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Woodland Carbon Code - Chris Waterfield (Forestry Commission)

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  • Take the opportunity to outline the work that’s being done to develop the Woodland Carbon Code, its key features and the anticipated benefits it’s hoped will result from it’s use.
  • What will the Woodland Carbon Code cover? In its initial phase the WCC will cover UK Voluntary Woodland Creation Projects May incorporate down stream benefits of woodlands eg. timber products, biofuel substitution in a later phase Code facilitated by FC but development steered by an industry panel of experts (CAG) & Public Consultation
  • Why Develop a Code for Woodland Carbon? 3 things are increasing: Recognition of the benefits: Scottish Forests absorb 9.5MtCo2e/yr – almost one fifth of total national emissions (~55MtCo2/yr) - ~17% Achieving the target of 10,000ha/yr would add over half a million tCo2/yr by 2020 The market - Increasing number of woodland carbon schemes: International Voluntary Market has blossomed with 93MtCo2e being traded in 2009 worth $400M. Forestry projects made up 24% One third of companies based in Europe Recognition that Woodland creation is cost-effective Voluntary credits valued at around £3-£5/t/Co2
  • Barriers to development of the woodland carbon market barriers exist due to: Variable quality of previous schemes No recognised standards for UK projects Lack of knowledge in corporate world of the benefits of domestic woodland projects Lack of access to regulated markets such as the UK Quality Assurance Scheme for Carbon Offsetting + EUETS (due to doubts over forestry reliability to deliver)
  • Objectives of the WCC: Consistency of approach Rigorous methodologies Transparency of C sequestration claims Reassurance to investors Potential basis for future access to regulatory markets: Defra consultation on national GHG reporting guidelines for woodland projects runs to 7 th Dec Proposing that companies can report GHG removals/emissions from investment in woodland creation projects providing the project meets the requirements of the Woodland Carbon Code.
  • The Scheme has 5 elements: The Code itself - Standards A Registry Carbon Measurement Tools Independent Verification A Piloting Process
  • The 5 Key Requirements of the Code: To Register Project Details Demonstrate that national standards for FM are being met (UKFS) Use approved methods for calculating the benefits Have a long-term management plan Demonstrate that the savings are additional to Business as Usual
  • Setting out Standards Although focussed on domestic projects - Code aligned with the core requirements of international standards, Transparent rigour of using independent certification bodies accredited by UKAS. WCC does not currently provide a route for compliance with internationally recognised carbon-offsetting standards but this is being explored.
  • Key Elements of the Standards: The issues of additionality, leakage, permanence and accurate carbon measurement have, in the past, led to a lack of confidence in forest carbon sequestration projects. The Code has been designed to provide robust standards Tackle issues and reinstate public and corporate confidence Combines sustainable forest carbon management and carbon stewardship.
  • In line with other similar carbon project standards, the Code will incorporate a project registry. A web-based application that serves as a database for all Woodland Carbon Code projects. To maintain transparency the registry will display a number of details about each project, including the name and/or contact details of the project manager, its location and grid reference, timescales and the estimated carbon that will be sequestered.
  • How will the Registry work? The registry will be publicly available through the Code website It will be used to display the details of woodland creation projects that are undergoing or have achieved certification Unlike some international carbon registries, it will not ‘track’ carbon credits or be used as a platform for trading. Transparent record-keeping procedures; up-to-date database maintained with records of all carbon will limit the risk of ‘double counting’ and poor record-keeping.
  • Help with counting carbon There are many factors which might influence the rate at which a particular woodland will sequester carbon. As such, predicting the future sequestration rate of a new woodland can be difficult To accompany the Code, Forest Research have developed 2 carbon measurement tools. 1. Look Up tables with default values for woodland carbon 2. Mensuration protocols for field measurements These tools have been peer reviewed and provide a consistent method of predicting and measuring actual carbon sequestration
  • The Look Up tables include a range of: Species, Management (thinned or not), Site productivity, Planting density (initial spacing) Key features: Sequestration rate for 5-year intervals, from 0 to 200 years Figures for whole-tree carbon and litter Figures for soil still require further development Carbon Lookup Tables can be used at the start of the project to anticipate how much carbon a particular woodland will sequester. Guidance on how to use these lookup tables has been developed which details how to choose the most appropriate figures.
  • The Field Measurement Protocols include: a suite of 5 Carbon Assessment Protocols developed by FR which detail how to go about undertaking such a survey of woodlands of differing age and size. They include guidance for stratifying woodlands, carrying out sample measurement to estimate timber volumes and then converting into an estimate of the carbon stored.
  • Who can apply? Anyone developing a forest carbon project in the UK may apply, so long as: The project start date was no earlier than 1st January 2005 (Earlier ones unlikely to have used reliable methods). The project involves direct woodland creation, on land that has not been under tree cover for at least 25 years The project developer has legal ownership or tenure of the land for the duration of the crediting period
  • Steps in Application: Create a long-term management plan (Project Design Plan) Estimated the carbon sequestration value Register the project details on the website Arrange verification with an accredited certifier
  • Help with Applying Appointment of a Woodland Carbon Code Implementation officer Local Forestry Commission staff Forest Research staff can give specialist advice on measuring carbon. Certification bodies will have a thorough understanding of
  • Timeframe for the Code Underwent initial public consultation in 2009 Code & guidance, website etc.. further developed in 2010 Code to be reviewed and finalised over the next 6 months up to end of March 2011 Scheme fully launched in spring 2011.
  • What’s happening now? Piloting – between now and next April. Project development – around a dozen participating pilot projects being developed around the UK – 4-5 in Scotland Launch – plan to have the Code fully open for business in spring 2011
  • Benefits of introducing the Code Designed to ensure that all parties involved in woodland carbon projects - have greater confidence, and by doing so, to encourage the growth of the woodland carbon market in the UK.
  • The Approved WCC Project Logo To be issued for use in connection with certified projects Schemes or projects that meet requirements can carry the Woodland Carbon Code label of approval. This can be used and displayed by the verified project proponents and by those who choose to invest in a project, such as a large business or corporation. Further details available at: [email_address] www.forestry.gov.uk/carboncode

Woodland Carbon Code - Chris Waterfield (Forestry Commission) Woodland Carbon Code - Chris Waterfield (Forestry Commission) Presentation Transcript

  • Woodland Carbon Code Chris Waterfield - Forestry Commission
  • Woodland Carbon Code
    • The Woodland Carbon Code is a voluntary code designed to encourage a consistent approach to Woodland Creation Projects involving carbon statements & claims.
  • Drivers
    • People and companies realising the potential that tree planting has to soak up CO2 from the atmosphere
    • Increasing number of schemes encouraging individuals and businesses to invest in tree planting to compensate for their carbon footprint
    • Recognition that woodland creation is a cost-effective means of mitigating climate change
  • Investors want to know schemes will actually deliver what they claim UK woodland projects can’t generate international carbon offsets Some forest carbon projects have been of variable quality Barriers
    • Encourage a consistent approach to woodland carbon projects by setting out national standards
    • Provide rigorous carbon measurement protocols
    • Reassure investors about voluntary woodland carbon projects & encourage the market
    • Offer clarity and transparency to customers
    • Construct a framework that may support a mandatory market for woodland carbon credits in the future
    Objectives
  • Robust standards Forest carbon measurement protocols and tools Independent Verification Process Pilot woodland carbon projects A project registry Elements of the Code
  • Requirements
    • To meet the requirements of the Code projects will need to:
    • Register with the FC, stating the exact location and long-term objectives of their project
    • Meet national standards for sustainable forest management
    • Have a long-term management plan
    • Use approved methods for estimating the carbon that will be sequestered
    • Demonstrate that the project delivers additional carbon benefits than would otherwise have been the case.
  • Woodland Carbon Code The Standards
  • Standards Additionality The carbon reductions would not have occurred without the input of carbon finance; Leakage Avoided displacement of previous land-use to another area; Permanence Long-term management plan for the woodland, assessing and minimising the risk of impermanence; Carbon measurement Options to accurately estimate the carbon sequestration of a woodland project.
  • Woodland Carbon Code The Registry
  • Project Registry
  • Woodland Carbon Code Counting Carbon
  • Carbon Lookup Tables
    • Choose one of 5 Protocols
    • Divide woodland into ‘similar’ areas/units
    • Field measurements to determine tree stem volume
    • Office calculations: tree volume  CO 2 sequestered
    Direct carbon measurement
  • Woodland Carbon Code Applying
  • Applying The application process for project proponents Create a Project Design Plan (PDD) Evaluate Carbon Value of Woodland Register project on the Code website Gain project validation from certification body Manage the project and gain verification every 5 years, or as specified
  • Help with Applying
    • Advice from the Forestry Commission
    • The verification body will also provide advice and guidance
    • Contact with other project participants who have current or previous experience
  • Project Schedule April June Aug Oct Dec Feb April June Aug Oct Dec Feb April 2009 2010 2011 Pre consultation Public consultation Build & test web portal and public registry Promotion and awareness programme Pilot phase of Woodland Carbon Code (testing and refining) Accreditation of third-party verifiers Review and finalise Code Official launch of Woodland Carbon Code
  • What’s Happening Now?
    • Piloting - Between now and April the Woodland Carbon Code is being trialled
    • Project Development - Around a dozen woodland carbon projects across a range of woodland types and sites will develop their project and work towards certification
    • Launch - Once the pilot phase is complete the Code will be fully ‘open for business’ in 2011
    • The Code works for everyone involved:
    Benefits Customers have reassurance that they have invested in a responsible scheme Projects have recognised procedures and standards to work to and can use their verified status to attract customers and investors Woodland managers have clear standards of carbon management to follow Carbon finance helps contribute to more woodland creation and climate change mitigation
  • UK Woodfuel Barriers to progress
    • Many woodlands not managed for 50+ years
    • Engaging with woodland owners - 80,000 owners 43 Woodland Officers.
    • Small skills base in both forestry contractor and boiler installer sectors
    • Small number of boilers in use
    • Fuel quality poorly understood, boilers need specific moisture contents and chip sizes to work
    • High capital cost of boilers and fuel processing kit, uncertain and sometimes confusing grants for both fuel producers and end users
    • Public perception of forest management
  • Current markets
    • Most common application is heat production using woodchips, logs or pellets
    • Typical scale is between 50 - 1000kW (around 3000 installations at present)
    • Generally a single boiler in a single building
    • Growing interest in and application of ‘district heating’ systems - 1 boiler serving many buildings
    • Creation of many small markets each using 10s or 100s of tonnes suits scattered distribution of privately owned woodland
    • Many estate or farm based business starting with self supply
    • Energy Supply Companies - sell heat not woodchip
  • Power generation
    • 16 biomass fired power stations up and running in the UK, roughly half use wood, stimulated by Renewables Obligation
    • ~30 planned of which 11 will use wood
    • IF all go ahead this will require 30 million tonnes of biomass. Many planned plants located on the coast, ready for imports
    • In 2005 Co-firing market used 1.5million tonnes of biomass (and 52million tonnes of coal)
    • Concern over what this market will do to non fuel markets….
    • ….but some wood processors have invested or are looking to invest in power and/or heat generation equipment
  • Research and development
    • FC funded research has focused on:
    • Systems and equipment evaluation, chippers, harvesting heads, time studies
    • Attitudes of woodland owners to woodland management - how can we unlock the potential?
    • Case studies of fuel supply businesses and boilers
    • Development of fuel quality standards - very technical but could ultimately improve consumer confidence
    • Brash baling, site selection decision support
  • Sustainability criteria
    • Driven by EU Renewable Energy Directive but to be developed on a national basis
    • For government and society, no point in using biomass if this leads to deforestation and environmental damage
    • For the industry, demonstrating sustainability gives public confidence and ensures future resource availability
    • Need to balance need to regulate international supply chains against admin burden on small scale domestic suppliers
    • UK Forestry Standard provides a framework for sustainable forest management.
    • Evidence of compliance already available in the form of felling licences and management plans
  • In Summary
    • Woodfuel industry is small but market opportunity significant
    • Needs of existing markets to be taken into account when trying to stimulate new markets
    • Attractive financial return to woodland owner needed to mobilise unmanaged woodland
    • Which ever energy and material technologies are adopted, forestry is likely to play a significant role
    • Wider general support crucial
    • Greater awareness, access and markets today will bring benefits tomorrow!
  • Seeking views on draft guidance on woodland creation
    • Published 12th October
    • Views sought by 7th December
    • UK-wide scope
    http://www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/ghg-woodland/index.htm http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/business/reporting/
  • Your views
      • what’s right?
      • what’s wrong?
      • what’s missing?
      • will it work?
    ?
  • The ‘Approved Project’ Logo Any questions? Details at: E: [email_address] or [email_address] W: www.forestry.gov.uk/carboncode