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pic_pge_conf_pplSan Francisco—Avoided Deforestation Partners and PG&E convened leaders in the private sector, NGOs and government to develop an action plan to improve the market for private sector investment in protecting our planet’s forests, which is a vital tool in combating global climate change. Creating the right carbon market policies to attract private sector investment in forest preservation at scale is the central focus of AD Partners.

Peter Darbee, Chairman and CEO of PG&E provided thoughtful opening remarks and shared PG&E’s leadership and commitment to reducing its carbon footprint, which includes specific investments in preserving forests in California. Mr. Darbee outlined the key criteria for carbon offsets from forest preservation – that they are real, measurable, verifiable and permanent. The roundtable also heard from other long time leaders in forestry climate policy, including: Steve McCormick, President, The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation; Marc Stuart, Founding Partner, EcoSecurities; Ken Newcombe, Director, US Carbon Emission Trading, Goldman Sachs; and Diana Suárez, Fundación GAIA Amazonas. The featured speakers brought important perspectives on the linkages among carbon finance/investment, climate change mitigation and adaptation, biodiversity conservation, and the rights of local peoples. With their words as guidance, the roundtable spent the rest of the day discussing critical policy, technical, and market issues relating to advancing forest preservation as part of the climate solution.

The roundtable also reviewed the current policy developments at the U.S. state and federal levels relating to avoided deforestation and considered a number of case studies from projects that have been implemented and are ongoing in California, Bolivia, Madagascar, and Indonesia.

The day’s discussion centered on the following issues and the need to:

  1. learn from the failure of the CDM related to afforestation and reforestation and effectively address permanence in the context of avoided deforestation without creating a devalued asset in the carbon markets;
  2. continue to amass and utilize experiential knowledge from existing and early REDD projects;
  3. ensure that the lives of peoples who rely on the forests and the local economies are an integral part of the policy solution;
  4. recognize that good standards for designing and evaluating REDD projects exist (i.e. VCS and CCBS) and encourage their growing use, development, and role in policymaking;
  5. reconcile the imperative of urgently stopping global deforestation without detracting from the need to decarbonize the fossil fuel energy infrastructure; and
  6. create a broader policy foundation for strong market demand for forest carbon, including use of international offsets.

After lively roundtable discussions, the group determined to form two work groups. The first work group will focus on the developing U.S. policy for avoided deforestation and make recommended changes and/or additions to the current language consistent with the above-mentioned needs. AD Partners views this specific task as vital, not just to influence U.S. policy, but because the eventual U.S. policy will likely be the U.S. platform for future international negotiations.

The second work group will focus on developing a coherent, powerful message to increase awareness and public pressure for urgent action to combat deforestation. After Brad Gentry, Yale School of Forestry, asked “who is speaking for the forests in Washington?” the participants responded by committing to analyze the existing efforts and seek to coordinate and sharpen the advocacy and message.

AD Partners will pursue through the two work groups the goals identified at the meeting. Stay tuned for continued updates.

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Featured Speakers

DarbeeMcCormickStuart 2013-03-19 at 9.34.57 AM NewcombeSuarez2013-03-19 at 9.35.11 AM

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Some of the Presenters

Participants 2013-03-19 at 9.44.42 AM

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Participant List

Conference Organizers
  1. Jeffrey Horowitz – Avoided Deforestation Partners, Berkeley, CA
  2. Steve Kline – VP Corporate Environmental and Federal Affairs, PG&E Corp., Washington, DC
  3. Charlotte Streck – AD Partners; Director and Founder, Climate Focus B.V., Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  4. Rick Saines – AD Partners; Partner, Baker & McKenzie LLP, Chicago, IL
  5. Robert O’Sullivan – AD Partners; Executive Director North America, Climate Focus, Washington, DC
  6. Toby Janson-Smith – AD Partners; Senior Director, Conservation International, Washington, DC
  7. Kyle Danish – Partner, Van Ness Feldman, PC, Washington, DC
  8. Aimée Christensen – Christensen Global Strategies LLC, San Francisco, CA
Featured Speakers
  1. Peter Darbee – Chairman, CEO, and President, PG&E Corp., San Francisco, CA
  2. Steve McCormick – President, The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, San Francisco, CA
  3. Marc Stuart – Founding Partner, EcoSecurities, United States and United Kingdom
  4. Ken Newcombe – Director, US Carbon Emissions Trading, Goldman Sachs, New York, NY
  5. Diana Suárez – Fundación GAIA Amazonas, Colombia
  1. Laurie Wayburn – President, The Pacific Forest Trust, San Francisco, CA (California update)
  2. Ruben Kraiem – Attorney, Covington & Burling LLP, Washington, DC (Washington legislative update)
  3. Scott Settelmyer – TerraCarbon LLC, Austria (Relevance of REDD for the US)
  4. Manuel Estrada – Climate Change Consultant, Mexico (Bali recap)
  5. Joanna Durbin – Director, Climate Community and Biodiversity Alliance, Washington, DC (VCS and REDD)
  6. Chris Kelly – California Program Director, The Conservation Fund, California (Garcia River project, CA)
  7. Zoe Kant – Manager of Carbon Finance, The Nature Conservancy, Washington, DC (Noel Kempff, Bolivia)
  8. John Niles – Carbon Conservation, Lismore, New South Wales (Ulu Masen forest in Aceh, Indonesia)
Roundtable Participants
  1. Ralph Ashton – Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, Sydney, Australia
  2. Ricardo Bayon – Co-founder, EKO Asset Management Partners, San Francisco, CA and New York, NY
  3. Dirk Brinkman – Founder and CEO, Brinkman and Associates Reforestation Ltd., Vancouver, Canada
  4. Arquimedes Broce – Climate Change and Desertification Unit, ANAM, Panama
  5. Rhett Butler – Mongabay, San Francisco, CA
  6. Alan Chang – Principal & Managing Director, Capricorn Investment Group LLC (Jeff Skoll), Palo Alto, CA
  7. Albert Cho – McKinsey and Company, New York, NY
  8. Stephen Colwell – Executive Director, Sea Change Foundation, San Francisco, CA
  9. Sarah Conway, Associate, Starling Resources, Sanur, Bali, Indonesia
  10. Ted Dreyfus – William J. Clinton Foundation, New York, NY
  11. Sally Ericsson – The Pacific Forest Trust, Washington, DC
  12. Charles Finnie – Portfolio Manager, Piper Jaffray Green Fund, San Franvcisco, CA
  13. Brad Gentry – Yale School of Forestry, New Haven, CT
  14. Kate Hamilton – Managing Director, Ecosystem Marketplace, Washington, DC
  15. Lawrence Hobel – Attorney, Partner, Heller Ehrman LLP, San Francisco, CA
  16. Michael Jenkins – President and CEO, Forests Trends, Washington, DC
  17. Tracy Johns – Woods Hole Research Center, Falmouth, MA
  18. Gerrity Lansing – President, Equator Environmental, New York, NY
  19. Michelle Lapinski – Founding Principal, SustainBiz, San Francisco, CA
  20. Donna Lee – US Department of State, Office of Global Change, Washington, DC
  21. Warwick Manfrinato – PLANT Inteligência Ambiental, Sao Paulo, Brazil
  22. Marisa Meizlish – Manager of Advisory Services, New Forests, Australia
  23. Jeff Metcalfe – Director, Tropical Forest Group, Santa Barbara, CA
  24. Erin Myers – Resources for the Future, Santa Barbara, CA
  25. Joe Nation – Principal co-author of AB 32, California’s Global Warming Solutions Act, Emeryville, CA
  26. Wolfgang Ortloff – Dir. of Environmental Assets Management, Equator Environmental, New York, NY
  27. Robert Parkhurst – PG&E ClimateSmart Environmental Policy Manager, San Francisco, CA
  28. Michelle Passero – EcoSecurities, San Francisco, CA
  29. Gabe Petlin – Director, Regulatory Affairs and Carbon Markets, 3Degrees, San Francisco, CA
  30. Lila M. Preston – Generation Investment Management LLP, United Kingdon
  31. Scott Porter – Director, Corporate Development, 3Degrees, San Francisco, CA
  32. Walter Reid – Director, Conservation & Science, The David & Lucille Packard Foundation, Los Altos, CA
  33. Eduardo Reyes – National Environmental Authority of Panama (ANAM), Panama
  34. George Richa – Environmental Economic Unit, ANAM, Panama
  35. Cristina Rumbaitis del Rio – Senior Research Associate, Rockefeller Foundation, New York, NY
  36. James Russell – William J. Clinton Foundation New York, NY
  37. Carole Saint-Laurent – Senior Forest Policy Officer, IUCN, Geneva, Switzerland
  38. Blake Schaefer – Global Environmental Finance, Stark Investments, United Kingdom
  39. Jacob Scherr – Director, International Policy, Natural Resources Defense Council, Washington, DC
  40. Robert Seaton – Silviculture Analyst, Brinkman and Associates Reforestation Ltd., Vancouver, Canada
  41. Gustavo Silva-Chávez – Int’l Climate Change Policy Analyst, Environmental Defense Fund, Washington, DC
  42. Brian Steen – Director, Sempervirens Fund, Los Gatos, CA
  43. Lee Stein – Founder, Chair of Prize Capital, Rancho Santa Fe, California
  44. Cheri Sugal – Executive Director, Rainforest2Reef, Tahoe City, California
  45. David Tepper – Carbon Forestry Consultant, United Kingdom
  46. Chris Tuite – Director USA, Green Belt Movement, Washington, DC
  47. Steve Zwick – Managing Editor, Ecosystem Marketplace, Chicago, IL and Cologne, Germany
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