Forest Carbon Monitoring
California has been at the forefront of efforts to mitigate climate change and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Assembly Bill 32, also known as the Global Warming Solutions Act, is a cornerstone of the state's efforts in this area. The legislation sets a goal of reducing GHG emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, with specific targets for various sectors, including the forest sector. The initial AB 32 Scoping Plan established a forest sector target of maintaining a net annual sequestration rate of 5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMT CO2e) through 2020. The 2017 update proposed a GHG reduction goal of at least 15-20 MMT CO2e by 2030 for natural and working lands, including forest land.
The California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection is responsible for setting forest carbon policy to meet or exceed AB 32 targets. Assembly Bill 1504 formalized the Board's responsibility in meeting or exceeding the AB 32 forest sector targets. To assess progress towards meeting these targets, the Board collaborates with FRAP, which develops an annual Forest Ecosystem and Harvested Wood Product Carbon inventory in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service and the University of Montana. This inventory provides crucial data to evaluate whether the state's forest carbon sequestration target is being met and guides policy decisions to achieve the ambitious GHG reduction goals.