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Forest Carbon Projects Do Not Reduce Land Valuation

Published: December 19, 2023 by mmumford@climatetrust.org

Carbon market projects have become one of the most popular nature-based climate solutions. However, some misconceptions occasionally arise regarding the impact these projects have on property management and ultimately on property values. 

The common misconceptions are three-fold. The first is the assumption that the carbon project is tied to the land. This is not true as it is based on an agreement with the original landowner. Only if the original landowner requires the buyer to assume the forest carbon project might it impact the property’s value.  

The second misconception is that a carbon project would diminish property value because of the reporting requirements. However, this ignores the substantial revenues generated by projects and the timeline of a carbon project; namely whether it is still in the revenue generating stage or the post-crediting monitoring period. Currently, all forest carbon projects are generating revenues for landowners.  

The third misconception is oversimplifying forest carbon projects and not recognizing that they diversify property income by generating carbon revenues and allowing for timber harvesting, all while growing the timber asset. Active forest management is allowed within a project and unharvested timber ultimately enhances the timber value of the property as the forest matures. 

Forest carbon projects should not be viewed by default as reducing property values. Instead, they can significantly enhance a property’s value through an entirely new revenue stream that diversifies income and builds underlying timber value.