On August 29, 2019, Emmett Institute faculty members William Boyd, Ann Carlson, James Salzman, Harjot Kaur, Cara Horowitz submitted a comment letter to California Air Resources Board in support of the proposed Updated Tropical Forest Standard. In a previous letter commenting on the original proposed Standard, the authors concluded that approving this Standard presents an opportunity for CARB (and California) to help lead the global fight against tropical deforestation.
In this letter, the authors reiterate their support in light of recent updates to the proposed Standard. The revisions made on November 9, 2018 and July 3, 2019, retain the Standard’s high quality as a global model for assessing jurisdiction-scale programs to reduce emissions from tropical deforestation. The authors also commend CARB’s improvements to its criteria for social and environmental safeguards. If adopted, the Standard will send a very strong signal regarding the fundamental importance of including indigenous and local communities as true partners in the development of jurisdiction-scale programs to fight tropical deforestation. This would set a very high bar for ongoing forest protection initiatives around the world and would provide an important benchmark for any jurisdiction seeking to develop a comprehensive program to mitigate tropical deforestation that could access various pay-for-performance opportunities.