Barriers to the development of forest carbon offsetting: Insights from British Columbia, Canada

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Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Document Type: Report
Length: 359 words

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To access, purchase, authenticate, or subscribe to the full-text of this article, please visit this link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2017.07.051 Byline: Guillaume Peterson St-Laurent [peterson.guil@gmail.com] (a,*), Shannon Hagerman (b), George Hoberg (c) Keywords Forest carbon offsets; Climate change mitigation; Forest management; Barriers; Implementation; British Columbia Highlights * This paper explores the barriers to the implementation of forest carbon offsets in British Columbia. * Barriers include markets, economics, governance, public opinion, efficacy and property rights. * There are differences in sectoral perceptions of, and goals for offsetting. * Insights for understanding the uptake (or not) of carbon offset policies are presented. Abstract In recent years, the provision of economic incentives through carbon financing and carbon offsetting has been central to efforts at forest carbon mitigation. However, notwithstanding their potentially important roles in climate policy, forest carbon offsets face numerous barriers which have limited widespread implementation worldwide. This paper uses the case study of the Canadian province of British Columbia to explore the barriers associated with achieving widespread implementation of forest carbon offsets in the next several decades. Drawing on interviews with experts from government, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and First Nations, six main barriers are identified and discussed: (1) deficiencies of carbon markets, (2) limited economic benefits, (3) uncertain climate effectiveness, (4) negative public opinion, (5) limited and uncertain property rights, and (6) governance issues. While respondents from different sectors agreed on various points, divergence was also observed, notably on the trade-off between generating environmentally sound offsets and promoting cost-effective ways to achieve mitigation. We discuss these differences in the context of the goals and objectives of different actors, and offer insights for understanding the uptake (or not) of carbon offset policies. Author Affiliation: (a) Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability, University of British Columbia, 2202 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada (b) Department of Forest Resources Management, Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia, 2031 -- 2424 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada (c) Liu Institute for Global Issues, University of British Columbia, 6476 NW Marine Drive, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z2, Canada * Corresponding author. Article History: Received 11 January 2017; Revised 6 June 2017; Accepted 19 July 2017

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A518629586