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Carbon Credits and Offsetting

What's a Carbon Credit?

'Carbon credits' are traded in carbon markets in the global effort to reduce world pollution.The principles that underpin carbon credits are enshrined in the Kyoto Protocol.

Each carbon credit represents 1 tonne of atmospheric carbon dioxide which has been avoided or captured. It is bought by an entity wanting to reduce its carbon footprint, and it is sold to them by an entity implementing a project somewhere else that will reduce or capture carbon dioxide emissions.

Talking about carbon involves us in a complicated mix of science, economics, politics, business and the simple desire for a cleaner world. The important thing to know is that the mandatory and voluntary buying and selling of carbon credits collectively bring about the development and use of greener technology and the creation or preservation of native forests and other natural resources.

In Forest Carbon's case we develop woodland creation schemes for carbon capture.  When our partners pay for the planting of a certain area of new woodland  they are in fact paying for the removal from the atmosphere of a  certain number of 1-tonne units of CO2 (or in effect therefore buying a  certain number of 'carbon credits').  These 'credits' are not traded  further by our buyers, they are instead ‘retired’ (ie cancelled against  the emissions the buyer was seeking to capture) and serve only to  register the amount of CO2 removal a buyer has sponsored.

What sort of carbon credits does Forest Carbon sell?

There  are two 'classes' of carbon credit - compliance (mandatory) or voluntary - both suited to different types of buyer. In reality though, both types can be generated from the same types of project, and what distinguishes them is the certification processes they have been through and the reason the buyer is buying them.  Compliance credits  are  bought  by companies and countries  that have to buy them, because  the  law says  they must, and voluntary credits are bought by companies  that  don't have  to buy them, but want to because they want to make a quantifiable and audited contribution to the environment. 

The carbon  credits generated by UK woodlands, certified under the UK Woodland  Carbon Code, are not part of any statutory Kyoto Protocol driven international trading scheme - they are generated purely for voluntary buyers to use against their own or their customers' local emissions. The Code is a widely respected standard and in reality its credits will be of as good a  quality as compliance ones.

Where our
woodlands are

Forest Carbon leads the way in voluntary carbon woodland creation in the UK. Through the planting of over 9.5 million new trees in 172+ new woodlands in the UK since 2006 our partners’ projects are removing over 1,900,000 tonnes of CO2 from the global atmosphere, as well as providing a host of other benefits to society, including flood mitigation, river improvement and public access.

The quality of our schemes is assured by the UK government’s Woodland Carbon Code which certifies our projects in important areas like biodiversity, ‘additionality’, risk management and carbon capture measurement.

Compensating for your unavoidable environmental impact by helping to create a new woodland is rewarding in many ways. Check out our woodland location map and see what trees we’ve planted.

View projects map