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American Carbon Registry releases forestry standard in anticipation of U.S. federal cap and trade bill

Copenhagen and Washington D.C., March 18, 2009

Forest Carbon Project Standard details requirements for afforestation and reforestation, improved forest management and emissions reduction from deforestation and degradation projects

Copenhagen and Washington D.C., March 18, 2009 With forestry offsets likely to play a major role in the future United States cap and trade scheme, American Carbon Registry, a leading U.S. non-profit greenhouse gas registry, today, released its much-awaited Forest Carbon Project Standard at Point Carbon’s Carbon Markets Insights 2009, Copenhagen.  

Developed by parent organization Winrock International’s renowned team of carbon experts including three co-Nobel Peace Prize recipients for their contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the new standard bears the stamp of scientific credibility and transparency.  

I am pleased that with this publication we have been able to build on over a decade of Winrock’s leadership and expertise in this area working with a number of recognized organizations including the Clean Development Mechanism, The Nature Conservancy, Conservation International, International Tropical Timber Organization, Voluntary Carbon Standard and California Climate Action Registry,” said Dr. Sandra Brown, Winrock’s Chief Scientist, whose team developed the standard. 

The new standard details requirements for afforestation and reforestation, improved forest management and reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) projects. Included are project eligibility requirements, additionality determination, methodologies and quantification tools for baselines, monitoring and leakage.

There is no use in reinventing the wheel when solid science has already been applied to develop methodologies,” adds Dr. Tim Pearson of Winrock, lead author of the standard. “We recognize the value in a consistent technical approach.”

The American Carbon Registry’s Forest Carbon Project Standard offers project proponents several options for assuring the permanence of carbon stocks in forests.  As with other forestry standards, they can contribute an adequate number of offsets into a buffer account to be used if future carbon streams from a project were destroyed or otherwise unavailable.  However, the American Carbon Registry approach to buffer pool requirements is flexible as it allows for other insurance mechanisms, including the contribution of non-forest offsets as insuranceAdditionally, the Registry is developing additional insurance mechanisms as a service to its members.  

”As a result of this flexibility, the Forest Carbon Project Standard approach  will enable registry members to monetize their forest offsets rather than hold them in a buffer account, increasing the number of high quality forestry offsets available to the marketplace,” comments Dr. Pearson. 

Winrock International developed these standards as a result of a deep desire from both pre-compliance and voluntary buyers.  “The release of our Forest Carbon Project Standard is the key to moving the large 2009 pipeline of more than a million forestry tons through the process of registration,” said John Kadyszewski, director of the American Carbon Registry, and noted that this should help address the current market demand while building the offset pipeline for the coming years. 

American Carbon Registry Founding Members like Entergy agree: “Because of Entergy's ongoing efforts to actively participate in carbon offset projects, we pride ourselves on credibility and transparency, which is exactly what the Forest Carbon Project Standard will provide to the market,” said Brent Dorsey, director of Corporate Environmental Programs for Entergy Corporation.  

The non-profit American Carbon Registry was originally founded as a means to harness the power of markets to improve the global environment. Stimulating the market for forestry offsets is not only key to stemming climate change, but also provides the right incentives and funding to reduce deforestation. All of these co-benefits tie directly into Winrock’s mission of empowering the disadvantaged, increasing economic opportunity and sustaining natural resources. 

About the American Carbon Registry: 

The American Carbon Registry, an enterprise of Winrock International, is a leading non-profit U.S. carbon market registry and carbon technical services provider.  As the first private voluntary greenhouse gas registry in the U.S., American Carbon Registry boasts time-tested integrity in high quality carbon offset registration, organizational GHG inventory reporting and carbon technical services. The American

Carbon Registry was founded in 1997 as the GHG Registry by the Environmental Defense Fund and Environmental Resources Trust (ERT). The Registry and ERT joined Winrock International in 2007, expanding Winrock's team of climate change, forestry, clean energy, agriculture, and carbon market experts. For more information on the Registry including a list of Founding Members, please visit 


Mark Grundy, Communications
Phone: + 1 917-517-4412

Anu Ramamurty, Communications
Phone: + 1 212-704-8155

American Carbon Registry 
Mary Grady, Director of Membership and Registry Services 
Phone: + 1 703-525-9430 x 820