North Carolina forest carbon projects registered

Eager to get involved in California’s carbon market, three forest carbon offset projects located in North Carolina have been completed and expect to be included for use in California’s market upon its launch in January.

California’s AB32 climate change bill seeks to reduce state emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 through a number of measures, including the implementation of a cap-and-trade carbon market.

The California carbon market will regulate large stationary emitters during 2013 and 2014 before expanding to cover the transportation sector as well.

One cost-saving measure for businesses that will be regulated under the market is the use of carbon offset credits.

Utilities will be able to purchase carbon offset credits to meet up to 8% of their required compliance obligation.

This comes out to demand for over 10 million carbon offset credits annually for 2013 and 2014.

So far only four project protocols have been approved to generate offsets eligible for California’s market, leading many analysts to predict that there will be a significant shortfall in supply.

Forestry projects have the potential to be a significant source for carbon offset credits since they often involve large acreages of American woodland.

Landowners that have typically managed their properties for timber production can now find an alternative value through carbon offset development, creating revenue by conserving trees instead of harvesting them.

Carbon allowances to be used in California’s market have seen prices soar as confidence regarding the market launch builds.

As of this week California carbon allowances were trading over $18 a piece.