AMERICAN CARBON REGISTRY APPROVES IFM METHODOLOGY FOR US COMMERCIAL TIMBERLANDS UNLEASHING US FOREST CARBON OFFSET POTENTIAL
ARLINGTON, VA, September 27, 2010 – The American Carbon Registry (ACR) announces approval of an Improved Forest Management (IFM) Methodology for Quantifying GHG Removals and Emission Reductions through Increased Forest Carbon Sequestration on U.S. Timberlands developed by Finite Carbon Corporation, a leading U.S. forest carbon project developer.
The methodology targets privately owned industrial timberlands in the U.S. managed under an existing commercial timber harvesting program. Landowners must make a long-term commitment to manage their properties to sequester carbon above and beyond what would normally occur under an institutional timber owner’s typical business-as-usual management.
The methodology approval is groundbreaking for the possibilities it unleashes in the market. Despite the enormous potential for hundreds of millions of acres of private forestlands in the U.S. to participate in the carbon market, to date only five forest carbon projects have been registered and verified. Four of those are California-based projects registered on the Climate Action Reserve (CAR), and the fifth is a large multi-state project registered on ACR. The dearth of projects is due to the lack of workable, scientifically sound methodologies for key project types such as IFM. The methodology, the first to specifically target industrial timberlands, applies conservative assumptions throughout to ensure no crediting of non-additional activities, a flaw that has plagued existing IFM methodologies. It will be complemented in the future by other ACR methodologies for nonindustrial private forests and public lands.
“The Finite Carbon IFM methodology fills a critical gap in the U.S. forest carbon market by providing a straightforward and scalable framework for commercial timber land managers to develop high-quality IFM projects,“ said Nicholas Martin, ACR’s chief technical officer. “We expect to see many good projects come to market.”
IFM has been included as an eligible project type under both House and Senate cap-and-trade bills, and ACR’s methodology approval process of public consultation and expert peer review is consistent with criteria for pre-compliance recognition in recent federal bills as well as state and regional programs. This means that offsets resulting from projects developed following the new ACR methodology are a strong pre-compliance choice. Forest carbon offsets are also widely sought after in the voluntary market, where corporate social responsibility buyers seek “charismatic” carbon offsets, such as those that protect forests.
“We appreciate the rigor of ACR’s public comment and external scientific peer review process for methodology approval,” said Sterling Griffin, Finite Carbon’s vice president for project development and the methodology’s lead author. “The process really helped clarify and improve the methodology. Finite Carbon has been impressed by how quickly, yet comprehensively the process was completed, creating confidence that the methodology was meticulously evaluated by experts and found to be environmentally sound.”
“This is a major milestone for Finite Carbon and our forest carbon project portfolio throughout the
United States,” added Scott Nissenbaum, president of Finite Carbon. “We need to offer solutions and options to landowners and quality offsets to buyers. We have been impressed with the knowledge and expertise at Winrock and ACR, which will facilitate this process,” he continued. “The end result is a methodology that balances concerns of commercial operability, environmental integrity and cost, all of which are crucial for high-quality projects to be developed on a scale that will have an impact.”
About the American Carbon Registry
The nonprofit American Carbon Registry (ACR), an enterprise of Winrock International, is a leading carbon offset program recognized for its strong standards for environmental integrity. Founded in 1996 as the GHG Registry by Environmental Defense Fund and Environmental Resources Trust, ACR has 15 years of experience in the development of rigorous, science-based carbon offset standards and methodologies as well as in carbon offset issuance, serialization and transparent online transaction and retirement reporting. As the first private voluntary GHG registry in the world, ACR has set the bar in the global voluntary carbon market for offset quality and operational transparency. For more information, please visit www.americancarbonregistry.org
About Finite Carbon Corporation
Finite Carbon is the country’s No. 1 forest carbon developer based on listed U.S. projects. It provides landowners with a single-source, end-to-end solution to create and monetize carbon offsets. Solely focused on forest carbon, the company was founded in 2009 by forestry and finance experts, and offers the most comprehensive forest carbon project development and commercialization service in the country. Finite Carbon, which has to date secured contracts for two million carbon offsets, valued at $12 million, is headquartered in Wayne, Pa., and has offices in San Francisco, Calif., and Cherry Creek, N.Y. For more information, please visit www.finitecarbon.com
Mary Grady, American Carbon Registry
Tel: (805) 884-1961
Rick Sacks, for Finite Carbon
Tel: (973) 467-8728