Critical carbon cash

Published on: 11 Nov 2014

Carbon capture has seen a pioneering brokering offensive launched in the Lake District with the buying and selling of CO2.

A pilot project sees 15 hectares of new woodland at Fisherground, Eskdale, planted to 'sell-off' almost 5,300 tonnes of carbon which will be stored over the next 85 years.

For companies committed to action on climate change, purchasing carbon demonstrates social responsibility. Businesses can now invest in woodland and peat projects in the national park which will help reduce climate change.

Behind the initiative is the Lake District National Park Partnership, which has been match-making landowners and interested investors.

Each project is unique, offering a host of environmental and other benefits. Across the UK, there are 89 woodland carbon projects, covering 3,200 hectares, which, over the next century, will lock-up 1.5 million tonnes of CO2.

Lake District National Park's strategy and partnership adviser, Sam Hagon, said London-based company ICAP had made Fisherground happen through its voluntary programme to reduce carbon emissions.

She explained: "ICAP has purchased the carbon which the woodland will store over its lifetime. Without this help, Fisherground's ground-breaking carbon capture wouldn't have got off the ground.

"Carbon stored even in a woodland of this size is significant. It equates to over 10 per cent of emissions from flights taken by national park residents each year, or 236 visitors travelling to and from the Lake District.

"It's great being able to lock-up carbon in the landscape to help reduce the effects of climate change.

"At the same time, this innovative funding can provide an alternative income for farmers and landowners. We hope we'll be seeing many more similar projects across the national park."

Fisherground owner, Ian Hall, said the creation of new woodland to provide income and help the environment was a win/win situation.

He added: "Obviously, there is huge potential for others to follow suit."

The partnership is working with Forest Carbon, the UK's leading developer of new woodlands certified under the government-backed Woodland Carbon Code, to match landowners and potential investors.

For further information on carbon brokering contact Sam Hagon, on 01539 792659 Samantha.hagon@lakedistrict.gov.uk

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