Healthy forests are a key defence against the natural and socio-economic impacts of climate change. Recognizing this, businesses around the world financed the management, conservation or expansion of 26.5 million forested hectares by purchasing a near-record 28 million tonnes (MtCO2e) of carbon offsets from forestry projects in 2012, valued at $216 million, according to a new survey by Ecosystem Marketplace titled State of Forest Carbon Markets 2013.
In 2012, offset buyers from individuals to corporations reinforced the environmental, economic, and egalitarian benefits of sustainable forestry and land use as they injected millions of dollars into projects that improve forest management (IFM), afforest or reforest land (A/R), reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD), and introduce sustainable agricultural or agro forestry practices.
Early stage activities, in particular, benefitted from resilient private support for carbon-managed forests. The second-highest demand attributed to forestry offsets came as public decision-makers weighed the inclusion of forestry offsets, domestic and international, in regulations in California, China, and Australia.
SUMMARY OF KEY REPORT FINDINGS, 2012
-The global markets for offsets from agriculture, forestry, and other land-use projects transacted 28 MtCO2e a 9% increase from 2011.
-Market value reached $216 million in 2012, 8% shy of 2011’s record $237 million. Forestry offsets’ average price fell slightly to $7.8/tonne (tCO2e).
- Voluntary offset buyers drove 95% of all market activity (27 MtCO2e) and 92% of value ($198 million), as corporate buyers renewed or pursued new climate targets, while buyers in California and Australia sought forestry offsets to prepare for compliance carbon markets.
-Two out of every three offsets were sold to multinational corporations. Businesses were motivated by offset-inclusive corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities, or to “demonstrate climate leadership” in their industry or to send signals to regulators.
-Projects seeking or achieving certification to the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) transacted 15.7MtCO2e, or 57% of all market activity. Around 12.2 MtCO2e of these sales were from projects seeking dual certification to VCS and the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards (CCB Standards).