| SAN FRANCISCO, April 9
SAN FRANCISCO, April 9 California air regulators
on Wednesday issued the first carbon offset credits for a forest
protection project, credits that power companies and others
large emitters can use to meet their compliance obligations
under the state's greenhouse gas reduction program.
The California Air Resources Board, which administers the
program, issued 836,619 offset credits for the Yurok Tribe
Sustainable Forest Project, which covers about 8,000 acres of
tribal land in California's Humboldt County.
In return for the credits, the landowners have agreed to
maintain or increase carbon stored in the trees for more than
100 years. The land is the ancestral homeland of the Yurok
The credits are currently worth about $10.25 each, according
to one carbon market participant.
Utilities such as Pacific Gas and Electric and
Southern California Edison, a subsidiary of Edison International
, have recently expressed interest in buying offset
credits to help them meet their compliance obligation under the
Those companies as well as oil refineries and large
manufacturers will be required in November for the first time to
turn over allowances and offsets to account for their output of
heat-trapping greenhouse gases.
Offset credits typically trade at a discount to California
carbon allowances (CCAs), which closed at $12 a tonne on the
IntercontinentalExchange on Tuesday.
"Twenty percent of the world's GHG emissions come from
deforestation," said Linda Adams, chair of the Climate Action
Reserve board of directors, which registered the project and did
its initial verification.
"The issuance of these forest offset credits signifies a
legal commitment to long-term forest protection and demonstrates
the effectiveness and benefit of market mechanisms to encourage
environmental action," she said.
(Reporting by Rory Carroll; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)