Gov. Dunleavy signs carbon offset bill

Gov. Dunleavy signs carbon offset bill
Published: May. 23, 2023 at 5:25 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Gov. Mike Dunleavy signed SB 48 into law Tuesday, which will allow the State of Alaska to sell carbon credits.

Carbon credits are licenses to emit greenhouse gasses offset by investments in environmental mitigation programs funded by the purchase of the credit.

Right now, three Alaska Native Corporations — Ahtna Incorporated, Chugach Alaska Corporation, and Sealaska Corporation — are already involved in carbon offset marketplaces linked to their land holdings. SB 48, which Gov. Dunleavy introduced in January of 2023, would now allow the State to sell credits linked to publicly owned land in Alaska.

“This is a tremendous opportunity,” Dunleavy said at the signing ceremony at the Alaska Sustainable Energy Conference in Anchorage. Dunleavy said the law will “not only provide revenue, but also use some of that revenue to help our state reduce its energy costs and deploy a lot of new technologies.”

However, environmental and some Alaska Native groups are skeptical of the program.

Matthew Jackson, a climate organizer with the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, has concerns.

“While the whole concept of carbon credits is fundamentally flawed, there is opportunity for this to lead to better outcomes for Alaska land management,” Jackson said. “A perfect example is the recent Whale Pass timber sale determination a mere 100 feet uphill from a residential neighborhood. That sale should be a carbon credit project — it would be in the best interests of the state and the community to do it that way.”