Cap and Trade could provide major incentive NOT to clearcut

This private woodlot could earn additional $ under Cap and Trade

This private woodlot could earn additional $ under Cap and Trade.

In the November newsletter of the Nova Scotia Woodlot Owners and Operators Association (NSWOOA), Dale Prest appeals to readers to urge the province to adopt a Cap and Trade system of carbon accounting. “Well-designed climate change policy would give forest owners and managers incentives to manage their lands specifically to store more carbon, and compensate those landowners for their efforts. For example, CFI [Community Forest International] has already been paid slightly more than $300,000 for the carbon stored on our 705-acre woodlot over a 100-year contract. Put another way, we have been paid $3,000 per year for 100 years to keep our average stocking above 20 cords to the acre. We can still cut every tree on that woodlot, just not all at once.”

The article provides more details. If Nova Scotia does not implement a Cap and Trade system (or our own carbon tax) by 2018, the federal government will impose a carbon tax on us. Prest argues that Cap and Trade would enable woodlot owners “to manage their lands specifically to store more carbon and receive payments from a regulated market for doing so.” The possible returns appear to be substantial and would provide a major incentive not to clearcut.

Clearly this proposal deserves every Nova Scotian’s consideration.

More about Carbon Credits for Forestry:

FAQ: Forest Carbon Projects
On The Climate Trust website. “Building upon a legacy of innovation and leadership in the carbon market, The Climate Trust accelerates the pace of carbon mitigation through conservation finance. We value air, water and soil through the development, purchase and sale of qualified offsets and a relentless investment in people and projects with environmental purpose.”

Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) Releases Regulatory Proposal for Offset Program
Document dated Nov 17, 2016. Some indication where Ontario is headed.

UPDATE (NOV 23, 2016): Listen to CBC interview with Dale Prest (Nov 22, 2016)

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