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Agricultural Offsets Won’t Improve California’s Cap-and-Trade Program

Media Statement: The recent news that American Carbon Registry approved a new methodology for estimating nitrous oxide (N20) emissions from fertilizer application in agriculture renews our concern that California is considering allowing agricultural offsets in its carbon cap-and-trade program. Allowing these offsets would make an already risky program even worse for the residents of California.

Statement from Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch

San Francisco – “The recent news that American Carbon Registry approved a new methodology for estimating nitrous oxide (N20) emissions from fertilizer application in agriculture renews our concern that California is considering allowing agricultural offsets in its carbon cap-and-trade program. Allowing these offsets would make an already risky program even worse for the residents of California.

“NASA scientist James Hansen has pointed out that cap-and-trade ‘perpetuates the exact pollution it is supposed to eliminate.’ It does not actually prohibit polluters from polluting. It merely requires them to purchase the right to pollute more. It’s like paying a robber not to steal from your house.

“As we have seen in Europe, carbon cap-and-trade schemes fail to reduce pollution and require constant intervention to make them attract participants. They just transfer the market failures we have all been living through beyond the economy and throughout the environment.

“Instead of expanding the market for greenhouse gases, Californians should call on their government to scrap its cap-and-trade system before its too late.”

Contact: Anna Ghosh, 415-293-9905, aghosh(at)fwwatch(dot)org