The Climate Trust is excited to announce its collaboration with the Land Trust Alliance (LTA) on a Grasslands Carbon Development program. The program is a collaboration between the two non-profit organizations to provide Alliance member land trusts with carbon-based funding for conservation easements and land purchases. LTA’s mission is to support land trusts so they can save and secure land for future generations. LTA has over 1,000 member land trusts that manage 11 million acres. This collaboration should provide an important breakthrough in funding conservation and climate resiliency through carbon offset projects.
Land trusts are natural candidates for carbon offset development, but they often lack the technical expertise and funds to develop an offset project. As part of the first phase of the program, Climate Trust has committed to fund upfront payments to land trusts for a share of the future carbon offset revenues generated. Climate Trust will manage the development of the carbon offset projects using an Avoided Conversion of Grasslands protocol, which sequesters carbon by prohibiting soil tilling and ensures that grasslands remain undeveloped in perpetuity. LTA will work with member land trusts to educate them on the benefits of carbon offset projects, coordinate with smaller land trusts to create carbon project cooperatives and offer up to $10,000 in grants to member land trusts to support staff efforts.
The carbon offsets generated by the projects are expected to be sold in the voluntary carbon offset market with demand provided primarily by corporations motivated by social responsibility.
Conservation is critical to climate resiliency and carbon offsets provide an effective way to meet both conservation and greenhouse gas reduction goals. We believe Climate Trust’s collaboration with LTA will be a highly sought-after tool for land trusts looking for capital to conserve critical lands that promote climate resiliency.