Local forest carbon supports land conservation, new parks and greenspaces
Carbon credits are being produced by permanently protecting threatened forests and tree canopy within King County. Lands targeted for carbon credit financing are among the most critical conservation priorities of the region – identified through the collaborative Land Conservation Initiative. This Initiative brings together the voices of concerned citizens, community groups, environmental and social justice non-profits, business leaders, scientists, philanthropists, city governments, and King County.
Carbon + Co-Benefits For Our Communities & Our Environment
- A cleaner urban environment: Forest carbon projects in and around our cities will improve urban air quality, reduce stormwater runoff, and enhance water quality in our rivers, lakes, and Puget Sound.
- Protecting tree canopy and green spaces: The Puget Sound region is growing rapidly, making land conservation and forest protection an unusually urgent effort. Without a dramatic acceleration of conservation work alongside development, we will lose forever much of what makes this region beautiful, ecologically healthy, and livable.
- Sustaining salmon and wildlife: Forest carbon projects in King County protect critical salmon habitat and preserve corridors for our remaining elk, bears, and other wildlife in an increasingly fragmented, paved-over landscape.
- Healthy communities: Carbon financing of land acquisition for new public park sites will help the Land Conservation Initiative provide our communities with the diverse physical and mental health benefits of greenspace. The Initiative aims to improve our communities’ access to spaces to gather, relieve stress, and relax – and spaces where our children can play and learn outdoors.
Public greenspaces and trails are increasingly important for quality of life in our rapidly growing region.
A public space to relax, explore, exercise, and play — protected by King County’s purchase of the land.
King County Urban and Rural Forest Carbon Credits
All carbon credits King County offers will be independently (3rd-party) verified to voluntary standards. The urban forest carbon credits, which are inherently low volume but high value, are a powerful new tool for investing in communities and climate benefits simultaneously. King County is working with City Forest Credits (CFC), a Seattle-based non-profit that has developed an innovative protocol for preservation of forest canopy within and around U.S. cities – where carbon finance had not previously been feasible. The rural forest carbon credits will be produced from the protection of larger forested areas in King County through a project under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), a well-established voluntary protocol that is used for most rural forest carbon projects globally.
The initial project was successfully verified in 2018, producing 3,025 mtCO2e of verified and registered credits, and 2019 projects are targeted to produce a minimum of 3,000 mtCO2e while also producing local community and environmental co-benefits.
Pending successful project validation and verification, King County will produce its first rural forest carbon credits in the second half of 2019. Over 100,000 mtCO2e are expected to be available over the first five years of the project, while helping to protect watersheds, recreation, and wildlife habitat.