The Forestry Commission has hailed the success of its Woodland Carbon Code which it believes may eventually remove a million tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through new planting projects.
Uncertainties about the amount of carbon trees remove from the atmosphere persist and have now prompted the European Commission to propose new rules for assessment.
But the Forestry Commission is confident its Code, launched last July, and accredited by companies appointed by the UK Accreditation Service, has already created the potential to sequester a million tonnes of CO2.
"The Woodland Carbon Code is providing a boost to efforts to provide much-needed new woodland by giving confidence to investors that the project they invest in will ‘do what it says on the tin'," said Forestry Commission chair Pam Warhurst.
"It also gives confidence to project promoters, who can now approach investors with credible, independent verification of their projects' claims."
Under the Code, commercial foresters apply for registration for their planting projects which are then audited, validated and certified.
So far, 57 projects have so far been registered and 10 of them validated and, only if they go to plan, would the million tonnes of carbon actually be removed from the atmosphere over the next century.
At best, the forest could sequester 1.25mt, but 200,000t is expected to be lost through wind, fire, pests or disease.