Aug 27, 2010 0
I received a notice from one of my Linkedin connections about a organization that he belonged to that planted trees in developing nations.
He wrote about it in a condensed form on the website justmeans.com. I read the entry and did a little research on my own.
The Stern Report
I started with the Stern Report (executive summary). Stern was an MP that wrote a report on the economics of weather and climate change. He summarizes scientific models on global warming and the climate change associated with them and concludes that action is needed to counteract the negative effects of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The counteraction should take the form of reforestation (among other ways) and the systematic reforestation of 15% of the agricultural potential of the earth’s surface.
Although there has been some critical reactions to some of the assumptions and conclusions, it seemed to me to be a good place to start looking at the subject matter.
Bottom line – reforestation
It seems to come down to planting trees, the business of land use, and technical verification of contracts and obligations, and away from “business as usual” practices. When I scan the terrain, there are global treaty initiatives (Kyoto, Copenhagen, EU,), and national organizations (both regulatory and commercial). So there are several ways of making money and coordinating services.
My experience as an international lawyer suggest to me that reforestation will be on a almost ad hoc, or at least jurisdiction by jurisdiction level. Reforestation – one country at a time.
Its now about the money
Money for projects can be financed via the selling of carbon credits. If the project has a predictable and measurable carbon offset (one offset is one ton of CO2), and this can be verified via one of the several verification organizations, then projects can be initiated and paid for.
More about tree planting and reforestation:
The bottom line is that programs are being created to provide income to families in developing nations, with the expectation that a family can produce 600 – 1000 trees and gain an annual income of up to $2000 per year. This would do a lot to both alleviate poverty and democratize societies. Check out the FAQ on tree-credits.org.
On the other end, those companies and individuals using corporate social responsibility business model will benefit in the triple bottom line: people, planet, profit.