On stage c TC sessions: Climate 2022 this week the climate modeling expert Dr. William Collins shared why he is deeply skeptical of carbon offsets, especially tree-based offsets.
According to Collins, they are, “as far as we can tell, a measure of good mood.” Similarly, tree planting programs placed on pedestals by companies such as United Airlines are “gold for fools,” he said. “It is essentially impossible to keep track of whether or not things will stay in the trees. The moment you have a forest fire – the game is over.
You may be embarrassed to hear this from Collins, who heads the climate and ecosystem sciences department at the Berkeley Laboratory and the Negative Carbon Initiative. Collins was also the lead author of several IPCC evaluations, one of which won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.
Forest protection is criticaland is most successful when it is led by local communities. Forest protection loans and corporate mass planting initiatives are a different story. And 2019 ProPublica the investigation found that “carbon credits for forest protection” in particular “could be worse than nothing”.
Collins also pointed out pledge for forest protection which were included in the Paris Agreement: “One third of the parties to the Paris Agreement essentially say:” We will not cut down our forests [and that] is our main contribution to the greening of the planet. ”Collins says it is unclear what material benefits these promises have in terms of carbon capture.
“The estimates they gave for how much [carbon] their forests vary by four factors within the country, ”Collins said. “That tells you they’re making up numbers.”
Probably not in this regard enough space for all the trees that only corporations seek to plant.
Collins does not go into detail about other types of offset programs, such as those convert biomass into oil for underground storage (more on that TIMES) and credits for carbon removal in the atmosphere.