White Forests
Comments for the California Air Resources Board on the California Tropical Forest Standard and Draft Environmental Analysis

by Larry Lohmann

first published 24 November 2018

California’s Air Resources Board has postponed until April 2019 any decision on whether to endorse a Tropical Forest Standard (TFS). The TFS purports to be a step toward ensuring the "environmental integrity" of schemes to use carbon-storing forests to generate greenhouse gas pollution rights for California industry. The postponement came after a 15 November 2018 public meeting featuring testimonies by academics and activists criticizing the TFS. The decision represents a major setback for state- and business-led projects attempting to delay action on climate change through the use of forest offsets.

Reproduced here is The Corner House's submission to the Air Resources Board on this issue, together with draft texts of the TFS and the official environmental assessment thereof. The Corner House submission argues that, by promoting the spread of what it calls "white forests", the TFS is not only racist but also, as a result, lacking in understanding of the climatological issues involved.