Planting a seed: will new forests disrupt new energies?

Tree planting charities are emerging as the best means to offset CO2. They will displace other ‘new energies’ from the cost curve. Abatement costs are $3-10/ton. The solution is available today. It also restores nature. This 18-page note presents the numbers, the advantages, pushbacks, implications, and profiles some of the charities we have supported.


The importance of nature-based CO2 offsets in a fully decarbonized energy mix is outlined on pages 2-3.

But how do you get the most bang for your buck? We have evaluated thirty providers of CO2 offsets and answer this question on pages 4-7.

The costs and CO2 uptake rates from tree planting are spelled out on pages 5-6.

A checklist of seven criteria is presented on page 8, to help you maximize your impact, when contributing to nature-based projects.

The advantages of tree planting are argued on page 9, covering costs, technical readiness, simplicity and additional virtues.

The drawbacks are allayed on pages 10-11, tabulating the ‘top ten’ criticisms of nature based solutions, and how we would mitigate these concerns.

Controversially, we have concluded that ‘certified’ carbon credits deliver less value for money than tree planting. We outline why on pages 12-13.

Implications for companies and investors are set out on page 14, including examples of corporations that have chosen nature based solutions over expensive new energies.

Three providers of carbon credits are profiled on pages 15-18, including the due diligence we have conducted on each organization, prior to making contributions.