While direct reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions remain the top priority in meeting the provincial government’s commitment to a carbon neutral public sector and meeting provincial GHG targets, some emissions will remain to be offset. In this context, we support the Pacific Carbon Trust’s mandate to provide quality BC-based offsets that are of high environmental integrity. High quality forest-based offsets would provide both real GHG reduction benefits and biodiversity co-benefits. High quality forest-based offsets should provide incentives for forest conservation initiatives as a first priority, both to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to give species and ecosystems the best chance in the face of climate change. The signatories to this submission, 12 provincial, national and international conservation groups, believe that the proposed silvicultural programs as described in the Pacific Carbon Trust’s Request for Information #PCT-2371 - Forest Greenhouse Gas Offsets will compromise the ability of the PCT to provide high quality forest-based offsets due to:
- Negative ecological impacts in intensively managed forests;
- Tenuous GHG benefits; and,
- Lack of clarity as to how intensively managed forest offset projects can be financially viable while also being of ‘high quality’.