The math isn’t adding up on forests and CO2 reductions

The math isn’t adding up on forests and CO2 reductions


SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES – 2018/09/01: Upward view of giant sequoias in Sequoia National Park, California, USA. | Photo by Marji Lang/LightRocket via Getty Images

More evidence surfaced this week that shows that forests are struggling to do humans’ dirty work when it comes to climate change. Although companies and countries are increasingly relying on forests to draw down their planet-heating carbon dioxide emissions, the math isn’t adding up to show big benefits.

California might haveoversold the success of carbon offsets used in its cap-and-trade system, which is often billed as one of the world’s most successful market-based mechanisms to tackle climate change. The system appears to be failing because California is actually overcounting how much carbon dioxide forests keep out of the atmosphere, according to a new study by nonprofit CarbonPlan, that’s still under peer review, and reporting by P…

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