Sauder Associate Professor James Tansey participated in a Globe and Mail Q&A about carbon offsets after California and Quebec became the first jurisdictions in North America to adopt carbon cap-and-trade regulations under the Western Climate Initiative. Tansey is also CEO of ERA Carbon Offsets Ltd., a Vancouver-based company that sells carbon offsets.
Tansey responds to the assumption that determining how an offsetting system should run is difficult and that carbon offsets let industry and governments take a “business as usual” approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Tansey explains that there is a globally recognized standard for carbon offsets. “The most pervasive international standards are the Clean Development Mechanism, under the United Nations. And the second is the Verified Carbon Standard.”
“What B.C. did, because we have forestry that’s unlike really any other parts in the world, is take some of the best pieces from the VCS and one or two other standards and create a B.C. protocol. Our forestry protocol in B.C., the Forest Carbon Offset Protocol, is considered the highest-quality in the world and the most conservative.”