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Scheme gives land managers the option to sell Woodland Carbon Units to the Government at a guaranteed price protected against inflation.
£10 million is being made available for farmers and land managers to create new woodlands to help tackle the effects of climate change, through a unique scheme which provides new income in the form of long-term payments for the amount of carbon a new woodland will store.
Farmers and land managers across England are encouraged to apply for the Woodland Carbon Guarantee scheme by 24 April, ahead of the fifth auction which will take place online between 9 and 15 May 2022.
Administered by the Forestry Commission, the Woodland Carbon Guarantee is a £50 million scheme that aims to help accelerate woodland planting rates and permanently remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Following an online auction process, successful bidders will be offered the option to sell woodland carbon in the form of Woodland Carbon Units – a financial value given to each tonne of carbon stored – to the Government over 35 years at a guaranteed price protected against inflation. The scheme reflects the Government’s confidence in the continued growth of markets for woodland carbon, as landowners will continue to benefit from a reliable revenue stream in selling carbon on the domestic market.
Before applying for the Guarantee, land managers will need to have registered with the Woodland Carbon Code, which provides the tools and information required to verify and record the carbon they are capturing and can sell in future.
Sir William Worsley, Chair of the Forestry Commission, said:
This pioneering scheme could be the perfect fit for land managers of all kinds looking for long-term income support for creating new woodlands.
Now in its fifth round, it’s encouraging that this scheme has continued to grow in its success, resulting in the creation of 2,650 hectares of new woodland specifically to help combat the many and varied impacts of climate change.
I strongly encourage farmers, foresters and land managers across England to submit their applications to the Guarantee ahead of the application deadline on 24 April.
The outcome of previous auctions supported projects across England at a range of scales, including in the South West and East where tree planting has been lower in recent years. The average price of bids accepted in the fourth auction was £18.62 per woodland carbon unit.
Encouraging diverse woodland types and tree species is a key factor in the Forestry Commission’s efforts to treble tree planting rates in England by the end of this Parliament and plant 30,000 hectares of trees across the UK per year by 2025.
David McCulloch, Head of CarbonStore, said:
This has been a cleverly designed scheme from the government which simultaneously incentivises woodland creation and, by offering clarity on a fair value for woodland carbon units, also supports the market for woodland creation. Moreover, farmers and landowners using the Woodland Carbon Auction Guarantee have no obligation to sell their units to the government if it transpires they can generate a higher price by selling to another party.