The Woodland Carbon Code credit registry was launched at an event held at Markit's London offices on Monday 15th July. The registry will enhance transparency and accountability in the trade of credits arising from Woodland Carbon Code (WCC) certified projects. The registry will track the ownership of credits, and record when they have been "used" by companies or individuals as part of their carbon mitigation programmes.
Speaking at the event the Forestry Minister, David Heath MP, said: “The Woodland Carbon Code provides an authoritative means of assurance to those who wish to invest in new woodland planting to compensate for some of their unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions. The Code's launch on the Markit Environmental Registry takes that process an important step further by allowing anyone to see who owns individual units of carbon. It also tracks changes in ownership and, importantly, use of carbon units."
Forest Carbon director Stephen Prior, also speaking at the event, said: “We are delighted to be here - we have reached a significant milestone in the development of the UK voluntary carbon market. For the first time we have clear public demonstration of the ownership, transfer and use of Woodland Carbon Units. Bringing new forestry projects to the attention of a wider audience will help the flow of liquidity into this emerging market - stimulating woodland creation that offers wider benefits to all of society beyond carbon dioxide capture".
Forest Carbon Ltd was founded by Stephen Prior and James Hepburne Scott in 2007 to develop woodland creation projects in the UK on behalf of companies and individuals wanting to capture the unavoidable carbon dioxide emissions that arise from their activities. These woodlands meet the highest UK forestry and bio-diversity standards and are validated under the Woodland Carbon Code.
Forest Carbon is the UK’s leading developer of high quality voluntary carbon woodland schemes, and its services to credit buyers include finding projects of suitable size, character and location, brokering the necessary contracts, validating the project under the WCC, management of a buyer's Markit account, and support with PR, staff awareness and site visits. Services to landowners include free feasibility studies, sourcing of carbon credit buyers and capital.
Examples of Forest Carbon projects
Cranborne Estate, Dorset
55 hectares of new productive woodland, comprising mainly Oak, Douglas Fir and Western Red Cedar, it will sequester over 28,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide over 75 years. This woodland will be managed under a continuous cover system which means it will never be clear-felled. A major share of this carbon has been purchased by BWOC Ltd, a nationwide bulk fuel and fuel card distributor.
Managing Director Mark Wayne said: “I loved the idea of contributing to the creation of woodland that would be able to maintain its own permanence through the sustainable harvest of timber which would continue to lock-up carbon in wood products for many years while new trees grow in the forest.”
Tweed Forum, Scottish Borders
Four native woodlands totalling 63 hectares which will sequester 21,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide over 100 years. Tweed Forum is an environmental charity which, among its many activities, carries our planting of riparian woodlands in the headwaters of the River Tweed. These are designed and situated to reduce the occurrence of flooding of the downstream towns and communities. In addition they will improve the quality of the water and the riverbank environment for wildlife and people alike, and lock up CO2 into the bargain.
James Hepburne Scott, director of Forest Carbon, says:
These four woodlands will provide immense help for local communities and those far downstream. A business investing a modest sum in locked-up carbon will deliver multiple social and environmental benefits. We call that ‘charismatic carbon’.