Cap-and-Trade Programs. Government created markets. State administrated. Carbon tax.
Allowances. Emission caps and goals, cost of polluting, Proceeds got to CA Climate Investments fund to support public adaptation projects.
Offsets. If not real, compensation for pollution is diverted from the public fund, pollution increases, and social costs increase without benefits.
Additional. Is project happening for the right reason? Was there a measurable change in practices in response to market incentives? Why we must be sure projects are beyond BAU.
Real. Actual changes versus hypothetical scenarios. ex-ante vs. ex-post crediting
Activity-shifting leakage. Supply and demand. Source emissions are not truly “offset” if the credited avoidance is shifted elsewhere to compensate for less output or if stored carbon in growth is harvested elsewhere.
Permanence. Monitoring for extended timeframes. Growth and avoided harvest must be closely monitored and maintained for time periods equal to the lasting effects of carbon emissions.
Validation and Issuance. Who does this? Government agencies acting without financial incentives and free of political influence or highly compensated second-party entities retained under contract by developers. Discretionary approval by public agencies, who act on behalf of the public, should seek input in the form of public comments for each project review.
Transactions. How are revenues distributed? Equitability.
Linkage. Stringency of the offset program can vary by jurisdiction. Are all offsets created equally?