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A controversial California effort to fight climate change just got some good news

Jerry Brown and Arnold Schwarzenegger shaking hands with others around
Eric Risberg/Associated Press
Aug 14 2017
Research, Stanford, Students

A controversial California climate program got a shot of good news this month when a study suggested it is successfully reducing the state’s greenhouse gas emissions and providing other environmental benefits on the side.

The study, conducted by a trio of Stanford University researchers, concerns a California “carbon offset” program, which allows companies to pay to preserve carbon-storing forests instead of reducing their own emissions. According to the researchers’ findings, that program is protecting imperiled forests and preventing the carbon they store from being released into the atmosphere.

“It was really exciting to see, in this moment where it’s hard to find any positive news on climate change, here’s this very small program that looks like it’s actually working so far,” said Christa Anderson, a PhD student in environment and resources at Stanford University and the new study’s lead author. Anderson conducted the study with Stanford colleagues Christopher Field and Katharine Mach.

Lead author Christa Anderson is a former EDGE-STEM mentor. Co-author Katharine Mach is a 2008 Presidential Fellow, Biology

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