How Do Tree Based Carbon Offsets Work?

14 September 2012

carbon offsetsHow Do Tree Based Carbon Offsets Work?

By Noel McArdle

Using Native Vegetation as a Carbon Offset Pool

In July 2000, the South Australia Government enacted a Forest Property Act (FPA).  ECO works under the auspices of the Forest Property Act.  Under the Act, a landowner can plant trees for the purpose of carbon sequestration and, provided they meet certain standards and conditions, these plantings can be registered as a separate property right on the landowners Certificate of Title and registered with the Land Titles Office whereby the trees are protected under a long term Forest Property Agreement and the carbon absorbed from the atmosphere may be sold off to emitters to enable them to offset their carbon footprint.

These conditions include agreeing not to destroy the forest and entering into an agreement that will bind all future owners of the land.  ECO seek a term of 110 years whereby the landowner agrees to maintain and not destroy or damage the trees.  Fencing is erected, pests are destroyed and stock is removed from the land area subject to the revegetation.

Mortgagee / Banks have to give their permission for this registration process because banks have to be prepared to allow the registration of the forest carbon right on the Land Title under the Forest Property Act to take precedence over their own mortgage rights because any new owner will not have absolute title but will have their rights restricted in so far as they relate to what they can do with the forested areas of the land.  Banks have been prepared to allow the registration of the carbon on the Land Title under a 110 year or perpetual Forest Property Agreement.

Providing that the plantings are carried out to Kyoto standards, the sequestered carbon is able to be sold to emitters.  As mentioned elsewhere on this website, the current price in Australia is around $20 – $30 per tonne for Voluntary carbon credits.

Becoming CARBON NEUTRAL Can Be COST NEUTRAL!

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