MASTER'S PROJECT: Carbon Sources, Sinks and Offsets in Global Forest Investments
Global Forest Partners LP (GFP) is a sustainable timber investment management organization. As the global community increases its focus on the impact that carbon emissions are having on climate change, GFP wants to gain a firm understanding of their carbon impact. While many companies will need to account primarily for carbon emissions sources, GFP is unique in that they must account for the large-scale sequestration of carbon within their forested properties. The main project objective was to perform a carbon accounting analysis for the organization, taking into consideration both the sequestration impacts of forests and the emissions associated with business operations. In the process of performing this analysis, we sought to create a robust and adaptable model to allow GFP to continue this work in future years. The secondary objective for this project was to contextualize the results of the carbon accounting analysis within international carbon markets as well as within the political atmosphere surrounding emissions and climate change. To calculate the carbon sequestered through forests, our group referred to methodologies established within the California cap-and-trade carbon market as well as the Verified Carbon Standard, which is frequently used to certify global carbon offset projects. Our results provided GFP with an understanding of their 2015 total net carbon impact and their projected carbon sequestration impacts over the next 100 years. Lastly, we provided insight into impending developments in major global carbon markets and the global carbon policy situation, including the expected impacts of the 2015 Conference of Parties 21 in Paris.