Using the voluntary carbon market to provide funding for natural capital projects in the UK. 6 th October 2015

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1 Using the voluntary carbon market to provide funding for natural capital projects in the UK 6 th October 2015

2 The problem we face Natural Capital Stock of natural ecosystems that provides a flow of goods and services to society An important concept as it suggests nature is not separate from the economy Natural Capital in the UK in long term decline UK government formed an independent committee to report to the Treasury on its state and economic impacts Climate change Atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (primarily CO2) are believed to be at their highest levels for 800,000 years due to fossil fuels and land use changes This is causing a change in our climate, with effects already being felt The UK Climate Change Risk Assessment predicts: 3.6m people in the UK at risk of flooding by 2050 Flood damage to be 12bn per year by 2080 Greater summer heat mortality Coastal erosion Water shortages in 5 major catchment areas We are already on a trajectory for unavoidable climate change over the next three decades Solutions We can still prevent the worst effects after 30 years through reducing GHG emissions We can also adapt to a new climate for example through building design, or better land use

3 How voluntary carbon markets work Your business wants to reduce its carbon footprint The first step is to, as far as is possible, reduce and avoid carbon emissions in the first place This is voluntary there are no rules forcing a business to do this This is best practice better to prevent than to cure. It should also lead to cost savings At some point it will be too expensive or impossible to reduce your own emissions further Instead you could pay someone else to reduce their emissions on your behalf - offsetting Because either you are unable to reduce further, or because they can do it at a lower cost than you can This can only be called offsetting if the reductions you are funding are in a place with no emissions targets Because we (as a country) have statutory reduction targets (e.g. Kyoto) projects in the UK are not offsets Because the reductions are used in the host country in meeting its targets Offsets can only be bought from projects outside the UK mostly least developed nations The Woodland Carbon Code is ISO certified, government backed, meets all international offset rules and is included in Defra guidance to companies on credible emissions reductions WCC woodlands are used to help the UK meet its international climate change commitments, and investors in WCC projects are helping to reduce the national carbon footprint

4 How Forest Carbon fits in Forest Carbon is the UK s leading developer of woodland creation projects for the UK voluntary carbon market. Our woodlands can play a critical part in the fight to reduce the effects of a new climate, and better adapt to it Since 2006 we have been planting forests: In the UK Of all shapes and sizes On 3 rd party land Because trees capture CO2 the major greenhouse gas To provide other benefits, including habitat, flood prevention, recreation and employment That are quality assured under the government's Woodland Carbon Code That are funded by the sale of certified carbon credits to UK business, to mitigate their carbon footprints We also designed and brokered the sale of carbon credits from the UK s first (and only) carbon peatland restoration project

5 Why forests are important to the UK Ecosystem services Supporting, provisioning, regulating, cultural Balance of trade Import substitution could amount to 1bn Flood mitigation Without action floods could cost the UK 12bn/yr by 2080 Forest protection Sustainable UK forests reduce pressure on old growth forests globally Job creation 40k forestry related jobs, 10k could be created by carbon market Climate change Could mitigate 10% of UK footprint by 2050 Sustainable construction 45% of global emissions from buildings Green spaces Public access to woodlands is good for health and wellbeing

6 How our work is quality assured Woodland Carbon Code Developed by UK government, launched 2011 Offers independent audit and ISO certified carbon credits Credits accepted under UK government guidance on environmental mitigation Ensures: the right trees are planted, in the right place, and that they will be managed properly and protected in the long term Conservative, scientifically sound and risk adjusted carbon capture estimates Projects meet all international carbon project rules: Additionality Quality assurance Conservatism Permanence Monitoring One of the world s leading domestic carbon standards Markit Registry World s leading environmental credit registry home to Gold Standard, VCS and others Provides publicly available data on project certification status and credit ownership Allows transparent demonstration of fulfilment of environmental commitments Admission to the Registry indicates international acceptance of the quality of the WCC

7 What we have achieved so far 2006 founded 100+ miles of riverbanks protected Leaders of a new ecosystems services market in the UK 1st WCC certification 75+ new woodlands 1st WCC Markit Registry delivery 7,000 total acres 75% of all UK WCC certifications 4.3 million+ trees planted Members WCC Advisory Board 1,000,000+ tonnes CO2 capture Advisors Governments and private entities 4,000+ acres of biodiversity priority habitat type All Types of woodlands developed

8 Woodland natural capital case study Tweed Catchment Flood Mitigation 4 new woodlands planted Covered 68 ha with 76,000 trees Riparian planting specifically designed to eventually reduce downstream flooding Other benefits will include improved water quality and enhanced river biodiversity Projects planted on private land Worked in partnership with Tweed Forum chartable trust leading integrated land and water management in the Tweed catchment Project funded by sale of carbon credits to four UK businesses BWOC

9 What we ve done with wetlands UK s first peatland carbon project Provided advice on the UK s first peatland carbon transaction, in Developed carbon contract Completed appraisal of viability and additionality of project proof of concept Brokered follow-up deal in 2012 Development of Peatland Carbon Code Forest Carbon involved from the outset, in 2012, in developing the Peatland Carbon Code, based on experiences developing and using Woodland Carbon Code In contributed to a major UK research project: Developing Peatland Carbon Metrics and Financial Modelling to Inform the Pilot Phase UK Peatland Code What would businesses need to be prepared to pay per tonne of CO2 to make peatland carbon projects viable? What is the potential scale of such interventions?

10 Peatlands in Scotland Peatlands in Scotland Peatlands cover over 20% of Scotland more than 2m ha Scotland s peatlands are mostly blanket bog rare globally Scotland s blanket bogs store around 1.6bn tonnes of carbon Up to 80% of UK peatlands have been damaged mostly by draining for various uses Damaged peatlands are a source of GHGs, as well as reduced water quality Peatland restoration in Scotland is part of the strategy of meeting the EU biodiversity target of restoring 15% of degraded ecosystems

11 Privately funded peatland restoration Alladale Estate, Sutherland, Scotland Large privately owned estate with extensive areas of blanket bog degraded by grazing and burning Landowner is a committed and forward looking conservationist 224 ha of drained peatland restored via blocking of grips (drainage ditches) to raise water table Forest Carbon brokered sale of CO2 credits to ICAP FTSE 100 financial services firm Work carried out May 2011 January 2012 GHG benefits accrue through: Preventing further loss of carbon to the atmosphere as top layers degrade Creating conditions for CO2 capturing flora (sphagnum moss) to return Project generated estimated CO2 savings of 49,100t Landowner signed 100 year contract to maintain restoration works, including removing livestock and deer from the areas restored The estate is also home to 160 ha of carbon funded woodland creation credits certified and sold by Forest Carbon and totalling 41,000t CO2 capture

12 Organisations that are working with us BWOC

13 Further opportunities for UK peatlands The Climate Change Act mandates an 80% reduction in GHG emissions by 2050 Peatland Carbon Code under development UK Woodland Carbon Code so far has 3,323 ha of woodland creation certified and there is growing interest from UK business The Natural Capital Committee suggests a national natural capital investment programme: 140,000 ha of upland peatland restoration worth 570m over 40 years in GHG values alone 100,000 ha of wetland creation benefit cost ratio of 3:1 to 9:1 The Natural Capital Committee is developing a Corporate Natural Capital Accounting framework for UK businesses UK Climate Change Risk Assessment and National Adaptation Programme The UK is second globally in voluntary carbon market spend The UK is home to Europe s largest Sustainable and Responsible Investment Market

14 Contact details Forest Carbon Ltd

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