HHLE PROPERTY MATTERS SPRING 2021 - Flipbook - Page 20
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It is well known that trees and land slowly absorb carbon from the
atmosphere over the years, but with the Government target to reach net zero
by 2050, the market for carbon capture is quickly establishing itself. Industries
are under increased pressure to reduce their emissions and are looking at
alternative ways to offset their CO2 emissions in a commodity which can be
purchased. This is where the UK’s rural landscape could be the answer!
New woodland creation has the potential to sequester additional carbon
from the atmosphere and presents opportunities for farmers and land
managers to register and sell those carbon units. This comes in addition
to existing subsidies and supports available! Similar to natural capital and
ecosystem services, carbon is another product of the land which can now
be manged and traded, and although it most commonly seen with new
woodland creation schemes, the market is also developing in other areas
such as peatland restoration.
In the UK, the Woodland Carbon Code is a voluntary carbon standard for
woodland creation projects and is leading the way in setting out how this
market will evolve. New woodland creations which were planted in the last 2
years (although this is expected to be reduced to 6 months) can currently be
registered and validated to assess the number of carbon units the woodland
is expected to sequester from the atmosphere over the project’s lifetime, e.g.,
55 or 100 years. Once validated, landowners can trade these units for prices
in the region of £10-£25/tC02e. Furthermore, the English Government have
introduced a guarantee scheme to buy the units at an agreed price which has
set a baseline in the market.
With grant supports for woodland creation also available, carbon capture
presents an excellent additional opportunity to make the most of your land!