The government have launched a £50million Woodland Carbon Guarantee scheme to encourage farmers and landowners to plant more trees to help tackle climate change.
The scheme will encourage farmers and landowners to plant more trees and create new woodland in return for payments as the planted trees grow. It will provide land managers in England with the long-term financial income they need to invest in carbon sequestration. This is a natural or artificial process by which carbon is removed from the Earth’s atmosphere and stored in a liquid or solid form over a long period of time in order to delay global warming and avoid climate change.
Successful participants will be offered the option to sell Woodland Carbon Units to the government over 35 years at a guaranteed price set by auction, providing new income for land managers who help businesses compensate for their carbon emissions.
Trees are a natural carbon sink and play a key role in the UK’s efforts to hit net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and the fight against climate change. The government is committed to planting 11 million trees by 2022. Funding for this scheme was announced by HM Treasury in the 2018 autumn budget.
Planting trees can have many other additional benefits, such as reducing the risk of flooding, soil conservation and increasing biodiversity.
To apply for the Woodland Carbon Guarantee, land managers need to register their projects with the Woodland Carbon Code – the voluntary standard for UK woodland creation projects where claims are made about the carbon dioxide they sequester.
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