In May, the Colville Business Council passed two resolutions related to a carbon credit offsets deal to be listed in the California Air Resource Board’s Cap-in-Trade in California market.
In response to the Tribune publication online, Bobby Lynne Squeet-sitka Chase wrote: “question... what exactly is ‘Carbon Credits’? this article does not describe to us what that is.”
A 2006 California law requires companies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, and to comply, carbon burning companies reduce emissions and purchase carbon credit offsets, or CCOs, from other sources, which is called carbon offsetting.
Trading of CCOs created the California market.
A CCO then is a financial unit that represents removal of one tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent from the atmosphere.
Credits are created by approved projects that deliver measurable emissions.
The Colville Tribes are interested in carbon sequestration, capturing and storing already released carbon in trees and other plants.
In CBC Chambers, supporters have noted the deal works from previously established Tribal forestry practices.
“We have an opportunity because of our [Integrated Resource Management Plan]. Since this law has passed, our IRMP has produced [CCOs] every year but we chose not to participate,” wrote CBC Member Billy Nicholson in his June 4 Council Corner update.
Other Tribes’ have made similar deals: In March the Round Valley Indian Tribes of California reportedly were issued 540,000 CCOs to be traded in the California market.
While the Tribes’ first resolution passed provides ARB the right to enforce legal action against the tribe as a sovereign entity through Washington state laws, it also approves ARB to measure the carbon emissions of current tribal forest practices on the reservation.
That measurement will find the number of CCOs the tribe qualifies to sale, which allows the Tribes to enter the market.
Tribal member Tope Knauf stated online that on June 2, CCOs traded for $12.67.