Finite Carbon and Downeast Lakes Land Trust Receive Nation’s First California Compliance Forest Carbon Offsets
First issuance of compliance forestry offsets for the California emissions trading program allows sales generating over $2 million.
SACRAMENTO, CA and GRAND LAKE STREAM, ME November 13, 2013 — Finite Carbon and the Downeast Lakes Land Trust today announced the nation’s first issuance of California Air Resources Board Offset Credits for a forestry project. Nearly 200,000 compliance offsets were issued for the Farm Cove Improved Forest Management Project in eastern Maine. The initial offsets have been contracted to two non-disclosed compliance buyers in the first sales of registered and issued forestry offsets for California’s greenhouse gas cap and trade program.
Located on 19,118 forested acres owned and managed by Downeast Lakes Land Trust, the Farm Cove Project was the first Climate Action Reserve Improved Forest Management project developed and registered outside of California. Forest offset projects are one of four offset types allowed under the Air Resources Board greenhouse gas emissions trading program that launched on January 1, 2013. Under the Air Resources Board program, regulated emitters may use approved and verified offset projects to meet up to eight percent of their emissions cap.
The Farm Cove Project was one of only two forest offset projects included in the California Air Resources Board inaugural listing of compliance offset projects in March 2013. As an early action forestry project for the California program, Farm Cove achieved dual verification to ensure project integrity by the Rainforest Alliance and Environmental Services, Inc. In addition, the forest management practices of Downeast Lakes Land Trust have been audited and certified by the Rainforest Alliance as meeting the environmental and social criteria of the Forest Stewardship Council.
“Today is a huge milestone for an important segment of the carbon market,” said Finite Carbon President Sean Carney. “The issuance and sale of forest offsets answers two important questions for landowners: ‘yes, the compliance carbon market is real, and yes, so is the revenue.’ We look forward to bringing another ten projects over the finish line in the next several months and expect a number of additional forest owners to sign up for the program in 2014.”
“This has been a long process because we’re at the leading edge of what could become an important tool for funding forest conservation,” said Mark Berry, Executive Director of the Downeast Lakes Land Trust, “As we seek to expand our community forest ownership with purchase of an important property, the skilled team at Finite Carbon have helped us to leverage our existing community forest by participating in the carbon market.”
Downeast Lakes Land Trust will use proceeds from the sale of Farm Cove forest carbon offsets to help finance its capital campaign to expand the Farm Cove Community Forest by purchasing the adjacent 22,000-acre West Grand Lake Forest. The property around the village of Grand Lake Stream, Maine has outstanding habitat and recreation values and is integral to a 1.4 million acre international corridor of conserved forests and wetlands between Maine and New Brunswick, Canada. It is essential to the trust’s vision of contributing to the long-term economic and environmental well-being of the Downeast Lakes region. The trust has an option agreement to purchase the property from the current owners, and must complete its fundraising effort by the end of 2015.