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First 'Avoided Forest Conversion' Offsets Purchased in the California Market


By Kasey Krifka

The Climate Trust, a mission-driven nonprofit that specializes in financing climate solutions, has received the first California carbon offsets (CCOs) from an Avoided Forest Conversion project. The Green Assets-Middleton Place project conserves more than 3,700 acres of pristine southern coastal habitat near Charleston, South Carolina, and prevents it from being converted to non-forest land uses.

The project owner, Middleton Place, sold 243,375 carbon credits to the Climate Trust -- equivalent to the annual electricity use of over 65 percent of the households in Charleston.

Avoided Conversion projects prevent forestland from being converted to non-forestland use by dedicating the property to continuous forest cover. Additionally, Middleton Place makes a concerted effort to manage its forest resources for sustainability and the provision of critical habitat for a diversity of wildlife.

“The Climate Trust is pleased to engage in the California compliance market and purchase credits from a highly-esteemed project that achieves such significant greenhouse gas emissions reductions,” said Dick Kempka, chief commercial officer for the Climate Trust. “This Avoided Forest Conversion project also generates considerable societal co-benefits by preserving flora and fauna, and allowing for recreational opportunities such as fishing, hiking, kayaking and horseback riding.”

The Middleton property holds extraordinary historical importance for this region of South Carolina and is a significant cultural point of interest in the United States.

Adjacent to the forestland associated with the carbon project area lies Middleton Place. Recognized as a National Historic Landmark, Middleton Place is home to America's oldest landscaped gardens. Envisioned and created by Henry Middleton in 1741, the gardens have been recognized by the Garden Club of America as “the most interesting and important gardens in America.”

“We appreciate The Climate Trust’s significant commitment to the environment, including the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions,” said Hunter Parks, president & CEO of Green Assets. “With our expertise in helping landowners to establish carbon-offset credit programs, it was a pleasure working with the Climate Trust team to secure the purchase of carbon credits from Middleton Place.”
“We are proud to transact on a project that marries conservation, a market based return, and environmental markets so significantly,” said Sean Penrith, executive director for the Climate Trust. “This acquisition reflects our continual desire to put a price on our climate and its natural resources, as we position ourselves as an investment fund designed to finance environmental credits across North America.”
Image credit: Flickr/Hunter Desportes

Kasey Krifka is the Marketing & Communications Manager for The Climate Trust

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