Newsletter - May 2007
You can be Carbon-Neutral in one hit: Buy a Carbon Offset (a Forest)
You may have heard that some people are buying carbon credits or `offsets' to equal their personal share of CO2 emissions. Not just pop stars flying in private jets. Ordinary folk too.
This is done by calculating the CO2 released when flying or driving or heating your house with gas or oil, then paying for tree planting or renewable energy projects, called 'carbon offsets'.
Some of these schemes may be a good thing but some will be either useless, environmentally suspect or scams. But in all cases someone other than you will be making money.
So we want to spread the word we've already created legitimate carbon offsets, and economically useful ones at that.
Our forests not only offset all our investors' CO2 but also produce a financial return for them and/or their family.
Each unit (or share) in our forest partnerships, has created a carbon sink of 2.3 hectares. That will store, about 260 tonnes of carbon, which is more than one person's entire lifetime share of carbon emissions.*
You may ask: But isn't it just a temporary store of carbon? No. Please read on...
Some Myths about Forest Offsets
- Harvest or destruction releases the stored carbon. Not so, as long as there is replanting. The above 260 tonnes is not harvest age trees, it is trees just half that age, being the average age of a NZ production forest. Virtually all our plantations will be replanted after harvest and they are all insured for replanting if destroyed. If a particular forest stand is not replanted it is almost certain we or our successors will plant a new one elsewhere. And plant it on low production pasture, as all of ours have been. That is a key requirement for a 'sink', i.e. it has to be reforestation.
- We do not know how much carbon forests contain. We do know this for Radiata pine and Douglas-fir in NZ but for other species the knowledge is thinner, but getting better.
- Native or `natural' forests store more carbon than plantations. Yes and no. The harvest age of plantations is well before maturity so they contain less carbon than some mature 'natural' forests. But starting from scratch a plantation will fix more carbon in the next 30 years than a planted or regenerating native forest. Plantations also provide financial return and wood, which substitutes for high carbon-releasing building materials and fossil fuels. So it is a 'double carbon offset'.
- Forest offsets are not the answer, phasing out fossil fuel is. True but it will be decades before the latter occurs and forest offsets can make a significant contribution in the meantime. Forests also provide environmental benefits over pasture or scrub plus, to say it again, 'negative carbon' building-materials and 'carbon neutral' fuel.
- There is not enough land surplus to food production needs. There are huge areas of deforested land in the world, with degrading or diminishing soils that are not being used to produce much at all. Planting these areas or assisting reversion to forest would absorb 20% of world fossil fuel emissions over the next 50 years* as well as enhancing the environment enormously. Remember: Forests have multiple benefits.
- Trees dry up streams and deplete soils. No, they cycle water cleanly, maintain good soils and rebuild poor soils. Think about it: Before NZ was colonized by humans it was 90% forest. Do you imagine the streams and rivers were dry and the soils depleted? The myth about soils under trees comes from seeing nothing growing under some trees and plantations. That is due to lack of light and surface moisture at ground level. Former forest soils are usually very good and decline until reforested. And no, exotic conifers and eucalypts are not fundamentally different from NZ natives in this regard. Trees are trees.
*Source: Maclaren, J.Piers. 2000: Trees in the Greenhouse. 72pp Forest Research Bulletin 219
You can be carbon neutral, & easily too.
This is good news in these times of global warming horror stories!
Why not buy yourself a permanent forest sink providing capital growth as well as environmental benefits?
Or buy one for your family. If you love them, buy them a carbon offset!
We have units available from $6,750 to $18,200 depending on size, age and regimes.
Just give us a call and/or look on our 'Units for Sale' page.