Forest Carbon Offsets Poised for Growth Worldwide

Forest Carbon Offsets Poised for Growth Worldwide

When it comes to purchasing carbon offsets, a growing number of companies are thinking -- and acting -- about forestry projects as a desirable type of offset to invest in.

The results come from the second annual Forest Carbon Offsetting Report, produced by EcoSecurities with Conservation International, The Climate, Community & Biodiversity Alliance, ClimateBiz and the Norton Rose Group.

The report, which focuses on corporations' attitudes towards carbon offsets from forestry projects, found positive attitudes toward forest offset projects from 80 percent of respondents, up from 58 percent in 2009.

"Forestry has always been at the center of international climate change negotiations," said Paul Kelly, the CEO of EcoSecurities. "It's hugely encouraging to see that despite the lack of clarity which still surrounds impending regulation the majority of survey respondents have a very positive attitude to forestry and are actively seeking ways to reduce GHGs and mitigate climate change through forest carbon offsets."

Among the other findings of the report, which is based on in-depth responses from over 200 organizations from around the globe:

• In particular, the most significant change in attitude was from Europe where 84 percent of participants claim to have a 'positive' or 'very positive' attitude compared to 36 percent in 2009;
• Participants highlighted the most important factor when purchasing forest carbon offsets are carbon standards (89 percent), closely followed by project location (84 percent), project type (80 percent) and the projects' ability to generate additional community and biodiversity benefits (83 percent & 77 percent respectively);
• Reforestation with native species (89 percent) and avoided deforestation (78 percent) were rated the most desirable types of forestry project;
• South America (74 percent) was the most sought-after region from which to purchase forest carbon credits;
• The Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS) and Climate, Community & Biodiversity (CCB) Standards were the two most popular carbon standards (73 percent and 64 percent respectively).

"Many of these findings accord with our experience of what is happening on the ground with early stage investment in this important sector," said Andrew Hedges, a partner at the Norton Rose Group, adding, "particularly the emergence of VCS and CCBA as the preferred combination of standards."

To download the full report for free, visit EcoSecurities.com.

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