The contribution of forest carbon credit projects to addressing the climate change challenge

Open-access journal article in 'Climate Policy', December 2016

To cite this article: Wytze van der Gaast, Richard Sikkema & Moriz Vohrer (2016): The contribution of forest carbon credit projects to addressing the climate change challenge, Climate Policy, DOI: 10.1080/14693062.2016.1242056, To link to this article:


This article addresses the question of how forestry projects, given the recently improved standards for the accounting of carbon sequestration, can benefit from existing and emerging carbon markets in the world. For a long time, forestry projects have been set up for the purpose of generating carbon credits. They were surrounded by uncertainties about the permanence of carbon sequestration in trees, potential replacement of deforestation due to projects (leakage), and how and what to measure as sequestered carbon.

climate policy

Through experience with Joint Implementation (JI) and Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) forestry projects, albeit limited, and with forestry projects in voluntary carbon markets, considerable improvements have been made with accounting of carbon sequestration in forests, resulting in a more solid basis for carbon credit trading. The scope of selling these credits exists both in compliance markets, although currently with strong limitations, and in voluntary markets for offsetting emissions with carbon credits. Improved carbon accounting methods for forestry investments can also enhance the scope for forestry in the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) that countries must prepare under the Paris Agreement.