Case Study: Multiple – Scottish Forestry

Working with Scottish Forestry to help accelerate carbon capture

5 Jun 2023 Nature Positive
Read time: minutes
Working with Scottish Forestry to help accelerate carbon capture

University of Exeter experts provided key insight and analysis for the UK’s first carbon auction scheme, giving landowners the confidence to support decarbonisation and boost natural capital.


Launched in 2019, the Forestry Commission’s £50M Woodland Carbon Guarantee online auction scheme was the UK’s first carbon auction and is helping to deliver Net Zero 2030 ambitions by incentivising land‐owners to plant types of trees that lock in carbon.


Ben Balmford, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow on the SWEEP team, worked closely with Scottish Forestry to provide key insights on the design and application of the Woodland Carbon Guarantee.


Pat Snowdon, Head of Economics and Woodland Carbon Code at Scottish Forestry, said: “Ben’s invaluable insights into the design and application of reverse auctions for a new policy initiative, the Woodland Carbon Guarantee, was instrumental in giving us the confidence to carry out the auction.


He continued: “We have subsequently run six auctions under the Guarantee, helping drive woodland creation in England, which would not have otherwise happened, by incentivising future CO2 removals at a significantly higher carbon price than previously. The Forestry Commission considered this to be a very successful outcome and one that had also impressed HM Treasury.


In just five years, the University’s natural capital team, SWEEP, helped deliver £35 million in benefits to the south west. The team – led by the University of Exeter in partnership with Plymouth University and Plymouth Marine Laboratory – carried out projects with over 300 partners from businesses to local authorities, with a focus on enhancing the value of natural capital for business and society.

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