Carbon caps and carbon offset trades are often considered the best way to reduce emissions at the lowest cost. But they fail to consider the many different uses of wood that displace more emissions than are considered in the trade.
Every living thing and manufacturing process alters carbon. But the certification of carbon reductions from making a trade do not consider the wide array of potential alternatives preventing the best uses of the material to displace more emissions.
- With sustainable forest growth and production of wood products that displace fossil intensive products, the reduction of carbon in the atmosphere is sustained year after year without requiring difficult and costly — if not impossible — accountability measures.
- Paying a tree farmer to not harvest for the additional carbon that can be stored in the forest before the stand reaches its carrying capacity prevents best uses of the material to displace the most fossil emissions.
- Paying foreign countries to grow trees that can offset U.S. fossil emissions directs capital to uncontrolled entities while providing no accountability that the tree growth truly captures additional carbon. It also fails to acknowledge that carbon in forests is a one-time contribution that stops when the decay in a maturing forest catches up to new growth.