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November 29, 2018

Time To Play Offense on Climate Change


According to the IPCC, one-third (⅓) of all the emissions ever put up in the atmosphere since 1750 has come from land-use change, predominately deforestation.

To date, most of the climate world has focused on big REDD in developing countries or IFM projects in the United States. In fact, when one looks at the top 15 forestry projects by net credit issuances across American Carbon Registry (ACR), Climate Action Reserve (CAR) or Verra (formerly VCS) in both compliance and voluntary markets, one finds the following:

  • 9 IFM Projects
  • 5 REDD Projects

1 Afforestation/Reforestation Project (GreenTrees)

While forestry is often talked about as a single sector of offsets, not all forestry types are equal. The way to think about forestry is to use a sports analogy. IFM, Avoided Conversion and REDD are all about holding the line — the climate line. These projects are simply defense, while reforestation is pure offense. Reforestation attacks the problem and is climate additional. In doing so, reforestation builds equity back into the ecosystem and the climate.

Our GreenTrees project has risen to one of the largest carbon projects in the world and continues to add new lands and the trees continue to grow and add more volume year over year. Behind the scale, there are two revolutionary aspects taking place. First, GreenTrees has achieved scale by aggregating landowners ranging from 7 acres to 1,700 acres. Second, GreenTrees has employed a river system approach. This approach enables large-scale, targeted impact in sequester carbon, purifying the water and building an ark of biodiversity back into the ecosystem. Our river system approach is something we can replicate to other river systems both in the US and around the World. And we stand ready to do so!

If we are to win this climate battle, we need both defense and offense. We have spent a lot of time and resources playing defense, it is time to play more offense. To do, we need to connect more capital to more river systems.

To this end, GreenTrees commissioned a report that examined what forestry on scale would look like around the world and what the impact would be. In short, if we rose to E.O. Wilson’s Half Earth Challenge and brought forestry on scale, we would sequester 5.5 gigatons per year and reduce the Global Mean Temperature (GMT) by .2 Degrees Census in absolute terms.

On the eve of the meetings in Poland, let us unleash the most scalable, deployable technology for fighting climate change — Planting Trees. Forests are Nature’s Technology! And when we plant trees, we plant hope!