Carbon for Conservation
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The Nature Conservancy’s North Carolina chapter (TNC NC) is exploring opportunities to secure additional financing for their conservation work through the sale of carbon offset credits in regulatory or voluntary markets. This project assesses the prospects for TNC NC to develop carbon offset projects on forest lands and pocosin peatlands in North Carolina for that purpose, including risks associated with project development. We developed a site prioritization model to identify a subset of parcels meeting TNC NC’s criteria for establishing a carbon offset project, which we then evaluated for carbon sequestration potential and projected financial performance. Our analysis showed that conservation-oriented management activities may in some cases preclude a viable offset project on the site by decreasing carbon stocks or increasing leakage of timber harvests. However, opportunities do exist to align and carbon sequestration and conservation goals where the property requires little active management or has low baseline rates of carbon sequestration. Based on our analysis, we present recommendations on project types and locations within the state that may be attractive to TNC NC for a carbon offset project.
DepartmentNicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences
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