21 Mar 2012 01:03:12
Woodland Carbon Code is a million tonne winner
Efforts to boost British forests' contribution to tackling climate change reached a key milestone this week. The amount of carbon dioxide predicted to be removed from the atmosphere by woodland planting projects registered under the new Woodland Carbon Code has passed 1 million tonnes.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most common of the greenhouse gases causing the atmospheric warming that is changing the Earth’s climate. Growing trees sequester, or remove, carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and this has encouraged increasing numbers of people and organisations to seek opportunities to plant trees as a contribution to tackling climate change.
This demand has stimulated a commercial interest in promoting 'carbon forestry' projects, and the Woodland Carbon Code is a set of standards to ensure that such projects really do deliver the carbon benefits that their promoters claim. Projects can only be certified under the code if they meet its rigorous requirements for sound forest management, sustainability and carbon 'accounting'. It was launched in July 2011 by the Forestry Commission, and uses independent certification companies approved by the UK Accreditation Service to audit project proposals.
Welcoming the million-tonne milestone, Forestry Minister, Lord Taylor of Holbeach, said: "This is excellent news during Climate Week, when we are all focused on what we can do to tackle climate change. It demonstrates that we were right to establish the code. The few short months it has taken for it to reach a million tonnes registered demonstrates that there is an appetite for planting new woodland to reduce our carbon emissions and contribute to the new, ‘green’ economy that we are encouraging.
"I congratulate all those involved, from the landowners who are making land available for tree planting, to the people and organisations who are investing in the projects."
Pam Warhurst, chair of the Forestry Commission, also welcomed the news, adding, "Trees, woods and forests provide all of us with a huge range of benefits, and carbon sequestration is one of them. The Woodland Carbon Code is providing a boost to efforts to provide much-needed new woodland by giving confidence to investors that the project they invest in will 'do what it says on the tin'. It also gives confidence to project promoters, who can now approach investors with credible, independent verification of their projects’ claims."
Further information about the code is available by contacting us.