Using carbon credits as a way to monetize the urban forest is a compelling idea. If owners of the urban forest—landowners and cities—see financial opportunity, maybe they’ll throw more support to urban forestry. The Urban Forest Carbon Registry is in the process of developing a way to offer, verify, and track urban forestry credits. Currently, they’ve got a draft of protocols on how carbon credits would work for urban trees. And they’d like your comments on their draft protocols.
The initiative, headquartered in Seattle, brought together a network of national expertise to develop several documents that outline the process.
Projects would commit to preserving trees for 40 years. Any trees that are required by law or regulation are ineligible. Carbon credits will be issued for trees representing one metric ton of carbon. Co-benefits—stormwater runoff reduction, air quality and cooling—will be quantified and bundled with the carbon credits.
Draft protocols are posted to the Urban Forestry Registry website and will remain open for comment while the organization builds an online registry. Once the registry is built, they will begin to promote the opportunity to earn carbon credits to cities and towns, watersheds, schools and colleges, parks, and utilities, as well as to the buyers of carbon credits.
Financial incentives in the form of carbon credits may be just the ticket to help focus policy and decision makers on the benefits of trees.
April 3, 2017 NewTerrain.