Keith Wallace explores the implications and caveats of woodland carbon units.

The concept of woodland carbon units (WCUs) is simple. Your client plants trees and thus captures (or sequesters) carbon, helping to contain or reduce what others emit. ‘Emitters’ of carbon wish to – or must by local law – reduce their carbon emissions. Hence, they are willing to ‘buy’ the carbon sequestration your client’s planting entails.

WCUs are an attempt to set up some demi-official process, to bring order and transparency – and to reward, financially, tree-planters. You register your planting, claim units and, over the years, prove them. When proved, they are sold. The buyer ‘retires’ the units bought and claims these as an emission offset. But there is a thicket o...

Keith Wallace
Reed Smith LLP

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