California Gov. Jerry Brown, right, shakes hands with former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger after signing a climate bill on Treasure Island on July 25 in San Francisco. (Eric Risberg/Associated Press)

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…

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