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Trees in a forest
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The debate on transparency: How does honest CO₂ compensation work for European forests?

2023. 02. 02.


An image of Stefanie Dünser

Stefanie Dünser

Trees in a forest

Forest owners play an important role in the fight against climate change by implementing projects that help preserve forests. Tree.ly supports European forestry projects and connects them with nearby CO₂ buyers to ensure that the credits actually help reduce emissions and protect our planet.

Recent reports about carbon credits from tropical and subtropical forests (The Guardian and DIE ZEIT published news about Verra credits) cast a poor light on CO₂ credits from forests. However, one must clearly distinguish European conditions from those in tropical and subtropical forests.

It is important to understand how forests can be used to provide transparent and high-quality CO₂ offsets. Forest projects implemented using our methodology ensure the legitimacy of the credits through the following:

1. Digital Platform

Our platform provides accurate data collection, project forest baseline modeling, a detailed project register, a digital twin, and enables annual monitoring of projects.

2. Third Party Verification

Validation and verification of our projects is performed by an external accredited testing body, TÜV Austria or TÜV Nord in Germany, in accordance with ISO 14064-2.

3. Risk Buffer

Secure investments through risk buffers: 10 % of all certificates are set aside as a buffer in case of unexpected events and returned to forest owners when they are not needed.

Our statement on the above main criticisms is as follows:

"94 % of projects have not reduced deforestation": Projects are continuously monitored and verified by third parties. Certificates are issued only after the fact.

"The threat to forests has been overestimated by 400 %": forestry projects must meet a certain baseline. If a forest has a stand volume of 270 m³/ha and the lower baseline is 250 m³/ha, we only take into account the 20 m³/ha above the lower limit.

"Companies such as ..., Shell, EasyJet, ... have bought for environmental reasons. ": Tree.ly believes in a world where we 1. avoid carbon, 2. reduce emissions, and only 3. offset. For this reason, our certificates are only sold to companies that keep a carbon account and ideally already have a reduction plan in place.

"Human Rights Issues": We only support European projects and link them to nearby buyers of carbon credits.

In the ORF interview, Jodok Batlogg, Founder & CEO Tree.ly, talks about how to recognize high-quality CO₂ credits and why regional distribution is the key to sustainable climate protection.

Questions? Contact us!