DU's Carbon Sequestration Program is designed to assist landowners with taking advantage of the expanding carbon market. Our objective is to bring industry and landowners together by assembling carbon offset credits associated with ecologically sound forest or grassland restoration work on private lands. This important work will provide income to landowners, contribute in the effort against global climate change, and help fulfill DU's conservation mission by increasing waterfowl habitat in our priority areas.
What is Carbon Sequestration?
Over the last two centuries, greenhouse gas concentrations have risen markedly, contributing to global warming and climate change. One strategy to reverse this trend is to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through carbon sequestration by vegetation. Left undisturbed, the soil and vegetation provide long term storage of carbon, while at the same time restoring landscape health. Trees are a well known example of this process, but other forms of vegetation are similarly capable of sequestering carbon. To better understand the sequestration potential of other forms of vegetation, DU and partners are researching the carbon sequestration values of waterfowl habitat restoration, management, and protection. Landowners restoring forests, grasslands, or wetlands on their property, and potentially protecting existing habitats, may be able to benefit from the emerging carbon market.
Today's Emerging Carbon Market
Growth in North American and international carbon markets has risen rapidly over the last several years into an estimated $60 billion market in 2007. Demand comes from corporations bolstering corporate sustainability practices, carbon conscious consumers interested in 'carbon-neutral' products, speculative investors, and proactive companies in emission intensive industries. Some carbon investment has already begun in high priority waterfowl regions. In the future, a regulatory component of the U.S. market will likely become significant with the anticipated passage of legislation limiting greenhouse gas emissions.
Terrestrial sequestration will be an important component of both current and future carbon markets, with private lands offering the majority of these opportunities. Although specific project requirements will depend on investor needs and legislative guidelines, there are several qualifying factors for high quality carbon projects, such as additionality, accounting for leakage and permanence.
Interested in partnering with DU? Contact us today.
Manager of Conservation Programs
Business Development and Technology
Tel: (901) 351-4397
Regional Biologist-Environmental Markets
Tel: (701) 355-3593