Largest carbon offset project gets go-ahead

The world’s largest carbon offset project - an avoided deforestation scheme in Indonesia - is likely to get the go-ahead after achieving certification to the Climate Community and Biodiversity Standard.

Ulu Masen in Aceh province in the north of the country could see up to 100 million tonnes of CO2 offset in the next 30 years, or an estimated 3.3 million tonnes annually.

The global market for voluntary offsets was only 10 million tonnes in 2005 (ENDS Report 383, p 12 ).

The project is a collaboration between conservation organisation Fauna & Flora International and developer Carbon Conservation that will see the government of Aceh paid to prevent deforestation in an area covering 750,000 hectares.

Initial financial backing for the project is coming from investment bank Merrill Lynch, which is in the final stages of due diligence to buy all offsets generated by the project for at least its first four years.

The Climate Community and Biodiversity Standard was created by NGOs including the Rainforest Alliance. It evaluates land-use projects aimed at saving CO2 emissions. A recent study by the WWF said it was in many respects equal in rigour.

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