What change do you want to make now to address the climate change crisis? At the moment there is little economic incentive to retain and improve mature woodland and encourage the preservation of carbon sinks. There are grants to cover part of the cost of tree planting but little return can be expected from woodland until it is felled and much of the carbon value is lost. My idea is for the setting up of a Carbon Bank which would help realign the economic value of land with it's real world value to people and the environment. What do you need to make this change? Land owners would encouraged to register land with the Bank and it would be surveyed and given a carbon value rating which would provide a yield to the owner for his or her investment. It is anticipated that this could ultimately replace many of the rural subsidies. There would be a new branch of surveying to assign carbon values and these would be recorded on the existing national mapping system. The values would have to be re-assessed regularly and at key events such as sale or clear felling.
Owners would be able to carry out maintenance and other uses which were compatible with the carbon value rating. The maintenance of the carbon value would correspond with the maintenance of the environment and wildlife habitats. The idea could also be extended to include other land uses such as peat bogs which would have a high rating and grouse moors which would have a low rating. For publicly owned land Carbon shares could be offered to small investors.
I like tis idea because it seems well thought out; it is easy to understand and generally makes sense if we are serious about making progress towards tackling climate change in general and establishing a carbon sink in particular. Why shold farmers and woodland owners receive tax breaks and subsidies for simply owning land rather than putting something back into the community ? Good article !
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