Dogwood Makes a Big Carbon Canopy Announcement
Today, the Carbon Canopy partnership announces the sale of its carbon offsets from its first forest carbon pilot projects, covering more than 12,000 acres on properties located in Western North Carolina and Southwestern Virginia. These projects result in over 100,000 carbon offsets which will reduce greenhouse gas emission in year one and complement the property owners’ commitments to long-term forest stewardship. What a success! Carbon offsets from these initial projects are being purchased by Staples and Interface, longtime supporters of the Carbon Canopy’s work to build an ecosystem services marketplace that supports the conservation of Southern Forests.
But that’s not all. In addition to the offsets, the landowners are committed to responsible management under the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification system – the highest certification standard in the land. As an additional benefit, the FSC-certified wood coming from their forest management plan helps support the greening of the forest products industry. The FSC-certified wood ultimately flows into the supply chain of Carbon Canopy partners Domtar and Columbia Forest Products, allowing them to meet their procurement goals and helping them produce FSC-certified products. If we all act now, we might create a new leading-edge type of forestry, one in which landowners actually get paid to leave trees standing. That’s right: for the first time, you can get paid to leave trees standing.
In true Dogwood Alliance fashion, this project has both deep local connections in the Southern Appalachians and clear global implications, as at this week’s UN COP 19 Global Climate Talks in Warsaw, Poland, nations from around the world struggle to address climate change together. Landowners in Western North Carolina and Southwest Virginia are committing to conserve and enhance the carbon stocks held in their forests for 100 years through responsible forest management. The Columbia Forest Products mill is located in Old Fort, North Carolina and the Domtar paper mill is in Kingsport, Tennessee, so these projects are also supporting our local economy. The carbon accounting protocol is set out under the California Global Warming Solutions Act, The carbon offsets are to be purchased by Staples and Interface, companies that play on a global level. We are building something real and important here in the world’s largest forest products producing region while the world works to address climate change with talks in Northern Europe.
These are just the first two Carbon Canopy projects to come online. We are proud to have achieved this important milestone and we have big plans to conserve 100,000 acres in the next five years through similar projects. For 2014, we have tee’d up projects in North Carolina and West Virginia, so be on the lookout for more projects from across the region!