January 20, 2011
With emissions regulations on the horizon in the U.S., there is rising interest in the carbon sequestration and storage functions of urban trees. How does this unique function present a potential funding opportunity for municipal or nonprofit organizations? Carbon markets deal in the buying and selling of credits for emissions of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide. Trees remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store the carbon in their trunks, branches, leaves, and roots. Local community groups engaged in restoring urban tree canopy may have a valuable role to play in carbon markets by developing or participating in mitigation and offset projects.
Tapping Carbon Markets for Urban Forests Resource List
Cascade Land Conservancy Carbon Program Overview
Cascade Land Conservancy Carbon FAQ
Green City Partnerships: Carbon Mitigation Calculations White Paper
Elise C. Schadler, Graduate Student, University of Vermont (Burlington, VT)
University of Vermont is examining the role of forest carbon in the evolving voluntary carbon market. They are collaborating with community groups to conduct original research to identify barriers and opportunities to funding urban forestry through carbon offsets. Elise’s research focuses on defining the role of urban and community forestry in voluntary carbon markets, studying the major obstacles and benefits for local groups concerning their development and participation in offset projects.
Ara Erickson, Green Cities Director, Cascade Land Conservancy (Seattle, WA)
Cascade Land Conservancy’s Carbon Mitigation Program allows local companies and individuals to invest in voluntary carbon mitigation, which has the potential to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions through the reforestation of targeted acres within the Conservancy’s Green City Partnerships cities. This program helps fund the Green City Partnership stewardship projects that restore parks and open spaces in Western Washington. Investments in the carbon mitigation program will be used for planting native trees and understory plants, forest conservation, and forest restoration.
Webcast attendees will learn about:
* Addressing and categorizing the current state of city forests.
* Calculating the costs to investors for mitigating carbon.
* The use of voluntary carbon offsets to fund community forestry projects
* Barriers and opportunities for community groups in developing or participating in offset projects.
About the Webcast Series
The Webcast Series is the Alliance for Community Trees’ monthly webcast series held at the lunch hour and made possible through support from The Home Depot Foundation and USDA Forest Service. The goal is to create informal training opportunities for local urban and community forestry organizations. The content is geared to mainly serve the needs of volunteer organizations and community groups, although webcasts are open to all.
The trainings leverage local successes by amplifying to a larger audience the model organizations’ methods, materials, and approaches. Sessions are planned to last no more than one hour, with two presenters speaking on the same topic from slightly different perspectives, each for 10–15 minutes, followed by 10–15 minutes of questions and answers.