Carbon transaction signals new revenue source for forest landowners

Ecotrust Forest Management struck a deal this week to sell forest carbon credits generated by forest land on the Olympic Peninsula to a private equity fund.

The transaction provides a model for the kind of deal that may become more common for forest land owners if federal regulations create a market for carbon.

Ecotrust Forest Management, the for-profit subsidiary of Portland-based Ecotrust, made the deal with Equator LLC of New York and New Forests Inc. of Sydney, international investment and asset management firms that jointly manage the Eco Products Fund, a private equity fund. Structured under the Climate Action Reserve’s new Forest Project Protocol, the deal guarantees that the carbon credits — expected to be in the hundreds of thousands over the next 100 years — generated by Ecotrust’s 3,276-acre Sooes property on the Olympic Peninsula will be purchased by Eco Products.

“We grow amazing trees in the Pacific Northwest and they’re tremendously carbon-rich,” said Bettina von Hagen, CEO of Ecotrust Forest Management. “We’re in a time when the forest products industry is at an all-time low. These carbon offsets offer another alternative.”

Research firm Ecosystems Marketplace reports that the average price per metric ton of carbon dioxide equivalent — the standard form of measurement for offsets — in the voluntary forest carbon market was about $10 in 2009.

Von Hagen said that the terms of the transaction prevent her from revealing the price per ton paid by Eco Products, but did say the deal was in the six-figure realm.

“Monetizing a sale in the six figures is of great importance to companies and to land owners,” von Hagen said.

  • Page 1
  • 2
|View All

Comments

If you are commenting using a Facebook account, your profile information may be displayed with your comment depending on your privacy settings. By leaving the 'Post to Facebook' box selected, your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below.