Skip to content Skip to navigation

Allowing polluters to offset carbon emissions by paying forest owners effectively reduces greenhouse gases, Stanford study finds

screenshot of animated video about carbon offset on trees
Kate Lamy/Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment
Aug 14 2017
Research, Stanford, Students

You can’t grow money on trees, but you can earn money for letting trees grow. Or at least you can through a pioneering California program that allows forest owners around the United States to sell carbon credits to companies required by the state to reduce emissions. Researchers at Stanford analyzed the program and found that the initiative has valuable environmental benefits beyond just offsetting greenhouse gases.

“Many developing countries with large forests are interested in similar programs to avoid deforestation,” said lead author Christa Anderson, a graduate student in the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources at Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences. “California provides the first proof of concept with a government program that credits standing forests.”

Lead author Christa Anderson is a former EDGE-STEM mentor. Co-author Katharine Mach is a 2008 Presidential Fellow, Biology

Read the full article