Carbon Offset Initiative

Market-based mechanisms can be a powerful tool to leverage private investment in the natural ecosystems that make Hawai‘i special with on-going stewardship serving as the foundation for a healthy economy. Inspired by high-level dialogues at the IUCN World Conservation Congress, SBF members agreed to focus on accelerating market-based mechanisms in Hawai‘i, including a carbon offset initiative and Payment for Ecosystems Services.

The SBF commissioned Conservation International to conduct a legal and policy analysis for a landscape assessment on a market-based mechanism to inform joint action to incentivize restoration and conservation of Hawai‘i’s globally important ecosystems and its environmental services. The report titled “Hawai‘i Carbon + Natural Capital: A Policy + Institutional Analysis for Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) Approaches in Hawai‘i” was released during the 2017 UN Climate Change Conference (COP23), and will support Hawai‘i’s next steps towards carbon offset projects.

SBF members are currently examining potential pilot project sites for forest-based carbon offsets in Hawai‘i. By having private sector leadership develop compliance-grade offset projects, we provide an important signal to Hawaiʻi state policymakers to advance market-based mechanism to support carbon mitigation.