Extensive scientific research has demonstrated that well managed and productive forests help to mitigate the effects of climate change by storing carbon in trees, plants and soil. Large landowners have begun to capitalize on the need to sequester carbon by selling carbon credits. These credits are purchased by emitters of carbon dioxide to offset their net impact on atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. The number of credits a landowner can sell is dependent on ownership size, forest type and management regime, among other factors. Credits are calculated by developing an intensive inventory which uses precise measurements coupled with peer-reviewed research to determine the amount of carbon which is sequestered on a parcel of land. The process of enrolling a landowner in a carbon credit/offset program includes a landowner consultation, feasibility study, and project development proposal.
Carbon project development and verification is a very intensive process and selecting an experienced team of professionals is crucial to the success of a carbon project. Green Timber Consulting Foresters collaborate with other carbon project experts to ensure optimal results for the long life of their projects.
Compliance Projects vs. Voluntary Projects
There are two main carbon project types: compliance projects and voluntary projects. Compliance projects fall under the cap and trade realm, where companies located in certain states are mandated to meet emission standards. When these companies go over their emission standards, they then need to buy carbon credits generated by forest carbon projects. Voluntary projects are similar in the way of companies buying carbon credits to offset emissions, but in this scenario they are seeking to meet their own company’s emission standards.
Currently, compliance projects are run through the California Air Resources Board. There are a variety of voluntary carbon project registries, with links to their websites listed below. Compliance and voluntary registries are different in what is directing companies to purchase carbon credits, and each registry has slightly different set of protocols. These protocols cause differences in what is measured on the ground, but more critically for a landowner these protocols differ in standards needed to be met, timeline of the project, and sustainability requirements. Green Timber is here to help and advise on which project type best suits a landowner, continuing to put the landowner’s best interests first.
Not only does Green Timber have the expertise to advise you on type of carbon project and unprecedented success in conducting carbon inventories, we also remain committed through the final steps of the project and beyond. Once a carbon project is inventoried, it needs to go through third party verification – a very stringent audit occurrence which is needed to show an inventory meets statistical standards.
Green Timber provides support through the verification process, ensuring an overall reduction in cost and avoidance of setbacks in getting carbon credits to market. Following project verification and the sale of the credits, Green Timber conducts annual maintenance to ensure the project remains in compliance. Through this entire process, Green Timber is devoted to training and educate landowners on how to remain in compliance with their operations and management.
Caring for the Land
We are assisting the Indian Land Tenure Foundation in their efforts of helping American Indian nations to overcome, adapt, and improvise. An example of this is in generating revenue from the land by creating a forest carbon project on the land of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. By first inventorying the land, plans for the future and optimized solutions for sustainable forest management will be derived.