The California Climate Action Registry has backed off from a proposal to provide carbon credits for carbon "sequestered" in landfills, a policy that CAW has opposed many times in the past.
It recently came to CAW’s attention that, in the process of updating the CCAR Forestry Protocol, the protocol workgroup had contemplated the inclusion of "sequestration" credits for hardwood products in landfills. CAW has consistently objected to any policies that provide an incentive to landfill wood, especially given the fact that this material has a greater greenhouse gas benefit when diverted from the landfill (to reuse, recycling, mulching, or biomass). CAW also objected to some of the inaccurate accounting methods used in the protocol and to the lack of input from environmental and industry experts.
As a result of strong advocacy from CAW and other environmental organizations, as well as industry leaders and local governments, the workgroup has moved away from their landfill sequestration proposal. At a workshop today, CCAR released a proposed compromise reached by the workgroup not to provide a sellable offset for wood stored in landfills but to account for the carbon as an non-verifiable informational item in the reporting. This is clearly a significant victory, but CAW still has strong concerns about putting a CCAR "stamp of approval" on these carbon storage numbers. We have reason to doubt the technical accuracy of these numbers, and we are also concerned that showing any sort of positive impact from landfilling wood sends improper policy signals.