Protocols for Estimating Greenhouse Gas Benefits of Urban Forests

Davis, CA (June 26, 2007)- The Urban Forest Carbon Protocol Outline is a framework for calculating carbon storage and greenhouse gas emissions reduction benefits provided by urban trees. Developed by USDA Forest Service research Greg McPherson, it is intended to be used by entities that own, control, or manage large numbers of urban trees (e.g., cities, utilities, universities).


The protocol focuses on how the urban forest’s carbon stocks will change over time. The protocol is relevant to entities desiring to quantify entity-wide carbon stocks, and entities engaging in urban forestry activites. In the later case, sector reporting makes it possible to determine if specific projects activities could result in leakage. Leakage is defined as the displacement or substitution of activities from the project to non-project activities as a direct result of project activity.
The protocol also offers certification guidelines on how to solicit and conduct third-party verification of reported GHG reductions. The next step is to develop a draft document for review and comment. It will be available early fall 2007.
Download the Urban Forest Carbon Protocol Outline.
For more information, contact:
Greg McPherson, PhD
Director, Center for Urban Forest Research
USDA Forest Service, PSW
c/o Dept. of Plant Sciences, MS-6
University of California
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
Phone: 530.752.5897
Fax: 530.752.6634