Do You Know What Your Forest Carbon Offsets Are?


In the world of forest carbon offsets, it’s absolutely essential to understand seven general terms with very precise meanings.  

  • real
  • additional
  • permanent
  • verifiable
  • quantifiable
  • leakage
  • reversal

These concepts apply to all offset projects, but each type of project has its own methodology for calculating offsets.  In the case of California’s Cap & Trade program, which allows qualified forest carbon offsets from anywhere in the U.S., projects may consist of reforestation, improved forest management, and avoided conversion (i.e. easements).  No matter what the type of forest offset project, this simple ”improved forest management” example serves to demonstrate how these important concepts apply.

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