the forest carbon offsetting survey 2009

This report, which was created by EcoSecurities, Conservation International, The Climate, Community & Biodiversity Alliance, and offers an in-depth look at the current corporate attitudes toward carbon offsets from forests and the growth opportuniites in this market.

In 2008, many carbon buyers decided to buy forest offsets for the first time. This new market activity follows a growing recognition that forests must be a major part of the solution to climate change and that well designed and well run forest projects can lessen climate change while providing social and environmental benefits that no other offset technology can. This report is an analysis of the motivations and preferences of the early movers in this rapidly growing field.

Carbon buyers look to invest their money in sustainable offset projects. At a macro-level, organisations are conscious to contribute to a solution for the global problem of climate change, deforestation and depletion of the world's biodiversity.

At a granular level buyers are keen to support the sustainable development of communities from which the offsets originate. Buyers assign high importance to many aspects of a project, including a certification with a credible standard, the experience and credibility of the implementing organisation, the delivery of biodiversity and social co-benefits, price, project type, and location. The enthusiasm for co-benefits was backed by a stated willingness to pay significant price premiums for projects that generate them. There is, however, no single ideal project type. Buyers in different parts of the world assign different importance to these traits. North American buyers are keener on projects that are close to home and are generally more willing to consider innovative ways of financing projects.

This report has been published at a time when there is an increasing emphasis on forestry in relation to climate change policy. With so much importance placed on the role of forestry it is both appropriate and timely that this study has been conducted.

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