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Avoided deforestation projects highly desirable for carbon offsets finds survey

91 percent of companies rated avoided deforestation as the most desirable forestry projects for carbon offsets, reports a survey by EcoSecurities, Conservation International, The Climate, Community & Biodiversity Alliance and ClimateBiz.

The results suggest a healthy appetite for avoided deforestation credits among companies seeking to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

“It’s tremendously encouraging to see that companies are starting to recognize the benefits from forestry projects, not only in terms of the robustness of the carbon offsets, but also in creating sustainable co-benefits and helping to reduce the problem of climate change and deforestation,” said Pedro Moura Costa, President of EcoSecurities.

“A growing number of offset buyers recognize the significant role forestry can play in reducing global greenhouse gas emissions while also delivering community and ecosystem benefits,” added Matthew Wheeland, Managing Editor of ClimateBiz.

The survey, which sampled 120 global, multinational and regional organizations, and 21 carbon companies, found that reforestation with native tree species (89%) also rated highly among respondents.

Strong carbon standards were found to be the most important factor (91%) when purchasing forest offsets, followed by experience and credibility of the project developer (87%).

“The importance buyers place on carbon standards and project developer track records, however, shows forestry offsets must meet strict additionality and permanence criteria to prove they work,” said Wheeland.

“This survey demonstrates the growing understanding among offset buyers of the potential of forestry activities to generate high-quality, cost-effective emissions reductions while at the same time providing additional advantages like conserving species and supporting local communities,” said Joanna Durbin, Director of Climate Community and Biodiversity Alliance. “I believe the survey findings underscore the important role that the Climate Community and Biodiversity (CCB) Standards play alongside rigorous carbon accounting standards like VCS, helping project developers and offset buyers to identify high quality carbon projects that improve the well-being of local communities and conserve habitats.”

The research found companies in North America (50%), rather than Europe (19%), are more willing to pay up front for carbon credits that will be generated in more than five years time.

Deforestation and degradation accounts for roughly 20 percent of greenhouse gas emissions resulting from human activities — a share greater than all the world’s planes, cars, trucks, and ships combined.


Rainforest conservation can help U.S. businesses reduce costs

(04/20/2009) Carbon credits generated through forest conservation could provide a cost-effective way for U.S. companies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, business leaders were told at a meeting in Columbus, Ohio

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