Carbon Sequestration - A Report to the Idaho Legislature As directed by SB 1379 New chapter 22-5106 To be prepared by the Idaho Soil Conservation Commission Global Warming Issue Greenhouse Gas (GHG) concentrations are increasing in our atmosphere, which, seems to be causing increased global temperatures, climatic variability, changes in precipitation patterns and magnitudes. Three important GHGs are carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O), and methane (CH4). Internationally, numerous industrial sources are contributing high quantities of GHGs. Some amount is also coming from landuse activities. Global Warming Issue Greenhouse Gas Impacts: • Sea levels raising by 15 centimeters by year 2050, 34 centimeters by 2100, • Loss of coastal dry land due to rising ocean levels • Loss of wetland, wildlife habitat, • Increased coastal erosion, flooding, • Increased salinity of rivers, bays and aquifers, • Impact sewage disposal capabilities along coastal areas, • Affect drinking water aquifers along coastal areas • Increased precipitation and evaporation, altering existing local climates, • Decline of freshwater quantities, • Wetter winter, drier summers, increase frequency of intense rainstorms, • Insufficient water for navigation; lower production of hydroelectric power; impaired recreational opportunities along rivers and lakes, • Poorer water quality; and decreased availability of water for agriculture, residential, and industrial uses., • And so on… SCC Report to the Legislature Agriculture (cropland, forest, etc.) is not a large source of these GHGs, but has a great potential to offset CO2, N2O, and CH4. Thus….. By February 1, 2003, the SCC is to prepare a report for the Legislature, which: SCC Report to the Legislature 1) Describes the potential for carbon (GHG) market(s) in Idaho, where agricultural and forest lands are involved. 2) Characterizes the agricultural & forest BMPs which sequester carbon (other GHGs); 3. Describes existing methods for measuring & modeling carbon (GHG) sequestration (baseline quantification, cycling, etc.); 4. Discusses any necessary legislation as related to private property rights and sequestration activities; 5. Identifies scientific uncertainty in quantifying sequestration (GHG emissions, etc.); 6. Discusses other committee recommendations. Carbon Sequestration Advisory Committee The committee created by SB 1379, to consist of 16 members: • Chairman or designee of ISCC • Representative of Soil Conservation • Director or designee of ISDA Districts • Director or designee of DEQ • Representative of biofuels industry • Director or designee of IDL • Representative of transportation • Representative of U of I industry • Representative of electrical producer • Representative of environmental organization • 2 Representatives of crop producers • Representative of nonindustrial private • 2 Representatives of livestock forest landowner producers • Representative of carbon sequestration expert Carbon Sequestration Advisory Committee 1) Advise and assist the SCC in preparing the report(s); 2) Recommend policies/programs to enhance agriculture and nonindustrial private forest landowners participation in carbon markets; 3) Recommend and encourage the production of educational and advisory material regarding carbon sequestration (& other GHG’s) on agricultural and forest lands; Carbon Sequestration Advisory Committee 4) Recommend carbon (GHG) related research activities; 5) Review carbon sequestration programs & policies of other states. • First Advisory Committee meeting in Moscow on July 9 & 10, at the Federal Building • Advisory Committee meeting to coincide with IASCD annual meeting in Idaho Falls, November 13. • Other meetings likely to occur in January/February Potential Carbon Sequestration Practices Forest/Timber Practices • New Forest Plantings – Convert back to Timber • Improved Forest management • Plantations – Hybrid poplars, etc. Cropland Practices • Residue Management – No-till, etc. • Land Conversion – Crop to pasture, Hay Land, etc. • Agroforesty – Buffers strips, hybrid poplars Potential Carbon Sequestration Practices Riparian/Rangeland Practices • Resource Management – Crossing thresholds (bluegrass to willows, cheatgrass to sage/grass/forbs community, etc. Other Farm, Ranch, Forest Related Greenhouse Gas Reductions (GHG): • Livestock methane reductions • Fuel use reduction through alternative cropping system – reduced-till, etc. • Newly constructed wetlands, existing wetland restoration • Biofuel production – Ethanol from corn, biodiesel, • Electric generation – Animal wastes, grasses, trees, etc. Carbon Sequestration in General IMPORTANT! There must be a net GHG reduction (expressed in Carbon Equivalents). There is some concern that, for example, increasing nitrogen & water to increase carbon fixing (sequestration) may cause a net increase of GHG losses, such as N2O. Whether or not global warming is actually occurring because of increased GHG emissions, there are benefits of applying practices that have multiple benefits to Idaho’s natural resources. In summary: How can farm, ranch, forest landowners/managers and the Idaho public benefit from a carbon (GHG) market that pays for the installation and maintenance of practices on private lands? What are the risks involved with entering into long-term contracts with an industry seeking to offset GHG emissions? Greenhouse Gas Emission & Carbon Sequestration Activities • Villach and Bellagio Workshops - assessed the role of carbon dioxide… • The Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer - 47 nations reached agreement on a set of CFC control measures in September 1987. • Toronto Conference - focused on the implications of climate change for world security… • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - was formed in 1988 to conduct studies on global warming. • The International Geosphere/Biosphere Program - facilitate understanding the present state of the earth and the potential impacts of global climate change. • Nordwijk Conference on Atmospheric Pollution and Climate Change - encouraged the IPCC to include in its First Assessment Report an analysis of quantitative targets to limit or reduce CO2 emissions, and urged all industrialized countries to investigate the feasibility of achieving such targets… • Hague Declaration - This conference and Declaration (signed by 23 nations) established support for new principles of international law. Greenhouse Gas Emission & Carbon Sequestration Activities • Cairo Compact - calls on affluent nations to provide developing countries with the technical and financial assistance to address global climate change. • United Nations World Climate Conference: The IPCC reported the findings of the IPCC Working Groups to the United Nations (Scientific Assessment, Impacts Assessment, and Response). • Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) - the U.N. General Assembly established the INC to prepare an effective framework convention on climate change… • United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) - On June 12, 1992… signed the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change... commits the world's governments to voluntary reductions of greenhouse gases… • Bilateral Sustainable Development Accord Between Costa Rica and the U.S. - the U.S. and Costa Rica signed a bilateral accord intended to facilitate developing joint implementation projects. • 1995 First Conference of the Parties (COP) - delegates agreed on a mandate to establish appropriate action for the period beyond the year 2000…More COPs have followed. Greenhouse Gas Emission & Carbon Sequestration Activities Types of State Programs: Home Energy Rating System Energy Efficiency Audits Energy-efficient Mortgage Programs Model Energy Codes (MEC) Tax Incentives for Fuel Source: EPA Switching, Cogeneration Recycling Programs Renewable Portfolio Standards State Alternative Fuel Fleets Truck to Train Mode Shift Emissions Trading Revenue Neutral Tax Incentives Methane Reclamation Programs Afforestation Greenhouse Gas Emission & Carbon Sequestration Activities • Portland, Oregon proposes to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the Portland metropolitan area to 20 percent below the 1988 level by the year 2010. • The Iowa State Energy Bureau's Building Energy Management Program promotes cost-effective energy management improvements in state buildings, schools, hospitals non-profit organizations, and local government facilities. • In Minnesota, more stringent energy standards have been adopted for the new construction of residential dwellings and government offices. • Oregon has increased the weatherization standards in the construction of low income homes. • New York has recently established a public-private partnership to encourage and support schools in making their facilities more energy efficient (Energy Smart Schools). • Colorado has established the Colorado Green Program, which assists builders and honors residents who construct homes that conserve natural resources and increase energy efficiency. • Mecklenberg County, North Carolina all school buses have been converted to CNG vehicles. • Maryland, the Department of Transportation has replaced its fleet of diesel fuel shuttle buses at BWI with 20 new CNG vehicles. Greenhouse Gas Emission & Carbon Sequestration Activities • The Georgia Governor's Office of Energy Resources is increasing energy and agricultural efficiency by facilitating six programs targeted to crop, poultry, and livestock producers. These programs conserve energy and save money in addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. • The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has created a reforestation program designed to reduce heating and cooling needs with strategic landscaping, to arrest soil erosion, enhance natural water filtration, and remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The program coordinator of this multifaceted project, called Operation TREE, must work to involve every division of the Department of Resources and encourage cooperation among other state agencies. • The Alabama Broiler Litter Program, co-sponsored by the Science, Technology and Energy Division of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs and the USDA's Tennessee Valley Resource Conservation and Development Council, addresses energy conservation, reduces the landfill waste stream, promotes recycling, and improves agricultural productivity. In this program newspaper is shredded and blown over the poultry house floor, where it becomes matted and slick from droppings and moisture content. When the litter and paper is gathered from the floor, it is spread on crops as fertilizer, or is mixed with feed and is fed to livestock. The paper also acts as an insulator for the poultry house, thereby reducing energy needs. Greenhouse Gas Emission & Carbon Sequestration Activities Pacific Northwest Direct Seed Association Agreement (PNDSA) with ENTERGY Tramway Carbon Sequestration and CRP Project Carbon Research Activities at U of I, ARS, etc. INEEL GHG Inventory & Climate Coupled Energy System Existing and Proposed Ethanol Plants in Idaho J. R. Simplot – Biofuels (Ethanol Production) Others?