited lifetime and expire at the end of a project’s crediting period, or earlier if the carbon stock for which the credits have been issued ceases to exist. According to the recently adopted amendment of the EU ETS Directive forestry credits will remain to be excluded until 2020. The present article reviews how the New South Wales Greenhouse Gas Abatement Scheme (Australia), the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (US) and the voluntary scheme of the Chicago Climate Exchange integrate forestry offsets into the respective system and how they deal with the risk of losing stored and credited biomass. By comparing the results of different scenarios this article shows how differences in the treatment of forestry offsets could impact the efforts to link various emission trading systems in future.